I would have released my next game (another in the Shmush universe) a month ago, but I decided to do something special this time: I hired a marketing group to help me.
About a year ago I was chatting with a former colleague about YOPEY YOPEY. When we got to talking about the business side of my games he wondered how much time I spent on marketing. I spent a lot of time building my website, which is a form of marketing. But that clearly was not what he meant. When I embarrassingly told him I release my games to the internets and hope someone plays them, he looked at me for a long time. He said I should spend at least as much time on marketing as developing.
Knowing my tolerance for speaking to strangers, I decided to seek help with that aspect of development. I have been working with a marketing company for a month now on my next release. Their suggestions resulted in a lot of reworking and polishing, particularly around the progression of the game. Hopefully this translates into a better game. I’m also planning to spend actual money on marketing. Not sure what the ROI for this investment will be, but I’m hopeful (ever the optimist). If nothing else it will be a great learning opportunity.
Besides my next game, I have a bunch of other games at various points of completion. Once this one goes gold, I’ll figure out which one to concentrate on. My hope is that the marketing works out and I can apply the same degree of polish (and money) to publishing my next game.