So you’ve been making a game for a year. You likely already have something playable and at this point you want to start letting people know what you have cooking! A lot of your game’s success often times depends on building a community around it. You created a website for your project, you go to conventions, you’re active in various communities… but what about the press? Getting your game in front of the game press industry can be challenging, no matter if you’re contacting a smaller outlet (Hi there!), or one of the gigantic gaming conglomerates. There’s one thing that you can be almost 100% certain of for all of the individuals responsible for reading your email that you’ll send… they get a TON of emails! Even smaller outlets get a bunch of requests each day, asking for articles about various games. While it may not be as many as some of the bigger companies, the people running the smaller sites are often responsible for a lot more and therefore have less time on their hands. So how can you get through to them? The answer is be efficient. That’s where the free tool called “Presskit()” comes in.
Presskit() (pronounced “Do Press kit” for those with basic coding knowledge) is a free, open source, php-based script that anyone can download and add to their own FTP files for their website. Creator, Rami Ismail of Vlambeer (LUFTRAUSERS, Nuclear Throne), made the resource in order to help game writers write and game developers develop by having all of the information about the studio or game in one place instead of having to worry about searching for it all over the web. According to the website, it should only take 30 to 60 minutes to complete, only needing to update it when necessary.
The design is simple and well organized. To the left, a quick reference to all of the sections of the press kit complete with anchor links. Right off the bat, this creates an opportunity for those with the least time to spend to get to the info they want immediately. The main body is comprised of a short column called a “factsheet”, where there’s a basic summary of what the game/studio is and how to contact the developers.
The other column holds the majority of the information. Starting with the description of the game, developers can add the history behind it including information about he studio. Finally, bullet points of the features that game provides, is a great way to give press a quick idea of what makes your game special.
Once you’ve got your hooks into potential fans or journalists, the rest of the presskit displays all of your hard work and current achievements. Any gameplay videos and trailers are embedded easily from Youtube followed by a dedicated section to images and gifs. Many people in the press industry or influencers will also want your logo to layer on top of a screen shot for thumbnails or simply for the cover of their article. It wouln’t be a bad idea to create a nice thumbnail version of your logo yourself. After the journalist has all of their info or perhaps for the fan that may have found their way to your press kit, you have a place to show off any accolades or positive articles that have already been written about your game! Last, but not least, you have the optional monetization agreement for content creators on the off chance that they get flagged for making a Let’s Play of your game as well as credits and contact info for your team.
Of course, you don’t have to fill out all sections. Because this is open source, you may edit this as you see fit (though filling it out as thoroughly as possible would likely be best). There is also now an option that does not require php knowledge and creates a static version, though it is not officially from Rami himself. Either way, if you want to get your game in front of games media, Presskit() is a necessary tool for any game developer to have.