Sunday, February 27, 2005

Personal publicity meets indie developer

As an independant developer (actually, as an independant ANYTHING) you have to be aware that for most people, you *are* your products.

As a commercial developer, typically you get to be in the background, an anonymous drone who is merely another cog in the big wheel that eventually churns out the product.

Developers themselves have the same problem, when their publisher sees them as just another cog in the wheel of thier publishing business.

Essentially, we all struggle to gain public acceptance of our value. Either as a programmer working on a game anonymously, or as a developer working on a game for a publisher anonymously.

George B of 3DR said it really. "Its simply too important to leave it to someone else". Although he was talking about PR for his companies products, he kind of hit the nail on the head.

If you want people to see the value you add to a development, you absolutely have to make sure that people know WHO you are and what you bring to the product itself. Of course for the higher-profile guys in the industry, like George, that probably comes reasonably easy.

As an indie, its even more important that people know both you as a person, but perhaps as importantly, that they know you so they can know your games.

I think a few indies are understanding this notion, but how can they generate that interest?

I think the main thing, is to create something thats worthy of note. That people will remember and that generally hits the right spot. Making sure that your target audience then hears your name is the biggest problem.

The whole notion of personal PR seems a bit alien to someone like me who is relatively anonymous. But I can understand that if someone can associate me personally with some specific approach to game development (like my espoused concept of prototyping, making very "british" games with personality etc). It just makes it that much easier to reach my kind of audience.

The real taster for all this is to actually get to try out some of the idea's Ive got. Which means I have to move forward and start and maintain a shipped product schedule that includes interesting things.

I'm not entirely sure how a casual-oriented sheep game sits in there. As Jeff Tunnell has said, it *is* a bit of a strange mix, being that my other game is a dogfighting game.

I guess I just dont want to be afraid of trying ANY style of game that interests me. So I'll have to be flexible about how I promote each one.

Hopefully once I get to try something more concrete, I'll be able to say what works for me.

1 comment:

  1. Another one ...

    "As an indie, its even more important that people know both you as a person, but perhaps as importantly, that they know you so they can know your games."

    You know, i was having the exact same thought today. It is exactly because of this realization that as an indie developer to be able to survive, people have to know and like the person behind the game(s) just as much as they do the games themselves.

    That's why i'm currently building my personal profile up a bit. Check it out here: http://www.gaminghorror.net
    I don't feel bad about it though, i don't think i'm a sell-out. I think it's rather obvious that i have in http://www.codinghorror.com my primary role model.

    And i'm not an indie ... not yet. But preparing for that.

    Also, i wanna be a Rockstar ... :)

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