Over the past few weeks I’ve been tirelessly scouring the web finding contacts for my press list. I’ve now finally completed this and I’m ready to move on to Part 2 of my marketing strategy Creating a Press Kit. I’d like to reiterate that this is the strategy I’m currently developing for the release of Glo. It’s as yet untested and may not be suitable for all releases. I’m however documenting it for two reasons:
- To keep track of the plan for myself.
- To help people, should it turn out to be successful.
Creating a Press Kit
In my opinion there are two steps that need to be taken when planning to communicate with a large group but still somehow manage to keep the communication personal. The first step is what I like to call the meta communication the second step is then personalising the meta communication to make it more bespoke to each recipient.
The meta communication essentially is all the common information about you and your game that is relevant to mostly everyone. Information can be selected based how much detail you think the recipient will be interested in e.g. a journalist may be interested in more detail about the game compared to a streamer who may just interested in the highlights. The meta communication is essentially the press kit.
I’m not going to go into details about the basics of a press kit as I think that the presskit() tool developed by Rami Ismail of Vlambeer does everything you need in terms of constructing the skeleton of the press kit. Instead I’d like to give more detail on the type of information I’ll be providing in my press kit that I feel will give me everything I need as a template to then start creating personalised emails.
From everything I’ve read so far I’ve come to understand that the more personal an email can be the more likely it is to get a response. For that reason I will be spending a bit more time personalising the emails I send out rather than using the cookie cutter approach. This means I may not be able to send as many emails, but hopefully the ones I do will have more impact. I will be covering this in more detail in Part 3.
Trailers, Screenshots and GIFs
First things first. The single most important thing to have ready for any communication of your game is media. Even if you don’t write a single word and only provide trailers, screenshots and GIFs this would still communicate a lot about the game. I am going to be putting a decent amount of time over the next few weeks creating a strong trailer for Glo. This I believe will be its biggest selling point as with the nature of the gameplay the mechanics are best understood when shown rather than described. From what I understand I’m aiming for at least one 90 second trailer that gets straight into the action with a soundtrack that emphasizes the mood of the game. I might put a studio logo in at the end.
To support this I am going to be collecting a bunch of screenshots and GIFs showing the most interesting parts of the game. I’m not going to bother with menu screens and boring stuff, just eye candy and the mechanics.
Access to the Game
The last thing you want to do is put hurdles in the way of anyone who is interested in your game so it’s important to provide a copy through direct download, steam keys, whatever. Give them access straight away as if someone is interested in those first few minutes you want everything available to them to get stuck in. Don’t worry about lost earnings as if a few hundred downloads will make that much of a difference then there’s more of an issue with the success (or lack of) of the game that needs addressing.
Pitch, Tag Line, Story and Description
Now for the wordy parts. I’ve broken out how to verbally communicate your game into four areas based on different interests and how much time you have to communicate your game:
- Pitch – This is often called an elevator pitch. It’s basically a one or two line description of your game that quickly puts a clear idea in the recipients head.
- Tag Line – This is a catchy one liner that adds some atmosphere/character to the idea of your game.
- Story – This is the detail of your games story. This may not be applicable to all games but if you have a strong story aspect to the game I think it’s important to get that across early as a good story can be a selling point for a game.
- Description – This is a more detailed description that gives the recipient an image of what your game is like and how it plays.
I believe that if you cover these four areas then you will have a pretty strong foundation for communicating your game whenever anyone shows interest on any level. They do not follow any priority instead they are all available for use when needed.
As an example this is the current set I have for Glo. As a caveat these are very new and are subject to change. I will keep you updated of any changes I make.
- Pitch – An atmospheric platformer set in the dark.
- Tag Line – Can you survive the darkness?
- Story – Tormented by the unknown environment and messages on the wall that give the feeling of being watched, Glo is found in a strange world where everything is covered in darkness. Using whatever light can be found and blind faith, Glo must try to find a way through the darkness to unravel the mystery and escape this nightmare.
- Description – What happens in a game where most of it is hidden? Glo is a puzzle platformer where the majority of the world is hidden. Using blind faith, glowing projectiles and memory use your skill to escape the darkness. Provoked by writing on the wall the story unravels as the mystery is unlocked.
This strategy is currently being used to publicise the PC game Glo. Please check it out at glo.chronikspartan.com
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This blog post originally appeared on the Chronik Spartan blog.