Posts tagged "Video"
02 Nov 2009Indie Game Developers shouldn’t forget the benefits of PR
Sophie here once again, today i thought i would look at how the internet can be utilized as a PR tool to help Indie Game Developers promote their games.
Public Relations in a nutshell: PR is defined as the art of controlling information flow between a company and the outside world. When you are an independent games developer producing a game using your own IP, it is easy for your indie roars to be rendered to a pitiful whisper in the noisy and crowded sea of the internet.
This means the Indies have to swallow their pride and remember they are not an EA or Activision and cannot use the same sort of PR methods they use, therefore they need to maximise their flow of information and utilize the web as much as possible.
The big guys tend to guard their updates carefully, rarely leaking new information about their game. When they do, it’s very controlled and polished. This strategy may make sense when you are so big that even a small leak of information means multiple Digg front-page stories and coverage by news sites everywhere. For Indies though, your carefully packaged press release would likely fall into obscurity.
This means that you need to get creative, experiment, and make noise often. Since it’s hard to predict what will blow up and what won’t, the more insights you share the better your chances are of getting people’s attention.
Remember that the upside is huge and the downside is small. The only thing you stand to lose is your time if you sink hours into a post that doesn’t earn you any recognition.
The good news is that if a PR attempt fails, no one will see it so you don’t have to feel embarrassed (EA doesn’t have this luxury). Since almost everything applies to games, there are lots of different things you can share.
An important part of open development is reaching out to other people in the industry. Contact other Indies, they are your allies not your rivals. You also want to reach out to press contacts and distributors.
Cold emails are always tough, so don’t get discouraged. Meeting people in person is extremely valuable. No matter where you are, you should try to get involved in your local game developer scene. Raiding conferences is also a great way to meet people. I recommend having a box of business cards, an iPod touch with some videos of your game on it.
To a certain extent indie games represent a chance to find out about the next big thing before it hits mainstream so don’t be bashful, say hello. You never know who you’ll meet and meeting people in person turns cold emails into warmer ones.
Building a community
The best way to build a community is to facilitate communication. Create ways for you to talk to fans, for fans to talk to fans and also for fans to talk to you.
It’s easy to think that you might be overwhelmed by visitors to your site if you allow everyone to contact you directly, however this is a great problem to have and most Indies that are just starting out are not lucky enough to have this problem.
Start early. Starting from zero is tough, so get it out of the way now. The earlier you start the more seeds you can plant by launch.
Onsite PR implementation
The blog is your rock and your most effective tool for sharing your development process with the world. It is extremely versatile and all the original content you produce for your blog can be echoed out to your other pages.
Tips: Use pictures/videos, keep it short, encourage discussion, make blog posts often
The forums offer a place for visitors to share their thoughts. Unlike the blog which you have to power yourself, the forums are largely fan-run. They provide a great medium to share information and solutions to problems that may arise. They also allow for the sharing of creative ideas and mods.
Tips: Seed the forums with appropriate topics. Try not to crack down to hard on anyone or you may find yourself in the middle of a flame war.
Offsite PR Implementation
ModDB is a very indie friendly collection of all video games and their mods. It’s a great place to add your game and keep people updated on its status. If the ModDB staff like your news update, they will promote it to the front page. Many people use it as a news site and keep track of gaming news. It is a surprisingly large site and the community is awesome. Some ModDB visitors have already started modding Overgrowth before it is even released.
Tips: Decorate your page to draw attention to it, update often with high quality content to attract people
YouTube is the best place to host your videos. YouTube has HD now and an absurd number of useful features these days. The most valuable thing about YouTube is that people can easily subscribe to your channel and YouTube will funnel more viewers onto your pages by cross-pollinating your video with other related videos.
Tips: Add a link to your YouTube channel in your videos so people can subscribe to you
A Facebook page gives you a secondary location to host your blog posts, pictures and HD videos. Facebook is the biggest social network and is designed to be as viral as possible. Whenever someone interacts with your page, the activity is splashed around to his or her friends. This helps people spread the word organically and can cause pretty substantial chain reactions.
However, a Facebook page needs nurturing.
Tips: Feed your blog onto your page’s notes, upload videos and photos individually to the wall so that they are more conspicuous
Twitter seemed pretty dubious at first. However Twitter is unique from other pages because it offers a good medium for you to meet your peers in the industry in addition to accumulating fans. Twitter is at worst an alternative to your blog’s RSS feed, but at best, it’s a great way to keep people up to date more rapidly and lets you communicate with tons of other game developers.
Tips: Don’t just link to yourself like an RSS bot, use Twitter to communicate with people
Your Steam group offers a great way to introduce your game to the Steam community. Groups have amenities like screenshots and avatars that you can upload to add some flair to your page.
However, the main asset of Steam groups is the chat room that acts like a public IRC channel tied directly to your game. Because most people on Steam are active gamers looking to purchase games, this PR is extremely well targeted.
Tips: Idle in your Steam group’s chat room so you can meet visitors and answer their questions, offer visitors avatars, you can post important blog posts as announcements
Games Press helps us auto feed our content onto certain sites. It has been great for getting our videos onto IGN, Gamespot, Game Trailers and G4. Even if you upload pictures of a pumpkin with the company logo carved in it getting set on fire with a propane torch, Games Press will get it streamed to a few sites.
Tips: just post it; you never know whose attention you’ll get
Game Trailers is the biggest game video site out there. It’s a constant stream of videos that people watch like TV, so when they post your video, it will immediately get thousands of views.
Tips: Upload videos often, don’t get discouraged if people mistake your early work for the final product, they’ll catch on eventually as they see more videos.
What’s more interesting: a finished asset or an entire time-lapse showing you everything from the initial strokes to the final product? If you can see the appeal of a time-lapse, you should also be able to see the appeal of open development.
There is often a PR quiet period for a game between when it is announced and when it is ready for preview. It makes sense that news sites probably can’t entertain their readers with your latest updates. However, such updates are interesting news to your community, so don’t sit on your hands, and keep showing what you’ve got.
Finally remember to stay agile. The gaming industry is already moving quiet steadily and web based PR tools seem to be moving faster than that. As a small agile company you’ll have the chance to be a first adopter on the next big thing
30 Oct 2009Development Blog – Normal day at Onteca
Every office has its own personalised methodology when approaching their day to day work load. Many arrive at the office armed with their double espresso venti cappuccino, set in the zone of hammering out a perfected PowerPoint presentation to the corporate big wigs. Some people even knowingly glue themselves to their poorly manufactured and terribly uncomfortable office chairs from the hours of 9-5, unbeknown to them that they are haven’t seen daylight for over a year. This I am happy to report is NOT the working structure of the Onteca office.
With any job that involves an individual to exert their creativity within their work, environment and habitual comforts are essential. At Onteca it is apparent that the company nurtures a freeform style and its colleague’s creative composition through its relaxed approach to business. The Onteca cluster consists of individuals who specialise in various areas, ranging from graphic designers, computer programmers, visual artists and music composer. All of which make Onteca what it is today, a compressed source of enthusiasm and creativity for the world of innovative technology.
Onteca is defiantly independent and want to make their games with as little external interference as possible. They have grown to their size through doing a variety of different projects but our core passion is the production of Computer games. Emerging more as a games developer, Onteca are happy to stay in the shadows of such a commercially run industry and let their work speak for itself. Their work with new emerging technology screams exuberance, modernisation and eccentricity. Components needed in such a conditioned culture where individuals are becoming harder to entertain, and as a result succumbing to the customs of replication.
Onteca to this day
Multitasking is what Onteca does best; here is a little glimpse into what the company is up to.
Bluecoat project – Bluecoat’s is an award-winning art gallery best known for their continuous programme of innovative exhibitions. Dan, Onteca’s own software and computer programming connoisseur is currently working on the Bluecoat project. Bluecoat are looking to improve visitor engagement on their website, this will be done by developing a 3d map. This may sound simple to us techno proletarians; however this requires precise architecture programming in action script 3.
14-19 Diploma – I am sure you have noticed my last blog covering Onteca’s educatory work with students in Wirral. Max is Onteca’s very own film director and interactive media tutor, is currently working with the on the training programme of the 14-19 diploma. The Diploma is an alternative curriculum that combines theoretical and practical study, providing a different style of learning that will offer young people an alternative route into higher education, apprenticeships or employment with training. Onteca provide training in such up-to-date industry standard software packages such as MAYA 3d modelling, Flash, Photoshop, Web Design and Video After Effects.
Onteca Training Programmes – Onteca believes in educating individuals in the different emerging technologies, consequently the company has proposed a new line of Training Programmes. Whether you’re just starting out along the path to be a games developer, or you want to learn how create a custom Smartphone application for your business Onteca will provide a training course tailored to your development needs. Course materials consists of Programming courses e.g. Introduction to C++, iphone 2d and 3d development and intro to CSS. Digital arts courses e.g. Intro to Photoshop, Flash, Autodesk Maya, 3d modelling and intro to web design. And Leadership courses e.g. Thinking the future.
Monsteca Corral– This is a project that is growing ever so close to my heart. Everyone at Onteca has a role to play with the development of the Monsteca Corral game, whether it is creating sounds for the Sdompe’ (Jo), perfecting the artwork of new characters (Rich), working on the architecture of the game (Simon), developing the game as a whole (the maker Ben) or my role of marketing the game to the public.
(Ben: The maker) (Rich: Creator)
Day by day the tick boxes are being crossed off and we are getting closer and closer to the finish line. At the moment Jo is currently making sounds for the game and the characters, this is a very peculiar process to watch first hand when it involves banging chairs against the floor to see the types of sound effects they can make. It is however very interesting to see how different sounds can be manipulated and constructed with such programs as Sound Forge SoundLab. I can’t wait to finally hear how the Sdompe is going to sound.
We now have two months to finish the game so to keep you guys updated I am going to try and keep an up-to-date development diary. Watch firsthand the Monsteca Corral game come together.
See you soon
27 Oct 200914-19 Information Technology Diploma
Hello all, Sophie here.
In my introductory blog last week I told you guys that my ground is in Public Relations and how I will be working on Onteca’s new game Monsteca Corral, furthermore Monsteca is not the only thing that should raise some eyebrows. Unbeknown to many, Onteca plays an exceptional role within the Wirral 14-19 Diploma .
The Diploma is an alternative curriculum that combines theoretical and practical study, providing a different style of learning that will offer young people an alternative route into higher education, apprenticeships or employment with training.
The Diploma combines a wide range of elements that aim to develop confident and independent learners with the skills to succeed in the workplace. In addition to a broad range of knowledge therefore, young people will also gain competency in skills such as independent thinking, English, Maths and IT. Although diplomas will give an insight into particular industries and sectors, the skills gained through such work can be applied to all professions.
Originally the diploma consisted of vocational courses such as Hair and Beauty Studies, Construction and the Built Environment and Retail Business. Subsequently the Diplomas are now advancing along with the progression of modern day technology, and no one knows more about advancements in technology than Onteca.
The guys at Onteca are keen to introduce the Information Technology Diploma to their students, covering areas such as:
1.Business: How organisations work and the role technology can play
2.People: How to work well with other people
3.Technology: How to create technology solutions
Plus exploring a cross theme of multimedia, looking at how to design and develop a multimedia products for a particular audience. Onteca provide training in such up-to-date industry standard software packages as MAYA 3d modelling, Flash, Photoshop, Web Design and Video After Effects.
The Diploma represents a huge opportunity for Wirral students of all abilities to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes to succeed in work and life in the twentieth first century. I personally believe Diplomas like these will help restore the loss of hope many students have lost, by introducing them to totally different form learning.
For more information about the types of Diplomas available go to the Direct Gov website, or feel free to contact me to learn more about Onteca and their contribution to the 14-19 Diplomas in the Wirral area at email@example.com
See you soon
21 Oct 2009New Entry – Monsteca Corral
Onteca have once again expanded their digital clan and taken on-board 23 year old Public relations (PR) graduate Sophie (yes you read it right, PR not a games programmer). You may ask why does Onteca, an interactive media company need the likes of a publicity thirsty PR hound? Because somebody needs to spread the word and show off all the boys hard work.
That is where I come in, my name is Sophie, I have moved ever so graciously from my home in Newcastle to the lovely city of Liverpool to do a 6 month internship with Onteca and North West Vision and Media. My role within the company over the next 6 months will to organise the press / social media and the marketing campaign of their new Nintendo WiiWare game Monsteca Corral.
I come from a background where video games were only played when I was procrastinating from university work, forced upon me at family gatherings and the odd time when my curiosity for my mental age was tested on the DS Brain Train. So basically long story short, I am not a gamer, I don’t know any of the techy lingo I hear spouted around the office and when someone asks me what is my favourite video game I just go blank.
However there is this myth that to market a game the marketeer must know the ins and outs of the gaming industry, this I am proud to say is not true. To market a video game the most important thing to know is who your audience is, how to communicate with them and ability to promote your material in a way that they can relate to.
Leading up to the games release in January 2010 Monsteca Corral will gradually build upon its presence within the on-line stratosphere, giving gamers a sneak peek into what the game has in-store for them.
Over the next 6 months you can follow Monsteca Corral’s journey through the Onteca blog, Twitter feeds and Facebook updates. Watch first hand the release of a new video game and see its progress.
Feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the game.
02 Oct 2009MonsTECA character: "Monster-Hunter"
28 Apr 2009This is surgery – Promo Video
30 Jan 2009MoCap FTW!
This is a quick sample animation render of a little robot guy messing around, The animation data came from our first quick test with our new Motion Capture system, when simon was messing around in a skin tight suit, covered in shiny nipples. Not bad for a first attempt, methinks. We learnt about a lot of stuff that we’ll need to work on next time we get a chance to use the system, mainly regarding the calibration of the cameras, in this we had issues with feet going through the floor, because we hadn’t calibrated it to recognise the space within about 4-8 inches of the ground, we also had some weirdness when simon walked around in certain areas of the space, because we had gaps in the recognised space due to incorrect waving of a stick (with a little shiny ball on the end) in the space, that left the cameras unable to recognise a big donut shaped area going round the middle of the capture volume
29 Jan 2009Progressive / Interlaced video
Progressive / Interlaced video.
How to de-interlace.