So I made a game, but I don't know how to move forward

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Alex Konieczny, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. Alex Konieczny

    Alex Konieczny New Member

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    Hello,

    I need some help. This past summer I made a game. It is a little buggy at times, but essentially it is a couple runs through the code away from being ready for prime time. However, I don't know how to move forward, and the lack of direction is paralyzing.

    I guess what I am saying is I need a mentor. I am extremely hard-working and determined. This is a demo for my game: http://colophongames.weebly.com/allium-hunter.html Any feedback would be great. I want to become an indie developer. I just need to know how to move next.
     
  2. kevintrepanier

    Original Member Indie Author

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    Make another game.
     
  3. Alex Konieczny

    Alex Konieczny New Member

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    Well, I've done that, but I would like to do something with the game so that I am in a better position to make even more games.
     
  4. strategy

    strategy New Member

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    Kevin's reply is perhaps a bit flippant, but it is not wrong.

    Distribute your game through the appropriate channels, and then get to work on your next one. I'm not into retro-arcade games at all myself, so I can't really point you in the right direction there. But his point is that the only way to get better at the craft of making games is to be make more. Every game you do grows your craft. See also this recent blog post by the very awesome Jeff Vogel.

    If you're wondering more "what do I make next?", then there really isn't a good answer either. Just briefly looking at your site, I'd suggest considering other genres, because my impression is that the retro-arcade genre is pretty overflowing with games already which makes it hard to get noticed, let alone make anyone play your games. Better to be a fish in the pond, than to be a minnow in the sea and all that. On the other hand, I'm also firmly of the opinion that you should always work on something you really enjoy, so if that's your thing, don't let me dissuade you.

    Edit: Btw, congrats on the game. Getting to the end (or close enough to be playable) with this kind of project is always worth a little celebration.
     
    #4 strategy, Dec 4, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
    Casszune likes this.
  5. kevintrepanier

    Original Member Indie Author

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    Then get a friend or two to play your game in front of you. Just watch them play, say the least possible things. Let them try to answer their own questions first.

    Work iteratively. "Make another game" may be making a new iteration on that one. When you're stuck, get an outsider's view on your project. If you are observant you will see what to change. Don't cling to the work you've done. Often you'll have to throw it away.
     
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  6. 3ph0r

    Moderator

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    if you think its a worthy game, promote the game and use it to promote yourself as a developer. after developing and releasing games for free and getting a name for yourself and learning how to promote your game then start making a game to sell
     
  7. Alex Konieczny

    Alex Konieczny New Member

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    Well, I have limited resources, but have have been promoting the game. I agree with you all, I need to make something else, and this has been a good push to start the next project.
     
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  8. Clickky

    Clickky New Member

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    The most effective method to promote a game is launch ad campaign via such channels as Facebook or a CPI self-serve ad platform. It is a way to get non-incentive traffic. CPI means you will pay only for installs, real users who have downloaded your app, non-incentive traffic means it’s gonna be their genuine interest to download your app. You can spend even such a small sum as $100 to run a test ad campaign first. For example, you can use this ad platform.

    If you want to know how much it costs to promote an app in different countries, you can find out CPI (Cost-per-install) indexes from Clickky CPI Index. The data below is based on Clickky’s advertising campaign data and shows average Android and iOS CPI comparison for non-incentive ads.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. metateen

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Replay your game and take note of what you liked and didn't like about it. When you're making the next game, you'll not suffer any of those issues again. As you'll have a note of what you want it to turn out next time opposed to how it turned out first. It's a simple strategy in moving forward in game development, improve on skills you didn't improve on before.
     
  10. noahbwilson

    Indie Author

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    I agree with pretty much all of this.

    I'm always working on more than one game... all in different phases.

    Also, as mentioned above, WATCHING someone play your game is very important. My wife is no gamer, but I watch how she plays the games I make because I DO play games and I don't think of the complete/new experience. I can learn from how she plays the game, what she expects to happen, and then learn from that.

    If your game is available for people to play/download/whatever, toss it on to my site @ indievideogames.com. I'll see if I can send some players your way. Since it seems like feedback is your goal, make sure you have a way people can send you feedback. My site kinda doesn't have that option yet.
     
  11. strategy

    strategy New Member

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    Oh yeah - Rule #0 of #indiegamedev - never, ever, ever spend money on advertising, indexing, ranking, publishing or other services unless you:
    1) Have too much money, and
    2) Know exactly what you are doing.

    Indie gaming goes through constant periods of "gold rush", and a majority of developers go into this with the gold rush mentality. And - as is the case in any gold rush - the ones who get rich are not the tens of thousands prospecting for gold, but all the people selling shovels and other services (frequently worthless) to the prospectors.

    Don't be one of the people who gets fleeced in the hunt for gold.
     
  12. Red Apple Technologies

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    Is your game finished?or is it still in development phase?
     
  13. Clickky

    Clickky New Member

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    First of all you should target our potential audience. Try to answer yourself who can possibly be interested in your app. Define hobbies of your potential users, lifestyle, profession and demographic characteristics. After that you need to create a promotional strategy that helps you to attract desired users. I suggest you to start from tactics that ensure a higher rank for your app in the app stores:
    • App store optimization (ASO) — describe your app using relevant keywords.
    • Prepare your logo and screenshots — they have to attract attention of your potential users.
    After that you should try tactics that are focused on making buzz. You can do this by:
    1. Pitching the bloggers who write free app reviews
    2. Use services for sponsored reviews as Appsuch, Appsafari, Apptism.
    3. Reach out journalists who can write about the app. I advise you to read a book “Pitch Perfect: The Art of Promoting Your App on the Web”. It is written by journalists Steve Sande and Erica Sadun who have worked on mobile app reviews for many years.
    4. Try to reach specialized sources as Techcrunch and Venturebeat to make a buzz around the app. The publications there can increase a number of installs by many times.
    5. Use word of mouth methods like social media and other communities. Join groups and forums where your potential audience spend time. You can share the information about the app and links to app stores.
    If you want to get targeted traffic faster, use paid mobile advertising. I suggest you to try CPI-based self-serve platforms in order to pay only for real users who have downloaded your app and control the process of user acquisition. I work at Clickky and I can assure you that Clickky’s self-serve platform for advertisers stands out among other mobile ad solutions because of its benefits:
    • Start small as we allow to spend only $100 for a mobile ad campaign
    • We show you the average install price for every region selected in the real time — analyze the cheapest and most expensive countries and OS to advertise in due to CPI prediction tool
    • You get access to real-time statistics of your ad campaign
    • You optimize mobile CPI campaigns according to performance
    • You blacklist traffic sources that bring smaller Retention Rate
     

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