The PR Machine

I always wondered whether it would work…

Here we were, working on this game in total obscurity for, you know, like a fair number of years. We set up the site earlier this year and very few people came. It was obvious we had to promote it, but I couldn’t get myself to do anything about it. So, morale was in the dumpster… some even went as far as claiming to be clinically depressed.

You know who you are.

I don’t know how many indies can actually relate to this situation. From what I’ve read the norm is to be pretty outspoken about what you do. In retrospect, that doesn’t seem to me like such a bad thing to do, even if the result is that many more games get talked about than ever get made.

Anyway, my point was that I was pretty nervy earlier today when our press release came out. Is anyone even going to notice?

They did. Thanks, Internet! A bunch of people came and we got all sorts of nice feedback. Most importantly, people seem to be signing up for the beta. This is going to do wonders for the game I think.


I’ll try to actually post something relevant about the game next.

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8 Responses to The PR Machine

  1. Mosh says:

    As a young (re: internet software development and publishing) I can’t believe that it’s that easy to publish a game as opposed to publishing a real useful software. It seems, Tomislav, that you struck a niche that is so hungry for something, that they will eat you like a nice delicious cake, and soon.
    I’m really interested in total count of beta testers and the quality of their reports, once the reports start coming in.
    Keep it up, and have the ice on stand by.

  2. Hi, I am reviewing strategy games on tacticularcancer and we are definitely noticing your game. The approach is very interesting and the visuals stand out.

    I think the problem is that most people announce things they are planning to make in the future – but no one is interested in games that are not largely finished and in active development. From my experience you don’t do yourself a favor if you announce something that you are not going to finish in the next 6-12 months. Announcing something that you just started is a sure recipe for not being take seriously.

    But if you are looking to promote a game that is actually available or very close to completion, you only need to spread the word on some key forums and it propagate to other places. Once it has reached a critical mass it will promote on its own. If it doesn’t, then there may be something wrong with your game.

  3. tom says:

    Hi Christian,

    nice of you to drop by. I would add that especially with strategy games I think, it takes a long time to get the game into a really playable state, even for motivated beta testers who can live with a problem here and there. People love discussing how to tweak and adjust a completed game’s mechanics, but very few can cope with a game in which some/most of the basics are not yet functional. And that’s what you’re stuck with as a developer for something like 80% of the development cycle.

    I had to really harass people to get some testing done in the earlier stages, and in practice I usually only had 2-3 active testers at any given time before this public beta. BTW… dmrvski, fixi, djenka etc. – if you’re reading this, thanks for that early feedback guys, it was priceless, just like in the commercial 🙂

    The part where you say that it’s enough to spread the word on some key forums is I believe true for strategy/wargames but maybe not in general. Or as Mosh puts it: “the niche is hungry”…

  4. Yes, it only works inside the strategy/wargame community, outside you’re screwed without a big publisher.

  5. Bruce Maxwell says:

    I can’t tell from this blog who you are, but I can tell a labor of love when I see one. I was a professional wargame designer back in the board game era (1980’s). I worked for SPI, Avalon Hill, Victory Games and West End games. I love the WWII era, and would love to learn more about your game. You have my e-mail address. Perhaps I could support you in some way (at no charge). Send me an e-mail and tell me where you think you might need some help.

    Regards – Bruce

  6. tom says:

    Hello Bruce,

    thanks for the kudos. Our own boardgaming experience is not really extensive, but I am a big fan of the (now) classic “Totaler Krieg” boardgame so there’s a connection there.

    A good way to learn about the game would be to actually play it 😉 I invite you to check it out. It’s really accessible, and not at all expensive by wargaming standards. I hope you like it!

  7. Chuck says:

    Just wanted to say that this is a really good game. You guys did a great job. Very unique, challenging and quickly learned. It’s more like a combination of chess and a strategy war game. Nice mix.

  8. tom says:

    Thanks much for the kudos Chuck 🙂