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View Full Version : Indie games are good for fans, agreed?



CrazyEthan
01-11-2011, 08:32 AM
Excerpts from the article (http://www.lostgarden.com/2010/02/steambirds-why-indie-games-are-good-for.html) wirtten by Daniel Cook.

How a fan should select an authentic gaming hero
Here's an exercise for selecting someone in the game industry to admire.


Is the game worthy?
Are you being lied to?
Are the authors identifiable as a real human being?
Is their contribution meaningful and authentic?
Does their contribution predict future enjoyment?

As we step through each of these, I've got a bold claim that I'll state up front: The only people that we, as fans, can claim with 100% certainty are worthy of our appreciation are small teams of independent developers.

Is the game worthy?
You can think about the worth of game in terms of Reach (the number of people it impacts), Depth (the depth of the experience) and Innovation (the degree to which the game moves the industry forward.)

Reach: An indie title like Steambirds will almost certainly will reach millions. It will be played by more gamers than 99% of all games on any game market. Take your pick...Xbox, Wii, PS3, DS, iPhone. In terms of broad popularity, Steambirds will have a bigger reach than the vast majority of games ever released during the history of gaming. Let that sink in for a moment.

Depth: For a percentage of players, a game made by one or two people can be just as compelling as any bloated AAA monstrosity. The elegant birds flying upward in Adam Saltsman's Canabalt spark deeper feelings within me than any of the overwrought hair porn smeared haphazardly across Bayonetta.

Innovation: A game like Steambirds doesn't play much like the vast number of clones that continually flood the market. From one perspective, it is another turn-based strategy game that has clear roots in existing (albeit obscure) boardgames. Yet compared to the dozens of FPS, physics games, platformers, tower defense titles and match 3 games, a project like Steambirds is delightfully unique. It innovates in terms of UI. It innovates in terms of genre pacing and mechanics. It even takes place in an original setting. (One where the fusion reactor was invented in the 1800s!)

I use Steambirds as an example, but there are dozens of indie titles that fit any sane definition of worthy. When you objectively measure game on worth instead of paid hype, you realize that games built by independent developers are rapidly becoming the defining experiences of a whole new generation of players. Just the other day I was chatting with my doctor, a gray haired lady in her fifties. She started excitedly talking about the great new game she was playing, a title called Osmos. This isn't some mainstream or casual title...it is pure indie gaming. It hit me: our stereotypes are broken. The fact that a game is 'indie' no longer limits it to being a niche product.

Greatness is now independent of development budget. It is no longer defined by team size or marketing campaigns. A great game is a great game, be it a AAA marquee title or a 2D project made by two guys with a dream.

Are you being lied to?
If there is a publisher, there is always spin. It is built into the incentive structure associated with funding and marketing a game portfolio.

With an indie game like Steambirds, there is no vast publisher machine with a financial need to twist and massage the truth. You are connected directly by blogs, forums and interviews with the developer. Many times they are the ones responding to your emails directly. There are no endless lists of people who may or may not have actually ever made something. Unlike most most pro developers, the human beings responsible for every lovingly crafted detail of indie games even have names. You can look them up. They have ugly, honest, human websites, not extravagant confections excreted by nameless outsourced minions.

Honesty and transparency should matter to true fans. It is worth dedicating your passion and energy to something real, not a lie.

Are the authors identifiable as real human beings?
For Steambirds, I helped a bit on the design and graphics, but real creator of the game is Andy Moore, who worked alongside Colin Northway on the phenomena called Fantastic Contraption. The musician is by DannyB, the sizzling dynamo behind games like Canabalt and Super Meat Boy. In some ways, it is a game made by indie superstars.

It matters that Andy Moore is a real person, not a cog playing a role. I've met him last year in Austin and together we drank some fine microbrews. Along with a crew of other indies, we partook in an ill fated 2am adventure through the back alleys of Austin in search of a magical rumored cupcake deli. As we were chatting, he told me how after Fantastic Contraption, he sold off everything that didn't fit in a suitcase. This practice is called 'rightsizing your life' and it shows a dedication to game development that I find both rare and admirable. The fact that his lovely girlfriend puts up with his artistic journey is even more admirable.

Now, he lives to make games. Just last weekend, he was tapped as a mentor for the Global Game Jam and stepped up at the last minute to bail out a failing team. By the end of 48 hours, they had created a giant grotesque caterpillar that barfed rainbows. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

You won't find such stories told at press junkets. In fact, you may not even be able to find out the names of the people who actually worked on the game. Merely having accurate credits is still somewhat of a controversial topic for many large developers.

Games made by real people...there is something inherently valuable about the human story behind a game's creation.

Is their contribution meaningful and authentic?
Andy programmed every line of code in Steambirds. He isn't a 1% contributer. He is a majority contributor. My rule of thumb is simple: If you remove a person from the project, does the project still get finished? Does it still reach it's potential? I challenge you to find such a person on most non-indie projects. You typically won't. The cogs are treated as replaceable components (even when they aren't.)

After the project started, I found out that Andy is an amateur pilot. Steambirds was not merely a job. It was an opportunity for him to express his love of airplanes as a game. This intrinsic motivation is the difference between Van Gogh placing his turbulent emotions on canvas and an assembly line mechanically painting signage.

Personal passion and the size an individual's impact matter.

Does their contribution predict future enjoyment?
You haven't played Steambirds. But you may have played Fantastic Contraption. And you may have heard the tunes in Canabalt. There is a direct mapping between the creative skills expressed in Steambirds and your impressions of the author's past efforts. Much like how you might check out the album of your favorite band, you should also be inclined to check out the newest game from your favorite indie developer. Their creative blood courses through their entire body of work.

No such link with the past exists on games made by larger teams. 8 times out of 10, the name of both the publisher and the development company on the box have no coherent connection with the people who made the game. The team logos are, in effect, meaningless badges that exist purely for the sake of marketing. If someone says that they like or dislike an EA game, they obviously have no idea what they are talking about.

A publisher's brand is a business shell, not a developer that creates authored experiences.
Publishers often switch up teams on a title by title basis. The group that made the game that you enjoyed is unlikely to be the same team that was contracted to make the sequel.
Large teams experience massive churn. Some groups lose upwards of 50% of their developers from game to game. The original people who made your beloved game may not even make games any longer.
Power shifts within a large developer often alter creative direction in unpredictable ways.

A clear, strong connection between the author and his works helps you, the player make meaningful judgement about whether or not you want to try future games. Without this simple, obvious connection, you are just a sucker caught up in a cynical branding shell game.

True fans know who makes their games
In summary, when you really love a game, be it a small title or a large title, do the following:

Find out who actually made the game you love.
Look for games where vision and ownership are clearly visible.
Reject the marketing machine.

As I look at this list, I am delighted by the indie game movement because for the first time in many years, players can once again associate the efforts of a human being with their great game experience. I want to be celebrate the individuals who makes the games that change my life. I don't want to be a suckered by some expensive snow job. Indie games let me be a fan who is cheering on someone authentic and deserving. That is pretty darned cool.

Megagun
01-11-2011, 12:07 PM
Links for the lazy:

Steambirds: Why indie games are good for fans (http://www.lostgarden.com/2010/02/steambirds-why-indie-games-are-good-for.html)
City of Steam (http://tinyurl.com/2g9mqh)

Althea
01-11-2011, 12:15 PM
Uh, Megagun, I think he's advertising his own game.

Unaco
01-11-2011, 12:34 PM
Well, now Megagun is advertising the guy's game.

Megagun
01-11-2011, 01:02 PM
What? No, I'm not! Why would I do such a thing!? What link did you think I posted?

TailSwallower
01-11-2011, 01:36 PM
The guy had a City of Steam signature before when he was posting in some other threads (trying to avoid looking like an obvious drive-by I guess), but now the signature is gone and he's trying to pretend he's just interested in the game, not actually making it. How many of these do we get a week? 2? 3?

thegooseking
01-11-2011, 02:20 PM
This is the thing with indie games. It's good that games can be made by people with less resources than the money-driven AAA publishers, just like it's good that music was democratised 20+ years ago.

But just because it's good overall doesn't mean we won't get the gaming equivalent of Myspace spam from terrible bands who don't realise that just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

lunarplasma
01-11-2011, 02:42 PM
Well, the game might be good to be fair.

Also, I got rick-rolled. >.<

westyfield
01-11-2011, 03:05 PM
Well, now Megagun is advertising the guy's game.

BAN HIIIIIIIIIM!

*clicks link*

Oh.

BAN HIIIIIIIIIM!

deano2099
01-11-2011, 03:32 PM
It's amazing isn't it. Especially since if people come on here and actually say 'hey look, I made this game, what do you all think' they generally get a constructive positive response...

imirk
01-11-2011, 04:19 PM
It's amazing isn't it. Especially since if people come on here and actually say 'hey look, I made this game, what do you all think' they generally get a constructive positive response...

Yeah the bullshit quotient :P

Althea
01-11-2011, 04:22 PM
It's amazing isn't it. Especially since if people come on here and actually say 'hey look, I made this game, what do you all think' they generally get a constructive positive response...
How to advertise your game:
1. Join a forum.
2. Be polite.
3. Be honest.

How not to advertise your game:
1. Join a forum.
2. Say "Oh, have you seen this game? It looks awesome."


The guy had a City of Steam signature before when he was posting in some other threads (trying to avoid looking like an obvious drive-by I guess), but now the signature is gone and he's trying to pretend he's just interested in the game, not actually making it. How many of these do we get a week? 2? 3?
If you view his profile and click "About Me", you can still see it.

TailSwallower
02-11-2011, 01:08 AM
How to advertise your game:
1. Join a forum.
2. Be polite.
3. Be honest.

How not to advertise your game:
1. Join a forum.
2. Say "Oh, have you seen this game? It looks awesome."

+1


If you view his profile and click "About Me", you can still see it.

Nice find, Detective Unrav!

Oak
02-11-2011, 01:22 AM
http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lc19wgcB4i1qe0eclo1_r7_500.gif

DarthBenedict
02-11-2011, 03:59 AM
How to advertise your game:
1. Join a forum.
2. Be polite.
3. Be honest.

How not to advertise your game:
1. Join a forum.
2. Say "Oh, have you seen this game? It looks awesome."


If you view his profile and click "About Me", you can still see it.

My "I have made a game, let me know what you think" thread went pretty well, so +1 on this. Got some good constructive criticism which probably wouldn't have happened if I had done a fake "Hey look at this cool game" thread.

CrazyEthan
02-11-2011, 06:20 AM
I am not meant to pretending or spamming without politeness, sometimes if I said "I made a game, what do you think of it", then I will be treated as spamming or advertising, actually, the game is still in development, we want to gather some "first impression feedback" from gamers and then improve it. Sorry about the annoy before.

Megagun
02-11-2011, 07:39 AM
You'll always be seen as spamming or advertising, unless you have been part of the community for a while and have a few posts under your name.

CrazyEthan
02-11-2011, 07:50 AM
Cool, got the point, I have no reason to avoid being part of the community!

DarthBenedict
03-11-2011, 05:58 AM
You'll always be seen as spamming or advertising, unless you have been part of the community for a while and have a few posts under your name.

It's very hard for indies to get noticed, so you can't really blame people for posting about a game on a gaming forum.

By the way, I had a look at the site and your game is visually impressive, but I have no interest in MMOs so thats all the commentary I can give.

CrazyEthan
03-11-2011, 06:45 AM
Thanks dude, it's tough when you have such a situation...

CrazyEthan
03-11-2011, 06:49 AM
Just updated a new video, the trailer will come soon.

magnolia_fan
01-12-2011, 09:01 PM
Always interested to see what people make with Unity, so I'll have to take a deeper look at City of Steam.


The guy had a City of Steam signature before when he was posting in some other threads (trying to avoid looking like an obvious drive-by I guess), but now the signature is gone and he's trying to pretend he's just interested in the game, not actually making it. How many of these do we get a week? 2? 3?

I don't see why posting about your own game is a bad thing. What else, as an indie, could anyone do if you contact gaming sites but you never get an answer from the majority of them because you're not "one of them famous indie developers" where you only need to tweet about something for all gaming sites to rush and write about your just-announced new feature *cough*like notch*cough* :p

That's where self-advertising, and support from the gamers that liked your game and help you spread the word, comes into play. Just my two cents.

CrazyEthan
02-12-2011, 08:42 AM
Always interested to see what people make with Unity, so I'll have to take a deeper look at City of Steam.



I don't see why posting about your own game is a bad thing. What else, as an indie, could anyone do if you contact gaming sites but you never get an answer from the majority of them because you're not "one of them famous indie developers" where you only need to tweet about something for all gaming sites to rush and write about your just-announced new feature *cough*like notch*cough* :p

That's where self-advertising, and support from the gamers that liked your game and help you spread the word, comes into play. Just my two cents.

Great to hear that, we are not gonna spam on RPS, we want to talk, and that's the point.

b0rsuk
02-12-2011, 10:56 AM
I generally don't play MMORPG games, but this 1) has an art direction of its own, not a blatant WoW ripoff 2) Unity engine probably means that it runs on Linux.

Barrel destruction animation looks wrong, very artificial. Either there should be a decent physics engine so the pieces fly in the right direction, or just make them fly much lower and fall quicker.

I consider spell animations like this over the top and distracting. They're actually the only thing that reminds me of DIablo 3.

Door opening sound is exactly like in Quake 1. Maybe you just used the same sound library.

Kaira-
02-12-2011, 01:05 PM
2) Unity engine probably means that it runs on Linux.


Well, probably as much as any other modern PC game. Unless Unity brings out Linux-support as they were hinting some time ago.

magnolia_fan
02-12-2011, 04:05 PM
Great to hear that, we are not gonna spam on RPS, we want to talk, and that's the point.

Funny thing is when they see on the signature something that spells "I am an indie dev," they call you blatant advertiser that has to be ignored XD

Mistabashi
02-12-2011, 06:09 PM
I think it's more the pont that a) The thread has a misleading title that seems to suggest it's a discussion of the merits of indie games, b) he tried to pretend he has no affiliation with the game (which he's later edited-out), and c) he's already created a thread about it before. (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?1951-City-of-Steam&highlight=city+steam)

metalangel
02-12-2011, 06:21 PM
Funny thing is when they see on the signature something that spells "I am an indie dev," they call you blatant advertiser that has to be ignored XD

Don't forget the massive thread necromancy and then telling us you don't give a crap that you've pissed us off with all the advertising.

Megagun
02-12-2011, 06:39 PM
There's also the fact that he was advertising something as part of his first few posts on these forums. That just screams "advertising" rather than "contributing member of the forums", which I think is a bit of a dick thing to do.

CrazyEthan
03-12-2011, 09:52 AM
I think it's more the pont that a) The thread has a misleading title that seems to suggest it's a discussion of the merits of indie games, b) he tried to pretend he has no affiliation with the game (which he's later edited-out), and c) he's already created a thread about it before. (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?1951-City-of-Steam&highlight=city+steam)
All right, if you insist that it's an advertisement, what I can say is I didn't mean to misleading you guys, we just want to spread the word out, admittedly, the way maybe incorrect. I do believe marketing is mostly bullshit, but sometimes when you have game you think is good, what I want to do is let people know it. RPS is a great forum, as a hardcore, I am really interested in talking about games .

magnolia_fan
03-12-2011, 06:29 PM
Don't forget the massive thread necromancy and then telling us you don't give a crap that you've pissed us off with all the advertising.

I'd say you're right if it wasn't for the fact I never said that, and that the "massive thread necromancy" you mention is in fact me commenting on around 4 or 5 threads, not a massive number at all.
But if you insist on me saying "I don't give a crap" and that I bumped up over 9 thousand threads then there's nothing else to be said about the subject, right?

metalangel
03-12-2011, 07:41 PM
I'd say you're right if it wasn't for the fact I never said that, and that the "massive thread necromancy" you mention is in fact me commenting on around 4 or 5 threads, not a massive number at all.
But if you insist on me saying "I don't give a crap" and that I bumped up over 9 thousand threads then there's nothing else to be said about the subject, right?


Well, sorry if that upsets you but me and my mates happen to be the unknown indies releasing their first game, so we don't get RPS, Kotaku, IGN, Gamespot and what have you post a last minute 10 paragraph feature every time we mention something on Twitter or a blog... And since obscurity is worse than piracy (or in this case obscurity is worse than getting complains in a forum), I'll be the blatant indie dev using the (almost) anything goes philosophy.

Key parts highlighted for you. You knew what you were doing, and when we called you out, you didn't care. Do you think being a poor indie dev who doesn't get coverage makes that okay? You're welcome to come and tell us about your game, we love indie and want to hear about new stuff, but going and resurrecting threads from October to get your advertising sig in a lot of places quickly is not going to get you an especially positive reception.

magnolia_fan
03-12-2011, 07:57 PM
...but going and resurrecting threads from October to get your advertising sig in a lot of places quickly is not going to get you an especially positive reception.

If I wanted to just get my advertising signature in a lot of places quickly don't you think it would've been a lot easier for me to just comment on the curren threads, like the ones on Skyrim, Payday and such? Did you ever think that maybe I haven't commented on any Skyrim-related post because I have nothing to say about the game, and in general maybe you even take the time to see the kind of topics I've commented on? Besides, how does having 17 posts so far (this one included) take part on what you see as my plan to "get my advertising signature in a lot of places quickly"? Better yet, how did I get "my advertising signature in a lot of places quickly during my so-called necro-spree" when by day 1 I had 7 posts, 3 of them being responses to people asking why I was commenting on old threads.

Now the next question is if you really took the time to read what I wrote on those threads regardless of how old they were, or you assume I just went and copy-pasted the same response in all threads just to get attention? Maybe I just had something to say about the subject, which is what I normally do on topics (hence explaining why you don't see me commenting on Skyrim: because I don't play that game so I know nothing about it other than the dragons in it fly backwards).

But again, you all were too busy complaining about me "resurrecting an umbelievable high number of old threads" (which are in fact 4 or 5) that you didn't care to check if what I said on those threads was at least marginally useful, and began *** at me. (yeah, I actually wrote the * signs there because I won't use precise words).

On the other hand, some of the threads I "necro-ed" actually got more comments from people who had stuff to add to the conversation, maybe you missed that too.

EDIT: if you fint this response too harsh, well sorry, but I don't really like your way to make things bigger than they actually are, like when you hint I'm spamming the forum to get my "signature everywhere", which I am not, and that's not cool. If I was spamming the forum, I'd have 300 posts right now, but I only have 17.

metalangel
04-12-2011, 11:12 AM
If I wanted to just get my advertising signature in a lot of places quickly don't you think it would've been a lot easier for me to just comment on the curren threads, like the ones on Skyrim, Payday and such? Did you ever think that maybe I haven't commented on any Skyrim-related post because I have nothing to say about the game, and in general maybe you even take the time to see the kind of topics I've commented on? Besides, how does having 17 posts so far (this one included) take part on what you see as my plan to "get my advertising signature in a lot of places quickly"? Better yet, how did I get "my advertising signature in a lot of places quickly during my so-called necro-spree" when by day 1 I had 7 posts, 3 of them being responses to people asking why I was commenting on old threads.

Now the next question is if you really took the time to read what I wrote on those threads regardless of how old they were, or you assume I just went and copy-pasted the same response in all threads just to get attention? Maybe I just had something to say about the subject, which is what I normally do on topics (hence explaining why you don't see me commenting on Skyrim: because I don't play that game so I know nothing about it other than the dragons in it fly backwards).

But again, you all were too busy complaining about me "resurrecting an umbelievable high number of old threads" (which are in fact 4 or 5) that you didn't care to check if what I said on those threads was at least marginally useful, and began *** at me. (yeah, I actually wrote the * signs there because I won't use precise words).

On the other hand, some of the threads I "necro-ed" actually got more comments from people who had stuff to add to the conversation, maybe you missed that too.

EDIT: if you fint this response too harsh, well sorry, but I don't really like your way to make things bigger than they actually are, like when you hint I'm spamming the forum to get my "signature everywhere", which I am not, and that's not cool. If I was spamming the forum, I'd have 300 posts right now, but I only have 17.

Can't you at least see why we'd be upset? Whether you had anything useful or not to add, they were still old threads and you had just created your account to advertise your game so you can imagine how it comes across! You're trying to get us to like you and check out your game, so attacking back isn't going to encourage that, is it? A newcomer to any community, internet or otherwise, shouldn't start telling off the existing residents as soon as they've arrived if they are told they've committed a faux-pas.

Anyway, this should be a happy place, we don't want it to fill up with unpleasant arguments either so I'd say we should just leave it there, okay? *offers hand*

Kaira-
04-12-2011, 06:37 PM
Can't you at least see why we'd be upset? Whether you had anything useful or not to add, they were still old threads

I don't understand this sentiment. They were "old" threads, yes. Why is posting to them a bad thing? It's not like it's better to make lots of new threads for subjects that already exist and contain relevant posts. Necrobumbing a year old thread would be a bit there and there, though.

magnolia_fan
04-12-2011, 07:59 PM
...

Well I am not much of a forum guy but this is actually the first time I get complains like these (others simply either ignore my posts or follow the conversation). But yeah, you're right, arguing around here is not a good thing, we're here to talk games not argue about stuff.

Now that I think about it, I still haven't had the chance to check city of steam... As I said, I'm always into what people do with Unity, even if I don't use that engine anymore after I switched to UDK.

And anyone curious about my game is welcome to drop by my thread, ask questions or comment.

soldant
05-12-2011, 02:01 AM
I can understand why an indie dev would want to post their game on forums for feedback, but trying to disguise it is ridiculous. We can see it from a mile away. Just post it outright and people will probably take a look. Also, I've noticed that although lots of indie devs like to highlight that they're not bound by publishers, I still see an awful lot of them trying to market their game as if they are a big publisher, with lots of advertising jargon and paragraphs that read like a press release.

Of course if after all that posting and contacting other sites you're still getting no response, there's the distinct possibility that nobody finds the game particularly interesting. Not all indie games are gold.

CrazyEthan
05-12-2011, 02:54 AM
I can understand why an indie dev would want to post their game on forums for feedback, but trying to disguise it is ridiculous. We can see it from a mile away. Just post it outright and people will probably take a look. Also, I've noticed that although lots of indie devs like to highlight that they're not bound by publishers, I still see an awful lot of them trying to market their game as if they are a big publisher, with lots of advertising jargon and paragraphs that read like a press release.

Of course if after all that posting and contacting other sites you're still getting no response, there's the distinct possibility that nobody finds the game particularly interesting. Not all indie games are gold.

The problem is most of the forum Moderators don't even give you a chance to talk about your own game, they treat this kind of behaviors as spamming or advertising. That's probably a reason why astroturf posts appear, and sometimes it's difficult for indies to talk to people and get feedback. I'm not complaining about the forum rules, but no one wants to be an astroturf, when we try to spread the word out, most of us may use incorrect ways, after all, the first game from an indie means so much to the whole team while they are not big giants producers.

CrazyEthan
05-12-2011, 03:01 AM
Can't you at least see why we'd be upset? Whether you had anything useful or not to add, they were still old threads and you had just created your account to advertise your game so you can imagine how it comes across! You're trying to get us to like you and check out your game, so attacking back isn't going to encourage that, is it? A newcomer to any community, internet or otherwise, shouldn't start telling off the existing residents as soon as they've arrived if they are told they've committed a faux-pas.

Anyway, this should be a happy place, we don't want it to fill up with unpleasant arguments either so I'd say we should just leave it there, okay? *offers hand*

Actually, as gamers, we have no necessity to argue this, we all want to talk about games, if my thread misled you guys--I'm sorry, that's not my original purpose. I won't let that happen again and I do want to stickily stay at RPS.

Althea
05-12-2011, 10:08 AM
The problem is most of the forum Moderators don't even give you a chance to talk about your own game, they treat this kind of behaviors as spamming or advertising.
Perhaps it's because it is advertising?

If you want to advertise your game, you get in contact with the site staff first and ask if it's alright to do so. You don't just wade in and go HURR I R DEV LOOK AT MAH PRETTEH GAEM, because that's rude. It's also rude to disguise your advertising as anything but that.

If you're up front and honest about your advertising and your game, people might take an interest, but they might not. If you're wandering around pretending to just be "one of the lads" whilst advertising here, there and everywhere, people are going to think you're just spamming. The way you conduct your posts matters, too. If you're writing in full, correct English then straight away you look better and people are going to take notice. If your posts read like a spam e-mail for male enhancement products, they're going to just ignore you.

Achkas
05-12-2011, 10:48 AM
The article quoted is also somewhat ironic considering the way this discussion has unfolded:


Are you being lied to?
If there is a publisher, there is always spin. It is built into the incentive structure associated with funding and marketing a game portfolio.

With an indie game like Steambirds, there is no vast publisher machine with a financial need to twist and massage the truth. You are connected directly by blogs, forums and interviews with the developer. Many times they are the ones responding to your emails directly. There are no endless lists of people who may or may not have actually ever made something. Unlike most most pro developers, the human beings responsible for every lovingly crafted detail of indie games even have names. You can look them up. They have ugly, honest, human websites, not extravagant confections excreted by nameless outsourced minions.

Honesty and transparency should matter to true fans. It is worth dedicating your passion and energy to something real, not a lie.

Megagun
05-12-2011, 09:47 PM
In general, people don't seem to mind as much if you have at least 100 posts on your account, and have been on the forums for at least 100 days.

If your first post on a new forum is a thread about something you made, then you shouldn't be surprised that people will think of you as a spammer unless said forum has been specifically designed around these kind of activities (promoting your own game).

Smashbox
05-12-2011, 09:49 PM
In fact, if your first act on a forum is to post a new topic, you're immediately suspect in my mind.

zer0sum
05-12-2011, 09:55 PM
This is a good thread and an insightful OP. Being an indie is hard work and getting press is even harder. Connecting with your fanbase is essential.

Mistabashi
05-12-2011, 10:44 PM
Wow, so now you've changed the first post completely to make it look like this wasn't advertising your game?

soldant
06-12-2011, 12:03 AM
Wow, so now you've changed the first post completely to make it look like this wasn't advertising your game?
The perfect crime.

deano2099
06-12-2011, 01:26 AM
I totally fail at understanding the mindset that says I'm more likely to listen to a random guy who joined the forum that day and posting about an awesome game he 'found' than the developer of said game just explaining why his game is interesting and fun.

RobF
06-12-2011, 05:13 AM
Man! If you want people to know about your game and want to try your game, trust me on this, you are doing it absolutely, entirely wrong.

Treating folks like they're thick is an instant no go. Spamming forums is an instant no go - the only thing you get known for, the only thing your game becomes known for is "was that the one by the guy who did some spamming? oh man, he was really annoying". Repeatedly changing your initial post (this is what? the third/fourth edit to something -entirely- different now?) as if no-one will ever know is not the way to go about either making yourself part of a community nor a good way of saying "hey folks, come and try my game".

What you're doing here (and on SPUF (http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2260570) earlier and lordy knows how many other forums you're doing this on) is nothing but complete idiocy. Seriously, this is crazy stuff and it's not selling you or your work. You might (I don't know how but you might) think you're being smart and/or clever but really, you're just not.

Please, think about what you're doing and go back and revise your marketing plan before the only name you make for yourself is mud.

CrazyEthan
07-12-2011, 05:29 AM
Wow, so now you've changed the first post completely to make it look like this wasn't advertising your game?

To be honest, I already had a specific thread about the game!

CrazyEthan
07-12-2011, 05:42 AM
Man! If you want people to know about your game and want to try your game, trust me on this, you are doing it absolutely, entirely wrong.

Treating folks like they're thick is an instant no go. Spamming forums is an instant no go - the only thing you get known for, the only thing your game becomes known for is "was that the one by the guy who did some spamming? oh man, he was really annoying". Repeatedly changing your initial post (this is what? the third/fourth edit to something -entirely- different now?) as if no-one will ever know is not the way to go about either making yourself part of a community nor a good way of saying "hey folks, come and try my game".

What you're doing here (and on SPUF (http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2260570) earlier and lordy knows how many other forums you're doing this on) is nothing but complete idiocy. Seriously, this is crazy stuff and it's not selling you or your work. You might (I don't know how but you might) think you're being smart and/or clever but really, you're just not.

Please, think about what you're doing and go back and revise your marketing plan before the only name you make for yourself is mud.

In terms of Steam, we really want to know whether it's viable or not, and we also want to know the fanbase of steampunk on Steam, so I asked questions on Steam, people didn't hate that. I know that such a thread on RPS is inappropriate, and I won't do that again! I do want to talk about games on RPS as a gamers or developer. Sometimes it's hard for indies to spread the word out, although astroturf is not what I want to do, I realized something bad. RPS is a good game forum, and I don't want to get expelled.

Nalano
07-12-2011, 05:48 AM
Wow, so now you've changed the first post completely to make it look like this wasn't advertising your game?

http://www.gifflix.com/files/4326f39cc6e2.gif

CrazyEthan
07-12-2011, 05:50 AM
Perhaps it's because it is advertising?

If you want to advertise your game, you get in contact with the site staff first and ask if it's alright to do so. You don't just wade in and go HURR I R DEV LOOK AT MAH PRETTEH GAEM, because that's rude. It's also rude to disguise your advertising as anything but that.

If you're up front and honest about your advertising and your game, people might take an interest, but they might not. If you're wandering around pretending to just be "one of the lads" whilst advertising here, there and everywhere, people are going to think you're just spamming. The way you conduct your posts matters, too. If you're writing in full, correct English then straight away you look better and people are going to take notice. If your posts read like a spam e-mail for male enhancement products, they're going to just ignore you.

Sometimes all we want to do is talk about the game and receive player inputs or ideas or feedback for improving the game, not advertising, and we hope that gamers can understand us, we are not big giants, but we need to spread the word out. My thread is not offensive, sure that I expressed in a wrong way, and I already noticed that!

CrazyEthan
07-12-2011, 05:55 AM
http://www.gifflix.com/files/4326f39cc6e2.gif

Not anymore, it's just an article excerpt ,truly.

Nalano
07-12-2011, 06:02 AM
Not anymore, it's just an article excerpt ,truly.

Dude, it's alright. Just be forthright and straight forward in what you do, because the cover-up is always ten times worse than the original crime.

If you want to discuss game design techniques for use in your game, we can do that. So let's do that.

Althea
07-12-2011, 10:51 AM
Sometimes all we want to do is talk about the game and receive player inputs or ideas or feedback for improving the game, not advertising, and we hope that gamers can understand us, we are not big giants, but we need to spread the word out. My thread is not offensive, sure that I expressed in a wrong way, and I already noticed that!
Great, that's fine, but it doesn't stop certain behaviours rubbing people the wrong way.

Pretending you're anything but an advert for an indie game is dishonest, and it goes against the etiquette of many forums to post about your game in other topics or to post the image/link in your post. In signatures, sure, that's fine. But in the body of your post? Nope.

CrazyEthan
08-12-2011, 03:30 AM
Yeah, I can understand your feelings, 'cause I am a gamer too, so....Gotcha!

magnolia_fan
08-12-2011, 04:06 PM
In general, people don't seem to mind as much if you have at least 100 posts on your account, and have been on the forums for at least 100 days.

If your first post on a new forum is a thread about something you made, then you shouldn't be surprised that people will think of you as a spammer unless said forum has been specifically designed around these kind of activities (promoting your own game).


In fact, if your first act on a forum is to post a new topic, you're immediately suspect in my mind.

I don't quite get the rule on the unwritten book about "if you have at least 100 posts..."
Sounds like you have to "earn the right to talk about (insert a subject that interests you)" beforehand, and that doesn't make much sense when you consider that:

a) maybe an indie dev has spent many months working "from tusk till dawn" to play video games(guilty, explains why I just finished Batman AS) or to be around visiting forums.
b) maybe that indie dev is not a forum person (guilty too, last time I was an "active forum user" was around 5 or 6 years ago).


I totally fail at understanding the mindset that says I'm more likely to listen to a random guy who joined the forum that day and posting about an awesome game he 'found' than the developer of said game just explaining why his game is interesting and fun.

AFAIK that's what CrazyEthan did.
And that's also what I did, and I got complains because I was "straight out stating I was an indie dev" so I guess the only I take it my mistake was not keeping my "about my game" thread short and simple, as well as not having "earned" the right to post in the forum (which by my count I haven't earned yet, I'm still like 80 posts away from that).


Of course if after all that posting and contacting other sites you're still getting no response, there's the distinct possibility that nobody finds the game particularly interesting. Not all indie games are gold.

And not AAA games are gold either, but Spiderman: Edge of Time has gotten media coverage and all, while getting a 57 on metacritic. The product (game) being interesting is just part of the equation, whatever the medium.



In terms of Steam, we really want to know whether it's viable or not, and we also want to know the fanbase of steampunk on Steam, so I asked questions on Steam, people didn't hate that. I know that such a thread on RPS is inappropriate, and I won't do that again! I do want to talk about games on RPS as a gamers or developer. Sometimes it's hard for indies to spread the word out, although astroturf is not what I want to do, I realized something bad. RPS is a good game forum, and I don't want to get expelled.

I don't want to sound like a [please insert any insult you can think of here] but that question is better asked in game developers forum. They can share thoughts and experiences gamers can't because they lack such experience. There's Gamasutra, TIGSource and other similar sites where you can talk about that. Most people visiting the Steam Users Forum (and pretty much any gaming forum) will know about buying games from Steam, but not much about submitting them :P

On the other hand, you can simply try submitting your game :P

deano2099
08-12-2011, 04:24 PM
AFAIK that's what CrazyEthan did.
And that's also what I did, and I got complains because I was "straight out stating I was an indie dev" so I guess the only I take it my mistake was not keeping my "about my game" thread short and simple, as well as not having "earned" the right to post in the forum (which by my count I haven't earned yet, I'm still like 80 posts away from that).


To be honest, you're sticking around and being part of the community so it retrospect it was probably a bit unfair. But you have to see that it looked like you were just doing a quick hit-and-run, and I think the comment about marketing in any way you can sort of wound people up the wrong way.

magnolia_fan
08-12-2011, 04:35 PM
BTW CrazyEthan I just remembered you're on my Twitter, well, my microstudio's Twitter. I'm going to send you a couple of links you may find useful.

EDIT:

To be honest, you're sticking around and being part of the community so it retrospect it was probably a bit unfair. But you have to see that it looked like you were just doing a quick hit-and-run, and I think the comment about marketing in any way you can sort of wound people up the wrong way.

Yeah you're right. Well when I first came here I had the intention to stay, so I *try* to drop by every other day or so whenever I have the chance although I've been away from the latest gaming releases and such for a long time and sometimes I'm like "what are they talking about?" or "I had no idea this game existed" ha!

Megagun
08-12-2011, 05:26 PM
I don't quite get the rule on the unwritten book about "if you have at least 100 posts..."
Sounds like you have to "earn the right to talk about (insert a subject that interests you)"
You don't need to earn the right to talk about things that interest you, at all. You just need to earn the right to start a new thread. Go ahead and be a part of the discussion via other threads that already have discussion in them.

In my experience dealing with internet forums, at least 90% or so of "first time posters that post a thread" write a first post/thread combination to which one of the following bullet points apply:

Plain old spam
Asking for something (technical assistance, generic question, etc..) that could've been resolved by using the search feature
Starry-eyed poorly thought out proposal ("Guys, I have this BRILLIANT game idea. I just need programmers and artists! I'll do all the concept work! IT GONNA BE GREAT!")
Shameless plug / advertising (notifying people of something the poster was personally involved with)
A generic "hello this is me" post (these should ideally go into a thread/subforum dedicated for this kind of thing, but not all forums have them)

Now, the last bullet point there isn't really annoying (unless there is a thread/subforum dedicated to that kind of thing), but I'd consider those others to be mostly annoying. They always remind me of those telemarketeers, or people that ring your doorbell in order to sell something. Random people I don't know anything about that want something from me, and I don't know if I can ever expect something in return. Of course, this becomes less of an issue in larger communities, presumably due to lower familiarity between members. Some very large communities may not mind this kind of thing at all.

In the case of marketing that you haven't ever paid for, consider the "100 posts/days" thing to be your payment. If you're not willing to create 100 posts and stick around for 100 days, you shouldn't write that post.

I'm willing to turn a blind eye if what you're plugging is free and open-source, though. The assets and code you release under a Free license should cover the "100 posts/days" requirement.

The "100 posts/days" also does not apply if you're asking for technical assistance in a technical assistance (sub)forum and what you're asking for isn't covered fully in the forums or the documentation.

Now, if you're still thinking that you can do a first post advertising thing, look through similar posts to see the community reaction. If it's bad, don't post.