6 Reasons to Start a Devlog for your Indie Game (#Gamedev Audio Blog #7)

When it come to creating things, from making games to writing ebooks, I’m a nerd for process. I find reading other peoples’ devlogs a blast, but creating your own has numerous benefits, too. For indie devs, a devlog can be a great tool for getting the word out about your game, sharing your creative ideas, and documenting your design process to learn from down the road post-launch.

Episode 7 of my GameDev Audio Blog series looks at 6 reasons you should considering starting a devlog for your indie game, and the potential benefits you can gain from doing it right.

If you’re looking for an example of one way to approach this, head over to www.deathwell.com to peep my new devlog for my upcoming narrative horror RPG, Deathwell.

Enjoy the episode? Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or comment to let me know if you’re digging these and want more? Happy to take topic requests or answer Qs in future installments if you have any.

Minimizing Risk as an Indie Developer (#Gamedev Audio Blog #6)

It’s been a challenging week, with Missile Cards launch sales flowing along at a painfully slow trickle. What better time to talk about minimizing risk as a small indie developer, especially when you’re bootstrapping it and pushing to traction with your first few games projects!

This episode covers tips on minimizing risk to lessen the impact of your games tanking — or at least selling well below your least optimistic estimates.

Enjoy the episode? Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or comment to let me know if you’re digging these and want more? Happy to take topic requests or answer Qs in future installments if you have any.

Beta Testing Your Indie Game (#Gamedev Audio Blog #3)

Lightening things up a but, episode #3 in my short mini-podcast audio blog series looks at tips and techniques for Beta testing your game as a solo indie — especially when you live outside of the a major population hub and struggle with finding testers for your games.

Here are some of the topics I touch on:

  • Building your Beta testing list
  • Running your Beta through Steam
  • Tips for ensuring your Beta runs smoothly
  • Using Steam to deliver + update your Beta
  • How Beta testing improved Missile Cards

     

Enjoy the episode? Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or comment to let me know if you’re digging these and want more? Happy to take topic requests or answer Qs in future installments if you have any.

ADD & Game Dev Part I: Making games when you struggle with a hyper-mind

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In this first entry in a multi-part blog series about game development and ADD, I explore what it’s like inside the mind of someone who makes games and suffers from severe attention deficit disorder. Hope these posts offer some insights and tips to help other folks who face similar challenges.

Most of the time, my brain feels like the Millennium Falcon — always threatening to rattle itself apart as I blast my way through a vast hyperspace of to-do lists on any given day. Sometimes I’m firing on all thrusters, and things are going smoothly. Other times, that stupid thing inside my skull does THIS:

Welcome to the Hyper-Mind Hell Vortex. Are we having fun yet?

Continue reading

The Hard Truth: Why You Have To Hustle For Kindle Reviews

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If you’ve ever launched a book, you probably know what it feels like to sit there, constantly refreshing the page day after day, hoping each time that you’ll see another sale or a new positive review. It’s a bad habit a lot of author have, myself included, and it’s hard to avoid. Waiting for your book to get those helpful first reviews can be an agonizingly slow process, and the hard truth of the matter is the vast majority of people who buy a book or product won’t bother to leave a review.

In reality, only about one to two percent of people who buy your book, on average, will take the time to leave you a review on Amazon…IF they’re left to their own devices. It’s not that they don’t enjoy your book, or that they don’t want to help you out. But it takes a little effort to leave a review, and once someone has bought and read your book, they’ve already got the goods, so to speak. There’s no added benefit, really, of leaving a review. And so they don’t.

It’s nothing personal. People are just busy, they’re distracted, or it’s not a high priority.

A one to two percent customer review frequency is pretty abysmal, but you can boost that significantly by taking a more proactive approach to getting honest reviews — both at launch and over time. Seriously. A few simple changes to your approach and a little extra hustle can have a big impact in both the quality of reviews you get and the volume.

To help you out, I’ve put together a comprehensive online course that walks you through a simple, effective step-by-step approach to get you tons of honest day-1 reviews for your book.

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Desperate for more Kindle book reviews? Want to learn how to get tons of honest day-1 reviews for your books at launch?

CoverArtKindle Book Review Formula: How To Get More Kindle Reviews Only $10 $99

If you struggle with getting reviews for your books — both at launch and over the long haul — you’ll love my new online course! To kick things off, I’m offering a limited-time 90 percent discount during launch week. You can grab the full course for only $10 right now!

So….What am I going to get from this course?

  1. Over 32 lectures and 2 hours of content!
  2. Get more 4 and 5 star Kindle reviews using only white hat strategies and best practices
  3. Build and engage a launch review team to get a minimum of 10-15 reviews up by launch
  4. Identify and connect with ideal target readers who are more engaged with your book content
  5. Deploy long-term strategies to help boost your ongoing book reviews
  6. Gain the positive social proof you need to help you sell more books
  7. Deal with negative reviews and use criticism to improve your books and get better reviews

Are you ready to turn the tide and get more positive and reviews and social proof to drive your Kindle book sales? Grab your 50% discount today, and let’s get started!

Kindle Book Reviews: 3 Reasons Your Books Aren’t Getting Amazon Reviews

3reasonsart.pngAside from steady sales, getting positive reader reviews up on the board ASAP is one of the most important things indie authors look for to help build vital launch momentum for their books. Positive customer reviews deliver powerful social proof that encourages book browsers to click the buy button.

Without those crucial customer ratings that give an indication of your book’s quality and value, it’s hard to stand out among other books on Amazon’s Kindle book storefront.

Simply put: You need reviews for your Kindle books. You need positive (honest) reviews. And you need them as early on in your book’s launch cycle as possible.

Waiting for those first reviews to pop-up is often a slow and agonizing process, especially considering only a very small percent of readers, on-average, will take the time to leave Amazon reviews for your books. The good news is there are some simple ways you can improve on that, but first let’s look at three big reasons why you’re not getting any reader reviews in the first place.

1.You didn’t ask.

A lot of indie authors seem to be overly squeamish about asking their readers to leave a review. I get it. It can feel icky or uncomfortable to some. But it’s something you need to overcome if you want to boost your review numbers and quality.

At the very least, you should always include a call to action at the end of your book that thanks readers for checking out your work and encourages them to leave a review if they’ve enjoyed the book.

This is one of the least intrusive, and perhaps most effective, ways of encouraging readers to leave a review. It works. When a reader finishes your book, you want to thank them for their time and let them know how important it is to you that they leave an Amazon review. Inspire them to share their thought and feelings.

Remember: if you don’t ask, readers won’t know that it’s important to you, and they’ll be less inclined to take the time to follow-through.

2.You didn’t make it easy.

Even when a reader is inspired to leave a review, their enthusiasm sometimes fizzles in the brief time it takes to figure out how to actually leave a review.

The process of searching for your book again on Amazon’s storefront and navigating through several pages to figure out where to click to get the “leave a review” form is daunting for less tech-savvy folks. For others, it’s just too many hoops to jump through. Most people can figure it out, but it’s sort of a pain.

Anything you can do to speed up and simplify the process it takes to leave a review for your readers will increase their chances of following through. You could create a URL shortened link directly to your book — or even your book’s review form — and include that as a clickable link in your Kindle book. I do this with all of my books.

Alternately, you could also write up a short blog that explains the process or direct-links to the form, and promote that on social media or other avenues outside of your books. Make it simple, straightforward, and easy to understand.

3.Your book didn’t move the emotional needle.

Emotion drives response. It’s important to make your readers feel something. Empowered. Thrilled. Scared. Excited. Informed. Inspired. Happy. Sad. Angry. Hopeful. These are emotions that drive readers to take action. If your book leaves a reader feeling ambivalent or uninspired by the end, they’re not going to care enough to leave a review.

Always strive to write the best book you can. Make it engaging, exciting, useful, valuable, etc. Leave your readers feeling blown away by the information or storytelling you delivered, and they’ll be far more likely to leave a review.

——

Desperate for more Kindle book reviews? Want to learn how to get tons of honest day-1 reviews for your books at launch?

CoverArtKindle Book Review Formula: How To Get More Kindle Reviews Only $10 $99

If you struggle with getting reviews for your books — both at launch and over the long haul — you’ll love my new online course! To kick things off, I’m offering a limited-time 90 percent discount: You can grab the full course for only $10 right now! 

So….What am I going to get from this course?

  1. Over 32 lectures and 2 hours of content!
  2. Get more 4 and 5 star Kindle reviews using only white hat strategies and best practices
  3. Build and engage a launch review team to get a minimum of 10-15 reviews up by launch
  4. Identify and connect with ideal target readers who are more engaged with your book content
  5. Deploy long-term strategies to help boost your ongoing book reviews
  6. Gain the positive social proof you need to help you sell more books
  7. Deal with negative reviews and use criticism to improve your books and get better reviews

Are you ready to turn the tide and get more positive and reviews and social proof to drive your Kindle book sales? Grab your 90% discount today, and let’s get started!

Great Game Dev Courses on Udemy – On Sale only $11! #indiedev #gamedev

iconAs a part-time game developer, I’ve been pushing to level-up my skills when it comes to all aspects of making games, from coding to art asset creation. Udemy’s affordable, online video courses have been a huge help in the past year and a half. It continues to be one of my top go-to places to learn from awesome instructors.

With Udemy’s 10 day Black Friday sales event now well underway, you can grab just about every course for only $11! But hurry if you want to get in on this deal, because all courses go up $1 every 48 hours until the sale ends and everything returns to normal full price! Today’s your chance to grab any of these killer courses before the price increases!

Here’s a hand-picked selection of some of my favorite game development courses I’ve been taking this year! All are highly recommended.

Make a Platform Game and Learn to Code with GameMaker Studio – $11 $159icon
Right now, GameMaker Studio is currently my main game creation tool, and I’ve been a big fan of Ben Anderson’s YouTube channel and his excellent book on GML coding. Ben’s Udemy course on the topic is easy to follow and packed with great tips you can apply to lots of different game styles. Well worth checking it out!

Create Original Vector Game Art with Inkscape – $11 $107
iconCreating attractive, scaleable art assets that jive with different game engines has been a challenge. Istvan’s course is a GREAT primer on how to use free vector art program Inkscape to design, animate, and export gorgeous 2D assets for games. It helped me wrap my head around how to use the program’s core functions very quickly, and I can’t wait to put it into play with some upcoming projects!

iOS 9 Adventure – Build 12 iPhone Apps with Swift 2 – $11 $299
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I admit, I wasn’t what sure what to think when I first saw this course. But goofy youngsters Nick and Jenna know their chops and do a great job of explaining the ins and outs of iOS 9 and Swift development in a fun, informative, and useful way! Great course, whether you’re into making apps or want to apply this to iOS games. I’ve been gradually learning Swift to apply for some specific projects down the road. This course has given me a great jump start on the process.

Learn to Code in Game Maker Language$11 $60
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I rarely stick to just one source when I want to learn something new, which is why I’ll often buy multiple books and courses on a given subject to see how different instructors approach the topic. When it comes to learning GML code, this course makes the process painless and intuitive. Really super useful if you want to go beyond GM:S drag and drop functions, which you should.

Make Your Own FPS Without Code Using Unity and Playmaker $11 $99
iconI’m still very much a Unity noob, but I’ve been gradually learning more over time. Not ready to make the jump to 3D yet, but this course is an awesome starting point for learning how to design 3D FPS-style levels to explore and implement some cool gameplay elements using Unity and PlayMaker.

Learn to Code by Making Games: The Complete Unity Developer – $11 $197
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This comprehensive course to Unity development helped me hand code my first text adventure example game, which is great, but it also has a ton to offer anyone who wants to ease into game design in Unity while learning code. Good stuff!

I’ve personally taken and highly recommend all of these great game development courses, but there are also a TON of other great courses I’m looking forward to checking out too.

Here’s the full Game Development section in Udemy that’s jam-packed with cool courses, many of which are only $10 during this mega sale event! Ready? Set? Go to it!