6 Steps to Get Your Game to the Top

With just a little of your time, you can make your game more successful, reach new players and increase your game revenue. Use these 6 creative steps to promote your game and connect with your fans. Spread the Word About Your Game It’s no secret that game marketing is one of the most important parts in game development. These short tips will explain you how to do the basic promotion for your game. For more advanced options and details, simply search the web - you will find plenty of useful information about game promotion. Game promotion can be started even prior to its release. Here’s a short scheme what can be done before and after your game launch. Pre-Release Create a blog (you can use it as the main informational page for your game). Use social networks (where you can repost blog posts). The most important ones: Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+. Start posting content related to your game (sketches, ideas, short gameplay videos, etc.), repost from other TutoTOONS users and topics that might be interested for your target audience. Post-Release Promote content about your game through forums, YouTube channels, bloggers, Twitter users with the same target audience. Ask TutoTOONS community for promotion. Ask your friends to help share your posts. Example: LightDrop Games Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LightDropGames Twitter: https://twitter.com/LightDrop_en G+: https://plus.google.com/+Lightdropgames/posts YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC59F9Ub6JZ_2CCl_27Dsz2A Now, let’s have a closer look at each of the pre- and post-release promotion steps. Pre-Release Here I am going to give you some basic advice on how to promote your game before it is released. This way you can reach new people who will be the first to download your game and spread the word about it. 1. Blog Blog is the first thing that you need to start when you are going to promote your game on the internet. Use your blog as the base for your posts. Your social media posts should lead to your blog, and vice versa. If managed right, a good blog can bring you your first players and fans who will share information about your game. The most popular platforms to start a blog: WordPress Blogger Tumblr 2. Social Networks Once you have a blog, it’s time to set up social media profiles. You will use them to connect with your players and fans, and direct them to your blog. The most important networks to use are: Facebook Pinterest Twitter Google+ Here is a very comprehensive article that covers social media profiles from A to Z, written by Evan LePage, a blog specialist for Hootsuite. I’ve selected some of LePage ideas and tips that will motivate you and help to promote your game. However, reading the whole article will give you an in-depth look at the most popular social media channels. “Your Facebook profile is one of the largest social media profiles on the web. Since Facebook is also the biggest social network on the planet, with 1.3 billion users, it’s important that people are able to quickly find you and connect.” “Take the time to fill out all sections with care, as customers and prospects will turn to them frequently. You also have the opportunity to write a lengthy “About” description of your game. Use this space to show visitors who you are, what you do and why they should care.” Suggested image dimensions: Profile picture: 180×180 px Cover photo: 851×315 px “Whether it’s a personal or branded account, Twitter profiles are exactly the same for everyone. This should be an advantage, since you don’t need to learn different processes if you’re building a profile for you or your business. That isn’t to say these profiles don’t require effort. Just like the network’s approach to social media as a whole, Twitter profiles are a test in brevity.” Suggested image dimensions: Profile photo: 400×400 px Header image: 1500×500 px “Many people are quick to brush off Google+, when in fact it has some of the most passionate social media users today. Add the fact that Google+ profiles have a role in Google search results of your name or brand, and you shouldn’t need any more reason to work hard on your Google+ presence.” Suggested image dimensions: Profile picture: 120×120 px (minimum) Cover photo: 1080×608 px 3. Posts & Content Let’s proceed to another important question - what should I post? First, you should know your target audience. It’s very important because you want to post content that will be interesting for your game fans and followers. If you made a game for kids like many other TutoTOONS creators, your target audience is parents. They are the ones who will download your game for their kids. Example of content that might be interesting for parents: interesting facts about games for kids, how games help kids (improve kids reaction, foster kids imagination and creativity, develop motor skills, etc.), and similar. Second, do not forget to share and repost content of other TutoTOONS game creators and team members, as well as news from interesting contributors to game industry. And third, prepare game-related content while working on your game. It can be sketches of characters or game levels, finished game scenes and graphics, sneak peek gameplay videos - all the nice and interesting things that you created. Post-Release Once you have your blog, social media accounts are ready and your game is about to be published, it’s time to focus on promoting your game. 1. Share Content with Your Target Audience By now, you should already know who is your target audience and what they like. Best way to reach them is to share information in places they visit online. For example, you can target online forums where moms and dads share parenting information with each other. Try to post and offer parents a new interesting game for their kids in which, e. g., kids can learn something new. But be nice and friendly, online communities don’t like spam in their chats! Another way to promote your game is to contact people who influence your target audience, and share your content through them. Examples of places to share your game info: Mom bloggers (http://www.topmommyblogs.com/pages/index.php) Educational games on Twitter (https://twitter.com/educationalgame) 2. Promotion through TutoTOONS Community We all have a common interest in creating quality games, promoting them and ultimately earning more revenue. If one TutoTOONS game becomes popular, it promotes other games, and so on. That’s why all community members are encouraged to help each other and share content of each other. For this purpose, we have #games-marketing channel in TutoTOONS Slack where you can share your information and encourage others to re-share it. And, of course, do not hesitate to share information of other team members. ;) 3. Promotion through Your Personal Network You most-likely have some personal social profiles already, so why don’t use it to promote your game? Sharing information with your personal network is the easiest way to get the first followers and reach people who might be interested in what you are doing. Write a nice email about your game (introduce it, add links to App Store and Google Play, some screenshots, link to video, etc.) and send it to your friends, family and contacts once the game is released. Quality game reviews and good ratings are very important for your game discovery and downloads. How to get reviewed? Simply ask your friends for help! Make sure they leave a positive comment about your game and help you get to the top. Written By Iurii Znak

GameDev Meetup #10 Gathered Together Lithuanian Game Developers

Last week we had a great event - GameDev Meetup #10! Here game developers shared their thoughts, ideas and projects they are currently working on. During the event, 4 main speakers were not only presenting their success stories but more importantly - talking about their experience in game publishing and self-publishing, a very risky business with no guarantees that your long time developed game will succeed. TutoTOONS co-founder and CEO Mantas Kavaliauskas shared what we learned after publishing 100 mobile games for kids in 1 year. He pointed out his insights about best TutoTOONS games performance in App Store, Google Play and Amazon. Jonas Abromaitis, CEO at Tiny Lab Productions, presented Orborun game publishing experience on Steam platform, the comeback of Nebula44, online strategy game, and the unexpected success of Fun Kid Racing, car racing game for kids. Indie game developer Svajūnas Žemaitis talked about the creation of Garbage Day (which took him 6 years of work from scratch!) and presented his phenomenal success story of getting the Garbage Day green-lit by the Steam community. And finally, one of the youngest Lithuanian game developers and Mad Studio founder Laimonas Mileška shared his game development and publishing experience in ROBLOX platform. Even Business Insider knows his success story! Laimonas Mileška (Mad Studio) says that cooperation with other game developers can help you to improve your performance in game industry: Game developers from Lithuania are so creative and friendly. They easily share their ideas, experiences, insights and discoveries in gaming industry. If you have connections with Lithuanian game developers, you can always contact them directly. They will help you or at least will find someone who can. According to indie gamedev Svajūnas Žemaitis, successful game development strongly depends on sharing your experience and cooperating with other game developers. He believes that everyone can create games on their own: Web is full of resources with useful information about game development. The best way to learn how to create a game is simply… create one. You can only learn through actual game creation process. The most important thing is to choose your favorite game genre or to think up your favorite game type, which will be your starting point. Jonas Abromaitis (Tiny Lab Productions) says game developer meetings like this one are very useful and interesting: First, it’s good to hear what other game developers are currently doing and how everything is going on for them. Second, it’s great to share your own experience. Who else you could boast about your success to if not for your colleagues! I am happy that every time more and more people are coming to these events. I believe that in the future when Lithuanian gaming industry will have a bigger community, we will be able to invite our colleagues from countries like Finland or Estonia. Game developers in these countries have really great experience and this can be a top place where you could learn from the best. Mantas Kavaliauskas (TutoTOONS)promised that there will be more and even bigger events than GameDev Meetup. According to him, meetups are very important for game developers as they improve your knowledge about gaming industry and reduce competition among Lithuanian gamedev studios. Lithuania is a very small country. Game developers living and creating games here should not compete with each other but help each other instead. Only this way, by working together, we can compete in the global gaming market with the largest game development companies. TutoTOONS team has a HUGE thank you to Lithuanian Game Developers Association, talented speakers and woderful participants for making this event happen! Let’s gather even a bigger crowd next time!

Behind the Scenes of Childhood Inspired “Treehouse Club”

If Nikolai and his game artist Alina could work nonstop and without sleep, the two of them would have made their first TutoTOONS game in a week! Read about the creation of Treehouse Club game and learn how Nikolai turned his childhood hobbies into a game that shows kids how to make their own toys. TutoTOONS: Hi Nikolai! Traditionally, first we want to know everything about you. What do you do, what are your interests and hobbies? Nikolai: Hello all readers! :) My name is Nikolai, I was born in Germany and lived all my life in Ukraine. My parents are very creative people: my mother likes to write poetry, and my father has the talent of an inventor, which I inherited from him. Since childhood, I loved to invent all sorts of interesting things, both useful and not so much. :) I expressed this passion of mine by creating games. In school, I used to make various board games, then played them with friends. Most of those board games were Monopoly genre games. At the same time, I gradually started to program, play computer games and read a lot, mostly fiction. Books often occupied all my spare time. They gave me an infinite source of creativity and broadened my horizon of imagination. Computer games and programming built up my dream to become a game developer. But at that time, I didn’t expect that I will have this chance. Now this opportunity exists, thanks to TutoTOONS. :) In my free time, I like to dream about various things. These moments, I often come up with interesting ideas, some of which I write down so I could bring them to life in the future. Likewise, I love playing and making games. For me, game creation is a very exciting process with all its stages. I also love listening to music. Once, as a hobby, I wanted to learn to play the guitar. I like instrumental music and I wanted to try it myself. Now I have plans to learn how to create soundtracks for games, which is also a very creative and exciting process. So it’s possible that I will reveal my musical skills in my future games. :) That would be wonderful! Now tell us, where did you find out about TutoTOONS? Do you have game creation experience from before? Yes, I have experience in creating games. I had a chance to realize myself as a game developer in the gaming industry but even if I didn’t, I think I’d still search for a way to do it. Cooperation with TutoTOONS helped me a lot in this. While developing games, I realized that you can make a beautiful and interesting game only if you’re fully involved in the creation process, and when you have an opportunity to come up with the plot and implement it without much effort. TutoTOONS gave this opportunity for us, my talented artist Alina and me. Both of us had a dream to work on game projects for children. And once I received an invitation on LinkedIn from Iurii, manager in TutoTOONS, who brought me to this company. :) Alina’s artwork: Iurii explained everything about TutoTOONS and made a great impression, I almost had no questions. I understood that I will be free to choose game topic and everything related to its creation. Possibility to work with my own artist made it even more interesting. What made you work with TutoTOONS from the beginning – what was the most beneficial/attractive thing about it? Freedom to choose what game I want to create, opportunity to work with my personal artist, big player community and the percentage of game sales. The most attractive thing is freedom in work, I didn’t have it in my previous works. Oh, and game creation speed too! With TutoTOONS editor, it’s a very simple process. Much simpler than programming everything yourself. What’s the story behind your game, Treehouse Club? Tell us more about your game idea and how you came up with it. I think many of us, as a child, loved to climb trees and build a tent or a small house. :) The idea of the Treehouse Club game is associated with it. Tree houses used to look very funny, I remember it from childhood. As I mentioned, I like inventing things. When I was a kid, I loved to construct. I enjoyed using the tools to make different parts for any new toy. I think these two things helped me decide how the game will look. In my imagination, I saw a spreading tree with 3 or 4 houses, where each child could make his or her favorite toys. I asked Alina to sketch this complex picture, and I was pleasantly surprised when the result exceeded my expectations. Tree and houses looked very bright and beautiful. The entire game eventually was filled with different bright colors. I think players will agree with me. Alina: I love games for kids, and I immediately liked the idea of the Treehouse Club. I also have experience in working on game projects, other genres though. It was very interesting to work in this style and especially to draw for kids audience. For me, it’s important that this game helps kids learn new things, develop various skills in a playful way, and gives the opportunity to create their favorite toys. I tried to make a bright and colorful world that will allow your child to dive into his/her own little tale, where he or she acts as a “jack of all trades”. :) Looks like Alina knows exactly where to find inspiration for Treehouse Club game graphics :) Your game is an amazing example of how much you can do once you learn the possibilities of TutoTOONS. You used so many different features, animations and visual effects, even for the smallest details. Treehouse Club is full of activities and looks so live! How many hours did it take to make the game from start to finish? Nikolai: The game really is very lively and colorful. Major part of it is the merit of the artist, and all the effects that I used helped to create a living little fairy tale from the game. We worked in the evenings and on weekends. In my calculations, the two of us spent 350 hours, in total. So game creation from scratch to final product would take 1 week from each, graphic designer and artist, if working nonstop and without sleep. :) How did you start making your game and what steps did you take to reach the final result? In general, our game is the result of a great teamwork. It’s very good when game designer listens to the artist, and vice versa. :) What regards the effects inside the game, I immediately imagined how each scene should look like and what animation I want to use to bring it to life. I tried to take a maximum from TutoTOONS game editor. For a couple of days, I studied other similar games and selected effects that I could use in our game. I also tried to work on the test skit where I experimented with animations. TutoTOONS is a simple editor but it allows you to liven up a variety of effects in game scenes. You only need to study them a bit and find the perfect ones. Try, experiment, and you’ll certainly succeed. :) In your opinion, what are the most important things when you’re creating your own game? Any tips for other game creators? The most important thing in creation is to be thrilled by games. Passion helps to follow the ultimate goal. It makes you think about every detail, highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the project, feel connected with the player. Ultimately, passion allows you to make a full game form the idea. The developer also has to feel if the game will be interesting: not too difficult for the player, or the opposite, not too easy and boring. You must choose a balance that will let all players enjoy the game. This knowledge comes with experience but I also advise to use tips from other developers, especially those with more experience. Guys from TutoTOONS helped me a lot, thanks to them for it. :) What are your future plans with TutoTOONS? At the moment, I’m doing one more interesting game that will hopefully also get a lot of positive feedback from our players, and I also have a great desire to continue the Treehouse Club game series. Thank you for answering our questions and sharing your story with our readers! Anything you’d like to add? I want to thank all of our readers and players who play our games, we will try to make them even more colorful and interesting! Get ready to make your own toys because Treehouse Club now is available on the biggest app stores! App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id990582200 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.tutotoons.app.workshoponthetree&hl=en Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WUDM3XW/