I bet you are curious about my first steps in marketing and communication! On my side I was nervous, because it is not my usual job — but an indie dev has many roles — so let us see how I did.
First I started to look around for similar games.
I tried to talk about Artillery Royale in their existing game communities. This did not work well. Those communities are already focused on another game and thus not interested in a newcomer. I even quickly look a bit spammy.
Then I switched to a second classic approach: influencers.
Problem is, I do not have an existing network (being my first time as an indie dev). So I started to build up connections with interesting people. This part was quite hard as much of my attempts stayed without response. But by taking the time to select the right people I had a few successes.
My final goal was to get the game streamed on Twitch, so potential players could see it running and get into it. I did not remember exactly how many streams I manage to get, probably 20 or so (and from my perspective it is a good score). But I found out that this did not convert.
Fact is, a twitch streamer, even having 5000 followers will only get a few viewers per stream, and even worse than that, those viewers are interested in the streamer person not in what he/she is streaming.
I also connected with people we call “content creators” — a concept that was new to me at the time — and they played, reviewed and made videos about Artillery Royale. But the people I could connect with do not have a big audience yet. So it fell flat.
This is no excuse but I would say I have two extra disadvantages: 1/ not being English native 2/ not being on the right timezone (while targeting the US), that makes the whole thing even harder.
A big thank you
I may have sounded a bit harsh by saying that none of my effort worked with content creators or streamer. But all the people that connected with me were really nice person. They may not have — yet — the audience to promote Artillery ROyale as I wanted, but it was a pleasure to meet them. Some of whom I really liked to talk with.
In an effort to be transparent, and show to other indie dev how it can be like, those are the number for the first 3 months (starting from zero):
Twitter followers: 109
Revenues (after steam commission — but before taxes): $73
Total players: 35
Of course this does not look good, but it has to start from somewhere! I’m not giving up.
I have other strategies to test, the first one is to look for a publisher who could help in the distribution of the game. I am starting to work in that direction.
The second strategy would be advertising, but this need a dedicated budget, and I already exceeded what I could afford for that project.
First, let me show you the official Artillery Royale logo! If you ask me, it’s beautiful.
Now let’s talk about Artillery Royale community. If you follow the game you now that we have a discord server where people can get news and give feedbacks about the ongoing alpha: https://discord.com/invite/fq78teW
Growing a community is hard, starting like me from nothing and nowhere — I don’t have any pre-existing network — I’m often wondering how I can get people look at the game and more than that, join the discussion.
On the game side, the technical base is working, know I’m going to iterate and add content. More weapons, more features etc. but what I’d love is to have player engaged in the process, so I’d know that this game will be enjoyed as much as I enjoy making it.
You will probably see me all around the Internet posting on Twitter, YouTube and other game related platforms. I don’t know how to do that, but I’ll report on that blog in a few months, hopefully with some results!
Right now I have some pleasant news, first Artillery Royale is coming soon on Steam (as a “Coming Soon” page) and because — or thanks to — the hard work I had to put in that store listing (Steam is asking a bunch of assets and other questions) I have a bunch of nice screenshots, banner, icon and… an official trailer!
It’s not one of my specialty + the game is alpha, so is the trailer, but still I’m proud of it
You can find me on YouTube too, I’m not yet sure of which channel I’ll choose, but I let you know! Follow and subscribe to everything, and we will see which platform wins.
Meanwhile, it’s Discord where all the news are aggregated, and where future player can take part in the development process!
Finding a name is a very hard task, and for a non-native speaker even harder. I thought I had something with Chess Battle, it’s distinct, has some meaning and straight forward to spell. Not bad.
Unfortunately on some very early blind play tests people got confused about the name. Some warned me that they were not good at the chess game and were hopping that the game did not need much chess skill.
Even if at the start, the chess theme sounded great for me, I did not think about that.
A game of chess is hard, and for most people, not even fun to play with. In that way Chess Battle sends a wrong signal about the game. And to be honest, it’s not that much chess related.
So here we are: Chess Battle is now called Artillery Royale!