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The real challenge of game development

A topic by VCP created Aug 07, 2019 Views: 250 Replies: 25
Viewing posts 1 to 13
Submitted (1 edit) (+5)

I have finally found the answer to why game development can be so brutal.

It's not all the hassling you might have to do in Unity when trying to build a final apk for your game or the fact that unreal requires a herculean pc. It's something rather rudimentary which all the technical knowledge of programming in the language for your game engine can't teach you.

It's marketing and generating awareness for your game..........

Prime example. This jam.

This jam has sort of been a simulation of real life. In a sea of titles, only the ones whose developers know where and how to market their games efficiently will get downloads and feedback. I never understood how important marketing was until now.

This being my first jam has actually taught me a lot. I'm sitting at 21 rates for my submission and I'm actually surprised I was able to get these many in the first place. ( Granted I marketed my game like anything in other community topics.....).

Kind of excited for some upcoming jams now as a result :)

Submitted(+1)

I totally agree! It doesn't matter how amazing your product is if no one ever lays eyes on it or is compelled to give it a try. I actually spent a not insignificant amount of time during and after the jam making my game as appealing as possible. I found some things that may help grab attention:

Art: Although game jams are not about the art, we are humans and are inevitably drawn to look at pretty things.

Thumbnail: It should look nice, be simple, and give a hint to the gameplay to come.

Title: A catchy sharable title goes a long way to help communicate your product and increases it's sharability.

That's what I got so far.

Submitted(+1)

Agree to all of the above brother :)

Submitted(+3)

I've spent more time marketing my game jam game than I've actually been programming it.

Submitted

LOL    XD   XD.....most definitely relatable   :D

Submitted

Yep, I didn't realize it either, I put in probably 16 hours so far just hitting the community hard, and it's got me...40 ratings. certainly enough to get a relatively accurate average, but still, a little underwhelming.

Submitted

That's great man. I know there are other games with more ratings but that's rather good.

But then again......this is my first jam so ......

What do I know ? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Submitted(+3)

Yeah. I agree. I find myself self promoting where I shouldn't. It's really strange. I can't control myself.

If you want to play my game, you can find it here: There's Only One True Joke

Submitted (1 edit)

Your comment is a bit ironic don't you think XD ......

You are not a clown, you are the entire circus.

Submitted(+2)

Best way to learn some community management skills, very nice social social experiment here but it's mostly based on the fact that we are all nice to each other which is really not the common case on the internet haha

Submitted

Ain't that the truth ๐Ÿ˜‚

I was actually very surprised at how helpful everyone was to each other. Through the community or otherwise

Maybe the true game jam was the friends we made along the way

Submitted

The first thing I've learned post-jam: I suck at promoting my game XD
Though it's hard to judge whether your efforts are obnoxious or not. Rate threads help, but quickly become saturated.
Commenting on other's games seems to help some; I certainly try to look at the games from people commenting on mine. But not everyone will do the same; which is fair, there's 2.7k games and I doublt I've seen more than a few percent of them.

Though I have to wonder whether rate count matters in the long run: if you have 5 ratings but all were 5*s (hypothetically), would that be worth more than someone with 30, but an average of about 4*s?

Still. If this is what it's like for a small jam, a lot of effort for a few dozen people, I really feel for developers making and publishing their games on Steam and so ^^;

Submitted

Amen my brother

Submitted(+1)

I've been playing other people's games these past few days, and I must say it's way better than I expected it to be. I've had lots of fun and learned some cool design tricks on the way, and I'm also happy that people are playing my game and sharing their thoughts with me.

 Sure, it may be promoting ourselves, but it's also great to learn some new skills from the people who, just like yourself, spent their last weekend hacking away to create the best possible experience they could!

Submitted

I know right ?

I never really expected to learn so much in this jam. Let it be some new design elements I have in mind or otherwise :)

Submitted

Everyone's doing everything they can to stand out, and with all the people trying to stand out, no one stands out.

Submitted

Respect..........

Submitted (2 edits)

It's also about making your game accessible for as many as possible. If I have to choose between downloading a zip, unpacking it and executing a potentially malicious executable - or just play the game in the browser, I would choose to play the browser game all the time unless it's a game I really want to try out. Especially because I'm on a mac, which prevents me to play games only playable in windows.

In that sense participating in a local game jam is quite funny, because then you don't really have that "knowing your market" limitation. I've been to some game jams where people construct their own controllers with arduino boards or makey makey, which wouldn't have been possible to do in this game jam.

Submitted

I know right ? Definitely making a webgl version for future jams.

As for those controllers ..........

Improvise , adapt , overcome ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Submitted

You're absolutely right. For this jam I've been posting non stop for the past three days to get my game noticed and that's because of a prior experience I had with my last game. I worked on my first ever big game project called Avarice last year and finished it earlier this year and released it. I posted about it the day it was released and for the next few days but not many people played it. Eventually the game got to 80 downloads but to this day no one has commented to say if they liked it or not or even offer feedback. I have to be honest, it made me feel down that a project I had put so much work into got beaten by the much smaller game I had made for this jam in just two days with about four times as much views. What I've learnt from that however, is that every part of the game making process is equally important, not just the actual development of the game. That's why I'm over the moon that so many people are playing my game One Shot In The Chamber (the game I made for the jam) and are enjoying it so much. My only regret was that I did not see Avarice all the way through to the marketing stage as I have with One Shot In The Chamber.

If you would like to check out either of these games, here's the links:

Avarice: https://mark-auman.itch.io/avarice

One Shot In The Chamber: https://mark-auman.itch.io/one-shot-in-the-chamber

Submitted

We also learned this lesson the hard way, having completely ignored the community tab or any idea of marketing, resulting in our game getting great responses both within and outside of the jam, but achieving almost zero visibility. We now have a community manager though, so in the future things should be more smooth!

Submitted

I almost ignored the community section....... rather invaluable to a game

Submitted

Yeah this is also my first jam and I have learned a lot from it as well. I have been lucky and my game has been getting quite a few reviews so far, and I am very grateful for that. I'm also working on a full fledged game right now so getting this microcosm experience of releasing a game is invaluable. I have just been posting my game a lot and trying to talk to as many people as I can.

Speaking of, my game is called Broken Robot and it is a puzzle platformer where you can only press each button once per stage.

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462219

Submitted (1 edit)

" Every day I'm hustling " LOL ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

But it's true at the end of the day