Effectively Promote and Build Community For Your Indie Game

Promoting an indie game is an interesting thing to accomplish. I am in the midst of learning it myself. Here is the rundown of what I have so far that is of major help to begin to build a community and get interaction with potential fans.

Promoting an indie game is an interesting thing to accomplish.  I am in the midst of learning it myself.  Here is the rundown of what I have so far that is of major help to begin to build a community and get interaction with potential fans.

1 - Website

Most people do not try to get through life without a home, and neither should your game.  You need a location to drive people to and a website is where you want them to land.  This is a place where you are in control, it is your world, your happy place.  It is filled with why they should love your product.  It should be the goal to get everyone in the world to here.

What should you setup?  It should look like your product.  Right now we actually setup a WordPress site with a theme that we could customize and make look like Violent Sol Worlds.  It does not take much and you have a good location for your potential fans to begin to hover around learning about your game.

To make it look like your product you will need a logo, screenshots, and important content that makes people feel a part of the game.  This is where the real work lies.  It takes time and effort to generate good stuff for the website.  It pays off to do it though, and the earlier you put this together, the longer is sits on the web gaining momentum for your eventual launch.  Create your webpage early and update it often with new and exciting things about your game.

2 - Personal Blog

This one is not as intuitive and making a website for your game, but is incredibly effective in driving people to it.  Start blogging as yourself, not as your game.  This is completely separate from your game, this is you talking about your life, your loves, your hobbies, your work.  What this does is it allows you to put out things that people can relate to.  It widens your net beyond your game.

Why do you need a wider net?  Well it is simple, if you want to be successful, YOU have to be successful, NOT your game.  If you are truly serious about your game, you will have many opportunities to plug your content in your personal blog and suddenly you are linking people to your website to see your game by talking about coding a physics engine, or AI.

This also allows for you to change pace, and blow off steam.  Often times in-game development you will get frustrated.  It is amazing how just writing about something will make you feel better.  Plus, many others that are trying to do the same thing will relate and turn to potential consumers of your content, which, in part, is your game.

3 - Twitter

This is like the Doom shotgun, it is the finest utility you have for marketing to actual people on a steady basis.  Sure the content lasts like 8 minutes, but it is quick, clean, and targeted.  You should create Twitter accounts for yourself, and your game.  Each one should be tweeting things that attract people.  You need a personal one that is different from your games because you should be promoting your blog as well as your game content with that one.  Your games account should be tweeting only about the game.

The key to twitter is consistency.  Don't just tweet like once a week.  Spend the 15-30 minutes every day to queue up like 6 tweets that will go out throughout your normal work day.  You can use Buffer for that, it is nice, simple, and easy to use.  Get in to a good habit with Twitter and you will be amazed what you accomplish.

If you are interested in more things I learned about Twitter during my first year of game marketing go check out - 5 Things I learned About Twitter in a Year

4 - Facebook

Facebook might seem dumb at first for a game, it did to me.  But it is like a happy medium between a website and Twitter.  It does get a slightly different crowd and it is easy for people to share your content just by clicking a button.  Our Facebook page for Violent Sol Worlds was created late in the marketing game so we missed this boat a little, but it is a location people will engage in and promote your game socially.  Do not ignore the power of Facebook to drive shorter, quicker content for longer periods of time than Twitter.

5 - Reddit

Here is a simple, quick, and easy driver of people to anywhere and everywhere.  Take a second to go to Reddit and see what it is, a simple link to a site and an up/down vote.  Yes, you choose a sub-Reddit and simply post links with a nice title and it does the work.  People will come to your link and it has the shot of going viral on Reddit.

This is a somewhat of a hidden gem for me.  I ignored it for many years then just recently tried it for game traffic and was amazed how it worked for us.  It is again, not the golden arrow of marketing but it does allow for you to at will get some form of traffic to new content about your product when you want and need it.

6 - IndieDB

IndieDB is a large community of indie game developers with their studios and games posting there to promote their products.  The interactions there seem light, but the traffic that shows up to news, or new images cannot be ignored.  You should create a landing page there and join that community.  It is just another way to cast a larger net and does not take an amazing amount of effort to maintain.

I found that images are powerful, videos are not so powerful.  So simple screenshots and a news article can drive you up in the rankings and get more people to care your game exists.  We started our IndieDB site early thinking it could be the home for Violent Sol Worlds, but it is not a good spot for that.  It is a great addition to your marketing campaign though and should not be left out.

7 - Kickstarter/Steam Greenlight

These two are the elephants in the room.  They are awesome marketing machines.  They both have a community that is massive.  They also are customer oriented events.  The thing about these two is that they are events.  What do I mean by events?  They will take up a massive amount of time to get up and launch.  Ours is in the planning stage now and nearly ready to launch for both Kickstarter and Greenlight and we have worked on them for about 2 months now.

They are worth it.  Once you get something you want to market on a scale larger than your own website and blog you should put these together, but remember schedule out about 2 months of work here.


There are many more things you can do to market your game, no doubt.  The one thing to remember is that you should cast a large net.  Don't just market your game, market yourself.  This allows for you to say much more than my game is awesome.  Your game is simply your product, and often times people need more than that.  If you can show that you are an awesome person, that is enjoyable to listen to and read about, people will be more likely to buy your game.  People like to connect and support others who seem like real, quirky, people.  Be yourself and good things will happen.

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