Game streaming has always existed in what I find to be a very interesting space. In one hand, we’ve got popular players who stream, gamers who are able to make streaming their full-time job through subscriptions, sponsorships, ads, and donations. These are the personalities we watch and admire, the ones many of us aspire to be like by trying our hand at streaming ourselves. But in the other hand, we have developers that stream—and not as many of them as I think should exist! Streaming can be an incredibly effective way to not just market your dev team and game project but it’s also a powerful tool for connecting with your crowd—the fans who share your passion for your game.
The Dev Showcase Must Go On!
One of the greatest things about the indie game scene is that the industry is full of passionate devs, many who are working on their projects in whatever free time they can scrape together from their day to day lives. While AAA games like Overwatch get showered with praise for “connecting with their fans” through developer updates, that kind of interaction can and should come standard in the indie game world: what we may lack in quantity we damn sure make up for in quality! One of the best ways to improve your fanbase for your project is to share your passion for game making with the world.
Streaming sites like Stream.Me provide an amazing platform to connect with fans through developer showcases while development is ongoing. Share the new assets your artist whipped up, rock out to some new soundtrack music, and discuss game mechanics with fans. In the same way that popular streamers get viewers excited about the games they’re playing, properly utilizing streaming as a developer can get your viewers excited about your game. And as we all know, there ain’t no brakes on the hype train!
Contests and giveaways are another effective marketing strategy, and if you’ve built up a viewership from streaming throughout the development process, you have an excellent opportunity to run contests and giveaways on your stream. Whether you’re giving away game keys, swag, or giving fans a chance to somehow make their mark on your game, by using a streaming service, you’re creating an exciting live event that brings people together: you’re creating a community for your game! With a regular schedule, you can keep your game in the minds of your fans even when they’re away from the computer and give them something to look forward to during the week.
A Place to Call Home
And really, that’s one of the best things we as developers can provide to our players and fans: a community. When I look back at all the games I’ve loved over my lifetime, I find it hard to think of one where I didn’t have a positive community experience. Fishing while chatting with guildmates in World of Warcraft, discussing Marth strategies for Smash Bros with local players, or gossiping with friends about the upcoming Kingdom Hearts games . . . these games brought people together, and as indie developers, we have the unique opportunity to nurture and grow a community to be proud of. Even when we’re too busy or too tired at the end of the day to actively play a game or work on code, many of us pop a stream on in the background as we go about our evening duties. We could just watch game trailers, but we don’t—we try to connect! Don’t lose out on the opportunity for your game to connect with players!
This post was sponsored by the wonderful folks at Stream.Me! Stream.Me is an exciting new streaming platform offering 4K HD streaming at 60fps, built-in multi-stream for viewers, multi-chat integration, a generous partnership process for streamers, and hosted eSports tournaments. If you liked what you read in this post and want to start streaming or are looking for a new streaming platform, check them out!