An Introduction to Press Tips:
This series of articles aims to inform anyone with questions regarding how to get their game noticed by various press outlets and game journalists. We will be covering websites, social media, communication and your game in general. Please note that every person and every press outlet has different opinions regarding what may catch their attention, but our tips should generally strengthen your chances and will definitely help you catch ours! If you have any questions or a topic regarding press and your game that we haven’t covered, please do not hesitate to email us!
A Home for Your Game
So you’ve decided to make a game. The technical side of development will be up to you (or if you need some advice and inspiration, check out Tim Donley’s ‘How to Make a Game’ series of articles). However, no matter how great your game is, your gem will almost certainly go unnoticed without attracting potential players to it first. Making sure press outlets, journalists and other online personalities see your work is probably the most important thing you can do to accomplish this other than making a fantastic game. Whether you’re project is finished or still in its conceptual stage, there are a ton of things you will need to think about in order to attract attention to it, build a community around it and make people want to play it. One of which is finding a home for your game. By this, we don’t mean a place to host your game files, but a place to publicly show off your game to anyone who may be curious.
People within the games press industry are usually inundated with emails (we’ll cover emails in a later article). However, journalists will often dig around the web or search for a lead they received from a colleague. For example, while searching for games that may be great fits to show off at our digital convention, Indie Revolution Expo, we sometimes found it hard to find information about certain games. There was simply no place that it existed outside of a gameplay trailer on Youtube. If we were lucky, there may have been a blurb on the game’s itch.io profile or Steam page.
Nowadays, it’s just about inexcusable for a game developer to not have some sort of website or webpage to direct potential fans to. It is incredibly easy to create them. If you have the funds or know-how, you can create a fantastic custom website, but you can also set up a site for cheap or free using minimum web building skills. A lot of reputable studios still use sites like WordPress or Tumblr. There are drag-and-drop site builders like Webs or Wix. If it comes down to it, you can even set up a simple Facebook page for the game. All of these resources are free to use or require minimum amounts of money if you’d like to take them a step further. Check out some great examples of different types of sites:
Your game’s home should be the Mecca for your work. It’s a place that not only holds a summary of the game, but also information about the developers, links to anything else relevant to the game, ways to keep in touch with your community and more. It’s a way to give yourself some sort of credibility as a game maker. With that in mind, know that the majority of individuals in the games press industry don’t have the time to go hunting for information that may or may not be spread across bits and pieces of the internet. If getting that info takes more than a click on a link or a scroll down a page, your game will likely not stand a chance.