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How to Survive Indiepocalypse in 5 Easy Steps
Editorial - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Fri 1 July 2016, 09:16:57Tags: Iron Tower Studio; Vince D. Weller
Vault Dweller put up an article on the Irontower Studios forums to discuss how to survive the Indiepocalypse, offering examples of the valuable insight he's amassed in the last 11 years. Here's an excerpt:
Many indie developers look at what the AAA developers do and take notes. They think that if they act like the AAA boys, you know, professional and shit, everyone will assume they are real developers too and take them seriously.
Don’t do semi-official press-releases where you quote yourself. Don’t ask volunteer testers to sign NDAs as if you have the time, money, or desire to enforce them. Don’t write you own EULA on Steam as if Steam’s EULA isn’t good enough for you. Worst of all, don’t guard your stories and design ideas because someone might steal them. Yeah, Bethesda will decide to postpone The Elder Scrolls 6 and steal your shitty totally awesome ideas instead.
You have to sell people on your vision and you can’t do it if all you give them is a brief summary and Todd Howard’s famous “Trust us, it will be cool” line.
We’ve posted everything we had from day one. If we didn’t show something, it’s because we didn’t have it. We’ve "spoiled" every aspect of the game and answered every question about the game on as many forums as we could, giving people reasons to follow the game.
Go out into the world and engage gaming communities. Don’t hide behind moderators or "community managers". People who give a fuck about your game don’t want to be "managed", they want to talk to the guys making the game.
I made over 10,000 posts on multiple forums talking to people who showed interest and had questions. Oscar made over 6,000 posts. That’s not counting posts on Steam since we launched on Early Access and even more posts later after the game was released. If you can’t be arsed to talk to people who’re interested in your game, don’t expect them to support you in the future. Find time or you won’t stay in this business for long.
A word of warning before we get to the next chapter: when mingling with people you might discover that not everyone thinks your game ideas are as great as you think they are. Some people might actually harbor suspicions that your game sucks and be willing and even eager to share these thoughts with everyone they run into. You’d better get used to it because it’s going to happen a lot. ‘tis the magic of the internet.
Now that you’re working on your game, you have to build a community around it and spread the word. No matter how well-designed your game is it will fail all the same if nobody knows about it. Yes, that too is your job.
I told that to Pierre Begue years ago.