Time for some local love! So I first came across Think of the Children by Jammed Up Studios last year at a local game jam. You could tell instantly that it would be a big hit - in fact it went on to win the Player Choice Award at the game jam. It had a huge TV that pointed directly to the make-shift aisle with two seats in front of it (so points for 'expo' presentation) giving it a much larger presence than most of the other games there. The game was seeing a stream of new and previous players but perhaps more importantly it was having a massive audience watch. This was one of those games where watching it could be just as enjoyable as playing it. This is what I refer to as a YouTube-friendly game (not YouTube bait because the game is actually decent) but that obviously extends to Twitch and other streaming services. Anyway I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here. Check out the trailer below to see what I mean and what the game is about.
The game trailer on the Surprise Attack YouTube Channel
The creators also recognised a huge aspect of their marketing strategy will be to entice streamers and other Influencers to play their game. Perfect! In fact at a recent GameDev Brisbane meetup Adric Polkinghorne, the producer of Think of the Children, spoke how at the recent PAX South in the States they would speak with these streamers and Influencers about how they could adapt the game to be better for them.
So what did they adapt?
Now they didn't do anything too ground breaking but sometimes its just about small changes to give an advantage.
Firstly the bottom left corner of each map is basically a dead zone where nothing important happens. This is the perfect spot for streamers to be able to place their face and reaction footage. Originally on the first map this was just my happenstance however afterwards it became a conscious decision to make the game more appealing to streamers.
Next in Think of the Children you can (or plan to) rename the children that can potentially die - This means for streamers they could be named after their viewers in the Twitch channel or they could manually choose their friend's (or enemies) names. This can bring an extra level of enjoyment to both the YouTuber or Twitch streamer as well as their audience and create a more favourable opinion of the game.
Similarly, I remember when ProJared was playing XCOM (a squad based tactics game) he would name his crew after his friends (also other YouTubers) and this created a better and more personalised experience for himself and his audience.
It's simple changes like this which can ultimately have a big impact.
So why does this even matter?
As mentioned earlier Think of the Children is a very viewer friendly game, and by giving the Twitch and YouTube Influencers what they essentially want and like it increases the chance they will play it, as well as the duration of them playing it and finally by tailoring it to their needs it instantly creates a better rapport with the Influencer (which will then result in a more favourable impression). It's quite clear Jammed Up Studios motto wasn't Think of the Children but rather Think of the Influencers.
I wish Jammed Up Studios all the best for their upcoming launch (due Q2 2017).
If you wanted to check out the game you can see it here on Steam.
Hopefully when it comes to consoles they can send me a free copy *hint* *hint*
Are there any changes you could make to your game to make it more appealing to YouTubers, Twitch streamers or other Influencers? Leave a comment down below!
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Written by Kaydos
Kaydos has been enjoying party games like this since he got a multitap for the original PlayStation.
If you want to talk video game marketing hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org