Another E3 is just around the corner. Get ready for it, because next week we’re going to be bombarded with news, news, and more news coming out of the world’s largest video game convention. Unfortunately, it’s very AAA-focused, but that doesn’t mean indie developers should feel excluded. There are a few ways you can make the most out of next week’s E3, so consider these tips below, and take advantage of one of the biggest annual events in the industry.
Quick tip: Don’t announce anything!
Enough AAA news gets lost in the shuffle during E3 as it is. Hardly anyone is going to make time to cover your indie game during E3, so wait a few weeks after the event to show off those news assets and that new trailer. Furthermore, if you have been considering launching a Kickstarter, hold off on launching it during the week of E3. It will not get the traction that it needs, and it will almost certainly fail.
Analyze how the giants do it
AAA studios get a lot of flak for churning out the ‘same old games’ and not doing anything revolutionary. Granted, some of it is warranted, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore AAA studios altogether. This is E3. It’s one of the only times you will see almost every major (and even the not-so-major) AAA studios announce their newest games and products in the span of a few days.
There will also be quite a few livestreams of these events scattered around the Web. Watch them, and pay attention to how these studios announce their games. Listen to the language, the order they present information, and how they build up to certain types of information to impress the audience. The biggest studios know how properly announce a game/product, and there are great lessons you can use to announce your games as well.
No, you probably won’t be announcing your indie game to a crowded room of thousands, but you can still learn a few lessons on how to properly present your game and announce it accordingly via video clips, the written word, etc.
Again, AAA studios get a lot of flak for not implementing enough original ideas into their games; yet that doesn’t mean none of them will have any good ideas to announce. Keep an open mind, and find inspiration in some of next week’s newly announced games. You’re bound to find something that will inspire you to make your game even better (or to develop a new indie game altogether), and if you don’t find inspiration? You’re not looking hard enough.
Converse with fellow indie developers at the show
Believe it or not, but there are actually quite a few indie developers that show up to E3 every year. When I went in 2012, I could have spent every day playing all the indie games at the show and never have played them all. From IndieCade to the various indie developers on the show floor, there are going to be an abundance of indie developers attending next week. Contact these developers and converse with them regarding their experience. Ask them what they learned this week and if they have any advice they could pass on to you. Believe me, they will be more than willing to help you out.
Consider attending yourself
If you live in the area and have an opportunity to attend E3 next week, do it! We have written a ton of posts about making the most of video game conventions like E3. For a crash course on making video game conventions work for you, read the following posts below:
- Run a Flawless Indie Game Demo at Your Next Conference (you know, if you are actually showcasing a demo next week)
And a bonus:
Even if you just take in the sights of E3, consider doing it. You will be glad that you attended and will learn a thing or two in the process. At the very least, you’ll be glad you went to E3 as a fan!