Promoting Indie Games
In this document, I will be deciding which social media platforms would be ideal for an indie designer (and myself) to use for promoting their content and gaining an audience.
- Popularity – Facebook has 1,790,000,000 monthly active users as of 2016, 1,570,000 of which access from a mobile device. This is also the most popular social media platform.
- Demographic – People aged 25 to 34 are the most common users of the website at 29.7% making these ages an average target audience for content.
- An indie game developer called “GameHouse” use a Like Page to show screen shots of their games along with, to share relevant personal content (such as polls and quizzes) and to actually link Facebook to play/download the game.
- Pros – High potential to reach a greater audience.
– Free of charge to promote media (unless advertising is preferred).
– Allows interested users to share content with their friends which may also be interested in the content.
– Makes communication with clients and customers possible as well as keeping the messages easily found.
-Works well with sharing content from other websites making it a good choice to post content from other social media platforms that might not be possible to share (and maintain quality) on Facebook.
- Cons – Pages require monitoring in case of negative content that could be posted by other users or potential oversights meaning time can be wasted in most cases.
– Frequent content is recommended as it keeps the audience’s attention as the newsfeed of Facebook only shows content of pages and people that the user has interacted with by commenting and liking or world popular content meaning infrequent posts will be lost to the more popular ones.
- Popularity – Instagram has 600,000,000 monthly active users as of 2016.
- Demographic – The app has a younger audience with 25.6% of users being aged 25-34 and 22.9% being aged 18-24.
- An Indie Company called “Double Fine” use Instagram to high moral of the workers along with promoting their work and showing the production process and tease parts of their games.
- Pros – The quality of the content if more important than the quantity of posts allowing better pictures to get more attention.
– They use “Hashtags” which promote the post to a category so that people with related interests have more of a chance of seeing it.
- Cons – Only visual content can be shared with the audience meaning that only images and videos can be shared but not too much information.
– A high standard of content is required in order to appeal to more people; images deemed bad in quality would not get as much attention.
- Popularity – Late 2016, Twitter had around 317,000,000 monthly active users.
- Demographic – In the middle of 2016, Twitter had 42% of their users being aged 15 to 17.
- “Molleindustria” is a game maker that uses Twitter to announce upcoming projects and information on products release, like how they were designed.
- Pros – Allows interested people to follow you to see your posts as well as share them
– Allows you to have information about what you are hoping to achieve by posting as well as having less room for text in posts, keeping them short and easy to process.
– It has an automated posting mechanic that allows the user prepare and schedule pots to ensure a frequent posting pattern without having to release a load of information at once due to time constraint which could cause posts to get unorganised.
- Cons – It can take a very long time for a page to receive a reasonable amount or if any publicity when it is created due to the amount of users and the amount of other pages already followed.
- Popularity – Google Plus has 300,000,000 monthly active users.
- Demographic – 28% of users are aged 15-34 years old.
- An indie game developer called “Unity3d” use google plus to not only promote their own games, but help other people starting off in the industry to meet other people that are more experienced in a cooperative manner.
- Pros – Many ways to connect with any field of interest and meet other people so an audience can be built.
– Connects with other social media websites to allow invitation of users that may come across the account and be able to follow it on multiple platforms
- Cons – Allows many people to comment and respond meaning frequent maintenance of the page to keep the page “friendly”.
- Popularity – 1,300,000,000 is the total amount of users of YouTube as of 2017.
- Demographic – The highest age percentage of people that use it is 26% for 35-44 year olds and with this knowledge it is clear that it seems to have the most mature demographic.
- The indie game “The Binding of Isaac” reached ten times as many sales after seven months due to its popularity on YouTube through “let’s play” videos featuring the game.
- Pros – It can be easy to avoid becoming a victim of plagiarism due to YouTube’s copyright policies, meaning that everything uploaded is done safely. Also, IF somebody uses something from another YouTube video, the account has the option to place advertisements on the video, thus benefiting.
– If the page is frequently watched by a user, they will be suggested videos with the same origin (as well as similar videos) and if they subscribe they will be given occasional notifications when content is uploaded, similar to Facebook.
– Videos uploaded to YouTube can be posted on most other social media websites allowing not only a range of places to which the video could be placed (webpage, like page, etc.) but a link back to the YouTube channel of that content.
- Cons – Due to the huge amount of users, videos may take time to be able to become popular enough to come across in somewhat specified searches.
– Videos should be interesting and exciting to intrigue an audience which can be negative for users that wish to promote serious content.
Social media website open huge opportunities for industries to reach people across the world through the Internet which is highly beneficial to me as it means that anything I produce can be uploaded there. By conducting this research, knowledge was obtained to benefit the appropriate social media platform for our design team to promote an indie game without using payment methods.
Indie Game Concept Task
For this task, our design studio was given a name and location, as well as choosing a relevant item, to research and create the idea for a game with. We were given Ada Lovelace and Ancient Egypt so we chose stones from ancient Egypt as our item.
We split up in order to research the two subjects and I researched Ancient Egypt, looking mainly for ideas of locations such as splitting the place into two parts:
- “Black Land” which is said to have fertile land, farms, fields and mud brick built buildings.
- “Red Land” which is desert with traces of stone and metal, also being where the pyramids were built.
“Late one night, Ana Lovelace was working on the Analytical Machine at the RAS (Royal Astronomical Society). She travelled to Egypt in search for antediluvian equation that may be the key to her work. After traversing the boggy Black Land, she reaches the sandy Red Land to explore the pyramid for her research. But in her hast, she unlocks an ancient evil causing her to use her brains to stop the past consuming the present by collecting mystical stones to seal the undead back in their tombs.”
After taking part in this task, it is evident that the ability to take a concept and build on it using research is important as it helps support choices made in the development process, such as art style and mechanics that could be used to signify certain parts of the story. It can also be used to find a relevant genre for the game as certain genres may not be preferred. I can also use this in my work in future when working from a brief as to help develop ideas for the design studio further.
Introduction to Pixel Art – “Harry Potter”
Pixel art is the process of using pixels to create imagery or sprites. This can be achieved using a small canvas size (16x16px used below) and a brush/pencil with the weight of 1px using colours to help built the depth of the art.
I set up the page to have grid with the columns and rows all 1 pixel wide to show where the pixel would be places on the canvas. I then found a reference and made the grid grey as to not work on a white or transparent back ground. After I used a darker grey to determine the shape of the character before filling in the darker grey with colours picked from the original image.
I did the same for this piece but adjusted opacity in order to try and create a glowing effect around the sprite.
In conclusion I feel very comfortable making pixel art as it can be quite simple and I after this task I feel confident in trying more complex means of creating it. This can used in future to design/create 2D character models, concept art and graphics to use in projects.