We've talked to a lot indie game makers recently and it's time to talk about the best tips and tricks when it comes to developing and releasing indie games. We already know it's hard work and we're here to make every step of the way easier.

1. Social Media is always important

Start early. With the projected 3.2 social billion media users by 2021, you have no time to lose. Even though you may not have a game ready, there is no harm starting as soon as possible. Build a twitter presence - it's easy to share your work there and build relationships with gamers who might be interested in your game. Share screenshots on Instagram and ace your hashtag game. By doing this, you share the aesthetic, plot and game play of your game whereby building anticipation and excitement.

2. Thought about a teaser trailer?

Teaser trailers are a fun way to showcase what your game is going to look like. Why not give a sneak peak? (We love the retro feelings this teaser gives from Queen Bee Games!) Similarly to building a social media presence, it builds hype around your game, drawing more attention and a larger player base. 

3. GIF your way into launch

People love GIFs. Make a GIF of how you struggled drawing a character or how difficult it was to build the perfect game play. GIFing your progress of the game is always a great insight into your creative process as a game maker.  We all make mistakes so why not turn into a 2 second comedy clip?

 "I don’t know if there’s any tricks but maybe it could be worth talking to a witch for some sort of industry hex. I think the most valuable thing for me in the industry was making friends and not connections. At game events I was never looking to get a job or network, I was just so excited to be in a space where I could meet people with the same interests as me. That helped me to relax and meet people for who they are and not what they do. When you’re starting out, being as personable and kind as you can be is a much better strategy than handing out business cards as soon as you meet someone from the industry. Also, share your work as often as you can. Twitter is good for that" - Grace Bruxner, part-time freelance game designer who is currently finishing her own game as we speak. 

 

4.  Word of Mouth

If you get people talking about it, they'll be more chance they'll play your game. Find your target audience and start hyping it where they hang out. Is it a sub reddit? Twitter? Something more niche like the comments section of an internet forum? If you have a dedicated audience who are interested in your game, they'll be sure to do some free advertising for you. 

5. Launch it right

Don't ignore App Store Optimization. Your app will probably be drowned out by all the other apps in the store but with ASO you'll have a better way of optimising it and improve your user acquisition. 

6. Listen to your players

It's essential to listen what your users have to say. They'll be the ones playing the game and they'll definitely have things to say about it. Listen to them, embrace them and be prepared to actively communicate with them. With their active feedback, you'll be able to build a better game. If you make them happy, they'll make you happy by spreading the word.

"I would say the biggest challenge for me is determining how long the project will actually take. Nothing ever goes as smooth as you would expect it to, and I think it’s extremely important to add that extra padding in for when things don’t go as anticipated. We are in tech and technical difficulties are a regular occurrence. Going forward I might refrain from giving dates/time frames too early. For example our game Spinch says in the teaser trailer that it will be out in Summer 2018 which won't be the case. Delays are par for the course. We don’t want to compromise on quality when launching and it’s tricky to balance the quality, scope and budget. Making games is not easy" - Kathleen @ Queen Bee Games. 

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Picture of Caroline Corbett-Thompson

About The Author: Caroline Corbett-Thompson

Caroline is the Marketing Director at Itavio. You'll find her listening to NPR and scowling 99% of the time.

More posts by Caroline Corbett-Thompson

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