Community (the concept, not the television show): it’s one of the most important facets to your success as an indie developer. Building a community that’s strong, supportive, and just plain enjoyable to be around should be one of your brand’s biggest goals. That’s why we’re here today to tell you how to build an awesome community, and while we can’t detail every layer about how to build the best community possible, the information below is more than enough for a good jumping-off point.
These tips stem from Jaime Woo: who is responsible for Gamercamp. An indie game festival that had almost 8,000 guests recently, Woo knows a few things about what it takes to grow a community and make a product successful. Take a page from Woo’s playbook, and develop your own awesome community for your indie studio.
Show your passion
If you cannot show why you’re passionate about what you do for a living, why should you expect your fanbase to be passionate as well? That’s kind of an oxymoron though, because without passion there is no fanbase. You need to showcase often why you love developing games, why you love doing what you do, why you love your games that you develop – essentially, show off why you love this industry!
Be passionate when promoting everything that you do. Passion is contagious, and if you show that you’re passionate and why about your indie games, other people are going to catch the fever as well.
Say what you will about developer Peter Molyneux, but one of the reasons his games have typically sold fairly well is because he shows his passion for every new game he’s helping to develop. In interviews, presentations, and so on, he demonstrates why he believes in the game he’s helping to develop despite hyping it to a ridiculous level.
Be like Molyneux: be passionate about your games (but please, don’t overhype).
Ensure your fanbase feels as if they belong
We’ve made this point before, but it’s important: it is crucial that you make your fanbase feel as if they are wanted and belong. There is nothing worse than trying to communicate with a brand who has really great products, only to find that they won’t give you the time of day to communicate back. It flat out sucks, and it makes you dislike the brand and even the games the brand produces!
When someone is communicating with you, ensure that above all, you place value on your fanbase. Show them that you value their business and that they are a welcome addition to your fanbase, and believe me: they’ll be impressed. If someone feels like they are a part of something, they’re going to be much more willing to be a part of your indie studio. It’s as simple as that.
Have any additional questions about building a community? Want to see us dive further into the topic? Let us know in the comments below!