Jeff 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.
Last update I talked about doing a big marketing write-up talking about all the stuff I’ve tried, what I’ve learned from it, where I’ve wasted money, where it was worth putting money, all the good and the bad of it. I’m finally almost done that document! I’ve got the main writing done and I’ve broken it down into 5 articles. Right now I’m just editing it and adding diagrams and pictures so it’s not overwhelming to read. I should be able to start posting it up this week, but here’s a preview of what each of the 5 articles contain. I saved the Optimal Marketing Plan for the end because I feel that to get the most out of it, a person should read the articles that lead up to it so the plan makes sense:
ARTICLE I – Social Marketing
Using word-of-mouth marketing via Twitter, blogging, forum threads, etc. to build awareness for your game, and a realistic look at the pros and cons of price drops and using microjob services.
ARTICLE II – Traditional Advertising
An in-depth look into the sketchy side of the industry that people don’t seem to talk about like buying downloads, paying for reviews, etc. Also covering traditional expensive marketing like banner ads and marketing agencies and ad services like AdMob.
ARTICLE III – Game Related & Maintenance
What to put in a Press Kit, using Press Releases, creating screenshots and trailers, etc. Plus how to efficiently maintain everything we’ve talked about so far.
ARTICLE IV – Psychology
How to survive the internal side of marketing as an indie developer and dealing with the stress of spending your money, watching sales figures rise and fall, making big decisions, handling critics and pushy marketers, and a big blunt look at how rampant iPhone App piracy is.
ARTICLE V – Optimal Marketing Plan
A summary of everything, condensed down into 36 steps from Pre-Launch to Launch Day to Post-Launch, that I feel make up an Optimal Marketing Plan for an indie dev with little to no money who needs to make sure every dollar spent counts.
Once this is all posted up I’m going to be looking into getting the HD version of Elusive Ninja working and then starting my next game! I’ve got lots of ideas for the next game, it’s just a matter of narrowing down which one to flesh out and prototype up. And as always, I’ll be documenting the progress of it as I go. :)