Category: Our Story

IGAMING IS GROWING WITH NEW CASINOS

iGaming, which is a common name for the business of casino and sports betting online, have seen a constant growth since 20 years ago when the first online casinos opened up.

The northern part of Europe are no strangers to online casinos, as they’ve been along from the start. The trend has now inflicted the south, and during the past three years the market has grown significantly in countries such as Italy, Turkey and France.

Why is Casino Gaming Growing So Much?

What we need to keep in mind is that big parts of Europe still are without internet, computers or even smartphones. IT solutions are developing in all parts of Europe and throughout the world as well. That itself means that the amount of potential casino players is increasing by the day. Focusing on even more targeted markets, which is a typical move for new casinos, also means that potential players will feel more safe about depositing money at an online casino.

How Will These New Casinos Affect The Giants?

Giants like Betsson, Unibet and Gaming Innovation Group are mildly threatened by all the new casinos. None of these new casinos have a big enough budget to steal the market from the huge, more established casino businesses. They will always stand behind in terms of marketing and visibility compared to the giants.

Innovation – A Key Factor

While the IT solutions and tech in southern Europe is getting stronger, so is the tech solutions from gaming providers such as NetEnt and MicroGaming. They are currently the biggest game providers for casino games online in Europe. They’ve shared the throne for over two decades, while other game providers had been piss in Mississippi in comparison.

MicroGaming has always been a leading innovator in the industry. They’ve proved themselves by creating the first software in the late 90’s, but they were also the first casino game provider to create a mobile software.

NetEnt has grown extremely popular in Europe, and have recently stated that their goal is to cater for 50 % of the European Casino market in 2018. They’ve taken an extra step in terms of Innovation, showing up out of this world-products in terms of VR casino.

New Casino Game Providers Showing Confidence

Innovation has been key in the casino world and have lead it to what it is today, and a lot of the credit goes to other game providers than NetEnt and MicroGaming. Yggdrasil is a Swedish game provider that put their name on the map in 2015. They came up with some great titles, with interesting concepts that were one step ahead of their competition.

The innovative mind-set within Yggdrasil is one of a kind. They’ve revolutionized tournaments and raffles at online casinos, with both concepts integrated within their slots. This feature is a breeze for casino operators who normally have to all that work manually.

Given that the range of games is increasing each year, the need for casino guides has also increased, such as Casino Wings or Catena Media that launched on the stock exchange 2016.

Yggdrasil also launched the tool BRAGS, which is exactly what it sounds like. With this brilliant tool, players can share their spins with friends, on social media by posting on their wall, or by privately sending a link in which the receiver can see the entire game round as it was originally played out.

Tools and innovations like these are important for the sector to grow, and thanks to all new casinos and game providers out there, the market will keep growing.

COOPETITION BETWEEN INDIE GAME DEVS MAKES EVERYONE BETTER

Coopeition is the concept of working with your competition to reach a mutually benefical goal. It’s common in many industries, but game development is particularly well-suited to reaping the rewards of coopetition. Here are some ways to use it to get more exposure for your game.

Bundles

This is perhaps the most visible form of coopeition happening in the indie game scene right now. Humble Bundle launches a couple of bundles every week, but many other stores also offer indie game bundles.

The downside of bundles has been sufficiently covered in recent years, but the upside is also significant. Sure, you won’t earn as much per sale, but you’ll have gamers buying a bundle with your game because there are a few other games in the bundle they want, and the price is low enough to still make it a deal for them.

This does two things for you. First, it puts a little bit of money in your pocket from someone who otherwise wasn’t intending to buy your game. Second, it gets someone to try your game who otherwise wouldn’t have. If they like it, they may seek out other games you’ve released which could lead to further sales, maybe even at full price!

Group Sales

Group sales are slightly different than bundles. Instead of offering all the games in a single pack, the games instead share a marketing effort. All games offer a discount at the same time and usually display it in one place (like a single web site).

The Indiependence Day sale is a recent high-profile example, although it isn’t really a sale at all. The games are offered at full price. Still, it garnered lots of attention which led to increased sales for the participating studios.

Like bundles, this pools fans of various games together and shows them all of the games on offer. By way of example, a fan of Axiom Verge might learn about the sale, check it out, and end up leaving with a copy of Elegy of a Dead World. It may have been difficult for Dejobaan to reach this player otherwise, but it was easy through the group sale. By placing it next to a game the player enjoyed and telling about it through that game’s established channels, the player was made aware of the other game.

Joint Conference Booths

Conference space is expensive, but it can be extremely valuable to recruit new fans and gain great feedback. You can make it cheaper, however, by sharing a booth with other indie devs.

You could do this through one of the businesses that organize these indie booths like Indie MEGABOOTH, or you could simply ask another developer if they’d like to share a booth with you.

Endless Opportunities

There are hundreds of other ways coopetition can bring more attention to your games. Organize a livestream with other developers to benefit a charity. Collaborate with another developer on a new game. Include characters from the other developer’s game in your game. You’re limited only by your imagination.

Game development is especially well-suited to this idea of coopetition. Games enthusiasts aren’t typically choosing between one game or another, at least, not in the long-term. Players will buy many games. If they buy a competitor’s game now, that doesn’t mean they won’t buy yours later.

You can take part in coopetition knowing you aren’t diminishing your own sales. You stand only to gain new fans by reaching audiences outside your own.

CASINO GAMES –JUST LIKE REAL COMPUTER GAMES

Casinos online and iGaming has become a factor to consider when it comes to games. Just like with computer or TV-games, there are loads of hungry tech companies creating slot games with tremendous graphics and design themes that are blowing their customers mind.

You would think that Online Slots are simple, and they have been for a long time. The first slots were extremely simple in comparison to online slots today. Just like in the real world, online casino slots needed their time to develop. Anyone would agree that the results of 20 years of casino games are truly mind blowing.

Break Da Bank (old) vs CopyCats (new)

Casino game providers today are constantly investing in graphic designers and programmers, to become leading innovators of the market. The biggest companies, such as NetEnt and Microgaming are stock listed companies with millions of revenue every year.

Casino Games – Bigger Than E Sports/Games?

Thanks to the incredible amount of gamblers in the world, the casino games market is growing rapidly and can definitely be compared to the computer games and esport markets. Malta is an island in southern Europe, known for 300 days of sun and being a British colony, but it’s also the home of almost 1000 online casino companies. The jurisdiction in Malta makes it possible for people in Europe to play on “EU-legit” sites outside of their own, regulated country.

How Do Casino Game Creators Make Money?

Casino game providers usually “sell” their whole portfolio of games to an operator (casino). It’s not uncommon that a set-up fee is taken upon signing the contract, including integration with the casino platforms. Once everything is set up and live, the game providers gets a cut of the casinos revenue. The percent they make is different depending on the deal, but 10-20% of Net income usually goes to the game providers, and they won’t even have to worry about the risk of losing any money, as the casino itself pay out all the winnings.

Buying a computer or video game normally costs between 30-80 EUR. In the world of Casino, there are sharks with enormous wallets who are ready to gamble. It’s rare, but some players are making deposits of over £5000 at a time. As you might understand, the value per casino players is much higher than a video game player.

TALKING TO NON-GAMERS ABOUT YOUR GAME

Indie developers tend to sell their games to people who play lots of games. This seems like the easiest target since these players have shown that they are willing to buy if the concept is intriguing.

This strategy can net you a respectable number of sales, but the problem is that you’re in a very crowded space. Steam’s new release list shows me 47 games released in the last week.

The key to marketing your game is to find a way to stand out above the noise. Only your imagination limits how you will achieve this, but one viable method is to take your message somewhere else where it is far more novel.

Go Where You’re Weird

This doesn’t mean to try to sell copies of your game at the retirement community… although it could. The tricky part about taking your message to people who don’t generally play games is that it could fail spectacularly.

Be sure that you have a rationale for where you want to talk about your game. Who are the audiences who might appreciate the themes, setting, subject, or mechanics of your game? Here are a couple of great examples of this method in action.

Portal

Valves games are among the gamerest games you can find, but they have found other audiences who would appreciate what they have to offer. Portal and Portal 2 found new life outside gamers in the classroom.

Valve provides lesson plans and forums for teachers wanting to use Portal in the classroom. Most teachers and administrators are not reading reviews on Giant Bomb to find new ways to engage their students.

By targeting this audience with a message and toolset that speaks specifically to their needs, Valve was able to get some traction they would otherwise never have achieved.

Wii

The Wii is slightly different from Portal as it seems to have been developed with a broad appeal in mind from the beginning.

Ads for the Wii emphasized it was a friendly, accessible way to have fun playing video games. This is why the console became a mainstay at family gatherings and living rooms in a way others before it had not.

Nintendo promoted the Wii through mommy blogs, among other places, but even their television ads took on a different tone from the typical video game ad. Although the channel was the same they would use to reach core gamers, the ads were different to appeal to that audience.

How Can I Do This?

Does your game accurately simluate an activity people enjoy in real life? If you’re making a hardcore racing simulation, car enthusiasts might want to know about it even if they don’t generally play games. The same could be true for a fishing or hunting game, or anything that closely resembles an activity people enjoy. On the other hand, trying to sell a Phoenix Wright game through ads on a lawyer’s blog might not be as effective.

Does your game require skills that a particular type of person might be interested in honing? Plenty of programmers might like SpaceChem just because it helps develop the sort of analytical processes they need to excel at their jobs. I recently picked up an iOS game called Rules! to help me hone my memory. In these games, the learning is a by-product of what’s happening in the game.

Does your game have an explicitly educational intent? Maybe schools would want to use it. Or, maybe it educates on an obscure topic that certain communities would be interested in learning. Make sure these people know about your game. Maybe the game is centered around some form of emotional education and therapists would use it as a tool with their patients.

Does your game allow someone to do something they can’t otherwise do? Plenty of people play Second Life, WoW, or other MMOs just for the social interaction they get with other players. The game, to them, is secondary. Social interaction is a basic human need that people can get cut off from for one reason or another. These games provide an outlet for that.

Don’t Limit Yourself

People who are enthusiastic about games are always looking for their next fix and should not be ignored. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t venture outside the walled garden of gamers to tell others about your game. You may find a resonance with some other group that will give them something they need and will give you a bigger budget for your next project.

EVERYTHING YOU DO OR SAY IS PART OF YOUR GAME’S MARKETING

It’s unlikely Time ran their cover treatment of Palmer Lucky by the man before deciding to move forward with it. I can’t imagine anyone who’s interested in the success of VR looking at that image and saying, “Yes, ship it!”

On thousands of sites, you can read about how ridiculous the photo is, how it spells the end of VR, and how many different animals Palmer is riding in the meme deluge that followed in the wake of the photo. I’m more interested in answering one question: what can we learn from this?

Something as benign as a silly photo likely won’t move the needle one way or another on your indie game, but it’s important to understand that anything you say or do in public is part of your game’s marketing. Anything. That means your personal Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts, things you say at conventions, slides you show at local game development meetups… in the age of fast and free information, it all quickly gets rolled up into your overall marketing message.

In the indie space far more than in AAA game development, the personalities of the creative forces behind games get tied up in the games they produce. It’s impossible to keep track of everything being said by the 500 people on an Assassin’s Creed team, but it’s easy to follow Notch, Phil Fish, or Paranautical Activity’s Mike Maulbeck.

This is a double-edged sword. It means you can show people that you’re a person just like them. People who follow and play indie games want this. They want to make a connection with a creator. In fact, pretty much everyone can appreciate authenticity because it’s so scary.

It also means that what you say or do can have dire consequences on your game’s bottom line. The aforementioned Mike Maulbeck learned this the hard way when he spouted some idle threats at Valve’s Gabe Newell and saw his team’s game pulled from what’s likely the most important digital game store for several months.

Marketing generally refers to the way you talk about your product, but, when the teams are so small and personalities are so important, your public personal identity also gets tied up in this. You don’t get to choose which of the things you say come back around to help or haunt your game. The Internet does that for you.

Think, too, about the non-verbal ways you communicate about your game. When Chair Entertainment used the name of novelist Orson Scott Card to promote 2009 release Shadow Complex, they likely didn’t expect his views on homosexuality to have any impact on the game. They almost certainly didn’t expect this to be a subject of debate surrounding the game.

They told Kotaku, “Card’s political beliefs sure didn’t come up during the game’s development.” Translation: We didn’t think about Card’s political beliefs when we made the game, and you shouldn’t think about them before you buy it. Unfortunately, this was an important factor to a few prospective players, and some of them decided not to buy the game as a result. Chair had communicated something to gamers whether they intended to or not.

You could interpret this post to mean you should never say anything for fear someone could be offended and drag your game through the mud as a result. That’s not the intent though. Instead, I’d simply like to make you aware that the things you say and do could have consequenses. You may be communicating messages you never intended. Keep your voice and keep using it. Connect with your fans and let them see you as a human being. As you do this, be aware that, as an indie, gamers see your game as an extension of you and vice versa. Be thoughtful in what you do and post, and you’ll avoid having to tuck your tail between your legs and retreat back to the cubicle.

STEAM GREENLIGHT PRO-TIPS FOR INDIE DEVELOPERS

Steam is the largest digital marketplace for PC games. It’s a very important channel to get your game into the hands of the most players. Greenlight is the mechanism through which games end up on Steam.

Unfortunately, the Greenlight system is mysterious. Valve is not at all transparent about what it takes to get your game accepted through the system. I’ve gathered a few nuggets to give you a leg up on the competition.

Get It Right From the Beginning

You’ll really want to have other ways to get users to your Greenlight page (See the next tip.), but the traffic Steam is sending your way is also important. That traffic is front-loaded. It drops off significantly as your game is on Greenlight.

That means it’s important to show your game in the best possible light from day one. If you’ve been sloppy in pulling your page together, the comments will show that making your already uphill battle a little steeper.

Send All Your Fans

Steam will send considerable traffic to your Greenlight page, but don’t depend on that alone. Notify your mailing list, your personal friends, and your game’s Twitter and Facebook followers. Send fans from your Kickstarter page over to Steam (and vice versa). When you get press coverage, make sure they mention the Greenlight campaign.

This will increase your chances to make it to the Steam store which means more sales and a better chance to start working on the next game after this one has run its course.

Add a Trailer

Most games that made it through Greenlight have trailers. You should too. It’s what people expect to see if you’re really serious about finishing your game. It’s going to be tough convincing Steam users that you can’t be bothered to put together a trailer, but you should be trusted to spend the next six months polishing the game up for them.

If you don’t already have a trailer you can use, make an awesome one.

Tell How Far Along the Game Is

The people who vote on Greenlight are more savvy than the bulk of people who play games. They can understand that games in development don’t necessarily look or play like completed games.

They’re going to be judging you based on where you are, so tell them. Be transparent about the state of your game. If you’re feeling really brave, answer some of the concerns they might otherwise address in the comments by telling them what you plan to change. Just be prepared for them to be upset if one of the changes you mentioned doesn’t make it to the final version.

Share a Demo

Just like launching a Kickstarter campaign, we are trying to reduce the risk of the player when they support us. In Kickstarter, we’re asking them to part with cash. The risk is that their money is wasted on a game that’s no good.

On Greenlight, we’re just asking for a click on the “Yes” button, so there is no financial risk. The risk here is that, by voting in lots of games that are no good, the players have diluted their own marketplace. It’s now a little harder to find the good games because more games they don’t want are clogging up the works.

Offer a demo to help them understand exactly what they’re voting for. For bonus points, offer a web-based demo they don’t even have to download and install. You’ll get 10 times the number of people to play it. This is not always possible, but some engines make it easy. Unity games can be played in the browser and a few engines can export to HTML 5.

Don’t Dwell on the Stats

When you list your game on Greenlight, you’ll have access to statistics that tell you how your campaign is progressing. These stats are important and can be a great source of learning, but no one has been able to draw a direct correlation between these numbers and being accepted into the store.

ART VS. GAMES AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

The recent exit of Tale of Tales from video games got me thinking about the intersection of art and games and how that affects marketing.

According to what they’ve written about their departure from games, the studio believed they were appealing to the video game masses with their latests game Sunset. The studio creates art with games as their medium. Their previous games had limited appeal, but this was supposed to be their big coming out party to the mainstream. At this point, that hasn’t paid off for them. Does this mean art can never be successful in the mainstream, or is there an explanation short of that which allows for artistic, commercially successful games?

Selling Out

Art and commerce are thought of as opposing forces. If you’re making art with the idea of making money, some will argue it isn’t really art or, at least, that it isn’t as pure. As an artist (or creator or developer if that term bothers you), if you buy into this, it can cause you to make decisions that will undermine the commercial success of your game.

Before you start building, you need to decide your primary goal. Do you have an idea that needs to exist in the world fully formed as it is in your head come hell or high water? If so, you’re making art. Are you hoping to feed yourself or family and fund future games? If so, you’re making a commercial product.

Commercial Art

Despite what I suggested in that previous sentence, the two ideas aren’t entirely separate. Your art could find commercial success. Your commercial game could have incredible artistic elements and be culturally significant. The greatest indie game successes are rarely on one side or the other. The point is that knowing your goal in the beginning will help you guide the decisions you make along the way.

If your primary goal is to make art, you must realize that no one owes you any level of success. If you can get grants and support from other sources, great. Go do that and make your art, but don’t expect that all gamers need to buy your game because you believe it deserves to exist and succeed. Your “payment” was in not having to compromise your vision to meet the expectations of the market you wanted to reach.

Building for an Audience

We hear about the evils of focus testing and how they’re ruining games. That’s probably true in many cases, but it’s not the focus tests that ruin the games. The problem is the way developers are using the feedback they receive. More on that later.

Don’t try to organize focus tests for your little indie games. That’s expensive in terms of both time and money, but do make damn sure that people are playing your game and giving you feedback. It doesn’t mean you implement every change they request, but, if you don’t even know how others perceive your game, you’re building it for yourself.

Getting Real Feedback

As you’re having others play your games, you have some tools at your disposal to help make sure you’re getting good feedback. First, don’t just show your games to friends and family. They may offer a small critique here and there, but you won’t ever know what they really think of it.

Second, find some way to allow players to speak their minds. Maybe it’s as simple as telling them, “Listen, I really want you to tear this thing apart. I’m trying to make it better, and I’d rather you tell me what you really think now than release it and have that feedback come in the form of negative reviews.” Some players will be receptive to that.

Other times, lying might be a good tool. Maybe you find playtesters on Craigslist and, rather than telling them, “I made this cool game, and don’t you just love it?” tell them you work for a company that gathers feedback on games in development. This way, they don’t feel their critique will be taken personally. People — even strangers — will lie to you to preserve your feelings. If they think they are doing the right thing by giving you the input you need and that you won’t take it personally, the ends justify the means. You get the feedback you need, they get a better game in the end.

If you’re not comfortable with that (If I’m being honest, I’m not sure that I would be even though I suggested it. ;-), you could actually ask a friend to help you by testing with players or hire someone to collect the feedback for you.

Whatever you do, find a way to break through people’s kindness and get to the nuggets of truth underneath. Check out the book The Mom Test for some more tips on how you can ask for and receive real feedback.

Using Feedback

This is where feedback gets a bad rap. Some game comes out — usually a big-budget AAA game — and it’s a mess of features and mechanics all thrown together. Someone at the studio says they did focus testing, and this game was the result of that.

If you want to build a game as a piece of commercial art, here’s the part of the feedback loop where you can use your artistic sensibilities: use your overarching vision as the rails for the way you incorporate feedback. Keep that vision in mind and use the feedback that gets you closer to that goal.

Example: Your game is a point-and-click adventure game that tells a personal story about you. Someone plays it and tells you it would be way better if the main character were a hulking space barbarian and if it took place on Jupiter. That’s great, but it doesn’t get you closer to building your vision. Throw this feedback out.

Now, someone plays and tells you the action menu that pops up when they click on an interactive object is confusing. It uses icons which don’t immediately convey what the actions are. Confusing people isn’t part of your vision. Making changes based on this feedback will make it less frustrating for people to play your game. More people playing and enjoying gets you closer to your vision.

Some of the feedback you’ll receive won’t be as clear as those examples. Someone tells you they wish they could shoot people in your game. Well, that’s not part of your vision at all. You probably don’t want to do that, but maybe you need to ask why the player feels the need for that.

Maybe it’s because your game isn’t interactive enough for some players. They want something else they can do besides click on objects and “Look” or “Use.” Perhaps there’s a mechanic besides shooting that makes sense and would give players a more mechanically satisfying experience.

On the other hand, maybe you decide that’s just not what this particular game is and you’re willing to lose or disappoint the kinds of players who need that in a game. Neither response is incorrect. The only way to do it wrong is to never collect this feedback in the first place.

Budget Accordingly

Most games can find some kind of audience. Given this, you can make almost any game you want and make it commercially viable. The trick is to learn about the audience first and set your budget based on that learning.

How much your game will make is a function of how many players are receptive to the type of game and the content of the game, how effectively you can reach those people, and how much they are willing to pay for a game in that style. You’re never going to get to exact numbers, but you can get some idea before you even start developing.

When you have a basic understanding of the size of your audience and how much you can charge them, once again, you’ll get to employ the art of deciding how to use that information. You can hope your game will smash through that barrier if you just invest $X more into development, or you can set your budget well under what you expect to make based on the numbers.

If you chose the former, you might hit big and make tons of cash, but you’re more likely to lose money. If you choose the latter, you’ll probably make a modest sum based on the work you did setting the conservative budget. How much risk you can tolerate is a question only you can answer.

Art Can Succeed

You can realize your vision and still be successful if you’re also willing to scope and prioritize your vision. If you have the belief that you understand every aspect of how your game should be, and that your vision encompasses all of that, it’s a hard road to find success with people outside yourself.

You can limit the scope of your vision without limiting it’s impact. To continue the previous example, your vision is to tell a personal story about something you experienced. That gives you tons of room to make your game better for players without compromising your vision.

Art is meant to be appreciated. If you build your art with so few compromises that no one besides you can appreciate it, is it really art at all?

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.

HOW GAME JAMS HELP WITH MARKETING

Game jams are not only a great environment for developing a game but also help you build an early audience for your game. They give you a community who want to share their own game and see the games of others.

For New Games

It’s much easier to piggyback off the work the jam has already done to build this community than to start building your own community around your game from scratch. Even though the jams are short, no one is preventing you from continuing work on your game after the jam is over. Just look at Gods Will Be Watching for a great example of how this can work.

For Games in Progress

That’s great if you’re just starting the game, but what if your game is already in progress? What can you do to draw attention to a game in development through a game jam? You have a couple of different options.

First, it’s always nice to take a short time away from your game to clear your head. A game jam might be just the trick. You’ll still be practicing your craft but in the context of a different project. This new perspective might shine light on your big project giving you new ideas you can apply to it. In the process, you can also draw attention to yourself and your studio which will bring more awareness to your game.

For a more direct approach, you can build a piece of your game or a mini-game based on your larger project for the jam. This can get tricky because most jams want everything to be created over the course of the jam. You can at least build a mechanic you’ll need for the final game and wrap a small game around that even if you can’t use the art you have for the full game.

This makes it easy to segue into a conversation about the larger game with anyone who likes your jam entry.

Authenticity Is Key

What people like about game jams is that none of the games are perfect. This is game developers showing the world they are human. “I’m going to work on this thing for only 48 hours, only a week, only a month. I’ll release it in whatever shape it’s in at that point.”

Typically, game development is about getting as close to perfect as possible before release. In general, that’s good, but it makes it harder for players to identify.

Game jams offer a unique peek behind the curtain that endears the developer to the audience. As a nice bonus, it’s a great chance to practice and make future projects even better. If you’ve been thinking of starting a game that will be a commercial product, a game jam might be the jump start you need. If you already have a project going, take a short break and let a game jam re-energize your team (even if that’s only you) while bringing new fans into the fold.