How I learned that marketing was 90% of the game development process and the ways in which the industry has drastically changed in the past 5 years.
Welcome to (the new!) GameFeatured!
First, let me tell you a little bit about myself:
I’m Luke, from Melbourne, Australia, and I am an ex-indie game developer.
I built a majority of my games out of game jams by cooperating with sound designers and sprite artists, both locally, online, and interntionally.
Games that I developed include The Bounds of Endersome, Take Me Home, and Toast In Space, among others.
While I’m no longer building games myself, I was fortunate enough to build games during an amazing period. Indie gaming was blowing up…, there were even movies made about the huge growth of the scene. New tools became available that made development quicker, easier, and more streamlined than ever. I learned everything I could and applied it to my own creations.
In my early years as a web developer, I built the first version of GameFeatured, a website that helped me gain insight on the common struggle that game developers were facing — the difficulty to find an audience for their games.
At its inception, GameFeatured filled a space in the gaming news niche, and our community of over 15 dedicated writers provided top-notch content for our audience of avid gamers. Sharing games with the world is a passion, and my favorite part of GameFeatured was the weekly emails that I received from indie developers asking me to write about their games. Giving these developers a voice and a platform to share their work was a welcome opportunity.
However, the state of indie gaming and my place in it caused me to take pause and reevaluate GameFeatured and its mission.
In a period of three to four years, there was an enormous surge in the number of indie games being produced, causing an over saturation in the market. Indie developers and their games were in trouble. Gamers were no longer willing to wade through the deep sea of repetitive games to find the innovative and beautiful games that were still being produced. With too many games to consider, it was simply overwhelming for the gaming consumer.
While the sheer number of games wasn’t the issue, the number of similar games was a huge problem. One game would hit it big and countless numbers of nearly identical games would immediately follow. For me, 2012 will always be known as “the year a million platformers hit Steam”. The Steam storefront resembled “LimboMeatBoy World” and many clones and similar titles started appearing, such as your typical resource hunting survival sandbox MMO.
Aaaaand that’s why I built this – and why you’re reading this.
Consumers still want the best games, whether they’re independently created or not — but they’re not willing to waste time searching for that brilliantly unique game.
That memory of why they fell in love with indie games in the first place starts to fade, as there’s almost no limit to what content and quality can now be released on to the Steam storefront.
As developers, you need a way to get your game out there so that players can discover it, and that’s why GameFeatured is here. Brilliant games no longer sell themselves without industry knowledge, skills, or marketing experience. People always say that failure is a great way to learn (which it is), but when you spend 3+ years on one project, you can’t risk failure.
GameFeatured served as an excellent place to find current indie gaming news and trends, but in the very near future, GameFeatured will be the premier educational resource for independent developers, sharing the knowledge and tools needed to promote indie games. Furthermore, we will provide a platform for independent growth and visibility.
Stay tuned, we’re small but we’re growing big.