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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessHow some games are getting popular
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ANtY
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« on: December 01, 2010, 01:32:48 PM »

I'm thinking about how games like Super Meat Boy got popular without promoting them on sites like indiedb? Maybe I don't know all of them so maybe they were promoted on sites like that.
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 01:41:30 PM »

super meat boy was marketed by the power of microsoft

and it had a viral clever 90s commercial trailer

as well as the usual suspects -- several twitter accounts for the characters, a sequel to a very popular flash game on newsgrounds, etc. etc. etc.
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 06:18:14 AM »

Free flash games.  They get tons of attention.  Because gamers are mostly shallow and lazy.  That's how some friends of mine (Mikengreg) managed to get themselves a year's worth of income and go fulltime indie.

Games like Minecraft market themselves virally by being both time-wasters (played a lot per unit of content) and "whatcha-doin" games.  In Minecraft's case I don't imagine the developer strictly planned that strategy, but it's quite a valid one.

EDIT:  Also, social networking and press do a lot.  Those aren't worth a damn if the game's no good, though.  My own project has gained most of its attention organically through those channels, even gaining some popularity among russian players.
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 07:14:10 AM »

super meat boy was marketed by the power of microsoft

and it had a viral clever 90s commercial trailer

as well as the usual suspects -- several twitter accounts for the characters, a sequel to a very popular flash game on newsgrounds, etc. etc. etc.

Team Meat did all their own marketing.  I wouldn't give "The power of microsoft" any credit for it.  The 90s commercial trailer is one thing they did that caught a lot of attention for them, and they did a lot before that.  They made 3 mini comic books promoting the game which were sent out to the press and handed out at events like GDC and PAX.  They posted a lot of stuff on their blog which usually got the attention of social news sites like Reddit.  Plus  Edmund has been making games for a pretty long time and probably has a decent size fan base built up from that.  Probably the thing that got them the most attention was the inclusion of indie game characters.  Every single reveal of characters got them another wave of press from sites like destructoid, kotaku, joystiq, etc etc.

I think the only thing that Microsoft did was place the super meat boy image on the xbox360 menu.
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 07:29:15 AM »

Don't forget that Edmund and Tommy had already made some popular games. The original Meat Boy being one of them.

(I personally like Spewer!)
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 07:32:26 AM »

The fact that it's a great game probably has something to do with it.

I don't care who has what backing, as long as it's a good product. Team Meat worked their asses off and through years of experience came through with something stellar.
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 08:19:40 AM »

Free flash games.  They get tons of attention.  Because gamers are mostly shallow and lazy.  That's how some friends of mine (Mikengreg) managed to get themselves a year's worth of income and go fulltime indie.

That and iPod/iPad free games. They get good traction where Flash doesn't shine...
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 11:48:41 AM »

They worked their ass off with all that promotional stuff. They made like hundreds of videos and other promotional content. That's my impression.
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ANtY
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 12:03:08 PM »

Ok, thanks for response guys. It's really helpful.
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010, 06:28:05 AM »

Instead of making a new thread, I am thinking I will ask in this one.
On the topic of popular games, I am frustrated how some games become popular with very little content. I am not talking about games like Super Meat Boy which deserve their popularity. Rather, I am talking about how games with not a single in-game screenshot become popular.
(Yea, it start to sound like a rant).

For instance, in IndieDB some games with no In-Game screenshot got into the Top 100, and more than that, they got a lot of watchers as well.
So I am asking, what am I doing wrong? Why some games with practically no in-game content become so popular?
</rant>
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 02:40:12 PM »

Instead of making a new thread, I am thinking I will ask in this one.
On the topic of popular games, I am frustrated how some games become popular with very little content. I am not talking about games like Super Meat Boy which deserve their popularity. Rather, I am talking about how games with not a single in-game screenshot become popular.
(Yea, it start to sound like a rant).

For instance, in IndieDB some games with no In-Game screenshot got into the Top 100, and more than that, they got a lot of watchers as well.
So I am asking, what am I doing wrong? Why some games with practically no in-game content become so popular?
</rant>


Like this http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=14517.195 ? Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2010, 03:56:59 PM »

Quality.
Perceived or actual.
In story or design or art or style or originality.

And a bit of luck.

A better question to ask is 'what is it that I'm not doing to make my game popular?'
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2010, 09:14:09 PM »

I would like to know too... I released playable prototypes, 2 trailers, screenshots, I am on youtube, twitter, blog, another blog, IndieDB, Steam group, facebook group, I maintain 2 posts here on this forum, I post in other forums, a community in Orkut (I am from Brazil), I maintain posts in 2 Orkut communities, I maintain a post in Anywherebb (a forum with about 20 regular visitors, usually peaking 6 simultaneous visitors, but most of the helpful fans came from there, the ones that gave information on bugs, that even went to mod my not completed game, or some guy that took the source of the engine and made the game work on Mac).

Yet I am usually at 200 in IndieDB, and don't got in the IOTY top 100... And my game was on IOTY trailer, was one of the game of the month in July (or August, don't remember), and some people (like important blog owners) told me they are willing to write about the game when I release it (they don't wanted to talk about the not done version).


So I also ask: What I am not doing to show my game around?

My guess that the issue is the genre, people that like the genre become fierce fans (handing me out music for free, modding, compiling Mac version, fixing english errors in the english version...), while people that dislike the genre just tell me "your game has high quality, now let me see those shiny new pixel-art game"

Not even my post about the arcade cabinet attracted attention it seems (at least the only people that ever commented about the arcade cabinet were actually my father and my sister boyfriend... I see the post view count in forums steadly climb, but slower than other topics, and no comments).

Forgot to say, there are also a forum and a irc channel, but the only visitors are those from Anywherebb... so :/
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2010, 12:25:24 AM »

Instead of making a new thread, I am thinking I will ask in this one.
On the topic of popular games, I am frustrated how some games become popular with very little content. I am not talking about games like Super Meat Boy which deserve their popularity. Rather, I am talking about how games with not a single in-game screenshot become popular.
(Yea, it start to sound like a rant).

For instance, in IndieDB some games with no In-Game screenshot got into the Top 100, and more than that, they got a lot of watchers as well.
So I am asking, what am I doing wrong? Why some games with practically no in-game content become so popular?
</rant>


Like this http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=14517.195 ? Smiley

No, this game has gameplay related concept screenshot. Even if they are mock ups.
I am talking about games that only show some 3D models, some concept art of cool monsters. Nothing gameplay related.
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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2010, 07:36:22 AM »

The other thing besides quality is inspiration.
Not inspiration as originality or whatever, but inspiration in those who see potential in it.
If something inspires you to think or wonder about it, it will hold your attention. And games are all about wonderment and the impossible and the inspiring.

Games that give everything away or have no detail or discernable backstory or possible interpretation will likely not inspire wonder in people.

This doesn't make them unpopular, it just decreases chances of gaining groundswell support (people telling their friends, etc).

Also, again, luck. Like a Source mod that I followed to completion over years of work, that had cool style, original challenging gameplay, detailed artwork with lots of interpretive backstory, and amazing music. And it tanked, simply because no one really heard about it.
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2010, 08:18:45 AM »

I wonder if it is inspiration, or more of who is being the loudest.
I have thought about it, and I have an example from "cinema theory" of some famous experiment.
In this experiment they showed an audience some movie. The movie had shown a face of a man, and before they showed that man they showed some unrelated scene. Then they told the audience to say what they thought was the person's mood.
Eventhough they showed the exact same person with the exact same expression in all the movie and the exact same mood. The audience was seeing in each different part of the movie, that the person has a different mood. They said that in one bit he was happy, in another angry in another one sad.
But the person really had the same mood and same expression in all the bits. So what was different?
The difference was that the unrelated scene before they showed the man's face, was different. When they showed a scene of war, the man seemed to be angry. When they showed a romantic scene, the man semed to be in love.
The man was not inside those scenese, he was just showen right after those scene. And you can see how unrelated scenes can project on the value of what comes right after it.
In the same way I thinkhype is made. Some unrelated content, project on the value of the game in a subconciouss level.
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2010, 08:26:30 AM »

I would like to know too... I released playable prototypes, 2 trailers, screenshots, I am on youtube, twitter, blog, another blog, IndieDB, Steam group, facebook group, I maintain 2 posts here on this forum, I post in other forums, a community in Orkut (I am from Brazil), I maintain posts in 2 Orkut communities, I maintain a post in Anywherebb (a forum with about 20 regular visitors, usually peaking 6 simultaneous visitors, but most of the helpful fans came from there, the ones that gave information on bugs, that even went to mod my not completed game, or some guy that took the source of the engine and made the game work on Mac).

Yet I am usually at 200 in IndieDB, and don't got in the IOTY top 100... And my game was on IOTY trailer, was one of the game of the month in July (or August, don't remember), and some people (like important blog owners) told me they are willing to write about the game when I release it (they don't wanted to talk about the not done version).


So I also ask: What I am not doing to show my game around?

My guess that the issue is the genre, people that like the genre become fierce fans (handing me out music for free, modding, compiling Mac version, fixing english errors in the english version...), while people that dislike the genre just tell me "your game has high quality, now let me see those shiny new pixel-art game"

Not even my post about the arcade cabinet attracted attention it seems (at least the only people that ever commented about the arcade cabinet were actually my father and my sister boyfriend... I see the post view count in forums steadly climb, but slower than other topics, and no comments).

Forgot to say, there are also a forum and a irc channel, but the only visitors are those from Anywherebb... so :/
I have almost the same situation with my game.
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2010, 10:37:53 AM »

I'm a little confused, posting on forums won't make your game popular.

popularity = effort.

Your game has a target market, so go after that market.  If your game doesn't have a real target market, well, then, it's going to be tough going.  Minecraft is the game I've ever known to have no budget and go insanely viral.

In any case, you have to put effort into it.  My game looks like a million bucks and even while it goes *slightly* viral, it's peaked out with no real activity.  So when we finally release I'll just have to make more noise again.

just to re-interate:  popularity = effort.
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2010, 10:53:32 AM »

bobbyirc, well the problem is, many game developers don't know how to make this kind of noise or popularity effort. They see other doing stuff, but they don't understand why ot works.
It would be helpful if people who know how to do it would explain how it works.
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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2010, 11:03:02 AM »

Cheap/free stuff, you send e-mails (A LOT OF E-MAILS) to news portals.  Call print and online publications, etc, make gameplay trailers, demos, podcasts, make your own forum and work hard to get it active.

Stuff that costs money: press releases, lots of press releases, go to game development conferences, give your card/promotional material etc.. to people.

There's a lot of topics about this on the forum.

I mean if you're smart enough to program a game you gotta be smart enough to figure out what a marketing department in a major company is doing, that you're not, but are capable of doing... xD

It's a process and takes effort, a small drop of water in a big pond won't make a wave, so you have to make yourself a hurricane.  That's what Super Meat Boy did.
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