Fans love an opportunity to connect with their favorite creators. This is especially true in video games, where fans latch on the developers behind their favorite titles and look for opportunities to explore the game’s universe and the developer’s creative process. For indie developers, this fascination with video games and development is an opportunity to build a dedicated community around your latest project. The creators of REZ PLZ at Long Neck Games used this intrigue to their advantage by offering a behind-the-scenes look at the game’s development before its launch.
As Long Neck Games approached their REZ PLZ release, we encouraged them to start a blog to highlight some of the game’s most intriguing features. The REZ PLZ blog offers more space to dive into topics than a social media post and more control than a YouTube video. To be effective, however, we reminded them of a few guidelines to stick to.
When Long Neck Games started their REZ PLZ blog, we reviewed a list of do’s and don’ts that help developers build a following online.
With a clear set of rules before them, Long Neck Games began creating exclusive content for their blog featured on the REZ PLZ website.
Long Neck Games has released a steady stream of content since their first post at the end of April, averaging about one post every four days. Their blogs take a deep look at REZ PLZ and the influences behind it.
One of our favorites so far is their explanation of REZ PLZ’s references to Fantastic Voyage, a movie about a team of rescuers who are shrunken down and injected into the bloodstream of a scientist to save his life. REZ PLZ features a chapter where the two main characters are swallowed by an enormous beast and they have to explore its mysterious interior.
Long Neck Games started the blog post by discussing the Fantastic Voyage trope, then explained how they came to design the level, even showing off a few early sketches and comparing them to the final product.
The result is an intimate look at Long Neck Games’ development process, which helps fans feel closer to the developers and extra excited to play the game upon release.
Sharing exclusive content can provide a powerful boost to your marketing, but developers should remain mindful of the content they release. Questions to consider include:
1. What are your major marketing beats? Because Long Neck Games released REZ PLZ earlier this month, it made sense for them to start their blog before the release date as a way to build up engagement. Some games may benefit from similar content releases earlier in the development phase.
In general, however, you should release content before, after, and during all major marketing beats. Whether you are releasing a demo, presenting at a convention, or publishing your title, publish content around these events to draw in more attention from fans.
2. How newsworthy is an item? When publishing content, ask yourself whether you would be interested in seeing it if you were a casual gamer. If not, the content may not be worth publishing.
Once you start releasing content, let your fans know through your social media, email lists, and other outlets. Seek their feedback to help you hone into the most exciting topics.
Content marketing is an art form, but it’s an artform developers can learn. By highlighting what makes your game compelling, you can build a loyal following before you launch. When your release finally arrives, you can turn those followers into your first customers.