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Old 03-18-2011, 12:15 PM   #1
Lasher
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Game Discovery.

Not sure how much actionable info there is in here for the average MUD, but an interesting read all the same:

Game Discovery: How to be Found in an Online World - IndustryGamers
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:50 AM   #2
Threshold
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Re: Game Discovery.

That was definitely some interesting information. At the first half where she explains what is so hard about getting your game noticed. The raw data on how many online gamers there are, and the dying virality of Facebook were particularly interesting.

Her 3 suggestions though seemed kinda obvious and not all that helpful. Not that I am surprised that a web site writer doesn't know the secret to game marketing.

Thanks for sharing the link!
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:43 PM   #3
plamzi
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Re: Game Discovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
That was definitely some interesting information. At the first half where she explains what is so hard about getting your game noticed. The raw data on how many online gamers there are, and the dying virality of Facebook were particularly interesting.

Her 3 suggestions though seemed kinda obvious and not all that helpful. Not that I am surprised that a web site writer doesn't know the secret to game marketing.

Thanks for sharing the link!
We could turn this thread into something useful for MUD devs if we shared marketing ideas and how they worked / didn't work for us. I can go first:

The chief way I promote my game is via custom apps (clients) for the iPhone and for Facebook/web. The one that brings by far the most players is the free version of my iPhone GUI app. I believe this is because it's the most visual and because the Apple App Store is teeming with app surfers looking for freebies. The full version of the GUI is commercial, and I use part of the revenue to pay for advertising banners and paid search campaigns on Google and YouTube.

In my experience, paid search campaigns on Google AdWords are a waste of money. Advertising via Facebook is an even bigger waste (for a MUD, at least). Of the promotional campaigns I have going, the most traffic is to the app's YouTube trailer, and it's not because I had a paid search campaign to drive traffic to it for a while. Even so, I've yet to speak to a player of my game who'd point to the trailer as a source of how they found the game.

Back to the clients. A free app for the iPhone guarantees a lot of exposure but casts a very wide net - you get all sorts of folks, most of whom have never experienced a MUD before, and the GUI that makes gameplay possible on a mobile device looks like nothing anyone has ever seen before. That's a huge hurdle that very few people get past. That's why I've also been investing some of my resources and energies into promoting the game to experienced mudders via topmudsites and mudconnect.

If I have any advice for other MUD devs, it is to invest some energy into custom clients or custom enhancements to existing clients, and to focus on improving / simplifying the gameplay experience of their server. From what I've seen of the community, there's a lot of heavy lifting going on in server code, but most devs overlook the importance of how players actually experience the game.

And if you get some unique experience going, e. g. a Facebook app or an Android app, shoot a video of it and post it on YouTube. If your game has a Facebook page, link to the video and the app. Link the app to the Facebook page, and the video. Link everything to everything.

Also, if you can find a source of even minimal revenue (e. g. selling t-shirts), this opens up some doors for promotion that may otherwise be closed to you. You'd never be able to outspend even the smallest-time commercial companies out there, but you will be able to extend your reach by comparison to what you can do with purely free promotions.

P. S.
If you're interested in opportunities to enhance your players' experience, look up some of my contributions on mudbytes.net.
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