This year is filled with news about new gaming platforms, as well as about two positioning themselves as platforms for all games – GOG Galaxy and Google Stadia.
And before going further into the discussion about platforms, I’ll start with a little background. I work in a game studio, where one of the projects is a cross-platform game.
No, not a browser game that works on any device in a browser, but a game that has a native application for Windows, several versions of Android applications, iOS, and the browser version actually, too.
I already wrote about this experience in another article, so I’ll briefly say that publishing on different platforms makes it possible to get organic users from different sources, which is generally a great alternative to purchasing traffic, especially for games that don’t really monetize. There is no big secret in this, if you wish, you can find speeches on this topic on all sorts of White Nights and Game Dev Confs, or just carefully examine the sites with games to understand that people are playing there.
Having some skills in creating sites and SEO, as well as releasing the game on such sites, this year I started to create my indie platform for all games after work. Just in case, I’ll clarify – not a platform for indie games, but an indie platform for any games.
As I said, I published the game in almost all Android stores, iOS, Steam and a couple of hundreds of sites. I saw all these admin areas to add games that are convenient only from a computer, they have a bunch of pages and requirements and multi-page API documentation.
I wanted to make it easier, I wanted to make it simple even for a player to add any game on just one page, simple as creating a post in social network, so that a developer could just request permission to edit a page with his game if users had already posted it.
In the screenshot above – the minimum for the publication of any game. Add title, search tags, description, screenshots, thumbnail and video. And most importantly – links to stores with your game. This quickly creates a landing page for your game in just 5 minutes. Here it is below:
The page consists of a slider with video and screenshots, a block with links to stores and everything else that was in the mini-admin panel above. Authorized visitors can like, dislike, write comments or add to favorites. Such a basic option to further promote game is free for developers.
In addition, all of the above is easily done from the phone, in 5 minutes, here are some mobile screenshots:
What else? For browser games and for those who are going to make browser demos or full versions of their games, the site API is available allowing you to process purchases or get the ID of the current user of the site.
There is no browser version, but do you think that screenshots and videos are the last century? Create an interactive creative where in a mini-game invite the user to buy the full version!
Additionally, for the most ardent marketers, there are Google Adwords blocks on the pages of the site, to target your latest creatives of the latest update of your game.
And also any game for ~0.5$ can be put on the very first place in a special ad unit, it’s not even necessary to have access to edit the page of this game, so any fan can do it for you.
I’ll tell you a little more about the fairly standard feature of any platform: categories and search for games. Screenshot above – the page of the “adventure games” category, which is formed from the games that added this word in the search tags field.
All category pages show new, popular and random games from the selected category. And also the ad unit that I mentione above.
A search produces relevantly randomized results. That is, random from exact matches, then random from tags, and then random from content.
In general, this is such an indie rival to GOG Galaxy and Google Stadia, throw slippers if you want, but I made it myself, in my free time, without loans and venture investments.
Next time I’ll talk about design and / or server architecture. What is more interesting to you?