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31 Mar 2014

Starting Your Own Developer Diary

If you read last week’s post explaining ‘why’ you need to start your own developer diary, you may have found yourself thinking, “that’s great, but where do I start?” It’s a solid question, and I’m here today to discuss the ‘how’ of developer diaries. Use these tips below to get your developer diary started so you can create awareness and excitement among your games and your brand as a whole!

 

Just start blogging

And if you do not have a section on your website dedicated to blog posts, you need to create one immediately. Blog posts are not only informative, but they will increase the rank of your website. I’m not going to go into detail discussing how Google values unique, compelling content (which increase your website’s overall rank), but believe me: they do.

When chronicling the development of your indie game, the best place to start is to simply begin blogging. Take a few quality screenshots of your game, sit down at your computer, and begin writing about the development of your game. You can write about anything too, from the development process of the day to the challenges and trials you have been going through during the development phase for the entire week/month. Provide details into the development of the game, but remember one thing:

Tell a great story.

Of course, be factual. Be honest and don’t inflate the development process. You don’t want to be caught in a lie (which could be disastrous for your brand), so just don’t do it. But be entertaining and informative while providing details regarding the development of your indie game.

Include lots of pictures, too. Readers want to see the pictures of your indie game whenever possible, so include relevant pictures related to the subject in each post. Make a habit of this (at least once a week), and of course, share each diary on your social networks. With compelling content will come a community that supports your games and your brand as a whole – a win/win by any means.

 

Just start recording yourself

Another great way to start your own developer diaries is to simply pick up a video camera (or webcam – whichever you prefer) and begin recording yourself discussing your game and its latest updates. Of course, a quality camera/webcam is ideal for recording, and when you’re finished? Edit the footage with iMovie for Mac users. For Windows users, my personal favorite is Corel’s VideoStudioPro line of products.

You will also want to record in-game footage as well. Mac users may want to consider Snapz Pro X. Windows users may want to consider Fraps as well. And when you’re finished recording? Add the footage to one of the great video editing suite above and edit them into your developer diary! Post the episodes to your YouTube channel from time to time, and there you have it: compelling developer diaries that should be entertaining to watch.

Quick tip: if you have the budget and time, feel free to hire someone to polish the footage. You don’t want to look like an amateur when posting video dev diaries, so outsource someone that can make your episodes look appealing if possible.

 

Podcasting

I love radio, so maybe I’m being a bit biased here, but I believe recording a podcast dedicated to discussing your indie game is one of the best ways to chronicle your indie game’s progress. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense too. Audio is one of the most flexible forms of entertainment out there. When people are driving in their vehicle coming home or going to work, they can’t read a blog post or watch a video while on the go. Yet, they can listen to a podcast detailing your game’s progress.

Add to the fact they can do this while they are riding the train, jogging, exercising, doing dishes, etc., and you have a medium that is flexible to almost any situation. Moreover, with audio you can be quite longwinded if you prefer to be. While podcasts typically do not last for more than two hours, with an episode a week, you can cover your indie game in detail that simply isn’t realistic with blog posts or video footage.

It’s also very simple to do as well. Get members of your team around a microphone, talk for an hour or more, and leave. You may need to do minimal editing on the audio, but beyond that, creating a podcast is quite simple. Add to the fact that Apple makes it easy to upload each episode to the iTunes Store, and you have one of the easiest forms of a developer diary.

 

So which should you pick?

That’s up to you to choose. Choose one, choose a combination of the three – it’s all up to you. Whichever dev diary variant you choose though, remember to ensure it is of the highest quality. You will be glad you did so, so get out there and start creating a developer diary that will drive new fans to your brand and keep current fans informed!

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