Garnering the Attention of Gamers at a Con / by Brandon Driesse

This time on Dev Talks I got to meet a duo team of devs, Sebastian Nigro and Chris “Topher” Anselmo, who our own programmer Anton had worked with on the Xbox One port of their previous game Don’t Sink. Recently they worked on a Switch port of that same game in order to gain access to the platform they partnered up with the publisher Hitcents.

We have a lot of common with this small team using GameMaker as their primary tool in a similar situation to our own which made the interview fun for me and very relatable. We discussed etiquette in getting people to stop by your booth and the logistics/reasons for getting a publisher interested in your product.

Let me start off by saying their new game(which I played and was incredibly fun in co-op), Duke of Defense, is currently an #IndieSelect title up for grabs so go play it!

The video is quite short and pretty concise so there’s hardly any information outside the interview I can provide from talking with guys, but I can say they were extremely pleasant which they told me is also a key part, not shallow, to marketing your game at the con and getting visitors to stop by and play your game. If you’re a dev you’re probably ecstatic to have people play and enjoy your game so act like it! Care for their needs, listen to criticism, take notes, an DON’T BABYSIT THE PLAYER. If the game deosn’t show them what to do then take notes and fix it later, don’t interrupt the experience and make up for the game own weaknesses. This is more of a stance I derived from conversation an came to the conclusion of myself.

When it comes to getting a publisher, Don’t Sink’s public acclaim on YouTube drew in Hitcents who wanted a junk of the profits, but YouTube isn’t much to go by on sales. Sure, you’re in the public eye, but does that mean people are buying? Visual presence and audience are powerful tools to succeed but they don’t drive sales; a solid grasp on pricing might help though. Now that they’re with Hitcents for the switch port they were able to keep them as a publisher on their current title(which didn’t take all that long to develop for being such a fun time) and give them access to a booth at PAX East which would have been entirely unattainable before for a such a small team.

A lot of devs seem to be pricing their game at $15USD despite each one we talk to coming from different backgrounds, scenarios, and situations. Sebastian and Topher seem to justify their price through the players eyes and the hours they get to enjoy with the game based on average playtime. Personally I don’t find this to be the best way to price yourself, a lot of factors get involved, but maybe fifteen dollars is a magic number for indies…