Indie Business Tactics

Community Growth Tactics

Common Methods:
  • Social Media Posts. (Reddit, Twitter, Imgur, Instagram, Facebook)
  • Demos
  • Devlogs
  • Developer Streams
  • Attend Conventions or Local Events
  • Email Newsletter list
  • Cross-promotion with other developers
Reddit Social Media Tips:
  • Elicit an emotional response with your post, it increases the likelihood individuals will upvote, comment, share.
  • For reddit, recommended to wait until your post has hit Front Page before editing the post and requesting a Call to Action from users.
  • Call to Actions include wishlisting your game on Steam or asking for support on Kickstarter.
  • Just try, the death of an Indie is obscurity.
Twitter Social Media Tips:
  • Through Twitter, you can promote your game and promote other people's games. People will promote your work in return.
  • Be consistent, be a leader, promote others voices, and be mindful.
  • Social Media is a tool. Be positive and constructive.

Funding Tactics

  • Apply for grants from your local government or private entities.
  • Kickstarter Campaign
  • Startup investment / incubation
  • Publishing deals
  • Fundraising through Friends / Family / Colleagues
    • Being able to talk and network with others is critical to building a community of fundraisers.
    • Only follow-up if they ask about your project and are willing to support it.

Marketing Tactics

  • Know your target audience.
  • Market directly to your target audience to build a strong community.
  • Expand Marketing to as many platforms as possible that make sense based on the type of game you are selling and the type of demographic you are targeting.
  • Other media outlets will help spread the word about your game if you already have traction.
  • Enhance the experience through digital goodies, merchandise, or events.

Networking Tactics

  • Network with people at events. You never know who you will chat with. They may be able to help you out in the future.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact professionals via LinkedIn or email. Get coaching.
  • Build relationships and help others. People will often help you in return.

Business Tactics

  • Sell games that are more likely to sell.
    • Sell a unique idea that improves upon or builds on existing IPs or genres.
    • Sell a unique idea that fills a niche demand and hasn’t been developed in a while.
  • Publish small games and publish consistently.
    • Publish quality games every 4 months to every year.
    • More likely to complete projects of smaller scope with shorter production timelines.
    • Allows developers on the project to build up their portfolio.
  • Make your dream game.
    • Betting it all on one quality game over 3 - 9 years of development is risky.
    • But, it can be very rewarding if your game is well-made, fills a niche demand, and is marketed well.
  • Work as a contractor for other companies.
    • Get contracts to make games or assets for other companies.
    • Do Licensing deals. Shows that your business is capable of handling IPs from other companies and can build successful products.
  • Release, Update, Engage
    • After a game is released, you have to follow-up with game updates and community engagement post-launch.
    • Consistent updates help with maintaining the community’s interest and attracting new members.
    • Consistently engage the community with posts, comments, forums, chat rooms. Collect feedback and take it into consideration when developing future updates.
  • It takes 5 - 10 years for a business to become a Household name.
    • Consistency is key to long-term business success.

Market Expansion Tactics

  • Diversify and release a game on all possible platforms.
    • Develop / Port to Console (Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo)
    • Develop / Port to Mobile (iOS, Android)
    • Develop / Port to VR (Oculus, Steam VR, Mobile)
    • Release on more than one PC platform. (Steam, GOG, Epic)
    • Release a browser based game on multiple web platforms. (itch.io, Gamejolt, Armor Games, Kongregate, Newgrounds, Addicting Games)
  • Integrate localization and publish the game to other countries / markets.
    • Biggest Markets for games are:
      • China (Chinese)
      • USA (English / Spanish)
      • Japan (Japanese)
      • South Korea (Korean)
      • Germany (German)
      • UK (English)
      • France (French)
      • Canada (English / French)
      • Spain (Spanish)
      • Italy (Italian)
      • Brazil (Portuguese)
      • Russia (Russian)

Sources:
Elyot Grnat - Creator of Prismata
Jean Leggett - CEO of One More Story Games
Philomena Schwa - Founder of Stray Fawn
Tanya X. Shorts - Director of Kitfox Games
Jonas Tyroller - Independent Game Designer
Raymond Cripps - Independent Game Developer

Last Modified: 2020/09/07