The first thing to ask to ourselves is why should we care about creating a community for my game?
Why creating a community around your game?
There are three main reasons:
1) Constant feedback to improve the game, without the need to involve an Q&A team.
2) Motivation and fun through interaction with players, which has also an indirect value for solo indie developers, as it allows to have some interaction with outside people.
3) Indirect Marketing Benefits
Game Hooks and uniqueness
In order to start building a community around the game, this first question that needs to be address is what are your game’s hooks? What has your game to offer to player? Is it better than other similar games and is it more innovative/unique?
Defining a target audience
In order to answer to this question, it is necessary to really know your target audience. This will allow you to understand what they like in games, interact with them as to integrate their expectations correctly in the game. It is also very important to constantly show the game evolution to other people as to be able to collect information and ideas that you can integrate in the game. Always make sure to collect information contact as it will allow you to engage later on.
You have also to think out of the box, and think that there are probably other communities around some similar concept and the one that you have integrated into your game, and that maybe you can tap on it as to make them know your game.
Social networks as social hubs
Be an active user of social networks as to share your game to the world. Be sure that the game to be as accessible as possible, if people can be your game in one click that would be interesting. Another option, is to first collect the email address for inclusion in a mailing list, and then send the download link.
Regarding social platforms, there are platforms that are great to share information but that are not well suited to create a community, like for instance, Instagram, Twitter or Youtube. Other platforms like discord, reddit or forums can help you integrate the community and create interaction between yourself and your community members. The advantage of using your own platform is that you are not depending on third parties availability, although it will give probably more work to manage.
Another interesting way available to use those social hubs is to actually link them from within the game.
Rules and moderation in social platforms
When creating a community, be aware that not all the people that will get in have the same purposes, and the internet is full of trolls, so plan in advance to avoid this, and create a good backbone for your community like:
a) Establishing tones and rules
b) Show people how to reach them
c) Show people that there are other real people in the community
Crowdsourcing your social community and marketing
Be sure also to empower your power users and offer them to be moderators of your social hubs as it will allows you to get more opportunities to make it work correctly.
Once you have a community, leverage on it to get ideas or to get help on marketing and on promoting the game. If you are not alone trying to reach media or influences, you will be more chances to get covered by them.
Youtube Description from the video:
Countless games are created every day by independent game developers. Most of them will fade and be forgotten, not due to a lack of quality but a lack of visibility. Building a community around your game in development is an excellent way to connect with people early on. Having a loyal fan base is not only beneficial for the financial success of the game, but provides the developer with constant feedback and can serve as a great motivator to push through the tough times of development. This talk in based upon the experience Stray Fawn Studio gained from their games ‘Niche – a genetics survival game’ and ‘Nimbatus: The Space Drone Constructor’.
There is a master thesis on the subject that you can found below: