Monday, 27 February 2012

Indie Exposure: Making the most of your USP

The articles in this series are featured as guest posts on GamesBrief: The Business of Games

In my previous article I discussed how and why exposure is the major issue facing independent developers. In the next few articles I want to talk about some of the key ways I feel this can be overcome, drawing on my own experience with the Greedy Bankers games on iPhone and iPad.

It can be very easy to see marketing and game development as separate disciplines - that creating an awesome game and drawing in new players are separate tasks requiring separate sets of skills. The reality is that designing your game to be marketable is a key part of development. It's up to you as a designer to identify, develop and promote your unique selling point.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Introducing Greedy Bankers: Bailout!

Today marks the birthday of Greedy Bankers on the iPhone: it went live in the App Store exactly one year ago. It's been an exciting year, with big updates, the iPad sequel, Greedy Bankers vs The World, and the game being exhibited live at Eurogamer Expo, GameCity Nottingham, the Guardian Gamesblog social at BAFTA, and the GEEK Expo in Kent just last week.

Of course, Greedy Bankers is an ongoing project, and I'm certainly not finished with it. There's a brand new entry in the series heading to the iPhone very soon... Greedy Bankers: Bailout!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Indie Exposure: Why's it so hard?

This article was featured as a guest post on Games Brief - the Business of Games

Last Friday I was at the incredible Bit of Alright, David Hayward's smorgasbord of indie delights, giving a talk about Indie Exposure. Self-publishing the Greedy Bankers games has taught me a lot of lessons, not least just how much time, energy and creative thinking I've needed to devote to PR and marketing. The problem I've had, particularly with the original iPhone release, is that while it's had a very positive response from those who have played it, getting into the hands of players has been a massive challenge.

In the next few blog posts I plan to discuss the issues involved: why it's so tough to get exposure for indie and mobile games, and my strategies for getting that coveted exposure. So without further ado, let's look at where these difficulties are coming from.

Growing Competition

There are increasingly many developers launching games into the indie space. The rise of free-to-access marketplaces with limited gatekeeping - the iOS and Android app stores, the web and portals such as Kongregate and Facebook - mean that it's never been easier to release a game. In fact, without this I probably wouldn't have been able to operate as a one-man studio at all.