Articles

Tagging Visual Novels on itch.io

Today I thought I’d write up a little case study on tagging games on itch.io with some examples, namely Crimson Waves on the Emerald Sea.

CWES is a Victorian-esque vampire visual novel that has always been an odd spot for me to market. CWES has a gay romance, but only between one of the protags and his adult counterpart and isn’t the focus; it’s a fully linear visual novel with no choices; it’s got hints of mystery, drama, and action, but at 2~ hours long it isn’t fully any of those; etc. It has received all positive reviews on Steam & itch.io but getting people to try it has been a challenge to say the least!

Compared to my previous games, CWES’ engagement on itch.io has been abysmal- but we’re not going to fully dissect that here today. Instead, we’re here to look at store pages!

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Articles

making game development backup plans

When we decide to make a project, we typically don’t assume that the project will fail, that members will ghost us, that we’ll be hit by real life problems. But these things do happen, and quite frequently.

Whether you’re working solo or with a team, it’s important to sit down and make backup plans. Why and how? Let’s look at that today.

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Articles

Marketing Fundamentals for indie game developers

At the end of the day as a dev, we want people to play our game. We want people to play it and preferably tell us they like it, maybe even recommend it to a friend. But today, more than ever, making a game and releasing it isn’t enough.

Marketing is one of the key aspects of game development, as it is with any product development, but understanding the components of marketing—the building blocks of why we do this—is more important than ever. Today I want to take a step back and talk about the fundamentals of marketing—what does it mean to “market a game”?

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Articles

5 Free Tools For Indie Game Marketing + Bonus

While I talk about concepts and ideas for marketing indie games a lot, I rarely see talks on what to use to market indie games. Today I want to briefly go over tools I use weekly for indie game marketing.

There’s also a brief bonus section on additional websites that are cool for social media marketing. Alright, let’s get started!


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Articles

Marketing Visual Novels FAQ

Yesterday (June 25th) was the 3rd anniversary of my first commercial game, That Which Binds Us, which was a commercial failure. After it released to little fanfare, I realized I was missing something- marketing. Yadda yadda, 3 years later I’m sitting here trying to teach others how to market their visual novels. Over those 3 years, I’ve been asked a lot of questions on marketing VNs. Today I want to answer some of those for future VN devs.

Some of these questions are ones I’ve heard over and over while others are questions I’ve received in my VN marketing channel (feel free to join us and ask any questions or share insights!).


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Articles

How to Market Visual Novels

Visual novels are a great form of media- they combine game mechanics with an emphasis on narratives and strong visuals. They can be used to tell horror stories, high school slice of life, and so much more. But how do you market visual novels?

I’m Arimia, the lead developer at Crystal Game Works and marketing lead at Studio Élan. Marketing visual novels is a bit of a passion project for me- I like learning more about what people like and how they think. I’ve compiled a bunch of concepts I’ve learned over the years while marketing visual novels so you can get more eyes on your games.

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