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January 17, 2021, 07:44:23 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessWhen should you start talking / showing off your game?
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Author Topic: When should you start talking / showing off your game?  (Read 815 times)
Deckhead
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« on: May 25, 2020, 02:16:10 PM »

I'm working on a new game. It's not really "playable" yet, not in any real sense. At what point should I start a devlog? At what point should I start discussing it on Twitter?

I'm of two minds. Talk early and often to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible. But then you run the risk of too many people seeing something unplayable, dismissing it out of hand, but remembering the name. Wait until you've got pretty graphics, music, and can cut a decent trailer; but then you could miss out on the early player-driven feedback that you would otherwise have.

So what's the verdict?
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Pixel Patriot
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2020, 03:21:30 AM »

To be brutally honest there are no hard and fast rules about when you should or shouldn't, and in my 27+ years of retail,marketing and videogame PR experience you can never be 'too early'.

Obviously your priority should always be to show the best version of your game, early feedback is always good to receive but for first impression there are no second chances when it comes to press or influencers or public facing media content.

Consider a devblog to get things started
Consider a email list where people can sign up for updates
show your developer progress on places like here, Twitter and Facebook and always look to gain constructive feedback wherever you can.
Get a Steam page or Epic store page up / consider a mini holding page site or place online where you can at least provide a platform for discovery.

Anything remotely related to press or media you should first have a build you are 100% confident and happy to show and as you say a teaser trailer is always a nice way to reveal the game.
Gamasutra has loads of examples of post mortems to read on what other indies did to elevate their games so that's also worth a visit.

The biggest problem you will meet is discoverability when it comes to launch so it pays to lay the groundwork first. Whatever time you think you need on any particular area, add 8 weeks, and while that sounds vague, you can never prep too early on anything.

Your biggest priority is to always focus on building a community around your game - without it you're sunk.
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mrb______
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2020, 05:41:26 AM »

As soon as you have something to test the core mechanic.. Ship it..

People make judgements within the first 1 minute of playing something - so as long as you have that first minute nailed.. And if that's not done, maybe narrowing down the scope so that you can get it done, and pushing it out to people as fast as you can..

"you run the risk of too many people seeing something unplayable,":
Thats a good problem to have. If you have a stream of people coming inbound to test a game - you can use that to iterate.

I'm def against the "Wait until you've got pretty graphics, music, and can cut a decent trailer". I think many people (including myself) start that way until they realise that the longer you wait, the longer it'll take to actually "make a game".
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bacon
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2020, 07:01:07 AM »

You'll burn yourself out if you start to early, especially because you often have "more" to show earlier in the project and every day is massive #gains, but as the project goes on you'll find out that all your background work isn't shareable in the same way as your earlier stuff. An open secret is that a lot of people in the devlogs section start their devlog after having already worked on a game for 1-3 years, and the devlog really just covers the last few miles of dev.

I think the only real answer is to start showing your game off once the core mechanics are in. Depending on the type of game you're making, that could be as early as 1 week into dev, for other games that could easily take a few years.
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2020, 02:07:42 AM »

To be brutally honest there are no hard and fast rules about when you should or shouldn't, and in my 27+ years of retail,marketing and videogame PR experience you can never be 'too early'.

Obviously your priority should always be to show the best version of your game, early feedback is always good to receive but for first impression there are no second chances when it comes to press or influencers or public facing media content.

Consider a devblog to get things started
Consider a email list where people can sign up for updates
show your developer progress on places like here, Twitter and Facebook and always look to gain constructive feedback wherever you can.
Get a Steam page or Epic store page up / consider a mini holding page site or place online where you can at least provide a platform for discovery.

Anything remotely related to press or media you should first have a build you are 100% confident and happy to show and as you say a teaser trailer is always a nice way to reveal the game.
Gamasutra has loads of examples of post mortems to read on what other indies did to elevate their games so that's also worth a visit.

The biggest problem you will meet is discoverability when it comes to launch so it pays to lay the groundwork first. Whatever time you think you need on any particular area, add 8 weeks, and while that sounds vague, you can never prep too early on anything.

Your biggest priority is to always focus on building a community around your game - without it you're sunk.

I totally agree with this statement

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UnfoldGames
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2020, 07:40:34 PM »

One thing to keep in mind is that whatever you show to the world will get indexed by Google image. The search engines usually favor older content than newer content, so whenever you decide to show your game, make sure it looks polished. The last thing you want is, years from now, somebody looking up your game and seeing "programmer's art" or simply unpolished art as the first result on Google Image.

But generally, as an indie, you want to start building a community around your game as soon as possible. Especially collecting wishlists (if you already have a trailer and a Steam page set up) or email addresses (if you don't). Just make sure your game looks polished before you try to show it to people.
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ldmn
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 02:50:49 AM »

Also comes to mind (perhaps coz of some non-ideal gossips):

if introducing your prototype, on-going project too early, will its cool / genuine ideas be not stolen by lesser virtuous folks (eg. of regions known of legendary hacking & pirating) & be implemented into their projects ?
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Schrompf
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2020, 05:09:23 AM »

LOL. As if everyone isn't already overflowing of ideas on their own.

No, nobody, and I repeat NOBODY, will ever steal ideas. Quite the contrary: people will come to you explaining why your idea is shit and they would have done everything differently. Of course people take up inspirations from many sources, some of them being your crappy-looking prototype. But you already have it working, you're months ahead of everyone. So don't worry, do your thing, share broadly, it will sometimes yield unexpected benefits. And never in my 20+ years of game making have I ever experienced someone taking my idea, let alone executing it both better and earlier than me, which both are requirements to actually do damage to your idea.

And, if you ever get to actually execute GameDev, you'll soon notice that ideas are not the single defining point of GameDev. Ideas will change over time while you work on them, some turn out to be unsavable bullsh, some working nicely but only in combination with others, and so on.
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ldmn
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2020, 07:48:49 AM »

Lucky u.

As I've been developing a game for ~2 years, and already seeing an almost similar themed / played one, but with more features & extras.  Both games could borrow from the other for its own benefit.

Ya know, these can happen in 2D world, but maybe even in 3D. Perhaps very rarely. But oldtimer gamers can have sometimes the same ideas lurking for decades.

Anyway, thanx for your insights, LOLlypop.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 07:05:30 PM by ldmn » Logged
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