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5 Social Media Posts You ♥ Must ♥ Make For Your Game’s Launch


Launch day is hectic— what do you post besides the ​launch announcement?!

Having survived many, many launches of varying degrees of success, I feel your pain when launch day comes near. You’ve probably got a checklist of stuff to do, announcements to announce, posts to post, updates to update, but your mind is frantic. Don’t fret! You’ve got this. Keep your cool, try to keep your tabs below 20, and get some help to help you send posts and emails.
But what about social media? What all should you post then? Well, good news, on a lot of sites you can schedule posts so you can draft these before you even hit Release on Steam. So, let’s go over 3(ish) of my tweets I always make come release week!

(For all these examples I’ll be using my most recent launch, Image of Perfection, a commercial RPG VN)


1. Prelaunch Tweet

This one should be a no-brainer- hype your followers up by reminding them that your game releases tomorrow! I tweeted this right before 11AM CST on the day before- it has a video of gameplay, it has a small description, and has links to where they can buy it that next day.


✨ Optional ✨


Do a countdown on social media to your launch day! A fun way to do it is with art- here’s a couple of examples from my 5 day countdown for Paths Taken- the countdown featured a different drawing of each of the main characters for each day. In hindsight, I could have mixed up the small message with them a bit more.

2. Launch Tweet… and In Case You Missed It Tweet!

I didn’t schedule the launch tweet because I wanted to tweet it out the minute I uploaded it to Itchio and hit Release on Steam, but I did schedule the ICYMI tweet for later that night!
As you can see, the game went live around noon CST and I had scheduled the ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) post for later that night, around 6 hours later. If I had a professional trailer for this game done (it was a very quick 2 month development cycle- please try to get a good trailer done for your games!) then I would have posted that in the release announcement.

3. Seeking Press & YouTubers

Your mileage may vary on this one— you should send out emails to press before and during release, but it never hurts to just ask any that might follow you if they want to review it! Sometimes this lands me a few reviews, sometimes it only lands me a few RTs. Either way, it’s worth the 30 seconds writing the tweet for me.
The tweet for Image of Perfection only did a few RTs… but the Paths Taken tweet got a couple YouTubers interested!

4. Giveaway

Run a giveaway for a free key or two of the game! Set a few rules (I typically say “follow us and RT to enter”), set an ending date, and link the store pages. As usual, I add a couple emojis for some extra flair.
✨ Optional ✨


Some giveaways use custom graphics that have the rules explained in more detail. Some giveaways have more info and links in a reply tweet. Post the rules in whatever format you want!

5. First Reviews

Reviews on any game are extremely important- so, show off the first few you get, especially if they’re glowing reviews like the first one we got for Image of Perfection!
…And that’s it! There are a lot of other tweets you can make during launch (RTing streams, posting articles about the game, asking people to share their favorite screenshots, etc.) but these are a few more basic ones that I try to post every launch time. Hope this article helped some of you out- if it did, consider reading my previous articles!

​Wishlist my game on Steam!


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The Importance of Landing Pages for Indie Games

There’s a new restaurant being built in my town- it’s a refurbished old warehouse, so it’s less being built and more being brought up to code. This has been going on the past few months, with the parking lot and landscaping recently being completed, so it was apparent that the restaurant was going to open very soon- however, the restaurant has yet to put a sign up with the name, let alone saying that it’s even a restaurant and not some kind of shop.

​Today while driving past it, I remarked that they now had condiments and paper towels on the tables near the windows- surely it was going to open soon after they put the sign up. Tonight while driving past it, the parking lot was full. People were sitting in all the tables we could see. It was a soft launch where they were testing their speed and kitchen, so not the full launch- but yet, there was still no sign for the restaurant. As an outsider, I’d assume it was another boutique or even just a small warehouse like the surrounding stores.

This was mind-boggling to me- you want to open up a store and not even advertise what kind of store you are, let alone your name? Even a nearby restaurant that was hidden down a set of stairs had a few small signs (and even a menu) on the wall next to it. So, as a game developer and person who attempts to market said games, it got me thinking- what would this be like if a game did this?

I’m going to use a couple different cases here in my analogy since there won’t really be anything 1 to 1.

Case #1 – No Name/Branding

The first case is the most obvious and extreme- you are posting on social media or Discord servers and such but you’ve yet to put a name to your product, or you fail to refer to it as such/put no logo with the images. People might see a screenshot of the game but if you don’t have a name for it or don’t put a name where people can easily see it, how will they be able to find out more? Sure, sometimes they’ll see it on your Twitter, but what if they happen to see it out in the wild where you can’t easily reply with an answer?

This should be a case that, if you’re reading this, shouldn’t happen. Most, if not all of you, should already have a name set for your game and be calling it by that name if you’re actively promoting it in places. Now, I’m not saying you should throw you game’s logo on all your promotional material for the game (I find it somewhat annoying to receive screenshots of in-engine looks with the logo plastered on it), but I am saying it’s typically best to have the name visible when promoting it in places for consumers.

Case #2 – No Landing Page

This case is going to be more prevalent for most devs- we forget to have a landing page. In this sense, a “landing page” is going to be broad, but something where consumers can view what the game is about and see some form of updates for it. In this sense, the following (I feel) qualify as a “landing page”:

  • Steam/Itchio/GameJolt store page
  • Website with newsletter
  • Social media specifically for the game

I’ve picked the types above as they all include some way to see updates for the game as well as get notifications for new updates- while I normally wouldn’t consider social media to be a “full” landing page as they’re more for sharing links to the above two places, they are ways for players to subscribe to your content. I would very much prioritize the first two, i.e. making a store front for your game where players can wishlist/follow it and making a website where players can easily see what the game is about.

Your goal with a landing page is to convert viewers into customers. You want a landing page to entice a consumer into supporting your game, even if it hasn’t launched- this can be by them following your social media, wishlisting the game, subscribing to your newsletter, and more.

So, what on Earth does this have to do with my long-winded analogy at the beginning of this? Well, them not putting up their name meant I had no way to search them up online, which means even if they did have a website (which they did) I couldn’t find it so I couldn’t see their menu, their “launch” date, and more. Make pages where potential customers can wishlist your game or sign up for updates!

When do I make a landing page?

As soon as possible! …No, but really, you should try to make landing pages for your games months before release if you can. Wishlists on Steam are basically an automated email blast of when a game launches and goes on sale, so you want to collect as many of those as you can. And like I said with the analogy, if you wait until release to have a landing page, you’re missing out on potential customers who lost interest because there wasn’t a way for them to follow the game.

As game devs, we’re all guilty of procrastinating things that aren’t coding or art or writing (aka, everything business) but we really should try harder to put landing pages and such up sooner. Maybe next time I’ll write on the abysmal importance of wishlists on Steam and how they translate to sales on launch day…

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Opinion- Why You Should Run Game Dev as a Business

Rather than an editorial, I want to preface this as being mostly opinion, as this is something that I have argued with people about before. I also want to preface this by saying I only mean this about games planning being/on Kickstarter and commercial games– games made just as a hobby are not what I mean by this article. I don’t want any accusations that I’m against hobby dev- after all, that’s how I got in the industry. Now with that out of the way, let’s begin.

Game Dev as a Business- What Does that Mean?

“Game dev as a business” means just that- it means looking at how you build games and refining that process from a business perspective, making decisions that are business oriented rather than fully game developer oriented. Again, let’s get some disclaimers out of the way.

  • This does not mean making every single decision from a business perspective, throwing all creative freedoms out the window in favor for more business-savvy choices
  • This does not mean becoming a full-on business person and taking courses in running a business
  • Again, this only applies to developers making games for Kickstarter and/or commercial games

So, in a more liberal sense, what does “game dev as a business” mean?

It means taking a step back every once in a while and looking at your game objectively- seeing it as something besides just your baby and evaluating if you’re making smart decisions for the game that consumers want. It means making tweaks to the game that consumers will enjoy- after all, you’re taking their money, so they should be happy with the product. It means not slacking on all the fields (namely marketing) while in development so your company can stay afloat after launch and make it to another launch.

On a smaller scale, it means adding more choices to a visual novel to make players who want a bit more interactivity happy. On a larger scale, it means changing the art style to be more appealing to a wider audience while also refining it to look more polished. On any scale, it means keeping marketing strong through the process rather than waiting till the last minute.

Why Should I?

​Game dev is an artistic medium, and allow a lot of creative liberties with it. However, when you start taking people’s money for said games (aside from donations), you are now producing games for said consumer, and they must have some sort of input in the game. You are giving them a product and taking their money for it- therefore, you should refine some details of said product to be tailored for the consumer. As I stated before, this doesn’t mean making a game completely based off of consumer feedback and lacking in creativity- it ​means changing smaller parts of the game to make it overall more polished.

Specific Examples

​Here’s a few specific examples from my own games:

  1. That Which Binds Us: I didn’t do this before launch, and I regret it- I wish I had added more choices to the game. There are long stretches without any choices, and all the choices in the first playthrough of the game are basically meaningless. Adding more choices would have increased interactivity as well as replay value. I also had a cool phone CG that should have been used more to increase the unique style.
  2. Asterism: The art style was not good. Don’t get me wrong, I like my own art style- but it wasn’t what I wanted for the game, and people agreed with me. It took me what felt like hundreds of times (it was at least 50) to edit and reshade the sprite for Kotachi, but I eventually got him to a style I really like for the game. It’s more anime but it’s also much more polished than before.
For a good amount of months, I was fine with the 2018 version until I realized that people (including myself) didn’t like it.

Why Should I? Part 2

Making more business-oriented decisions can help keep your studio afloat from one launch to another- it can mean the difference between actually making it to that next launch. Delaying a game release in order to properly market can lead to lots of sales that you would have missed otherwise had you waited until after launch to market the game. Adding some more interactivity can bring in new customers who would have otherwise been put off by the lack of gameplay. Basically, making business decisions for the game can bring in new customers and/or satisfy current ones.

When you start taking money for games, you must begin thinking of it like a business.

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Why Game Jams Matter

Often we think of game jams as small, random events that game developers enter just for fun and bragging rights- but, they give developers so much more than we bargained for.

Game Jams are events held every single day across the world and online with thousands of different themes and time constraints. Some last 2 months; some last a train ride; and some last an hour. Some have thousands in prizes and some have nothing more than bragging rights. But still, why do we enter them besides fun? What’s the point if you’re already working on a fulltime project? There’s a lot of reasons why.
1) Having a Finished ProductThis is a bragging right of course but it’s also tangible evidence that you can deliver a product you made from start to finish. It’s something you can share to prospective employers. It’s something you can use to market yourself with and gain a fanbase. It’s something you can use as a starting base for a bigger/expanded project. But most of all, it’s something you finished.

Most game jam games aren’t perfect. Hell, most of them haven’t even gotten close to being polished. But they’re still mostly playable and in a “finished” (but not polished) state. These games can be proof of concepts for future projects or your abilities.

2) Cutting Scope

A vital part of finishing and shipping any project is being able to make a reasonable scope and cutting it when needed. A scope that’s to large is the biggest killer of projects- they just can’t handle all the work and the game never gets done. “What if we added this feature here?” “How about there’s this mechanic for this section of the game?” “Let’s add a new character to this scene.” It’s things like this that add up over time- some are more obvious than others. The ability to take a scope and cut it in half is a seriously undervalued skill of project management.

3) Networking

After doing a game jam you typically end up afterwards rating and playing other entries- this is a great time to make friends and network with them. In layman’s terms, networking is basically creating contacts by making friends with people. That’s it. Play games and give feedback on them, let people know who you are.

4) Game Dev Experience

Working on a game will teach you some mechanics, but finishing a game will help solidify them- not only do you know how to work in an engine enough to get things moving, but you understand them enough to make a complete project. You’ll learn about all the assets that it takes to make a finished product. It’s hard to fully realize how many assets go into a game until you’re trying to wrap everything up and oh no there’s no sound effects and also the main menu barely works.

Game jams are a lot more important than people think, and are a great way to get started in game dev by finishing a small project. I always try to tell new devs to do a game jam first before jumping headfirst into a long term project, and I hope this article goes over why.

2018 Year in Review – A Hectic but Informative Year

It’s that time of year again, that time after Christmas but before New Years… the time when we all try to hurry up and finish what we’re working on to finish one last thing before the next year… but, that also means it’s time to look back and see what was accomplished this year!


♦ 2018 Releases ♦

As Vast as the Sea



As Vast as the Sea was an entry for Ludum Dare #41. It follows Erita, a young woman who becomes lost at sea until she wakes up in Ogygia, an underwater world full of mermaids and secrets.

​That Which Binds Us



That Which Binds Us was originally a demo I made for IGMC 2017 and then extended into a full visual novel in Ren’Py. It’s my first fully commercial game and first game on Steam, so I’m pretty happy with it! It changed a fair amount in development to the finished product and I learned a lot from it’s release- a lot of which makes me more confident about Asterism.

I Saw Him Today



I Saw Him Today was an entry for Ludum Dare #42. It’s a short, experimental and completely linear game about dealing with grief among other things. It’s one of my favorite if not favorite Ludum Dare entries I’ve made, and I wasn’t the only one to think so since it ranked #12th in Mood.

Crossed Paths:Connected Worlds ~ At First Sight ~



Crossed Paths:Connected Worlds ~ At First Sight ~  was an entry to Yuri Game Jam 2018 and a remake of my very first visual novel, Crossed Paths:Connected Worlds (which was made in 2014 for Ludum Dare #30. It follows mostly the same story as the original but with better writing, choices, art, etc.

Left Behind



I’d be remiss to only talk about successes this year, wouldn’t I? Well, I did release 5 complete games this year as usual (1 big release, 3 Ludum Dare releases, and one additional game jam release), and that includes Left Behind. While not a total failure, it’s certainly not on par with the rest for a number of reasons ranging from final exams to lack of interest. It was an entry for Ludum Dare #43, and follows a group of friends making a video about an abandoned mansion.I’ve thought about extending it some and adding more endings, but I’m still uncertain whether that would equal quality. Since MV doesn’t like to port to Android (despite claiming that it does) it’s hard to say if I’ll spend the time editing this when I could spend that time making an Android port for That Which Binds Us.

♦ 2018 Resolutions ♦

​Now that we’ve gone over what all I’ve released this year, let’s go over what my resolutions were for this year! (copied and pasted from last year’s year in review)

  • Publish all the games I’ve started. Now, this one comes with a bit of a catch- basically, I want to publish something from every project I’ve started. I want to finish That Which Binds Us, upload the update for The Witch in the Forest, finish a side project, and upload a demo for Asterism (as I’m shooting more for summer of 2019 now). That sounds like a lot, as you also have to include all three Ludum Dare games I hope to make in 2018 and maybe other side projects, but I’m nearing completion on a lot of projects right now, so publishing 5~ games this year isn’t out of my scope at all.
  • Get faster at writing. In 2017 I started writing much more heavily, and thus got better at it as I went along. In 2018, I want to focus on writing better and faster.
  • Get better at marketing. Yeah, I’ve learned marketing is super important this past year. So, in 2018 I want to get better at it.

Publish all the games I’ve started. Haha…. yeah…….. I definitely did only half of this……… I’m not close to a full demo yet for Asterism, but I did publish a demo for Paths Taken! So…. close…….

Get faster at writing. I’d say this one was accomplished, since That Which Binds Us was around 60,000-70,000 words long and only took me around 4~ months to write it while the original draft for Asterism was only about 45,000 and took me over half a year to write.

Get better at marketing. I’d like to say this one is accomplished! This past year was a bunch of reading, studying, asking questions, and researching, and now I’m freelancing as a marketer for other visual novels. So, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two about it.

♦ 2019 Resolutions ♦

Now onto resolutions for 2019! There’s a bunch of small ones like “be more active in clubs at school” (which I already am, but I want to keep it up), “panel at my local convention”, etc. but here’s my main list for 2019:

  • Publish Paths Taken and a demo for Asterism. This… is a big one. Paths Taken is currently about 60% done, with the route divergences being written and coded right now, so I’m hopeful we can have it ready around the summer. Asterism, on the other hand, is a very different story- the RPG sections are giving me trouble but I plan to, for now, code the entire game in VN style (as you’ll have the ability to pick between playing it as an RPG with VN sections or as a pure VN), send that to testing, and then finish the rest. There’s a lot of assets still needed so I’m very unsure of what percentage of the entire game is done.
  • Market further. I want Asterism to be a success so once I’m nearing the demo stage I’ll be amping up my marketing. I’m really hoping to get it into some festivals and competitions as well as share it wherever I can.

…That’s really all I can think of as major goals go. There are some I’ve mentioned here that I consider “smaller” such as entering more competitions both at school and online and hopefully paneling at my local convention, but these are the main ones I want to work on.

So, here’s to another great year! Thank you all for sticking by me and reading!