New School Blues Dev. Diary #32: Press Kits Part 3

This was our third and final entry on press kits, originally posted on January 31st, 2013. It rounds off the checklist of "good-to-haves" and throws in a few other pointers we learned from our own experience and from research.

What else can a good press kit have?

- Gameplay videos:  We already mentioned trailers, but actual gameplay videos of real life playthroughs can go a long way to adding legitimacy to your product.  We’re all aware trailers can generate buzz at best but be seen as flashy with no substance at worst.  Gameplay videos can fix that and show your trailer isn’t all hype.

- Biographies/Boiler Plates: If space and time allows, it may be worth it to share a bit more about the development team and publishers responsible for the game in standard boiler plate fashion, rather then just a link or email address.  Careful though, remember to keep things concise!

- Playable demo/full version: If it’s still early in development and the game isn’t complete, have a demo available that is either a quick download or, much better, opens directly in another browser for the press to play.  It goes without saying that you shouldn’t make the press pay to review your game, but in case you didn’t know: don’t do that.  If the game is complete, have a link to download or play it directly in browser on the site.  The sooner they have full access, the better.

- Kit format: Again this might go without saying but just in case, make sure the press kit follows a suitable format for the site.  Most press kits are now online, but physical kits are still sent out and provided they have a bit of personality, can be tremendously effective.  Do some research on the various media outlets to determine what works best and makes a better impression.

One final thing we noticed a lot of people advising was to make sure after your press release and press kit was sent to follow up.  This cannot be overstated!  Obviously don’t harass people about it and don’t expect an immediate reply, but should your story get posted, make sure to follow up and say thanks, that also provides them with an opportunity to ask you more questions.  

If it isn’t posted, try not to take it personally, remember how many they get in a given day or week.  Following up is key here as well because it gives the opportunity to get feedback on your release or kit.  If the outlet doesn’t find the story newsworthy, politely ask why and hope to attain insight on how to better present the information next time.  

Don’t be a jerk!  Remember, connections are everything and think of it as planting seeds.  Just because someone doesn’t take your game to press doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in what comes next; and if you’ve been cordial and professional they might be more inclined to give you a chance later on.

Phew!  That’s enough on press kits for a while we think, thanks again to the following sites for their insight and information:

How to Create a Press Kit for your Indie Game

The Perfect Video Game Press Kit

Contents and Examples of Press Kits

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