Which is better: Publishing more or Promoting more?

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

?
  1. Publishing more

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  2. Promoting more

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%
  1. Schweinryder

    Schweinryder
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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
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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
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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
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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

    kevintrepanier
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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

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

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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

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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
     
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  10. 3ph0r

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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

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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.
     
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  12. bantamcitygames

    bantamcitygames
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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
     
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  13. kevintrepanier

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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.
     

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