Before serving the meat of this topic, here’s a little background…
You know what happens if you are afraid to promote your game?
You would be quite screwed, since nobody will promote your game for you.
Here’s one guideline I follow:
- “Be darn proud of the stuff you do.”
When I talk to some indie developers (developers who have far more experience than I do – my company is just an infant at the time of writing this post) and ask about their game I sometimes get shy replies where people wonder “if their game is good enough” or “if others have done better games” or whatever. It’s natural to think that way. After all, developing the game is not that easy thing to do – finishing a game is even harder (I’ve finished 3 games that have generated any revenue, and now doing my 4th one which is a much bigger project).
Here’s how I think about this:
Pieces of shit
Games are not “shitty!” even when somebody says so. If somebody comments a game saying “shit” that just means what goes between his ears. Shit. Or shitty thoughts. Or to be more exact: he just doesn’t like your game.
Why I hate Braid
It would be foolish to assume that everybody would like all games. For example, there’s this game called Braid that’s been praised and said how good it is and all that. I hated every moment playing it.
Does that mean Braid is a bad game, or that Braid sucks, or that Braid isn’t innovative. Nope – it just means that I don’t like Braid (and that type of games). Simple as that. I can honestly say that I won’t spend any more time playing Braid, but I do have a huge respect for how successful the game has been. It’s sold a lot and everybody is talking about it – so respect. I hate the game, but praise the developer.
For the record: I must say that I simply don’t like platformer games where you jump over things. Even if they have the go-back-in-time-and-do-stuff feature, to me they are still platformer games where you jump over things. It’s not Braid that I really hate. It’s any game that’s platformer game. I just don’t like them.
So, why I really don’t hate Braid and what people should do
But, anyway. So, in reality I don’t hate Braid – the truth is that I don’t like platformer games. To me they are just not fun. In reality, I don’t much care about Braid or platformers, and I think the crucial thing here to realize is:
- Your game is not about you
- Your game will be hated by many
- Your game will be disliked by very many
- Your game will be liked and loved by some
And that’s where the Holy Grail is. That’s where we gotta aim. It’s no use to try to get everybody to like your game (or you end up having this massively-multiplayer-singleplayer-cooperative-team-deathmatch-captureflag-roleplaying-strategy-action-racing-hiddenobject-casual game for hardcore gamers). Nobody would care (and you’d run out of budget faster than winter comes in Finland – and believe me, that’s fast).
What we can do is to pick our audience… pick the right audience and get those selected members who like our game. Then cater more for that audience.
I won’t buy Braid nor any other platformer where you jump, jump, jump. But that doesn’t make those games bad. They just aren’t for me. Maybe they are for somebody else, but not for me.
(Now, go buy that Braid – even if I don’t like it, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t at least check this game what many other people praise.
And if you read this far, go check out the next post: Why I love Braid game)