Starting yesterday, I began my search for media coverage for When Asteroids Attack. I don't know if any of you have done it before (and if any of you HAVE a blog or website, no matter how small, I'd be honored if you'd give the game a play and a review or even a statement!), but it's really an overwhelming thing, but it's really awesome too!
The When Asteroids Attack website is complete, but I won't be releasing it to the public until Friday (I'll do a blog post on it alone!), so keep in mind through this that it's VERY important you make the website first for reviewers and bloggers and such!!!
Let me preface this by saying that When Asteroids Attack isn't a game I'm expecting to retire off of... In fact, my "very optimistic" goal is to make $5,000 on the game. The game's initial price is $10 and is preselling for $7.50, which means that between 531-717 copies (including paypal fees)... And while I can be overly optimistic, I am also a huge fan of rounding off like crazy... So let's call it 600-850 copies including fees from other websites (Indiecity/Desura, Indievania charges nothing). As such, I'm not aiming to spend any money on marketing, although I am researching costs for the future, so any time I find a blog or website that states they do advertising, I request their costs and options.
So, how do I do it?
Note: I've learned the lesson from doing all of this that it is VERY important to get started on this as early as possible! Start feeding interesting information to media as early as you can and keep it up. It's incredibly time consuming, but I'd rather spend some extra time on it and having people interested than finishing a game with no one around to play it!
First off, I had to publish When Asteroids Attack - the .exe file version. Then I made a demo version - two of them in fact, one for the web and one for download. Then... I tested them all. AGAIN. Just when I thought all of my testing was done, I did more. The game hadn't been tested published as an .exe file, so I wanted to make 100% sure it worked... You ALWAYS want to cover your bases! Can you imagine if the game actually became hugely popular, then no one could play it because it was broken?!
I've found a few lists of websites that do game reviews:
- Pixel Prospector has a LOT of awesome lists, one of which is The Big List of Indie Game Sites. Now, not every single one of these allows you to submit your game, but it's a phenomenal starting place! I spent about half of yesterday submitting the game to sites, and ended up submitting to 14 of them (from all of the banners there, plus one banner I haven't done yet). You'll note there are 18 banners, so the vast majority of them were indeed good!
- Indie Game Bundles has a great list of, well, indie game bundles. While I've never purchased an indie game bundle myself, the concept is AWESOME! If I had more time to actually play games, I'm sure I'd do it - they have super awesome bonuses and collections of games, and the game makers are well supported as well. From the developer's viewpoint, it's a great way to help get your game out there - and with other great games too! Even if someone might not be a great fan of your game, they might love the other games and buy the bundle! I haven't messaged them yet, but I definitely will; around half of them have specific ways to suggest your game for a future bundle, and nearly all of them have a contact email at least :)
My next steps will be to finish the two lists up, Google a LOT and hit up Twitter to search. "Twitter?" You ask? Yes! Twitter seems to have a great search option for indie game bloggers, and it's a fun way to get in contact too!
I have until November 9th until the game "releases". I picked the date because it gave me enough time to really focus on promoting the game as much as possible. Even if it doesn't sell a single copy, I've learned a lot!
Do you have any tips for game promotion? Do you promote games yourself? Do you want to buy When Asteroids Attack? If you said yes to any of these, you're my hero, and leave a comment! :)