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6 tips for finding your voice on TikTok and making your game go viral

Grace Curtis of Future Friends Games highlights several important factors in building your TikTok presence and how to help your game coverage videos go viral in an authentic and effective way.

Holly Green, Community Editorial Coordinator

April 14, 2023

4 Min Read

TikTok is arguably the best modern social media platform for sharing your content. But where to begin if you're a developer who wants to promote their game and has little time or resources, much less TikTok know-how? In this free video from GDC Vault from GDC 2023 entitled, "How To Find Your Voice on TikTok", Grace Curtis of Future Friends Games highlights several important factors in building your TikTok presence and how to help your game coverage videos go viral in an authentic and effective way. 

A slide from How To Find Your Voice on TikTok, highlighting the strengths of the platform.

To open the talk, Curtis explains why TikTok is such an important platform to pursue, not least of which the fact that TikTok has a billion monthly users, and that the data indicates that Steam page traffic and wishlist spikes can be directly correlated with viral TikToks. TikTok, unlike most platforms, relies on an algorithm that customizes content for the user based on their preferences over time. The goal of the talk, says Curtis, is to teach people how to get on "For You" pages without being shady or cringe, which will drive up wishlists on Steam, kicking in the platform's promotional cycle. 

Here are a few tips. 

Beginner's workflow


Many developers are hesitant to approach TikTok because they don't even know where to begin. Here's a sample workflow. Sounds are the backbone of TikTok, Curtis says. Lean into the platform's strengths by making the most of audio. That means for every video you post, don't forget to search that sound (like a song clip) in the sound library on TikTok to tag the video, which allows other people using or looking for that sound to engage with your content. Do all your editing on your PC in video editing software; do not try to do it all on your phone or you will go "insane." Use the TikTok editor to do some of the fun bits, like adding in voices, and don't forget a keyword-heavy caption, which helps with results. Teens are using TikTok like Google, so it helps to index your content properly. 

The subtle art of blending in

Anything too polished or nice or too much effort will get tuned out because our generation is too used to advertising. So how do you get people to not turn off your video right away? Make a TikTok that looks like a TikTok by using low production values. After all, why use sophisticated tools when regular ones will do? Blend in with your audience. Average TikTok users don't have high production values. Look like you belong.

Pay attention to popular formats, running jokes, commonly used audio, etc. This may take time to pick up on, as trendspotting is a full-time job. "If all else fails, don't have a life," Curtis jokes. There is no replacement for being immersed in the app. Every app has its own cadence, and it'll be easier to know what that is the more time you spend on TikTok. And remember that while TikTok is a highly visual platform, "Ugly games go viral too," she says. "You just have to give them something compelling to look at." 

The power of personality

Most big powerhouse accounts on TikTok with game content are those that use their face and personality to drive content. You don't have to be hugely charismatic, just be accessible and present. 


It's very important to TikTok's algorithm that your viewers watch the video til the end. So how do you get them do that? Structure the video to hold their attention. You can do this by promising something intriguing and building a pay-off at the end. Gimmicks like Easter eggs, hidden locations, funny glitches, new features, memes, Q&As are all some ways to do a basic set-up and pay-off. 

Remember that TikTok will not penalize you for failing

"It's a dancing app for children. Don't get too stressed about it," says Curtis. The data from TikTok suggests that posting a poorly performing video will not penalize future videos. You have a blank slate every time. 

For more tips from Grace Curtis of Future Friend Games and to hear more from the session Q&A, be sure to watch the video for full, and for free, over at GDC Vault

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About the Author(s)

Holly Green

Community Editorial Coordinator, GameDeveloper.com

Holly Green has been in games media for fifteen years, having previously worked as a reporter and critic at a variety of outlets. As community editorial coordinator, she handles written materials submitted by our audience of game developers and is responsible for overseeing the growth of iconic columns and features that have been educating industry professionals under the Game Developer brand for decades. When she isn't playing about or writing video games, she can be found cooking, gardening and brewing beer with her husband in Seattle, WA.

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