Indie game developers give most of their attention to the creation of a game, and typically have limited time and resources. But paying attention to a game's promotional strategy is important too for when the game actually launches, according to one indie developer.
In a Gamasutra feature postmortem
for the Xbox Live Indie Game Explosionade
, Nathan Fouts of developer Mommy's Best Games said he regretted the short marketing ramp-up for the game.
"The gaming press is busy," Fouts said. "And they have lead times for articles. And I think there's an inherent tolerance of 'how popular is your game versus how often can we stand to talk about it.' I see that as no fault of the press; it's just something to keep in mind."
"By September 20th, I had something attractive enough to show the press, yet I ended up launching only a few weeks later," he said. "Three weeks is a terrible way for an Indie Game to build hype
[emphasis Fouts']. If at all possible, give yourself at least two months -- though three months is probably optimal (or more of course)."
Mommy's Best Games eventually released the game, a sidescrolling run-and-gun title, on XBLIG on October 7. The developer is also behind the indie games Weapon of Choice
and Shoot 1UP
Fouts added, "As it stood, a lot of sites covered the announcement [of Explosionade
]; some covered the dashboard issues
, but not as many covered the actual launch."
"I think this is a mix of being busy, some disinterest, and also 'already covered a small game too recently.' It's very important to 'plan and date' your stories for the press with your game coverage," he said. "Keep their schedules, and big game launches, in mind."
For more of what went right and what went wrong with Explosionade
, read the extensive postmortem
, now available on Gamasutra.