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Jul 7 2014, 5:51pm Anchor

Hi,

 

I've been authoring a game development blog for a couple of months. The topic is my indie project about amoebas.

Gamedevelopersjournal.blogspot.com
 
Can you give me your opinion? How are the posts? Are they complicated, wordy, fun, entertaining, clever? Does the blog make you interested about my game?
 
I want to make the blog better for potential customers, indie fans, and people who would enjoy my game. I'll really appreciate your thoughts.

Jul 7 2014, 8:09pm Anchor

I have taken a look at your blog. It really has a lot of interesting information. I also find your story with the Gobs and Blobs entertaining. 
I am still starting out myself and am figuring out things as I go (and from what I read around the internet). However, as far as I know, you'd need content that the player would want to know about. In other words, your game. Screen shots about the game, about how you are doing this level or that part of the engine or this part of the mechanics.

I'd say gear your topics and writing towards someone that would like to play the game; they are interested about the progress to know when they can play it, know more information about the game to help them beat it and perhaps why do you do what you do.

Here are  a few blog posts just to get an idea what other indies do:

The below is more professional "indie" this Daniel Cook's indie studio
Spryfox.com
Spryfox.com

Here is a less known developer's blog:
Over00.com

I took your blog's survey for my personal opinion :)
Hope that helps.

Bravo81
Bravo81 Greenlight Games Ltd
Jul 8 2014, 9:19am Anchor

Hey,

We had a quick look at your blog today and agree mostly with what Vallar said above ^ ^ ^

The writing is good and interesting, well illustrated.

One thing we think would really help is improving your colour scheme or overall template, possibly using a darker grey for the main website background and changing the font colour to white. On top of this changing the font, as it doesn't come across as professional or neat looking and removes a lot of the impact your website could deliver.

All the best,
Greenlight Games.

--

Greenlight Games Ltd

Jul 9 2014, 7:11am Anchor

I'm glad to see I got detailed responses from two people. I appreciate it, Va11ar and Bravo81. I have a couple of questions:

1) Va11ar, would you say that my blog interests you as a developer but not necessarily a customer? I hear what you're saying about "gear your topics and writing towards someone that would like to play the game "

2) Bravo81, why does the font not look professional? I picked Georgia because it fits the game's theme.

Thanks for the advice. I'll think about what you both said, and thanks for taking the survery :D

By the way, I'm surprised yet glad that you enjoyed the story segment with the blobs vs gobs game. Haha.

Jul 9 2014, 9:44pm Anchor

People tend to like different thing. From what I can see most of the blog posts are mostly geared to what you are interested in and your plans in the general sense. However among the multiple posts I scanned and read, there were like 2 posts geared to the design of the specific game you want to create. 

As a developer, I am interested in knowing you as a person and your game. Since in the end, we are kind of like "colleagues" so I'd be interested in knowing what you are thinking. As a player, I just would want to know about the game itself. That differs of course when I become a fan, I'd be interested in what you ate for breakfast too :).

Another thing is technicalities. You delve into technicalities that some players may not be into. I particularly learned a lot from your Biology posts (believe it or not, I didn't know that much about amoeba -- now I do because of you, which is great), I liked it. But the player... he just wants to see the game. Perhaps the odd post about where you inspiration comes from. 

It like when a programmer writes about this cool new feature in the game with double jump. Then he pasts a few lines of code and explains them. You and I would be thrilled and race to know how he did it so we could learn. The player... he'd be interested in knowing exactly which button he needs to press to do that.

Now I am not saying all players think like that, there are players out there that are IT personnel, game developers, etc... those are the ones that would be quite interested in the technicalities.

Don't get me wrong, I like it (as said before, I learned a lot :D). Perhaps another method to resolve this is separate the blogs? Keep one personal for all your ideas and technical information. While the other is solely for game related things? That way you have the best of both worlds :)

Hope that helps and that I didn't dissuade you from doing what you are doing. Oh and sorry for the long post.

Jul 12 2014, 6:47pm Anchor

Okay, this is good. Good stuff, Va11ar. I didn't sit down and decide an audience for my blog before I started. However, I recently wrote down my audience (and since I wrote it down from my intuition/heart, I think that this was the audience that I really had in mind since the beginning...if you know what I mean).
Here's the list I wrote for my audience:

1 - Indie game fans who at least have a small knowledge of game design
2 - Indie devs
3 - People interested in game development
4 - People excited about my game, who want to know more about it and buy it

This audience spans wide, encompassing consumer, producer, etc. That's the main reason why the topics don't all appeal to a player. But I believe that, now that I think of it, all the content should appeal to all the audience. At least each of these audience members should find interest in each post even if they don't find interest in a few comments or facts. Do you know what I mean?

If players want to see the game, that's not going to happen yet since I don't have a prototype or anything of that nature (besides Amoenu's body, like I showed in a few of the posts). It does make sense that players want to see actual content. That makes sense. But for me, even a description of the game and some content art is exciting. Does that excite you? I'm also being careful about how quickly I reveal content so that I have things to save for later. (For suspense too! I have a marketing mindset)

Thanks for your input! It's good to hear all your good comments about it. Hey, if the post has to be long to say what needs to be said, go for it.

Jul 13 2014, 9:07am Anchor

Thanks for listening and I am glad I didn't put you off what you are doing. But by far, I am no export. Just had to say that. 

I am glad you identified your audience that is the first step. Also very good that you started thinking that posts should be geared to all. I completely understand what you mean.
Check out the 4th paragraph (two sentences above "The Dream" in bold): Floatingorigin.com

I think that is what you mean :) and I believe it is a very good strategy of course.

As for revealing content to players, it is kind of tricky and you'll have to find the balance dependent on the kind of game you are working on. For example, the game I am working on is story based and revolves around exploration. All of my posts revolve around mechanics and posting pictures about different locations from the game. However, when it comes to story, I only wrote about 3-4 sentences in the entire website about it.
A game like Angry Bird for example isn't about story, it is about the puzzle you have to solve each level, that is the surprise/suspense. So it doesn't need to keep secret stuff like story, basic mechanics or soundtracks.

My point is... find the part which causes the suspense in your game and hide as much of it as possible, everything else... you can reveal some of it (within moderation of course, you don't want to give everything away from the get go too).

Hope that helps in anyway :)

Jul 15 2014, 6:47pm Anchor

Well what do you know, my game is story based and revolves around exploration! *Scratches chin* This is a common theme, huh? But there's so much room for innovation. So much room.

Thank you.

Edited by: JohnnyDoeBalls

Jul 15 2014, 7:37pm Anchor

You are absolutely right, there is a huge room for innovation :). Well come to think of it, any game has exploration as one of its elements; puzzle games, even, have it in "exploring multiple ways to solve the problem". It is fitting that your game revolves around a story... in the end one of the dominant pieces of your blogs are creative writing pieces :)

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