Aur 🐷 Profile picture
Apr 21, 2018 • 35 tweets • 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I made a list of tips for showcasing a game to help me (and maybe you) in the next #GameDev event! Follow the #thread! #indiedev
1. Try to bring a second monitor or rent it from the event. Use it to show trailers or slideshows while someone is trying out the game or you work on fixing a crash on the main one. Boosts visibility if all you have is laptop too.
2. Tailor your swag and presentation to the audience. Business people like numbers and emails, gamers prefer gameplay, stickers and Steam keys.
3. Don't miss a chance to number-drop those downloads or sales to get the attention. I've seen eyes of bored people light up... it's a magical sight!
4. Don't worry about people getting bored by your game or ignoring it completely. Some of them are looking for specific types of projects to get involved with.
5. Have your other games ready to show on every device if needed. I've learned that Steam games take ages to launch when offline and that I should clean up my phone's dashboard.
6. When showing a game on your main phone, make sure all other apps are closed to avoid... very awkward situations. Luckily, in my case we got a fun front-camera video out of that.
7. Hoodie makes you look more like a developer, but doesn't help with nervous sweating whole day. I'm planning to explore shirt options next time.
8. Don't delay checking out other games and meeting other devs to the last day. Ideally, better do that before the after-party just to be more familiar there.
9. Check out event Twitter tags before, during and after it to find devs and projects which might be interesting to check out.
10. Have a tweet about your project pinned, so people like me could retweet it after getting your card.
11. Have your Twitter handle on the card. I don't have it and will include more info on the next one instead of going for minimal look.
12. Do some back exercises before and after the event day. During if possible. Especially if you just had a 9h bus trip.
13. Don't stress about every cringe-worthy interaction you had. This one is definitely something I'd like to work on :)
14. If you're a solo developer, whenever someone asks "How big is your team" respond with pointing at yourself and saying "This big". This is important.
15. Write down notes whenever you get a business card or valuable game feedback. I have no idea what most of those people wanted from me now.
16. Expect to get a terrible table spot. It just happens. There will likely be downtime during the presentations too. Use that time to meet devs around you!
17. Go in expecting only to show your game and get some feedback and you will not get disappointed that nobody offered you a million moneys!
18. Rehearse answering variations of "What is your game about?" to avoid stumbling over your words or sounding like a marketing robot. I failed to fluently describe my game way too many times.
19. If your memory and grasp of time are as bad as mine, write down and learn your gamedev numbers like career start, release dates and their count, download amounts, etc.
20. Stickers without text or logos do look nice, but they are quite useless as marketing tool. Sacrifices has to be made.
21. Don't rush to tell people you don't need their services even if you really don't. Wait for them to finish their pitch, ask for a card, tell that you'll think about it later, think about it later (or don't).
Another small batch of event tips incoming as soon as my head stops spinning and I'll wrap up this tiresome Monday. Hopefully a few of them will be useful (or funny) to someone :)
22. Don't be like me and turn conversations awkward by snapping back with "And I make games with engine Y!" when people say they are from or work with engine X.
23. Get water and snacks in advance, especially if you're not sure what resources will be available in the venue or on your way there. Stock up on mineral, vitamin or coconut (my favorite) water if there's a chance of hangover in the forecast.
24. Event pre/mid/after parties might have free booze and be super fun, but having to talk/stand/exist while sporting a wicked headache with an uneasy stomach surrounded by a crowd of strangers is not enjoyable at all. YOLO, tho! 🐷
25. 9 out of 10 devs would advice against adding cool new features few days before the event. 10th is the tiny devil on your shoulder telling you should do exactly that.
26. Even with #25 in mind, having a meatier game mode/build which would allow player to experience more in a shorter amount of time is really nice, unless your focus is to observe how new players get in to the base game.
27. Having an easy-to-revisit tutorial/guide for player to reach on demand can save everyone a lot of frustration. My game event build had on-screen controls visible all the time, a postcard-size stand with short guide or a list of controls could work too.
28. Ideally, make sure everything can work offline or have a local server and don't trust internet in the venue to perform same way your home connection does.
29. If mobile game requires active usage of thumbs, get a phone stand (long and flexible "arm" if possible). People are hesitant to take devices off the table and rather choose to use one finger gaming techniques which can make you die inside.
30. Pressing ESC in menu closes game without confirmation? Big no. Pressing ESC anywhere in the game closes the game? Oh, hell no! Might be best to disable common "exits" completely in the event build.
31. Don't take event awards too seriously, every expo must have them and sometimes they can feel rushed or unfair. It's still a fun bonus activity and boosts visitor engagement.
32. Can't find new events to attend or submit your game to? These sites might help: gamesindustry.biz/network/events, eventsforgamers.com and gameconfs.com.
33. Better to spend some time and effort replying "no" or "maybe later" to follow up emails from marketers and publishers than to meet them again in another event, get recognized and wish the ground would just swallow you up.

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