2013-08-11 - Let's talk Empire Building 001

Noble Kale's picture

Empire Building for Gamedev Folk

This is the first in a series: Part 1, Part 2,Part 3,Part 4,Part 5

Let's talk Empire Building. That's essentially what PR is - you need an empire of followers, spies and allies. About to release your game? Think it's time to start advertising? It's already too late. It's interesting to think about - what games have you heard about lately? How many of them did you hear about while they were in development? The time to start your push is now!

In this post, I'll be going over what I am currently doing for Arnthak, and what I recommend. I also recommend this fantastic article by @ManFightDragon (who develops Black Annex), detailing all the things he did leading up to PAXAUS. Now, onto my pseudo-weekly schedule (note: SSS == ScreenshotSaturday, and FF == Feedback Friday):

  • Post as often to SSS & FF as possible. Every single time that I have anything, I post. Even if there's barely anything new.
  • Comment on everything I have energy for that's not my game. - there are weeks that I will comment every game in the SSS threads. (this is, however, quite draining so it's a sporadic thing)
  • Use twitter, a lot. Socialising with other devs, talking to LPers & press constantly. Building my network of spies, agents and fans.
  • Post all FF & SSS to twitter with the appropriate hashtags so that it gets picked up by the bots and distributed on pages that harvest these. (gamedev.net, screenshotsaturday.com, and there's even a tumblr now)
  • Comment, comment, comment, comment on everyone else's games. You comment on my stuff? I make efforts to find people who comment on my stuff and build a rapport.
  • The Forging Arnthak series of devlogs
  • Run challenges, try to involve other devs. - (previously, I ran #PixelChallenge & #SpacecraftPixelChallenge, and right now I'm running a collaborative wiki for writers).
  • Recommend games from other devs to press members/LPers where it's relevant, try to build links for other people. No one is a bigger fan of yours, than someone you helped out when they were little.
  • Talk to everyone you can. Not everyone will be nice, but many people? Very useful, and very friendly. Get out there!
  • Thank every single person who gives you feedback, even if it's negative (so long as it's constructive). Don't ignore someone who is trying to help you out.

Here's a simple hard truth: If you're not posting to SSS at least, you're probably dead/unknown to me. Want proof? Here's the site traffic log for July.
Noblekale.com traffic logs for 2013-07
Guess when the SSS posts were done?

The thing is - all of this is relatively obvious (it basically boils down to: get everyone else excited about you & your project), but people don't seem to do it.

Where to from here? Hit me up. Now. Get me excited - I might be your first customer, and I certainly talk about other people's stuff a lot.