Clever (And Cheap) Marketing

During Kian’s seminar at the SGA kick-off, he mentioned something interesting. While the presentation consisted of brief summaries of indie gaming, games as a new form of entertainment, and a quick playthrough of YHTBTR, he briefly touched on a very interesting subject: cheap and sneaky marketing.

You Have to Burn the Rope

That FAQ and Youtube walkthrough for the game?
Yeah, that was done by Kian himself.

By posting links to them on his site and giving the impression that he merely linked to someone else’s work, he encouraged other people to contribute as well. And it worked. He started receiving fan art; someone wrote a German walkthrough; Rock, Paper Shotgun wrote another (very funny) walkthrough; someone made a text-based adventure game; a novelization was written; and more. Check it out.

And, let’s not forget Henrik‘s fantastic song Now You’re a Hero, the end credit theme that’s longer than the average playthrough of the game. It’s a funny and clever song, and I have no doubt that it contributed quite a bit to the popularity of YHTBTR.

Wolfire Studios

Wolfire Games, whom I’ve mentioned before, is doing something different as well.
Thanks to their previous game, Lugaru, they have a small but dedicated fan base. And they’re using it to it’s full potential.

They recently started the Overt Ops. Basically, if you promote the game enough, you’ll get a free copy of the game and some other goodies.
A virtual street team. Clever.

And they recently started a Facebook group, with the promise of starting alpha testing as soon as it reached 500 members. That didn’t take very long.
The alpha is now released, but only to those who preordered. This wasn’t made clear when they started the Facebook group, so I can imagine there are a few dissapointed people out there. Still, over all it’s a good idea.

And: they keep their developer blog regularly updated, constantly showing the progress of the game. This is something more developers should do.

They’re good guys; and I don’t mind spreading the word, though I think I prefer to pay for my copy either way. After all, cash (or virtual cyberspace monies) is king.

Know of any other clever (and cheap) marketing tricks that small developers can use?

2 Responses to “Clever (And Cheap) Marketing”

  1. November 10, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks for the kind remarks about the song. Appreciated :)

  2. November 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Hi, and thanks for all the great questions at the seminar! ;) It was great meeting you again. Just to clarify, the game manual and the youTube video walkthrough was made by me, that was no secret. The (very silly) text walkthrough, released under the alias GaryBuseyFan2005, on the other hand was presented as if it was written by a real fan.
    Cool that you mention Wolfire games! I think datarealms and of course introversion are also very good with their respective fan bases, mainly because they keep their devlogs well updated and have good communication with them.

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