My marketing is divided into two categories. Firstly, my game Final Stretch and secondly myself. I know that I am investing in my future and I set aside a total budget of £100. I spent £116.31.
Following on from the branding workshop, we were encouraged to brand our game. I’ve decided to focus on my brand colours of blue, yellow and red.
I looked on merchandising websites to see what sort of products were available to advertise my game at the shows. I thought it might be a good idea to get something that could be used rather than decorative because I know that in the past I haven’t used the products I’ve picked up at shows (except for a bottle opener!). Initially I wanted T-shirts, lollipops, USB flash drives, chocolate bars, beer mats and sticky notes. My thinking was that the lollipops and chocolate bars would attract people to play my game. The USB flash drive, beer mats and sticky notes would be a constant reminder of my game and website for the future and less likely to be discarded. I reviewed many companies and found Total Merchandise to be the most competitively priced. Lollies were advertised at 0.13p, USB’s were on offer at £3.13 and beer mats were fifty pence.
The problem I encountered was that each product excluded VAT, a set up charge and a large delivery cost. Also, the minimum order is some cases was 250 making the products too expensive.
Total Merchandise quote £722.75!
I designed a pop up banner, postcards, a t-shirt, for the shows.
Creating a banner that fit the dimensions of the holders made it difficult to include my logo or hero image so I used the title and included my website address in my brand colours. I ordered my pop up from WSA creative services centre and they were very helpful.
I used my hero image with my website address for the postcards and I bought a couple of t-shirts on eBay for the shows.
Pop Up banner
When I looked at brand logos the ones I liked were simple and I was influenced by the simple black and white of the MIT Media Lab logo. My GM black and white logo should be instantly recognisable since I don’t have a product to attach it to yet. I’ve had feedback saying some colour might be useful but at this point of in my career I’m not sure what colour I want. I was also worried about how it would look printed so for the moment I played it safe. I’m very pleased with how my marketing merchandise looks.
I used a site called www.dafont.com to experiment with fonts. When I found one that I liked I downloaded and installed the font on my laptop using Font Book.
I used www.moo.com for my business and postcards and I bought my T-shirt off eBay. I bought the stamp from www.awesomemerchandising.com
Total expenditure (including postage)
Business cards £32 including postage
Postcards £39.60 including postage
One of the main features of the Final Major Product is professional outcomes. I realised that as well as marketing the game I had to market myself.
To highlight my professional outcomes I created a personal website in Word Press and I used CloudAbove as my web hosting platform. Getting the domain I wanted was a bit tricky so I opted to put a ‘g’ on the end, www.georgemurphyg.com. My website also links to my LinkedIn account https://www.linkedin.com/in/george-murphy-46827b11b/ which I created in Year 1.
I have also ordered my business card and a business stamp online.
Instagram, Twitter and Website research review
I’m working on Instagram, Twitter and my website. I contacted some people I know, Claudine O’Sullivan, Artist and Illustrator Sara Flood, Marketing Lead, Royal London and Ludovico De Angelis, Digital Marketing Executive, The Bot Platform to see if they had any tips for me.
Summary of the social media advice
It’s more about getting blog posts out there and shared across the different platforms to gain some traction.
Independent game development social media mainly surrounds sharing short video clips or gifs of the game in action, or a specific subject to focus on (or showing off a character animation).
The best strategy would be to post short blog posts on WordPress with multiple pieces of media (images/video clips/gifs) then post simultaneously to twitter and Instagram with a short description of the blogpost, directly linking to the post itself.
On Instagram, it’s best to put the most recent blog post link in my bio, rather than in the caption, as this won’t hyperlink. The caption can then say ‘link in bio’ rather than the web address. Use one key piece of media from the blog post (image/video/gif) as the visual.
There are many popular game development related hashtags, the most popular probably being #screenshotsaturday and #gamedev. I need to search these hashtags to find posts for inspiration as well as more hashtags to include in my posts. Once I have a few posts up and running, searching these hashtags is also a good way to find pages to follow.
Don’t just post one thing to twitter/Instagram per blog post, try to post multiple times for each, perhaps aim for one a day, using different media and a different caption, but again linking to the original blog post.
Have the same profile picture for both Instagram and twitter
Put a bio for the game in both accounts and link to Steam (when game is made)
Just populate the page to make it look busy with the Instagram posts and retweet from other gaming pages like IGN etc.
Add colour to the site. While it’s great to have a lot pf white space to help with readability, think that would help add a bit more character.
incorporating logo brand colours (red, yellow and blue) into headlines etc.
Add images to the site. – my picture on the contact page perhaps. Add personality to the blog post rather than ‘Admin’
Link the social handles
From a marketing perspective building a following takes time.
Art work design process
I decided to change my logo from my hero poster on my blog. I played around with the colours and backgrounds and I might even change it again later on.
This represents a treasure map but the background might be a bit dark for my cartoon/comedic style.
Even with a red background it’s a bit dark
The map of the world represents all the places that Luke could travel to. All the names make it a bit crowded.
I prefer this version but the name is a bit lost.
I experimented with the tool and copy and pasted a few lines to form a map, then I changed the outline of the words to make them look more neon and not just black outlines so that they would stand out more.
Today I started working on ‘Final Stretch’ in Unity and prepared my assets to be animated and coded. I also made another background for my parallax scrolling for my endless runner.
I completed the National Student Survey 2018 where I filled in all the questions truthfully and gave feedback on what I have enjoyed and learned from my 2 and a half years at university.
I’ve also finalized my character sprite sheets and am beginning to focus on environments.
I experimented with different typography looking at sci-fi, racing and action adventure fonts. I looked at dafont.com, which is a site I first came across 4 years ago in college. I looked at different iterations of ‘final stretch’ to see what would work the best for a 12+ game.
I’m still interpreting the colour scheme to see what works best, but for the time being, red and grey seem to really stand out. I wanted to make the ‘F’ unique to emphasis ‘final’ and make it eye-catching.
I’ve changed my profile photo on twitter and I’ve added the same one to instagram. Made a couple of posts to show Luke’s development. I’m also trying to make a subdomain so that I can separate out my blogs so my followers can just see the development side without reading all the other stuff