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Marketing?

A topic by Sciaenops created 35 days ago Views: 249 Replies: 2
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This is probably a strange question, but I noticed that we will need to plan out marketing for whatever we make for the jam.  What would count as marketing?  How far are we supposed to go with that?  And what would branding even entail?  I've never seen a jam that had marketing and branding and such as part of its rules, so I'm a bit curious and confused about it.

Host(+2)

It's a really good question since the time-frame is not really compatible with a whole marketing plan and a big part of the marketing usually happens after the project is ready.

The goal of the challenge is to sustainably make a proper game without crunching, and branding and marketing seems to be a big part of that.

In a lot of game jams we don't often think about that part because it's not always part of what's rated. And when it's done, it's often done after the jam and not considered part of the jam.

Here the idea is to try to take this aspect seriously and to take it into account during the challenge itself, both for practice and for the success of the game.

What would count as marketing?

I would say anything that could put the word out there that you're making a game and that could increase the number of people checking the game you'll release at the end.

How far are we supposed to go with that?

I think that paying for marketing would be way too far for this challenge, and the morality of paying for attention is a whole other question. But since you'll spend time for the marketing, it'll be your work to balance time spent in spreading the word with time spent on all other aspects. It's something you should plan ahead because since you can't crunch, you won't be able to add this at the end in between work sessions etc.

Examples would be:

  • sharing your progress maybe with interesting gifs on different social networks
  • reaching out to content creators with beta versions
  • making videos near the release, maybe a teaser and a release video
  • there's also reaching to the press if it's an important enough project, but I'm still foreign to that

Again, keep in mind that it's a challenge, not a competition, so you don't have to do all of this or restrict yourself to this, just decide what you would want to make in advance and challenge yourself to do it without having to crunch. Having realistic goals is part of the challenge.

And what would branding even entail?

I would say the game's identity. I think that it's basically being able to make a complete press-kit but I might be simplifying a bit.

As an example during my last challenge, it was a one 35 work hours week long challenge, I planned ahead for time to:

  • Find a title for the game
  • Create a logo
  • Create a page
  • Make a release trailer video
  • Post an update at the end of each work session with a gif to show the progress

The week long aspect made it really weird to think about marketing and honestly I might be lacking in that field so I can't wait to see how to explore that aspect in the upcoming challenge.

Anyway, the main goal for the participants working on branding/marketing should be for their games to be more likely to be played, not necessarily to comply with the rules, so if you're not comfortable with that side, just try to do the minimum, don't feel obligated.

Marketing is not my area of expertise, so checking other resources on this could help. If you are still confused or if you have other questions, let me know!

(+3)

Thank you so much for the in-depth answer!  I'll admit, the word "marketing" kind  of scared me, I wasn't sure if we were supposed to throw money at journalists for whatever.  But this definitely helped ease those fears.