During a mild spring breeze late at night in a Tim Horton’s parking lot (it’s a Canadian donut shop to the uninitiated) I was watching a heated debate on branding. My old college friends were holding their shiny new business card in the air like the holy grail sporting their fancy new logo. These young gentlemen were launching a new printing and web design business venture and now were earnestly examining its branding possibilities. What does this logo mean? What will our clients think of this logo? But is it a symbol of trust? These philosophical and psychological questions were rapidly firing through the air like assault rifles at a half price Jay Z concert (I apologize for that ignorant simile, there’s no such thing as a half price Jay Z concert). This went on for hours. The end result?
All that branding was nice but their business needed a few more things in order to succeed….and they were the following: CLIENTS, lead generation strategy for getting CLIENTS, a location for CLIENTS to reach them, a website to educate their CLIENTS on services, an operations strategy to better serve their CLIENTS, equipment or access to equipment to provide goods or services for their CLIENTS, and a small doggie to run around the shop as a little mascot. I love shit like that it’s so cute 😀
These alumni believed a logo of a bird with a couple of different coloured feathers was all their clients needed. I can’t even remember the name of their fucking business because I’m a bad friend but also I’m a cunt. The fallacy here was they believed that a card was something they needed to invest in as much as the other marketing tools. In the era of YouTube, social media, and blogs, business websites have become the new business card. It’s something that you need but it won’t sell your game alone. This article will help you build a proper professional website while avoid having it turn into an overdone mess. So logically the first step is the following…
Get Someone Else to Fucking Do It
You have a game to develop, a Twitter account to handle, and other more impactful marketing shit you should focus on. A website is better handled by an actual web developer who focuses specifically on web design, not some Wix.com pissing match you want to put on to save a couple of bucks and prove a point. Yes, with a professional, you’ll shell out more than ‘a couple of bucks’ but you gotta spend money to save yourself from a lot of future fucks.
It’s understandable you’re not going to get thousands of hits a day, so a professionally made site doesn’t come off as a sound investment. When it comes to your site, it’s more about the quality of visitors than the quantity. Professional bloggers, popular game news sites, and die hard ambassadors of your game will visit. These influencers will not write about you, feature you, or boast about you if they see something as exciting as feminist improv night at Yuk Yuk’s. You need to look legit otherwise people smell bullshit, and how will your game succeed if your visitors find it synonymous with the scent of a bull’s anus?
Don’t get too relaxed however. The web developer can’t scoop out your brain with its thoughts. You’re going to have to provide content for some of the following sections….
Home Page is Your Home
Think of your visitors as home invaders and your home page as Kevin McCallisters house of horrors (Home Alone you guys come on!). Kevin knew that the Wet Bandits were coming to rob his pad and possibly have their way with his youth. So the skillful little munchkin set his house with lethal booby traps around points of entry they would use. Access through the front door? Iced the stairs to crack their skulls into concussion city. Admission through an open window? Broken glass to lacerate their feet removing their mobility. Twenty-foot-high rope between the second floor and tree house? Cut the rope mid climb causing possible immediate death. Instant Christmas classic!
Your home page should have the proper links that will lead your visitor exactly where you want them to go to elicit the proper reaction. Need them to follow you on Facebook or Twitter? There should be a direct link on this page. Big news on your game? It should be skewed on a banner across the top. Want them to see your YouTube trailer? Embed it on this page or provide a direct link. Main idea here is your main page is the launch pad to blast-off your visitors to other parts of your site that will interest them. Don’t make your visitors search for content, this isn’t a fucking Easter egg hunt.
Your About Page Should Be ABOUT YOU
When people write this page the result is always the same boring rubbish. They write some corporate bullshit nonsense that no one cares about. Remember you’re a game company not a lawyer firm. We don’t fucking care when you were established, no one shits twice about how committed your team is, and people would rather peel off their skin and roll around in salt than read about how innovative you are (if you have nothing to show for it). Here’s a great example of someone drinking garbage water before hitting pen to paper:
Donkey Dick Game Factory is an independent studio based in Random Fucking Town, U.S.A. established in 2013. We love developing games that are innovative and fun because we’ve run out of synonyms to describe them. With our first release, Annoyed Chickens, our new IP establishes how original and dedicated our team is in copying Angry Birds. We believe we have what it takes to make great games as we play games ourselves like every other game designer in the industry. We specialize in developing games that are fun and easy to learn like every other fucking game company on the planet. We hope to attract gamers of all ages from many backgrounds to enjoy the games we have to offer which is jackshit.
Writing that made me feel like I was blowing a fucking giraffe….nauseous, ashamed, and in desperate need of recreational narcotics. You’re a fucking game company! You’re creative and talented but most importantly entertaining! That’s how your description should be! Stop writing like a corporate cyborg and be different like this.
Interesting and Visually Arresting Visuals
This is where it really counts. This is where Tyler Durden lets the chips fall where they may. This is where the Ghostbusters cross streams. This is where Mike Myers tries to pitch a fourth Austin Powers movie trying to revive his career. That’s right, make or mothafucking break time! The artwork you choose to show here is what’s necessary to distinguish what makes your game better than others. Succeed and you’ll go viral all over social media. Fail, and well you better have a sexy awesome game trailer.
Visuals in general should sell your game’s features or unique selling points. Is it a platformer? Screenshots of your insane level design will turn heads. Is it a first person shooter? Visuals of your weapon variety will be visual porn for your audience. Is it a cloned bejewelled puzzler? Go eat a dick and get out of our industry you unoriginal cuck! Now it’s a little hard for me to describe what kind of visuals you can use. Creativity after all is subjective. Therefore, I’ll just make a list of shit you should avoid:
- Your goddamn credits screen
- Your goddamn menu screen
- A goddamn picture of your game on a tablet/computer screen/television
- A goddamn picture of your dev team
- Goddamn Concept art/unfinished pieces
- A picture of you writing code in your goddamn jammy jams
- A screenshot of your goddamn Kickstarter funding goal being achieved
Any of these will land you in Fucktown, population your team and every other team that shits unoriginality…..especially those damn cucks with the cloned bejewelled puzzler!!!
This is one of the largest and most vital parts of your site. Your press kit is where the video game press flock on over in order to ascertain information about your game. This page needs to be set up well and easily downloadable with no fuss or muss as thousands of games are submitted to these sites daily. Believe you me when I say these people lead very busy lives and don’t have time for your jackass amateur hour safe-space nonsense. To make a press kit worthy of the game scribe community you will need the following:
Fact Sheet: This information contains company name, date established, press/marketing contact, social media links, your address and downloadable logo. This is basic information to prove to the press that you’re making a game and not running a fucking Nigerian e-mail scam.
Description of Your Studio: A short summary of who you are and your studios philosophies. Once again this information should be fun because after all you’re a game company. Remember to be unique because you yourself are unique and if you’re not you should run for government…if you can’t make money off the people then just steal it from them!
Company History: This is the brief story on how you guys got started. Here’s where you need to become a storyteller. Length doesn’t matter as long as it’s interesting. If you guys just met up and decided to make a game make it short but colourful. Don’t write we just wanted to make money or we realized there’s so much money in game design. Your dreams of being in the 1% will turn your grassroots movement into a raging forest fire of death….specifically your IP’s.
Game Description: This is what your game is all about. Focus on your game’s unique selling points. Most game sites will copy and paste this text as they see fit, so write it as if you’re selling directly to your target market. Please don’t label your game as generic shit like Metroidvania….it’s been done! Try the words open world or exploration for fuck sakes!
Screenshots and Trailers: Press sites will download these to sell your game. They will also give reason for people of the press to believe your game is a product that will interest their readers. Their sites need traffic. Remember you’re doing them a favour, this isn’t some fucking circle jerk.
Press or Accolades: Not everyone has this, but if you’ve garnered the opportunity to be interviewed or picked up an award, add it here. It will help your studio and your IP appear more legit. And make sure the award is related to your game. Your perfect 4.0 college GPA or your 2014 AVN award for Best Tease Performance in The Adventures of Buttman and Cockin’ doesn’t fucking count!
Are you fucking kidding me! You don’t need advice on this!!! Are you having difficulty writing your fucking email address??!!!!
If you give all this proper content to a competent web developer, you will have a powerful marketing tool in your arsenal. Just don’t rely solely on it. Once again what’s going to sell your game is your game and other marketing tools. Your website, just like a business card, should be a part of a larger package.
As time passes remember to consistently update your site. If you do garner a following, press sites will keep tabs on you through social media usually, however they will check your site from time to time as well. You don’t want to get caught with your pants down.