Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Profit Model Pt 2

So as I was saying yesterday;

"So how would I have this view and expect to make any money?"

That is, I'm expecting simply to compete with thousands of others, I'm really stacking the playing-field against myself, aren't I?

Well no, it doesn't have to be that way. But here's the deal, you have to promote yourself. Actually I hate the word "promote". It sounds shameless, full of fluff for an ultimately empty product. So lets just call it what it is.

"Get the word out, doing the best you can not to annoy people."

Many of you not know, but when I just got out of highschool well over a decade ago I tried to create a game with a friend of mine. Along the game started showing potential and we went to talk to a lawyer on the 51st floor of his downtown law firm. I remember what he said to me and my friend that day:

"You can honestly have the best game in the world but if no one ever hears about it, no one will ever play it."

I remember thinking; "Well yeah, but what about word of mouth?" And over the years I've learned that yes, word of mouth is indeed impressive, but you still need enough initial exposure to enough people, for some to try it and then tell their friends if they liked it or not.

Think of a garden. If you plant one seed, yes it does have the potential to grow, sprout, bear fruit and seeds and spawn more fruit. But one single seed also has a very good chance of dying to any one of a thousand outside circumstances. However if you plant a lot of seeds, you tend to beat the odds when these other outside variables come. Plus, you see greater results much faster.

So yes believe it or not, as over exploited as it is, the entire field of marketing does have a very useful purpose. However for you and me, marketing is the wrong way of thinking about it. "Communicating" is a better way.

So how do you communicate it? Social media, friends, message boards, submission to awards. Any way you reasonably can. If you want some good examples think of how did all those other indies get started? Where would minecraft be if it wasn't mentioned on penny arcade?

You have to fit in the right cracks and get the right word of mouth out. I have some plans for this. But I'll save it for at a later date. I've talked enough about profit models for now. Tomorrow I'll get back to more game stuff.

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