Three essential tips for indies in 2014 (that should be obvious but aren’t)

In today’s socially connected world where relationships are fundamental to success, these tips could make all the difference.

At last, they're coming!

1. Never publicise a failure to raise your profile

If you’re in this for the long haul – which you have to be to succeed – you must build a track record of success online. Only success can attract great people, and you need great people to continue to succeed.

If a game fails to sell, instead of sharing your disappointment with the press for an easy headline (there’s nothing more certain to drive traffic than bad news) and a small spike in sales, resist the temptation and instead train yourself to celebrate the silver lining (there is always at least one) and talk publicly about that instead.

This is especially important for when you’re pitching your next project. If the only big headline that shows up from a Google search is about your spectacular failure, it will colour how people see you. Of course there is no sense in lying, but you can be selective about what you reveal to the world.

Finally, you should never, ever publicly pass the blame for your failure.

2. Always read the comments

We learn something new every day by reading people’s comments online. Surge Deluxe wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for us scouring the internet for feedback on our games.

If you’re making a product that’s any good, you shouldn’t have any trouble diving into forums and YouTube comments to engage with people. If you’re making a product that’s receiving harsh criticism, it’s likely because you’re not listening or responding to your players, perhaps as a result of not reading the comments! 😉

3. Treat trolls with respect

Many people believe that showing patience & grace to trolls is a waste of energy, but it is possible to kill with kindness. Apart from one occasion involving a very disturbed individual, we’ve managed to dissipate every case of online aggression by treating the poster with respect.

More often that not, an aggressor will be shocked at your humanity and apologise in turn for being rude. Because why wouldn’t they? People generally prefer to be liked than disliked, but some just don’t know how to start conversation positively. How many times have you heard someone start a real world conversation by moaning about the weather?

Take the initiative and show some unconditional kindness to move a negative conversation somewhere more valuable. If you’re aware of the Broken Windows Theory you’ll understand why cultivating a positive community around your game is important.

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  • jordy vrinssen
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 8:02 pm 0Likes

    very good tips XD
    Happy newyear for you guys, cant wait for velocity 2x!

  • Jon
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 11:27 pm 0Likes

    Some very solid advice, especially number one as it’s really not always obvious to people. The company I work with learned it the hard way and it’s not an easy place to pull back from, so much I could say on the subject.

    Points two and three we have always done though, and they have always produced stunning results.

  • Sensamur
    Posted January 2, 2014 at 12:27 am 0Likes

    Thx for all the great advice you give. You inspired me to be a game developer some day. I love how you guys take care of your fans and share info whit us. Thx again for the effort you show.
    Best regards.

  • blasterjack
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 12:35 am 0Likes

    Makes me curious about this very disturbed individual

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