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Video Game Marketing

Indie Game Marketing from the author of the Game Marketing book, The Indie Developer's Guide to Selling Games. Video Game Marketing made simple... or at least as simple as I can make it.

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Location: Philomath, Oregon, United States

As you can see on the left: I am a professional juggler. The rest you can learn from this Blog.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Reasoning, Logic, And Games

I made a post about spam e-mails. This is a related subject that I will now tie into games.

Lets talk about the logical and illogical decisions you can make about marketing your game. Oh yes, there are many: So many in fact I can't simply list them in 'do or don't style.' Instead I am going to teach or refresh your memory on what the very foundation of logical arguments are.

This will be fun!

There are mainly two kinds of arguments in this world, inductive and deductive. Each argument has FOUR states, Valid and True, Invalid and False, Valid and False, and Invalid and True.

Ok, bored yet? Lets go to story mode then!

Meet Bob. Bob wants to make a game. Bob says to himself.
"A good game gets traffic.
"Dinner Dash is a good game."
"If I make a game like that, I will get traffic."

Bob continues:

"Portals exist to make money."
"I want to make money too."
"Therefore I don't want the portals to make money from my game."

And Bob releases his game and says:

"So far my first three reviews have been good"
"Therefore I have made a good game."

And later comments:

"A site has given me a bad review"
"That site wants to become an affiliate"
"Because of the bad review they must not believe in our product and shouldn't sell our game."

Ok bob, you may be smart in programmy world but deep down you're a marketing moron who has all the logical sense of the flying cat with buttered toast on his back*.

What went wrong here, why has bob produced a game, released a game, and experiences lack luster sales?

Comment 1: Invalid and False Deduction. Because the first sentence is invalid the entire thought is invalidated and the conclsuion is false. Believe it or not, many people still believe that a good game is all you need. It's not, it helps, but it isn't the solution to your woes... because I can name several bad games who make more money than some small countries.

Comment 2: A valid but false deduction. When you write it like I did this whole argument sounds stupid, but I encounter a lot of people who have 'something against' portals because they make money. Ok, there are reasons to dislike portals and reasons to avoid using them, but the argument that you don't like them simply because they are 'big companies' is retarded. Lines 1 and 2 are VALID and TRUE statements. The third line is a FALSE conclusion drawn from them. Just because they make money and you want to doesn't mean you should ensure they DON'T make money- it means you have a common goal!

Comment 3: An INVALID and FALSE induction. I hate it when people get all pissed off over a bad review. Do you honestly think you've created a game SO good that every human on earth thinks it is a 7/10 or higher? Look, people like different things and there's NO SUCH THING AS A GOOD GAME. There are only games that seem good to YOU. Don't get pissed off at any bad review you get, take it as feedback on a 'type' of person who is an unlikely buyer and try to use that information to HELP YOU SELL YOUR GAME to the RIGHT people.

Comment 4: I come across this one every so often. A site or a person who is reviewing games for a PORTAL (non-published) will have negative comments to say about your game. GASP. You need to fix your tutorial. You should add a few more musical tracks. Your main character looks like he has an erection all the time. Because they tell you negative things people assume they DON'T want to sell your product and have some EVIL scheme in mind when they tell you they are still interested in publishing or affiliating. Yeah that's right, the evil portal is out to get you! A) You aren't that important. B) They are telling you these things because they know stuff about THEIR customers that YOU apparently do not and they WANT your game to sell better.

I'm not an expert on logical arguments and all the ways you can manipulate them, however, even I can spot many developers who make comments that are simply false reasoning. They present a series of facts (deduction) or findings (induction) and make downright poor use of those facts or findings to arrive at a decision that HARMS THEIR BUSINESS.

Take the time to read and get a better understanding of what deduction and induction are and how they may be affecting your decisions. It can be very, very, tricky at times- much more so than I have made in these examples...

For Additional Information take a read at:

*The Flying Buttered Cat refers to strapping a piece of buttered toast to a cat's back and the dropping it out a window. Everyone knows a cat always lands on its feat and toast always lands butter-side down, therefore the cat would simply hover unable to achieve its goal. Brillaint :)


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