The day before I released Breaking Lockdown, David and Thomas had this great chat about their game developer experiences. Thomas was part of the GDU community, so I was already following him on YouTube, but I started to watch more and more of his videos, including the one about his Kickstarter.
I've always feed quite fond of crowdfunding. I love the psychology behind it. In the past few years, I followed a lot of book, games, or movie campaigns, and of course, I backed a few, mainly on Ulule, which is the French equivalent of Kickstarter.
I think it's a pretty clever way to fund and market artistic creations. I knew I would do this for a game soon, and then I realized: the best way to gain experience on this is to run a campaign. The worst thing that could happen to you is funding Wild Dose and secure your future in this industry.
Thanks to all the information in Thomas's Kickstarter video, I have been redirected to other resources. Between July and November, I literally swallowed a lot of information about similar Kickstarter campaigns, the main one being: The Kind Camomille, Kapia, A Fox Tale, Johny Lion face, Spaceflux, Cyber-Knights, and just before my campaign, Aveliana.
I also contacted Thomas directly at the beginning of November to join his beta program, telling him I was clearly interested in his crowdfunding section. I even had the chance to start the course before the beta starts!
In a way, we could say that David has been my creative teacher, while Thomas was the funding one.
GDU: You had the opportunity to participate in the Steam Festival. Can you share your experience?
I could summarize this with Mel's favorite quote: do it!
Showing a demo of a free demo chapter could seem silly, but I desperately needed to get more wishlists. My objective was to reach 1000 by the end of the festival, as I only had 400. The main reason being that I'm not too fond of marketing.
I was exhausted by showing my game on Imgur, 9gag, Twitter, or Reddit to mainly other indie dev, including a few frustrated ones who will say: this looks like an asset flip you can do in a minute.
Ok, guys, if you're so effective at game development, I'd like to see what you created cause I'm working more than full-time on Wild Dose for a while now, and believe me, making an actual game takes a lot of time.
The truth is we're doing it wrong! Showing our work to other indie dev is not marketing.
We need to reach the players!
At the end of 2020, I started to look for some PR support for the following reasons:
- getting no replies to all the outreach messages you send could demotivate you and make you believe your project is crap
- I had to focus on my core business. I did not choose to turn full-time to spend at least one day per week on marketing. It's a waste of time and energy, and some people do that way better than I do.
I thought I had found the right person at the beginning of January 2021, especially knowing that PR had already managed a successful Kickstarter campaign. I even got a few valuable pieces of advice, but for unknown reasons (I'm still waiting for a reply to my last message), this did not happen.
The Steam festival allowed me to show my game to real players. I can't imagine what kind of results I would have gotten if I had started it with more wishlists cause I'm pretty sure the algorithm put the most expected games on the top.
My biggest mistake was not to have prepared the pre-recorded stream I was planning to broadcast in the loop for the festival opening; I'm pretty sure I would have gotten 100 more with this.
And while we’re talking about numbers: