The Thunderclap campaign for the Key, Shovel, Treasure launch has been approved and is live! This is our first Thunderclap, so we have no idea what to expect. What we do know is that we'd love your support for our campaign.
It'd be great if we could let as many people as possible know about Key, Shovel, Treasure. So we really hope we can find those 100 supporters (at least).
You can find our Thunderclap campaign here.
Building the digital version of Key, Shovel, Treasure started as a learning experience for me. First for programming, then for using Unity and on to polishing the looks and tweaking the user experience. Now that I've gotten this far (of course with the indispensable help of Michiel), it's only logical to extend the learning experience to marketing. Especially since marketing isn't a part of being an indie dev I'm very comfortable with (and yes, I know that marketing is much broader than what I mean here, but I couldn't find a better word to use here).
So I've been thinking which marketing things I would want to do (or try) for KST. I came up with the following list:
- Keep on writing this blog (of course). This is something I'm pretty comfortable with by now and I'll certainly keep on writing :).
- Set up a Key, Shovel, Treasure page on both our own website and on itch.io. The game will be pay what you want, starting at free. This was the plan all along when we decided to clean KST up.
- Set an actual release date instead of just working on the game and trusting that at some point we'll decide that it's done. We've set the date to November 9th. So it's getting real.
- See if I can find an number of people / channels / outlets who might be interested in covering a small game aimed at kids and write them a short email about KST. I don't expect any real coverage, but it's worth a shot. And I can certainly use more practice in this direction.
- Do a Thunderclap campaign. The idea behind Thunderclap is that people can support / back your campaign. If you reach the required threshold, all these people will automatically send a predetermined tweet the moment the campaign ends. I've set up a campaign, which is at the moment waiting for approval. I'll update this blog post when it goes live. [Update: the campaign is now live]
The first concept for the itch.io page is done. One of the things needed for that is a cover image, with an aspect ratio of 315 x 250. Since I wanted something different than just a screenshot with the logo on top. I created this image:
Other than that, there are a few more things that changed since the last blog post. First off, the game now has real piratey music for both the menu and the game scene. Somehow, adding proper music is a big step in making Key, Shovel, Treasure feel like an actual finished game.
Another indicator that Key, Shovel, Treasure is nearing completion is that small graphical improvements now have a big impact on the entire look. There is more visual cohesion. Two things Michiel suggested have worked really well in that regard. First off, he remarked that the text colour everywhere was still dark grey (which I believe is the Unity default) and that dark brown would probably look better. He was absolutely right. Second, he suggested adding a little more padding, space around the text, to the buttons. We played around with that and eventually settled on not just more padding but also on larger buttons. Both effects do a lot of work for the look of the game.
Especially the text colour looks pretty similar at first glance, but the dark brown text fits the picture much better. To make the difference obvious, here's a GIF which shows before and after:
Speaking of Powargrid: if you're reading this and haven't played it yet, you can give it a try for free. There's a demo available, both on Steam and on the Powargrid website.
That was all for now. As I mentioned, we'll be sure to let you know when the Thunderclap campaign goes live. We'll be much obliged if choose you support it. [Update: the campaign is live now.]
- Willem -