During last month’s Develop Conference in Brighton, PR specialist Simon Byron spoke candidly about developer Mike Bithell and his extraordinary journey in the process of launching his indie game, Thomas Was Alone. The presentation highlighted some of the key tips and techniques that propelled Bithell’s indie game to success financially. The game also reached critical acclaim, praised by other devs and gamers alike.
What It Takes to Make Mobile Games
Standing on stage Bryon explained how Bithell’s passion for creating the game steered him in the right direction. No matter what the pursuit may be, a never give up attitude is always required. To make mobile games you have to have a certain level of determination.
“Never ever ever give up, and work hard. I know starting from scratch might seem daunting, but stick at it,” said Byron.
The second lesson that every indie developer can learned from Bithell is to share everything. Letting potential fans see the game from the start and promoting it during the development process significantly helped build up buzz for Thomas Was Alone.
Show and Tell
“Show everything. Use the internet to share everything, because being open and honest can get you coverage. If in doubt, share it,” explains Byron. “Win over the press, be opportunistic, and keep your eyes open for any opportunities. Make sure you appear on all radars.”
The third lesson is preparation. It’s vital to be prepared in advance to promote your indie game. When devs make mobile games it’s important to think ahead. “Be prepared and get people talking about your game, because Mike’s relentless enthusiasm ensured that Thomas Was Alone launched with a profile it probably didn’t deserve,” chimed Byron.
“Contact websites ahead of release, and essentially do whatever you can to launch with a bang.”
Dare to Be Different and Never Give Up
The PR specialist also recommends monitoring your image as a developer and trying not to overshadow your brand. Add some personality when promoting but avoid coming off egotistical or annoying. You want gamers and media reviewers to be interested and like your game. Byron continued, “Create personality, but don’t dominate. Be careful how you air your opinions, don’t become bigger than your products.”
The fourth and final lesson that every indie developer should follow is to not be afraid of trying something different. “The landscape is changing. People are picking up more via social media. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Mike isn’t and he consistently outperforms other institutions,” said Byron. “Have faith in what you’re doing, and, again, don’t give up, because one day I might be standing up here talking about you.”