USING YOUR GAME DEVELOPMENT BYPRODUCTS AS FREE MARKETING

You probably don’t even think about all the effort you put into game development. You audience most certainly doesn’t. What if you could somehow package up all the leavings that don’t become part of the game your players download and use those to increase awareness for your game? To help other game developers overcome their hurdles? Maybe even to make a few extra bucks?

This week on the PowerUp Blog, we’ll explore a few strategies that will help you do just that.

Assets

This is one of the most obvious byproducts of game development: unused assets. You created a character sprite. You recorded some voicework. You did a nice floor texture. Later on, you decided it needed to be cut from the final game.

You now have a piece of content that someone worked to produce but no clear way to utilize it. You can either try sell it for a little extra money or give it away to increase awareness for your game.

If you decide to sell it, first check to see if the game engine you’re using (in the event you are using an existing one) has an asset store. Many of the most common engines like Unreal Engine, Unity, and GameMaker offer asset stores where creators can easily sell assets to other developers.

On the other hand, you could leverage cut material to build some good will and awareness by giving it away. Write a blog post about your freebies — bonus points if you’re willing to be transparent about what was cut and why — and be sure to tell people what game it came from and ask them to check out the game.

Technical Processes

Technical are most often repurposed in the form of development blogs. After you solve a particularly tough development problem or figure out an innovative technique in the areas or art, sound, or storytelling, share it with a blog post.

The Internet offers us other interesting ways to share as well. Podcasts engage audiences for much longer than blog posts and can go a long way toward building rapport with potential players. Video is also an extremely engaging way to share how you’re developing your game, either by telling about it or actually showing it and inviting people to watch.

Business Processes

Most game developers have little experience running a business and could really use your insights about how to make indie game development a viable career. The mechanisms for sharing are the same as your technical process, but the audience may be slightly different.

By sharing what you’ve learned about cutting deals with publishers or about doing your own marketing, you’ll likely make fast friends with others in your shoes navigating the same struggles. They may even decide to promote you to the audiences they’ve built for their own games.

What’s in It for Me?

The bulk of the work in these byproducts has already been spent in creating them. The only work you need to do is to capture what’s already being created and package it for consumption. This is well worth the effort to grab some more eyeballs.

But it’s not just any eyeballs you’re grabbing. These new “products” are primarily of interest to other developers or to the serious enthusiast — two segments small enough it’s probably not worth devoting much of your marketing spend or effort. However, since most people who make indie games do it because they love the medium, you might find many of them joining your fanbase and trying to help you succeed.

It sure beats leaving all of that on the cutting room floor.