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1066736 Posts in 43543 Topics- by 35593 Members - Latest Member: Seencent

November 26, 2014, 06:56:51 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessHow do I market a consulting service?
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Author Topic: How do I market a consulting service?  (Read 1931 times)
CowBoyDan
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2013, 07:20:05 PM »

You can be a good design consultant and not know the first thing about marketing...

If you are a design consultant for a product to be sold (particularly en mass) you should kinda know something about the market itself, knowing the market goes hand in hand with marketing.  You design FOR a market.  Making the bestest most awesomest widgetgame ever means squat if there is no market for it.

If I am hiring a design consultant I would hope that he or she is going to be able to help me designing for an audience (ideally a large audience with disposable income).  Designing a game that other game designers love isn't going to help me.
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Graham-
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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2013, 07:27:28 PM »

knowing a market is business. marketing is business too, but they are different things.
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Reactorcore
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2013, 06:42:16 AM »

No, I'm saying you list a series of observations, instead of proposals to solve them. For example, many of your solutions had many problems of their own. These problems had solutions in your mind, I'm sure, if you chose to work them out, but you did not express them. Consulting is the following:
  1. Here is your product.
  2. Here is its flaws.
  3. Here are solutions.
You did half of step 1, all of 2, and a cursory look at 3.

Ah I see.

The case of that Terraria post is not the full extent of what I do. You need to notice that this post was made in a very popular forum where suggestions are posted by the thousands. My post, although lengthy, was a very condensed version of what I had in mind, mostly intended to spark curiosity and not be a complete design document. If it did pick up, then I'd continue to indulge more details and solutions as necessary.

In a real work situation, I go through all the steps you described above.


As for your point about offering directly to potential clients (i.e cold calling), may not be such a bad idea after all. Its worth a shot anyway, but I need to be mindful who to approach.


On the topic of goalless/goal driven games, while they do indeed make strong cases by the way of statistics, that doesn't mean they're still the best option or that they couldn't be even better. If a client does not see the value in what I offer, then so be it. I won't shove it down their throat, but there is great potential to be had if they do accept it.
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feminazi
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« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2013, 12:16:16 PM »

i giv u gam design advic for free
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Graham-
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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2013, 12:47:38 PM »

let's say a girl says to you, "make me a better baseball player," and you say to her, "well, men are statistically better, so the first thing for you to do is become a man." while this is a technically possible solution, and may in some cases be the desired one by the client, chances are that it is not what she is looking for. you can talk all you want about how much better boys are at baseball, she doesn't want to be a boy.

does terraria want to be a boy? I don't know. but I know for sure that if I wanted to hire you, I would want to know that you would support my values, and criticize my flaws. people don't pick values arbitrarily. their values are rooted in them. it is your job to determine what is personal and what is a mistake. you do this by listening, and having a conversation. this is what consulting is all about, delivering on the customers wishes, not your own.

beyond that, it is not even statistically proven that goal-driven games are better business decisions than open ones. Minecraft shows a hole in the market. you are wrong twice.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 12:54:35 PM by Graham. » Logged
Evan Balster
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« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2013, 02:20:13 PM »

So I'm a programmer of considerable skill and a game designer as well.  I'm a little disturbed at the values you mention at the head of your site -- they suggest your inclination is towards the design of large-scale games.  I get the idea that any design I threw your way would be expanded into something "infinitely replayable" and "emergent" with a mountain of technical and content goals.  I'm perfectly capable of overdesigning a game myself, thank you.

You should acknowledge that most game developers are working on small-scale titles, iOS games and the like.  Those who are working on large titles but don't have dedicated staff designers are generally going to be independents, and independents who try to make large games universally do so because they have a design, however crude and oversized, that they're passionate about.

Which brings me to my next point -- you should rule out indie developers as clients.  Generally speaking we design our own games and our designs are personal.  We think they're good even when they aren't, and we've got places like TIGSource where people will write pages of feedback for us free.  This is nice because we don't have much money and generally don't mind showing our work off before it's done.

Your insistence on upfront payment is the next big red flag.  I make my money from freelance work, and I know that mutual trust is a huge part of a healthy relationship.  What your repeated mention of an upfront payment policy indicates to me is that you expect your clients to swindle you.  If you don't trust me, I don't think we can discuss something as personal as a game design.  After all, I'm trusting you with the details of that design by revealing it to you, and I'm trusting your judgment by seeking your input on it.

Your CV is also really limited and I generally have very little reason to believe you're good at what you do.  Learn to use a game-making tool and implement some of your own designs; it will make you a better designer while giving you valuable portfolio material.

Let me drive that last one home...

Game designers are like architects -- we think about how they draw out buildings and they are built thereafter.  But architects know how buildings are structured, supported, wired and ventilated.  Without a thorough understanding of how the idea is implemented and the constraints that apply, the idea is useless.  An engineer is a better architect than an artist, but a proper architect combines both skillsets.  So learn to program or you will fall behind.


The website looks awful and if you want a case against it being a matter of taste I can find ten people who agree with me.  On its own it wouldn't be so bad, but it tells me that your self-proclaimed taste in game design does not extend to visual aesthetics.  Sorry.  :/
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« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2013, 04:50:34 PM »

Evan Balster++++++++
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« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2013, 12:13:58 AM »

Quick question Reactorcore: how old are you?
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Fallsburg
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« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2013, 05:01:15 AM »

 Without a thorough understanding of how the idea is implemented and the constraints that apply, the idea is useless.

This sums up everything I was going to say. 
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Evan Balster
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« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2013, 02:25:10 PM »

Also I apologize if I come off as harsh.  I'm trying to be honest, and in doing so I'm being blunt.  Don't mistake my words as antagonism; I try to help people learn and that's what I'm doing here.


EDIT:  One last suggestion is to stop being internet-anonymous.  That's another big no-no for an independent contractor.  Again, it's a trust relationship; if I don't even know your name, how can I trust you with my game design?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 02:47:37 PM by Evan Balster » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2013, 02:25:43 AM »

There's no market for it among indies. For one thing, indie programmers will skimp out on paying artists, much less a 'consultant'. You're better off selling beta testing services or game reviewing services. Or you'll have to explain why they need a consultant, in less than 5 minutes.

Then you have to explain why you are a good consultant. If you're a brand name like Paul Eres or Chris Crawford, then maybe you stand a chance, but most people wouldn't pay them even if they could. You'd need a strong resume, or at least a book/blog, so people know how you think.

Expectations are way too high, budgets are way too low, and nobody is actually looking for a consultant. You'll need to prove that consultants give good value.

Why don't you try giving them something they're looking for and bundling the consultation with it. Something like marketing, with the consultation part for free? Some people may be willing to pay 200 Euros to not slog through marketing.

[I'll charge you a business consultation fee of 300 Euros for the next post, but this one is free.]
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GaldorPunk
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« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2013, 03:55:13 AM »

As other people have said, giving opinions on game design is just not a valuable service and even if it was you’d need much more experience and qualifications. The little developers aren’t looking for outside help on design and the big companies are only interested in market research from guys with MBAs who have worked in the industry for years. The way I see it, there are two ways you can make money from your ideas on game design:
1) Make games yourself.
2) Become a games journalist, write reviews, start a vlog channel on youtube. If people are entertained and value your opinions, you might become popular and make some add revenue from the views.
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Empyrean Frontier (indie RTS)
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« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2013, 05:55:56 AM »

There's no market for it among indies. For one thing, indie programmers will skimp out on paying artists, much less a 'consultant'. You're better off selling beta testing services or game reviewing services. Or you'll have to explain why they need a consultant, in less than 5 minutes.

Then you have to explain why you are a good consultant. If you're a brand name like Paul Eres or Chris Crawford, then maybe you stand a chance, but most people wouldn't pay them even if they could. You'd need a strong resume, or at least a book/blog, so people know how you think.

Expectations are way too high, budgets are way too low, and nobody is actually looking for a consultant. You'll need to prove that consultants give good value.

Why don't you try giving them something they're looking for and bundling the consultation with it. Something like marketing, with the consultation part for free? Some people may be willing to pay 200 Euros to not slog through marketing.

[I'll charge you a business consultation fee of 300 Euros for the next post, but this one is free.]

as a side note, i actually do offer beta testing services on my site -- $50 for commercial games and free for freeware. i play the game through to the end and give someone feedback / suggestions. i haven't had time to do it that much due to working on my own game, but it's still there if anyone's interested, and the two commercial game devs so far who have made use of that service seemed to think it was worth the $50
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Reactorcore
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« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2013, 06:42:44 AM »

Also I apologize if I come off as harsh.  I'm trying to be honest, and in doing so I'm being blunt.  Don't mistake my words as antagonism; I try to help people learn and that's what I'm doing here.


EDIT:  One last suggestion is to stop being internet-anonymous.  That's another big no-no for an independent contractor.  Again, it's a trust relationship; if I don't even know your name, how can I trust you with my game design?

Don't worry, you did not come out harsh, its just that all you wrote is no new information to me and I'm very well aware that this service should not aimed at indies. At least not yet.

The funny thing about this thread is that I asked for recommendations on marketing such a gamedev-related service, not ask for opinions about my site and service, although I don't really mind since you guys did give me good feedback to improve upon.

As for not pointing out my name on the front page and just having the site continuously only say its nothing more than "Reactorcore Games" was intentional. There are a few reasons to that.

First, as a future game studio and otherwise, I might end up teaming up with someone or hiring another person, so having the site use such language as "I offer X" instead of "Reactorcore Games offers X" will require me to change the texts again to reflect on that. I'm just thinking ahead here.

Secondly, I'm not selling myself as a person. I'm selling a service and thats that. I'm a company, I have a product and this is business. Its all about focusing on what really matters.

If you really want to be friends with me, then go to the right place to that, like facebook. I'm there as Anton Temba, my real name.
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Christian Knudsen
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« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2013, 06:53:45 AM »

Secondly, I'm not selling myself as a person.

As a consultant, of course you are.
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« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2013, 07:21:08 AM »

As for the color scheme, its fine. It works the same way as blue-orange, if you get what I mean.

The color scheme is not fine. Red and green are indeed complementary colors, but you picked out the most satured, garish shades of both of them.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2013, 08:10:35 AM »

yeah, exactly. it's not that it's "red and green" that's the issue, it's that particular red and that particular green. saturation level and brightness levels are everything. a common mistake of indie games is to use extremely saturated colors. here's an example of what i mean:

the default ohrrpgce engine palette (that engine was limited to 256 colors) looked like this:



you can see that those colors favor the most saturated colors, with very little in the way of pastel colors or softer colors. it was purely "bright as can be" colors, lots of extremes. and that led to games that looked like this:




thankfully eventually james paige implemented a way to create and import your own color palettes, so you could use your own set of 256 colors, which led to games that looked like this:

« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 07:57:01 PM by Paul Eres » Logged

Ant
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« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2013, 08:59:16 AM »

Don't mean to sound arsey but there's a hell of a lot more wrong with the design too. I'd highly recommend you have a trawl through 'best web designs of #' taking particular note of the use of fonts, textures, whitespace and colours.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2013, 09:07:44 AM »

ya, but one thing at a time! if he can't even admit a little thing like his colors being bad, you think he's going to admit anything else on that site is bad?
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« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2013, 10:06:32 AM »

wait hold on a fucking second, you've never finished a game before and you have the audacity to offer consulting services for 100 euros? Have you even worked in the industry before? What the hell makes you qualified to offer consulting services?

jesus christ if i wanted an idea guy to review my work i would throw it to the dogs on 4chan rather than pay 100 euros
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