Published on May 14th, 2014 | by Nidde0
The meta game
The project has never really had a big audience, which you could say has been a problem. Not having readers and/or viewers will hinder you immensely and I’ve felt that it’s been the main reason why I have not gotten a response when reaching out to other instances; be it developers, publishers, or other media channels. It also hasn’t helped with motivation, as I haven’t really felt I have an audience to produce content for and stay loyal to.
But that’s by design, actually. The project was never meant for someone other than myself. I wanted to see if I could do it, run a site and produce content, go for 500 days with a limited game library, and do research and really think about the questions that I asked myself. This also allowed me to do something else with the the entire thing, since building an audience never was a priority.
While running this project I sometimes had people ask why I wouldn’t try and promote the site by trying to spread the name on forums and other sites. I had two philosophies behind this decision: Firstly I didn’t want to ask someone to promote the project in their forum, be it podcast or an actual web forum, without me contributing in some way; by participating for example.
If you build it, he will come.
Secondly I wanted to really see if it would spread on its own. If I build it, will people come? So I started out with a small group of people that followed the project on Facebook and Twitter. I was hoping that the fact that I knew the people behind Svampriket, Play Before You Die, and Revansch would benefit me in some way, and they have mentioned me a few times and I participated on the Svampriket podcast. But I still wanted to see if things would get shared unless I prompted it myself.
Once or twice it did, but mostly it didn’t. So that’s when I tried to do the give-aways, to see if I could actually bribe an audience with gifts. That didn’t work either. I went on to try and create different types of content. The best response I got from people that I don’t know was The Killer Bits, UK-based producers of video game-related videos on YouTube. You should check them out, they do some nice work.
Working with the project in this way, and with such a small audience, allowed me to track it in a microscopically detailed way, so I could always see where all followers and views came from and what the reacted to.
This may sound like a sob-story, and while I would have loved to just explode and start making a living doing videos on YouTube, that was never the goal and I’m totally fine with what happened. Even before I started the project I prepared myself that no one would actually notice it. I never felt downhearted for not having an audience, other than perhaps a little disappointed when a new attempt at content didn’t work, because I was always ready for it to fail in that aspect.
But it gave me exactly what I needed. I could continue the project in any way I wanted to and take it wherever I wanted it to go. And throughout the whole thing I did it for me, not anyone else. Which is actually what indie is all about.