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Thinking big, while staying small

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While I was admiring the screenshot with 3 of my games being featured on AndroidTV, I wondered why so few small development teams are not adding “branding” to their icons. Just a simple orange-face in the bottom corner quickly turns those three icons into one single brand. If you enjoy one of those games, that little orange-face smiling at you will probably make you try out the other games with less hesitation.

It’s called branding, and it’s something many, mostly smaller, developers are not doing.

Size doesn’t matter

You don’t need to be a huge company to add such branding to your games. All you need is a clear logo, and 5 minutes to paste it, yet so many small team developers are not doing it. Why not? Orangepixel is also a one-man team, and I’ve been slowly growing the brand over the years, in all ten years of doing business my logo has stayed close to the same: an orange-smiley. Even these days I still get people saying “I remember playing those games back on my Nokia” after seeing the logo blink onto their latest iDevice or Android phone.

Taking this a little bit further, there’s a lot of stuff many smaller teams are not doing that they should be doing, let’s do a little checklist:

1) do you post articles, posts, or blogs about your work on your site/facebook/tumblr frequently?
2) do you write articles/blogs for other sites ?
3) do you have a youtube channel showing new stuff? not just trailers, but things you are working on.
4) are you active on social media? responding to people, posting screenshots of things you only worked on for one day?
5) do you use your logo where-ever possible? (on websites, forums, etc)

Those things are called marketing, but most of all, it’s actually fun to do. You get early feedback from people on your work, you get to show them something that’s coming, and more importantly: people like the feeling of being involved in the creation of your games.

Business stuff

Creating games is great, but selling games is done by marketing and “business stuff”. Writing articles for third-party websites gets you attention and gets your name or brand known. Every eyeball counts. Showing your work early makes people know about it and showing your work often, makes people remember and hopefully even want it when it’s really completed.

You might think posting a “hey I released this” on twitter or facebook is enough, but it’s not. Most messages are not even read and you need to post it up-to four times a day to even have the possibility of all your followers reading about it (and most still won’t read about it).

And what happens when twitter or facebook are replaced with the next big thing? Do you have a way to reach your followers and fans on new platforms? You probably will want them to recognize your orange smiley and start following you because they remember the other games with that smiley and how much fun they had.

Branding is important, are you branding your games? let me know in the comments!


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  • Zendrael

    Well, I never thought in that from this perspective… I’m still on my second published game on the “small stores” (ChromeOS and FirefoxOS) but I’m happy that you shared your experience – I will redo some of my art as soon as possible.

    Could you share some thoughts about ADs on the platforms that you support too?

    One thing I can tell: you are a nice person and your games are really better and better on each new adventure! Thanks by sharing your knowledge and experiences!

    • I tried ads on ios, but they didn’t really amount to much (using admob)

      ad-income changes a lot over a year, right now I’m trying video-ads and it seems that’s where most of the money comes from, tried it only on Google Play for now, no idea how well it works on other platforms, but it’s certainly better than just using banners or fullscreen interstitials.

      • Pascal, I totally agree with you, it’s factual that income from ads won’t even return 10% of what you paid for the device, but that’s the whole point of that business, they sell you device and if you’d make more with it than you paid for, the economy would collapse. The whole point of device making business is for companies to take away money from us making sure money is worth something, that’s how economy works. I’ll give you a simple example. Apple gets a new device out, sales are very small, then they create hype with articles brainwashing people with success story how one guy made millions with a game for retards and the next day you’ll see fooled people waiting in line to buy the device thinking they’re going to do the same. This is a true story, it happened back in 2008.