Which is better: Publishing more or Promoting more?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Schweinryder, Dec 15, 2016.

?
  1. Publishing more

    6 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. Promoting more

    9 vote(s)
    60.0%
  1. Schweinryder

    Schweinryder New Member

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    I struggle to get people to install my games. I've read all the guides on how to get more downloads and promoting is in my experience harder. I have no budget for ads, so I'm doing it all myself.

    My first thought was to make as many games as possible, so I figured I'd publish one game each week (at least in the beginning). Then I thought that method would just get me lots of games nobody knows about, I need people to play my games to begin with.

    In order to motivate me to keep pushing for more players, I set a goal for myself: No more programming until my game has 1000 downloads.

    It's been about 10 days since I published it on Google Play, and I've got ~30 downloads (which is more than my other game got in 2 years, so yeah). I have a long way to go to reach my goal and my fingers are itching.

    Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about which method is better: making more games or promoting more.?

    What do you think?
    What works best in your experience?

    Publishing more?
    Or
    Promoting more?

    Assume that the games are at least decent and fairly enjoyable.
     
  2. MClark27

    MClark27 New Member

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    My first thought is you can make all the games in the world but if you don't know how to promote them, it doesn't matter how extensive your portfolio is. You'll most likely still have to deal with the same issue of trying to get people to install.

    I'd give your goal a shot and see what happens. Tell me a little more about your game (so I can give better advice). Have you tried reaching out to any YouTubers and asking them to play it?
     
  3. Schweinryder

    Schweinryder New Member

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    That's my feeling as well.

    The game in question is just a simple challenge game; tap the screen to turn 90 degrees. Circles comes in from up, down, left and right and the challenge is to turn towards them to "catch" them. I'm thinking it's the type of game you play to kill a few minutes every now and then.

    I have tried to reach out to a few Youtubers, and one actually posted a review between your post and my response! I don't know what to expect but I will definitely continue to contact more Youtubers.
     
  4. MClark27

    MClark27 New Member

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    Congrats on getting that review! I would share those reviews across social media channels & maybe even make a blog post about it. I'm going to download your game later today and give you some more tailored feedback/ideas.
     
    bantamcitygames likes this.
  5. kevintrepanier

    Original Member Indie Author

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    It depends on your personal strategy but both are important. Releasing often keeps you up in people's attention but only if they can learn about you through your promotion. Some take years to develop a game but can still stay in people's mind but communicating often with their followers about the progress of their work.

    Me I release a game sequence once a week. I don't get much exposure yet as I haven't really started promoting. I'm currently working to adjust this : continue publishing as much but promoting more and assuring that I'm distributing in the correct channels.

    Your strategy has to be consistent with your goals. There's this series of short talk by Jack Conte (Patreon) that I watched this week and that got me really thinking about this particular issue. "Make great stuff", "Adjust your packaging" and "work to publish" :
     
    MClark27 likes this.
  6. noahbwilson

    Indie Author

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    It is nearly impossible to promote your game without spending money (I'm working on that), and it is also nearly impossible to trust anyone to actually promote your game after giving them money. I've wasted a fair amount of money on websites that give me zero help.

    My most successful game is a game that simply has a title strikingly similar to that of a popular game/search, so I'm starting to think that might be the best way to go: make sure your title is super searchable (the title of my most successful game is Six Pack Man).

    Personally, I'd rather just make games. Eventually one will stick. There's more joy and personal satisfaction to be found in making a great game than worrying about if people actually find it. If you can find a way to promote Game A while making Game B, do that.
     
  7. MClark27

    MClark27 New Member

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    Good points all around. Out of curiosity, how do you determine which channels are the correct ones?
     
  8. kevintrepanier

    Original Member Indie Author

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    @MClark27 : Well that's what I'm trying to figure out at the moment. In 2016 I focused on putting out content for the project. I'm over 30 game sequences now all hosted on my own website. But my own website is not quite a publishing channel. I use Facebook and Twitter now to post about the project but it doesn't get me that much attention yet as I don't have a big follow-up.

    So I'm looking for more "game-centric" publishing platforms. Obviously I'm not going to Steam as long as I don't have a solid longer play product. I'll be trying to publish my work regularly first on Newgrounds, which is very artist centric and more appropriate to the scope of my project, and see how people react over there. From there I may move to other "Flash gaming portals".

    So the "correct channels" depends on the project itself but I think it's worth trying as many channels as possible and then sorting what works and what doesn't later.
     
  9. idurvesh

    idurvesh New Member

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    If you are on google play , I will suggest you to do some "keywords research" then make game for that keywords instead of making random game.After publishing of game you should do ASO (app store optimization) to let your game reach organically to your audience.

    Coming to promotion, join some gamers group over facebook, post your game their.COntact youtubers and review sites..here is huge list of youtubers I posted sometime back,
    http://forums.indiegamer.com/threads/review-people.54063/#post-310539
     
    bantamcitygames likes this.
  10. 3ph0r

    Moderator

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    I would say promotion, as MClark27 said, you can make 100+ games but if no one knows about them then they can't play them.
    Its possible to promote without money involved but it means getting connected with people - Its who you know, not what you know.
     
  11. kevintrepanier

    Original Member Indie Author

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    You need to get a good balance between both. Making many games is what is going to make you good at it. And also sometimes it turns out good and sometimes it turns out bad so "don't put all your eggs in the same basket". And then of course as 3phor says, you have to get it out there.
     
    mekhlafy and 3ph0r like this.
  12. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    I would say it makes more sense to make a couple really good games instead of dozens of so-so games. Players can instantly tell if a game was created in a month or painstakingly for a year or more. Every detail counts. One graphic with jaggy edges or one annoying sound effect can ruin the whole experience. Once you have something you are proud of, then promote the hell out of it. So I think your Poll needs another choice... Polishing More
     
    idurvesh and kevintrepanier like this.
  13. kevintrepanier

    Original Member Indie Author

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    I agree with Bantam. One must be wary not to fall too far in the polishing trap though. Sometimes it becomes endless and counterproductive. It's all a question of balance.
     
  14. mekhlafy

    mekhlafy New Member

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    I think you have to focus on both. but promoting is more important. That's why I make this website www.mekartstudio.com . This website give game developers the ability to add their games. and I'm trying to promote their games for free.
     
  15. ChasinTheTrane

    ChasinTheTrane New Member

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    You need to strike the balance. You're going to get better every time you make something new, as I'm sure you know, but producing without having a hint of success can cause burnout.
     
  16. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I'm iterating on Real Estate Empire 3 for the foreseeable future. There are so many great games in the world now that I feel my players are better served by my focusing on making one great thing.
     
  17. Nitin garg

    Nitin garg New Member

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    Focus on both,both are super important.But first of all make a fantastick game.:)
     
  18. pookey

    pookey New Member

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    I don't personally have much experience with developing games (I plan to change that hopefully!) but if I were searching for a game to play I'd want it to be unique, interesting, well made, but definitely unique. If you have high hopes or expectations for your game(s), simply put... It needs to be somewhat good, not bland or repetitive too quickly. If you want your game to do well you need to give people a reason to have a spark interest in your game, especially on something like a mobile platform where it's filled to brim with clones & cheap knock-offs. If the game looks uninteresting and/or/is uninspired, it's going look like one in the hundreds of lookalikes to the viewer, so they'll more than likely to pass it by because they've experienced something similar already.

    Don't mean to sound rude, but I wouldn't personally play the game you've described if I spotted it. If I was desperate to kill a few minutes I'd rather watch a video where I can at least get something out of it for myself or play something where I know I've at least obtained something. Acquiring some extra unit of currency or start/complete some objective that I can achieve in that time that puts me forward, Some sort of sense of progression. Give me a reason to play your game and another to come back to continue playing it. If you keep throwing the same soft ball, people get bored.

    If you were/are willing to make a game every week... Why don't you focus all that potential effort into one game and make it a game you'd want to play? I don't know if you're interested yourself in playing the type of game you've described or the other games you've created, maybe you like those type of games. I just think if not, it'd be easier to create the game you'd want to play, let those come who have similar taste and they'll enjoy the game you've created alongside you. Rather than, mass producing similar quick-to-make games that everyone else is making to appeal to such a thinly spread audience.

    To me, a good game should and always has promoted itself. I never knew about any of the top or even the small enjoyable mobile games first from advertisements. All info on mobile and games in general for me mostly came from friends and their friends because we enjoyed them enough that we passed the news on. Even without friends, games usually get the exposure they deserve through the general public. A good game made from heart and soul will always capture the attention it deserves rather than a game that was pushed out in a week.
     
  19. noahbwilson

    Indie Author

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    ... but the game has to have started SOMEWHERE. Someone somewhere played that game first, and then told their friends. You cannot ever rely on word of mouth. Ever. That is not a marketing strategy. That is NO marketing strategy. Nothing ever "just happens". I've made plenty of games that I think are totally awesome ... and yet ... nothing.

    From what I have heard, the guys who made Angry Birds ... that was their ~100th game they had made. I've made about 15-20. Better keep going.
     
  20. pookey

    pookey New Member

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    .
    There's plenty of cases where it ''just happens''. Minecraft, Undertale, Terraria, >Insert pretty much any indie title here. I never saw once a google advertisement of either of those games or some TV ad, I was told about it at the time because they were being enjoyed and I was there for all of them early on, like, when nobody was playing these games. And yeah no, just because someone recommended the game or the game has been talked about doesn't mean you'll be guaranteed to like it. But, I think you'll want to learn what it's about or at least be a little more inclined to be interested in a game that's growing with favorable ratings and is being enjoyed, more likely than a google ad popup or what have you.

    I played a game called ''Don't get fired'' by an indie dev from South Korea for a while now and he made the game from hard and unfair working experiences from South Korea. The game is pretty well received and I enjoyed it, because he made something uniquely from himself and not from the ideas of what others have made. Which, is why I believe it has done good. (He also had no advertising.)

    I don't expect everyone to have the same successes first go first time, that'd be ludicrous of me to say. It just sounded like the OP was disappointed and expected better from what I can't help to see is no different from a lot mobile games. I also understand the frustration of creating something you think is awesome and no one thinks of it the same as us, we all have, even out of video games. Tis life. But if you create something that you've painstakingly crafted and thought out, that'll give you a damn better run of chance than creating something quick efficient and easy to make that takes a week.
     

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