I'm not ashamed to admit that when I first decided to take the plunge into indie game development, I was almost completely ignorant and perhaps a bit naive as to what goes into promoting a game. In a lot of ways, my professional career had well prepared me for creating the game itself, but how to make people aware of it and convincing them to purchase it were things I struggled with for months after the game was finished and available for sale. In retrospect, it's a small miracle that I was able to drum up any coverage at all for "Powergrids" because it came out at one of the busiest times in one of the best years for gaming in recent memory.
Given my lack of knowledge and experience, it's no wonder that it's only been within the past week that "Powergrids" has attracted significant attention from iOS gamers around the world, but in the end, it wasn't so much what I did, but what others let me do and did for me that's made any sort of progress possible.
It began last week when "Powergrids" was featured on The Joystiq Indie Pitch, a process that I'd started way back in November when I first contacted Jess Conditt about the possibility of being included in the series. Needless to say, that's not something that happens overnight, but knowing at a certain point that it was going to happen allowed me to prepare for it and make the most of the opportunity.
One thing I didn't consider and was frankly blown away by was how big an impact the publication of that interview would have on Twitter. Within a day of it going live, there were dozens of tweets to thousands of followers by people and bots that had picked up the story from Joystiq and tweeted it themselves. It was at that moment that I realized just how important Twitter has become and how glad I was that I'd set up my Twitter accounts before all this happened. :)
And then today it happened, the moment I'd been waiting for since I released "Powergrids" back in October. An honest to goodness video game publication reviewed it, and the review was good! :)
The big thing I hoped for when I started down this path was that "Powergrids" would do well enough to fund development of another, bigger, better game. While that hasn't happened yet, I remain hopeful that it will. Still, I have to accept reality and have begun work on a second game that fits into the constraints of my current development budget. It's not the game I'd hoped to make, but it will still be great and a worthy successor to "Powergrids."
I've learned a lot from this experience so far and I'm looking forward to completing and promoting my next game using what I've learned. I'm not sure how much time I'll have for blogging after this week, but I wanted to thank everyone who's helped me get this far; both the people who've bought the game and those who've helped me promote it.
Stay tuned to this blog and my Twitter account @mdshotter for the latest on "Powergrids" and my next game!