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  • How To Make People Play Your Game At A Convention

    - Giada Zavarise

  • Help people find your game after the convention

    I lost count of the games I wanted to cover or buy, but couldn't, because the author didn't even have a website.

    People will play lots of interesting games during a convention. Help them remember yours! You don't have to print a million of business cards, but at least prepare a Steam page, or a mailing list, or a Twitter account. Whatever. Something that allows people to follow your game, and that allows you to follow up, sending them updates and reminding them that your game still exists, is cool and they should definitely buy it once it comes out.

    Again, avoid pressuring people. One of the most uncomfortable experiences I've had at a convention was a booth where the developer sat to a chair next to me and watched me play the whole game. At the end of the demo, a screen encouraged me to get added to a mailing list. I did not like the game. I just wanted to leave. But the developer asked me to leave the mail and just kept staring at me, looking expectant and slightly desperate.
    I left a fake mail and quickly left. Don't be that developer.

    A physical sign-up form can be less intimidating than a screen, but be prepared to deal with A LOT of scribly handwritings.

    Journalists are people too

    Remember that some people playing your game will be part of The Press. Journalists have a million games to cover, and can't afford to lose time googling your game and downloading images from some old devlog. Be respectful of their time. Give them all the materials they need in an easily accessible form.

    Get your press kit ready (you can use Presskit()). If you really, really don't have the time to set up one, at least prepare a .zip with screens and a game description you can mail to journalists on the spot.The press can't cover your game if they don't have screens to put on the articles. Be nice to The Press. They are very tired.

    One last rant

    A trend I noticed: the games that constantly disregard accessibility practices are often the most "artistic", experimental ones. This makes me sad.

    Weird, cool and experimental games have the highest chances of attracting people who don't usually play games. But if we make them inaccessible, we're just cutting people out.

    Don't be dismissive of people who don't know to play games: they might become your new, most ardent fans.


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