Today I just wanted to share some talks that I haven’t seen anyone talk about or post on social media and it is a shame because they are really good. They come from the Montreal Discoverability Summit that occurs every summer. This summit was where I actually got my start speaking (you can see my very first video game talk here)

Game Plan: Plotting An Indie Roadmap by Haley Uyrus

I love talks that have single slides that can stand on their own. This talk was full of them. Like this one:

It basically describes how if you shift your strategy depending on what you have at your disposal. If you don’t have a community you are going to need to lean on the platform holders to build up your game’s release.

In her recommendation the ranking of importance for each of these items are Platform > $$$ for marketing > Community > Luck

The reason she put Platform Partner at the top is because of this chart:

You see all those little tiny bumps for Albion, Eleutheria etc. Those are marketing beats that they ran at her company. The bumps that actually really moved the needle were the ones driven by the Platform. For example Summer Sale and Winter Sale are what really shifted units.

Other interesting metric: 150,000 wishlists at launch. Only 30% converted to sales.

Designing a Game Trailer Campaign by Derek Lieu

Derek is an expert indie trailer creator. He has a great weekly mailing list which you should definitely join right now, right here

In the talk he gives a down-to-basics intro in what you need for trailers. For example he recommends the following

  • Announce trailer
  • Gameplay / Story Trailer
  • Launch Trailer`

Also your trailers should not repeat content so that people don’t think your game is lacking. Check it out.

How to Design a Systems-Driven Discord by Andy Nguyen

This talk was a great introduction into interesting things you can do with your Discord server. Andy is now a designer and influences the Discord over at Brace Yourself Games.

Cool tips:

  • Run a contest in your community to design emojis.
  • Rename the channels to match the theming of your game
  • Encourage good behavior by granting veteran status for people who help out

Understanding Visibility On Steam by Erik Johnson

This talk is super dense. I have to listen to it twice to grasp all the details. Basically Erik went through the recommendations on the front page of Steam and looked to see why steam was recommending those games to him. He does a great breakdown of how each part of the Steam front page works.

Tips:

  • The algorithm seems to favor expensive games because Steam is maximizing for revenue. So it is really hard for a $0.99 game to make enough revenue for them.
  • Localize your game to boost visibility. 
  • Tagging is super important because it tells steam how to tag them. He talks about this page. Read it.

The Church Of Merch: Building Merchandise From Cultist Simulator by Lottie Bevan

This talk was very interesting because it offered this idea of what if you could generate an additional stream of income not from game sales but by selling the theme and idea of your game. Lottie basically took the mysticism themes of her game cultist simulator and sold merch in the same style on Etsy. She ended up selling a lot to people who would never have bought her game in the first place. 

There are two more talks but I didn’t have time to watch them so the write-up will have to wait

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