Jeff Hangartner – Revealing the Path Less Travelled in Video Game Industry

Jeff HangartnerJeff Hangartner, the founder of the gaming start-up, Bulletproof Outlaws has been a professional developer of games over the last half a decade. Creator of Pixelation, the 1st Pixel Art Forum and also originator of the Pixel tutorials which have been published in the form of a book. Jeff has always been a pioneer of the gaming industry.

CG Today is proud to present Jeff’s exploration as he shares the whole process of creating a start-up right from day 1. With the belief that gaming development is coming back to its original “one programmer in the basement roots” idea, Bulletproof Outlaws is chronicling every step of its start-up process from strategies, to marketing, setting goals and outsourcing, successes and failures. The aim is to help other developers who have ideas but are intimidated by the whole start-up process and are not sure how to go about it.

You can visit his website Bulletproof Outlaws to know more about him or send an email to get connected.

Exclusive Content

A couple sites mentioned that they’re interested in exclusive content for my future projects. This is something I didn’t think to do, and might not be possible until you have a few Press connections who are actually interested in your stuff. But for the next game I’ll probably whip up some exclusive stuff, whether it’s behind-the-scenes sneak peaks or contests or what-have-you. The website with the exclusive content gets attention from your stuff, and you get attention for being Featured by them, it’s a win-win situation.

Press Release

A Press Release is important for getting word out about what you’re doing. Our business coach recommended putting out a Press Release for pretty much ANYTHING. Realistically, there’s no downside to it since you can use a bunch of free Press Release services. Check out my blog entry where I was experimenting with different services a while back and the results. Looking back, it’s probably better to have too many Press Releases than not enough…at the end of the day, it means your company and game’s name will keep crossing people’s news feeds and that might make them more likely to pick up and publish your Press Release when you have actual big news, VS a company they’ve never heard of before. It also hooks you up with some totally random connections…I got a couple interview requests from people who would otherwise have no idea I existed, off my first Press Release.

Writing A Press Release

I write my own Press Releases because there are a ton of “how to write a good Press Release” articles all over the Internet.  Hit Google up for some because they go into a lot of detail about what should be in a Press Release, what order things should be in, what to make sure to mention or what to leave out, etc.

Bulletproof Outlaws - Elusive Ninja

Outsourcing A Press Release

You can hire someone else to do your Press Release for you, most marketing agencies offer this, as well as tons of freelancers. Personally, I think it’s silly to spend $100+ for someone else to write you a page worth of text about your own product or announcement since you’re the one that’s going to know the most about what you want to announce. Especially if you’re going to put out Press Releases frequently. But if you’re not a very good writer, or if English isn’t your first language, outsourcing the Press Release might be worth the money.

Submitting A Press Release

A Press Release can take a while to submit to a ton of different sites because each site has a different form and different length requirements or ways to divide up the sections of the Press Release, so if you’re doing it yourself expect it to take a good chunk of the day just to submit the thing. And if you hire someone else to write it for you, expect to have to break it apart or re-word chunks of it to fit in the various “100 characters MAX” boxes on some of the sites.

You can hire a service to submit your Press Release for you, which I haven’t tried yet but I think I might try next time, just to save myself some hassle and to see what the results are. You can also submit your Press Release to sites that charge a fee for accepting and posting them, but if you’re tight for money you really can get a pretty wide spread for your Press Release off just the free sites.


Consider publishing your Leaderboard if you have a game that’s heavily community-based or competitive. Rewarding people at the top of the Leaderboard, holding contests, announcing winners on your blog, etc.


Bulletproof Outlaws - Elusive Ninja

Don’t spend a lot (or ANY) money on this.  If your game hits huge and gets into the Top 10, it might be worth spending some money on it (do your research first!) but if your game isn’t super-popular then no one probably cares about merchandise for it.  But if you have some downtime and you’re feeling artsy-fartsy, consider throwing together some stuff and create a free CafePress store. Put some wallpapers together with in-game art. The guys at The Behemoth make little statues/toys of their characters. Odds are for your first few games no one is really going to care about merchandise, but if it’s quick to throw together and free, and creating it doesn’t take long, it doesn’t hurt to have it available.  I threw some Elusive Ninja wallpapers together for fun, but they were quick to do since I just used in-game art and realistically I know probably no one will use them but me haha


Bulletproof Outlaws Diary