The creators of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity
argue that while "marketing" is a dirty word to gamers and indies, it's an essential part of the development process.
As part of Gamasutra's latest feature, a postmortem of the successful PC indie game
, developers Dejobaan Games -- Ichiro Lambe, Dan Brainerd, and Leo Jaitley -- articulate the idea of marketing as content.
"Say 'marketing' to many people, and it's an evil, filthy thing that you use to force people to buy something they don't need," the creators write. "But to us, it starts with designing an experience that makes people so passionate about that they actually pick up the game and tell all their friends."
One of the most successful features of the game is one in which the player can flip off protestors during his or her descent -- which began as a joke around the office and evolved into a part of the game that gained Dejobaan fans.
"At PAX East, we told gamers about it in conversation, and they laughed in delight (and then signed up for our fan club to hear more)," they write.
"Things like 'over 80 levels' or '15 music tracks' aren't as noteworthy as 'deploy obscene gesture for points' is," writes the team. Another important point: genuine creative ideas are marketable and should be marketed, as that is what will make your game stand out with your audience.
Positive gamer reaction to this feature also shaped future development on the title, which made the game better -- meaning marketing potential can help drive creativity, as long as developers understand that creativity drives marketing, not checklists.
The full postmortem feature, which covers in detail
what went right and what went wrong with the development of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!
, is live now on Gamasutra.