Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Getting the word out

Getting heard about when you are a small PC developer is a nightmare. Many websites are console only, some cover just a few ‘Triple A’ pc games, and most of them have the attitude that it’s their job to cover the games their readers are currently interested in. That might sounds reasonable, but let me re-phrase it.

“It’s their job to cover games their readers already know about.”

What’s the point in that? I don’t turn on BBC news to hear what I already know. That’s not the point. I expect there to be journalists out there finding interesting stuff I need to know, or may be interested in. I buy PC magazines that I like the style of, i don’t go in a shop and see a certain game on the cover and think “I’ll buy that one”. Why would I? if I already know about the game, I can just google for the developers site and read everything about it msyelf. I need games coverage to tell me about the games I do NOT know about.

I wish more gaming news sites, blogs, forums and magazines actually did what they used to call ‘investigative journalism‘. That means scouring the web, asking around and seeing what’s new and what’s cool. Running emailed rpess releases through a spell-checker and then sticking them on the front page is *not* journalism, it’s just working for the extended PR dept of EA/Activision.

I’m sure Kudos 2 has a big audience if people hear about it, but the web is becoming so corporate that unless your new indie game is on the front page of bigfishgames, it flies totally under the radar. If you know any gaming sites that might cover the game, do me a big favour, and email the editors and tell them about it. It’s always best to hear about new games from a gamer, not the developer.

And if anyone hangs out on a forum with a graphical sig, and wants to stick this in their sig, even for a few days, that would be awesome.

I really appreciate any help people can provide in getting the word out about the new game.

8 thoughts on Getting the word out

  1. You’re right. I’ll tell my imaginary friends about the game:D. Honestly my friends don’t know about it yet. Everybody sharing with their friends might be enough.

  2. The guys over at introversion have run into a similar problem. As of yesterday Multiwinia had only 6 reviews in metacritic, up 2 from the week before. I counted up all of gamespot’s reviews and there does seem to have been a slight decline in the norm last year, and a rather sharp decline so far this year. I’m going to dig into a few other review sites next to see if it’s a common trend among more review sites.

    Introversion wrote up an interesting blog post about it here:

  3. Indie gamers should set up their own website to promote their games.

    big companies know selling is all about publicity and pr, not product quality, they pay big money for it. Its very hard to get as a result.

  4. The irony of the phrase “Running emailed rpess releases through a spell-checker” made me laugh :D

    Also, for Introversion, they’ve managed to get on Steam. I remember when their game Uplink came out, I heard about it through word of mouth and absolutely loved the game.

  5. Maybe you should try getting your game on Steam. Almost every indie game with buzz behind it regardless of apparent quality seems to get good word of mouth.

  6. I’m sick of steam. Why are so many gamers so insistent that the almighty valve should be the gatekeepers and middlemen for the whole PC platform.

  7. Sorry, didn’t see the previous blog post you made on Steam. =(

    Well, I don’t really know why but there just seems to be zero buzz behind your title. I’ve seen threads posted at places like and but there was just zero response to it …

    yet some random indie game like Hinterlands which was recently released on Steam had infinitely more posts and replies …

    Seems people were more interested in your blog post months ago regarding piracy than anything else.

    Hope the game does do well, I played Kudos and loved it, and what I tried from the Kudos 2 demo was definitely a big improvement over the original, love the new art style and UI revamp!

  8. I actually found out about Kudos 2 due to the “talking with pirates” thing you did a while back, which was featured on some gaming site. I thought it was interesting, so I downloaded the demo for Kudos 1.

    I played it for a while… and then immediately felt so bad about myself that I went and signed up for some courses at the community college. I’ve been playing a lot fewer video games since. So congratulations on affecting someone with your game, I guess, even if the effect wasn’t what you’d exactly desire.

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