Industry veterans Rick Davidson & Tim Ruswick* are joined by Tim from Hooded Horse, the brains behind this indie game publishing studio. They’re here to chat about getting your game published.
Hooded Horse is a Dallas, Texas-based publisher that specialises in publishing games of the strategy, simulation and role-playing genre. Including Falling Frontier from Todd D’Arcy who we recently hosted a Devology Livecast with.
(*Rick has more than 14 years experience in the game dev industry, working on IP's that include Mario, Transformers, Captain America and Mortal Kombat. He's done it all, from Game Designer, Producer, Creative Director and Executive Producer to GameDev.tv's very own Instructor extraordinaire. Tim Ruswick is a successful YouTuber and indie dev, who's created more than 30 games in the last 5 years (wow!), and joined GameDev.tv as our marketing monster).
Listen to the whole chat here: https://youtu.be/8nouCUcfbwE
Our 'AHA' moments
- Publishers may help fund your game
- Impressions on social media mean nothing if there are no sales
- Use steamdb.info for detailed stats on Steam games
- https://gamediscover.co/ may be a useful newsletter to sign up to
- YouTube and Twitch Streamers are a great way to market your game
Words of Wisdom For First Publishing Deal (18:35 - 27:07)
So, you’re working on a game and you’d love to get it published. I’m sure this is something all of us indie devs dream of. The best way to publish your game is to find publishers that specialise in the genre of your game or for small start-up studios. For example, if a publisher specialises in first-person shooter games, it may not be a good idea to pitch them your RPG game.
During the design process, make your game have something that players can fall in love with or a unique selling point. Publishers will be excited to have your project on board if they feel there’s something about this game that will appeal to the market.
When Is The Right Time To Approach A Publisher? (41:06 - 45:27)
Finding the sweet spot is always easier said than done, but Tim from Hooded Horse recommends you should approach publishers about a year before you plan to launch your game. This will allow you to discuss with them what your project is about and what your aims and vision for the game are. It’ll offer an opportunity to talk them through the complexity and fun stuff of the game that may interest them and to talk about any rough patches of the game you can both agree to iron out.
Having prior success in previous game launches may also provide you with an advantage.
When Is It Too Late To Go To A Publisher? (1:31:09 - 1:36:25)
It’s too late to approach a publisher when the game has started to run out of steam (no pun intended). They’ll not be looking to invest in your game if they feel they’ll have no return from it.
Most publishers want you to approach them as soon as possible, you’ll have less bargaining power the longer you leave it.
If your game is due for release in several weeks and you still find yourself without a publisher, it may be a good idea to contact influencers and ask them to play your game. If you’re not paying them then expect little time from them and don’t expect them to play immediately. Prepare a little press kit, to help them promote your game, this could be a helpful way to advertise your game for free whilst you have no publisher.
I hope Tim’s valuable advice helps you find the right publisher for your game and that this Devology Livecast has made it clearer on how and when to approach publishers.
Follow Tim on Social Media
Check us out on social media
Remember, we host live develogy livecasts every Tuesday at 10pm BST on our YouTube channel. You can catch all the recordings, including this episode, in the Devology Livecast course - it's free to join, and also on our YouTube Channel.
Until next time, happy dev'ing!