Distribution and social media platforms for student game project

Distributing our game is something I have not covered properly yet. Considering that creating a quality portfolio is one of the most important portfolio goals I really need to sort out my plan for this. If no one sees my work it’s not going to be as useful as it could be.  As with most people I plan to share my game on my social media pages. I have a Tumblr, linked in, facebook, twitter, wordpress and behance.

I am more active on some these platforms that others, however I am not particularly huge on any. I have been striving to repost my content from my blog on other platforms to reach a wider audience however I don’t have the time to craft a custom message for each platform as recommended by Rousvoal (2014), as not all social content is appropriate, or well received, on different platforms. What we need to do is target the platforms where our, industry professional, target market frequents.

It may be worth creating a facebook, twitter and youtube for our game, the main risk here is the time sink, and distraction. We don’t have an official marketing person, since we are students, and taking someone away from crafting the game could be detrimental to both their marks and their previously agreed upon deliverables. This is something I will need to discuss with the group. Having followers watching our process throughout the development process would be ideal, achieving that is something professionals still struggle with.

We want our game to be accessible with little difficulty, we don’t want to create a pay barrier between our audience and the content. Because of this we are planning to host our game on a website. The task of building the site has not yet been allocated, but we hope to have something basic for the end of next trimester. Just a page for the game and a short bio of each team member with links to their profiles. After talking to Callan I now know that the unity game can be played in a browser, or installed by downloading the exe in a zip. It can also be embedded in many websites, those that don’t support it, like facebook, can be linked to the website

I would also like to research some free to play distribution platforms, places like steam, desura or itch, Reinhardt in her 2012 article details several options, however since the article is a few years old, I will need to see if these options are still viable. I am unsure of the application and approval process or the legality of the software we are using in this respect so some team discussions and research is required. Since I have not been down this path before, I would be greatful from any advice from the online community on this matter.

Several weeks ago I also posted about the possibility of entering in to student competitions. After some research I have only found 2, the Autodesk cg student awards and tie independent games festival.

http://www.cgstudentawards.com/

http://www.igf.com/rules_student.html

After reading through the requirements I believe we should be eligible to enter both. There are no restrictions about having already published your product online like some film competitions have. The biggest issue I can see is the the IGF requires you to attend their convention in the US, if you are shortlisted, a problem we can solve if or when we get to it.

I understand now that there are many complex options for the distribution of this kind of project. Its is easy to get swept up in creating the project and ignore this facet until you have a complete project. This would be potentially damaging, by then it is too late for much of the social media marketing. Understanding your target market will also help you choose your social media and distribution platforms. Knowing what sites they frequent, in many cases, will decide your distribution channels

References

CG student awards (2015) Why should I enter. Retrieved from http://www.cgstudentawards.com/

Desura (n.d) How to get the most from Desura. Retrieved from  http://www.desura.com/groups/desura/howto

Independent Games festival (n,d) The Rules  IGF Student Category. Retrieved from http://www.igf.com/rules_student.html

Itch. (n.d) Create a custom page to instantly distribute or sell your indie games. Retrieved from http://itch.io/developers

Reinhardt, Jana ( 2012, March 30) Indie Distribution Platforms that are not Steam. Retrieved from http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JanaReinhardt/20120320/166531/Indie_Distribution_Platforms_that_are_not_Steam.php

Rousvoal, Yolene. (2014, November 13) Promoting your indie game on social networks. Retrieved from http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/YoleneRousvoal/20141113/230049/Promoting_your_indie_game_on_social_networks.php

Valve (n.d) Steam Green light submissions. Retrieve from http://store.steampowered.com/app/219820/

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