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9 places to build your indie game in public

Just like building a SaaS product or an app, one of the best ways to market your game is to build in public.

Hopefully you're reading this before the launch because starting to market after launch is too late!

Some places you can build your game in public:

  • Start a Twitter account and post weekly or daily dev updates. The most common hashtags for this are #screenshotsaturday, #indiedev, and #gamedev.
  • Create an itch.io home for your game and post dev logs.
  • Post updates on the TIG source forum dev logs.
  • Some app stores (like Google Play) let you create a placeholder or pre-order page. If you can, do this, and link it from your Twitter, Itch page etc.
  • Post updates on /r/indiedev.
  • Your type of game may have its own sub-reddit, for example roguelike games have /r/roguelikedev and /r/roguelikes. Remember the usual advice about not just dropping in and spamming a subreddit - make sure you read the rules and establish a presence first.
  • Create a YouTube account for your gameplay trailers. You can also post short updates about the dev process if that's your thing.
  • Early Access on Steam and make sure you post announcements, trailers, and updates.
  • Crowd-source. If you think you have a sufficient following to pull off a Kickstarter the positive feedback loops can be very powerful.

General tips

  • Remember to make your posts image heavy. Find a good tool for making short animated gifs and videos (I use byzanz-record on Linux for example).
  • Interlink all of your various web assets. Link your Itch page from your Twitter and visa versa, etc.
  • As you get closer to launch start putting out high quality YouTube trailers of the critical action in your game. Post them on the places where you're writing updates. Keep them short and soundful and juicy.

Any other ways to market indie games I've missed?

PS I'm currently building a game in public and it's terrifying. I'm doing a gamedev speed-run of Asterogue, a sci fi Roguelike that's out October 30th 2020 for Android and Windows! And of course you can also find my progress on the Asterogue Itch page and on TIG Source, /r/indiedev, /r/roguelikedev, etc. etc. 😀

  1. 1

    Solid list @chr15m; I've also seen people successfully find beta playtesters across all those channels.

    A few more channels to suggest for your list: cities with local indie dev communities.

    https://www.seattleindies.org/
    https://atxgamemakers.com/

    Some cities have pretty active discord / slack groups which act like mini-indiehacker forums; in addition, people hop into weekly voice chat to playtest prototypes and screenshare bugs in code to troubleshoot live.

    1. 2

      Great idea, thanks!

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