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How to launch your indie game in 2019

The gaming world is one of the most popular industries among today’s internet users and technology savvies. Video games are extremely fun and engaging and can take you to a completely different universe.

It is extremely interesting to observe how the graphic design and the functionalities of video games have changed over the last decade. From classic popular games like Pac-Man or Super Mario which used to thrive among gaming enthusiasts many years ago, to VR games. Thanks to technological advancements and the rise of machine learning, game developers have been empowered to create games that take players into an exciting digital world. These days, video games have evolved so much to the point where they offer a complex digital world with a multitude of possibilities for gaming enthusiasts.  

So, you are a game enthusiast yourself and you have decided to use your passion for gaming and your skills to create your first indie game. Creating and launching your own indie game can be exciting and rewarding. Perhaps not in terms of money, because most indie games are not profitable for developers, but creating a game that becomes popular among gaming lovers will give you a lot of personal satisfaction. Here’s everything you need to know to create a successful game, build your audience, and have a successful launch.  

Know your budget and stick to it

The first thing you need to keep in mind when creating your own indie game is your budget. Whether you have a lot of money to put into the creation of the game or a small budget, you need to know right from the beginning what costs you should expect and how much you can afford to pay.

Depending on your budget, you will be able to gather your team and discuss money. If you are creating the game together with your friends, chances are that you can all agree to be paid after the game is launched and becomes popular. However, if your team will contain employees that you have to pay, you must make sure that your budget allows you to pay for their work comfortably.

Play games to learn

Perhaps the most exciting part of creating your own game is using your passion to do it. So, you are a game enthusiast and love spending hours in front of your computer to enter the digital world of the video game you are playing. However, being a good player doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to create your own game.

When learning about game development, you must see the games you play from a different perspective. Analyze what you like about the games you play, what offers a good user experience, which graphic design is more eye-catching, and perhaps even why you prefer a game over another one. You can use your experience as a gamer to create your own indie game.

Create a unique indie game

The fun part about creating your own indie game is the fact that you can use your previous experience as a gamer, your passion for video games, and your ideas to create a whole new digital universe.

Nowadays, every day you can hear about new games being launched from mobile games to PC and console games. However, while some have very poor graphics and user experience, others can be amazing but they are just a copy of a famous game which has already been launched. Thus, creating a successful indie game can also come to creating a unique one. Don’t be afraid to use your ideas and personal preferences as a gamer to create an indie game that represents you and offers the gaming experience you would like to have with other games.

 

Create a game website

The key to a successful game launch is to start preparing your strategy months before the release date. Your game’s website can be the most important part of your marketing strategy. It will not only be the place where you can update your audience with any information about the development process but it can also help you build a community for your indie game. You should consider hiring a professional outsource web development team to help you create an engaging website for your game. The website should include detailed information about your indie game, a development blog to build a game community, a news section where you can post all updates, your social media accounts, and contacts. The most important thing your website should have is the store section where you can sell your indie game.  

Create an amazing game release video trailer

A promotional video trailer for your indie game can play a huge role in how popular it will become among gaming enthusiasts. It is the first thing that can make people find out about your game and raise their interest in playing it once it is launched.

Your game trailer should have the most eye-catching images, engaging background music, and fast-paced animation all combined.  However, you must pay attention to the length of the video trailer. It shouldn’t be longer than 1 to 2 minutes because it can either bore the viewers or reveal too much information about the game which can decrease their interest in downloading and trying your indie game. The first few seconds from your trailer are the most important ones because they are meant to catch the viewer’s attention. Thus, make sure to include the best information about your indie game at the beginning of the trailer.

 

Capture engaging screenshots

Capturing engaging screenshots from the indie game also plays a huge role in your marketing strategy. The screenshots from your game will be the visual content that you will shave on your social media accounts and website. Those images should be high-resolution and capture the best parts of the story of your game. However, they should never reveal too much information to not make your audience lose their interest.

Choose an eye-catching app icon

The app icon of your indie game is also extremely important in catching your audience’s attention. Moreover, an eye-catching app icon can have a vital role in your App Store listing and optimization which will influence your app’s ranking and discoverability.  

 

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Detroit: Become Human (PS4)

 

Detroit: Become Human

I can’t lie. I’ve always loved the games that the Quantum Dream team has made. Their games are masterfully designed, both visually and aurally. The stories, even more so. This team has definitely made a name for themselves in the saturated industry of gaming and it’s a name that is often associated with some of the best choose-your-own-adventure games to have ever been released.

And I think you know where this review is already headed, but still, hear me out, read on and learn what I’ve got to say about this game. Despite what you’ve heard, it’s a fun game to play. Also, it forces us humans to take a good long look at how ugly we, and the things that we’re capable of, can get.

And well, gaming has definitely evolved.

On that note, let me start this review off with a question.

Have you ever killed an ant?

I can’t lie and neither can you. We all have. And well, most of the time we think nothing of it because we simply assume that ants (and insects in general) have no feelings.

Imagine calling an exterminator to deal with an ant infestation. We feel no remorse over being able to snuff out the lives of an entire colony, queen, soldier, and worker alike. The game shows a lot of social injustices towards the androids simply for the fact that they’re deemed machines and like the ants, emotionless.

What makes the imagery striking is that the androids look like real human beings and to witness bad things happen to humans is a horrible experience.

Detroit: Become Human forces players to take a long hard look at that. (Don’t worry, no spoilers from me). It’s set in the future where we, humans, have been able to create androids who are smarter and stronger than us humans, and they’ve been created to serve us.

The game lets you take control of three characters. Connor, the deviant hunter, Marcus, the deviant leader, and Kara, a deviant who can be symbolically interpreted as a machine searching for meaning in life.

And that’s exactly what the game wants you to think about. How we value life (even those of beings we feel have no emotion), how we find meaning in it, and how we act upon it.

The quick time events are fun, and this time, failure is more of a threat than previous games. That means that quick reaction times actually do matter now. This is an important change for the series because, in previous games, it felt more like a chore than a test of skill.

The fact that it’s very possible to kill off all three lead characters makes the game more thrilling and believable.

So, my verdict? Play the game. Cry some tears while you’re at it, because the game really knows how to cut deep at your heart and scoop it with a spoon. It makes you question so many things about morality, how we’re so dependent on technology, and life in general. This is an ambitious, yet properly executed video game. PLAY IT.

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We Are Alright

alright

Thank you Borys Nieśpielak for sending us this digital film to review!

Making a video game that’s fun and stands out from the crowd takes a lot of time and effort. Many indie games remain obscure and don’t get insanely popular like Mojang’s Minecraft. In fact, many game developers get discouraged and quit once their game releases and fizzles shortly afterward.

We Are Alright is a sixty-four minute documentary about Lichthund’s founders Bartek and Rafel and the preparations/launch of their first title, Lichtspeer. The audio is in Polish, but thankfully, it’s subtitled. The film begins five months from release day and continues on though the game’s launch on Steam and PS4.

Until the launch, there are several bugs and issues that need to get sorted in order to get Sony’s approval. Time and money are tight, as the composer is seen asking for his money and in order to break even the developers are hoping to sell 10,000 copies or 300 a month to make ends meet.

Lichtspeer has a lot going for it with some great looking merchandise and highly praised gameplay feedback at the PGA conference. Both of the developers quit their jobs to finish working on Lichtspeer, which has been in development for two-and-a-half years.

After many trials and tribulations, the launch date drew near and it was time to get influencers to check it out and spread the word. Sadly, many of them did not respond. Our site was too niche to be contacted but I can see the importance of launch day coverage after watching this film.

I won’t spoil the ending or divulge the sales numbers as I recommend checking out this film if you have any interest in developing games. It will give you some valuable insight into the struggles of game development and getting coverage for your title. If you don’t mind drinking and strong language, you can rent this film for $2.99 or own it digitally for $9.99 on Steam.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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