For Indie Game Devs, there really is no one size fits all solution to setting the right tone in your comms. The right style on social media and in newsletters might be completely different depending on the type of game you’re creating. A dating sim will (conventionally) have a different tone of voice to a horror game. All social media doesn’t need to be a laugh a minute, meme-filled extravaganza. With that in mind, however, here are some guidelines for communicating the personality of your game to the public.
What kind of game are you making? Is it a sci-fi strategy, or a point-and-click murder mystery? A survival horror, or a comedy RPG? Whatever your genre, you need to make sure that you maintain a style that is consistent with the mood of your game.
Part of establishing the feel of the game can be letting the game’s assets speak for themselves. A great example of this can be seen on twitter account @stretchamstrung, an indie developer named Yames who is creating a pixel horror game called ‘Vellum Children’. The account leans into the creepy vibe of the game’s artwork, combining it with chatty captions that give you the overall feeling that the monsters depicted are standing uncomfortably close to you. The resulting posts are unusual and unsettling, garnering great engagement.
By contrast, if I had to come up with one word to describe the voice of Kitfox’s upcoming game ‘Boyfriend Dungeon’, it would be horny. The newsletters come in the form of thirsty chat up lines from the featured anthropomorphised armaments, delivered with as little shame as a Love Island audition tape. Kitfox makes it completely clear that they are in on the joke, and that self-awareness is part of the appeal of their social accounts and communications. Communications Director Victoria Tran (@TheVTran) is a wizard with words and her sense of humour shines through the Kitfox comms.
Upcoming bullet hell adventure ITTA takes a more traditional approach to communications, but manages to draw in readers with dynamic videos and gifs, as well as insight into the development process. Since the game is in the bullet hell genre, clips have been carefully selected to demonstrate the slick combat in the game alongside the atmospheric art style. The tweets regularly include a call to action, encouraging readers to add the game to their wishlist.
The lesson here is, whatever type of game you’re making, embrace it! Audiences are more likely to respond to authenticity in communications, especially in indie games. Let your love for the game shine through in your copy, and have fun with it.