Live streaming is the hottest content consumption channel across the globe, and it’s catching up as fast as internet speed increases. It is the most engaging way of communicating with your audience.
How can the indie game developers take advantage of this buzzing new marketing medium?
Streaming Live Game Development
One exceptional GIF shared on Twitter can build great excitement for your game.
— Skaz (@Skaz_) August 14, 2017
Indie developers are creating awareness daily using this strategy on popular hashtags like #gamedev. But this is possible only when you have polished gameplay or something unique to offer.
Starting the communication right from your first day in game development can give you this additional and extended window for growing your audience slowly and steadily. There is a special category for game development streaming on the popular live streaming network Twitch, which ensures there is an audience waiting for you.
Deeply Connect With The Audience
Gamers today feel more connected to the game if they are watching you build this great thing from scratch.
In fact, they can suggest or criticize the gameplay and provide you immediate feedback on the work.
Most importantly, you are showing them your hard work, and offering them a peek into your daily work life, building a high trust with your end product and your team.
The other biggest community you're going to connect with is the budding game developers. Most developers are gamers, and they constantly play and explore new games in the market. By providing this over-the-shoulder training to build your complete game, some of these developers will watch the entire process over the weeks or months.
What You Need To Get Started
You need a camera-confident person in the team. If you haven't done a live stream before, you must experiment for a few days to build that confidence. Sure, you can get away with not showing your face and just communicate in the background of your screen share, but that's only when you have a small audience.
It's always better to show your face and communicate directly. Take a look at how Ubisoft is using Twitch for their livestreams.
Next thing you need is basic streaming gear. Indie developers are gamers, as well, so I hope you also have at least one gaming PC to stream your screen. The better gear you have, the better to quality your stream will be. You should also have an equally great internet connection.
If you have none of that fancy gear, you can even start streaming from your smartphone. Just make sure you have a basic tripod that covers you and your screen and keeps recording stable.
Communicating with your audience is the art to master when it comes to live streaming. While you want to answer all of the questions and suggestions you get, it is important not to get disturbed in your daily work routine every single minute. You need to set some rules for your live stream. You can check back every 15 minutes for questions, or keep a teammate to respond immediately.
Some indies are streaming the development process all day long, and some are streaming one or two hours a day, where they are building most exciting parts of the gameplay. It's up to you, how you feel comfortable, and how much additional time you can spend almost every day for this activity.
Regardless, rules must be set to master the art of right communication.
Your Game's Alpha Audience
If you have to win at the game of marketing in this digital era, you must have an alpha audience that will engage with your content and make it viral by sharing it. I have learned this from content marketing guru Mark Schaefer, and it’s applicable to every digital marketing campaign done with owned media.
Imagine you're building a game that launches in six months, and you build 2-3 followers every single day. You will have an army of at least 1,000 gamers and developers who are willing to share the graphics, GIFs, and videos of your gameplay.
Compare that with a game that is about to launch with no one with the developers themselves to talk about.
Which indie game developer would you like to be?
Be it YouTube Gaming or Twitch, you can choose the weapon of your choice, but you must harness the power of live streaming to make sure you create massive buzz when you launch your indie game.