How to attract potential audiences with your Steam page 淺談 Steam 頁面如何吸引潛在受眾

There was a popular LIHKG post about game development, but I don’t have an account there, so I’ll just post my two cents here.

Link to original post titled “My game is now on Steam, but my friends and family are telling me to get a job instead”:  https://lihkg.com/thread/2057530 

First Impressions

After going to take a look at the OP’s game page on steam, the first things that popped into my head were that OP’s story was encouraging, but the Steam page really wasn’t.

If I don’t click on the video, I wouldn’t even know whether the game is a strategy or action game. So, let’s talk about how to improve it!

Guys, this game is for you!

The OP was involved in mobile game development before, and I can sense that from the “About this game” section was filled with punchlines and the words used seemed like rather typical advertising keywords. But the thing is that Steam has its own culture, the Steam userbase prefers something else.

Since many Steam games are at least 70 HKD (around 9-10 USD), gamers are generally quite careful with their purchases, so the most important thing the Steam page should do is tell people that the game is made for them.

1. Tell us about the genre

Most Steam users have a basic understanding of games, so you can just directly tell them that the game is a strategy/turn-based/rts/action/base-building/roguelike etc. game. It really helps gamers to judge whether the game is for them. There’s no need to worry about whether a Steam user would understand at all.

2. Fill a hole in the gamers’ hearts

Steam has plenty of good games, but how can an indie game compete with a AAA one? Is being cheaper the only thing going for indie games? No, indie games are able to fill up market niches. That’s how they survive, they fill a hole in what users desire.

Let’s take a look at Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (I know this isn’t an indie game), the description is insanely short, and what did it cover? Gamers can fight, fish, eat and train.

Fight and train is easy to understand at all, but why did they mention fish and eat? Both of them seem extremely pointless, doesn’t it? But the truth is that gamers pick games because of these “pointless” facts.

There are way too many Dragon Ball games in the market, so much so that many of them feel more or less the same. Gamers are waiting for a “special” Dragon Ball game. Allowing gamers to fish and eat means that the Gamers actually get to do something that they have nothing done in a Dragon Ball game before, it also means that its an actual open-world game!

Gamers are Visual Creatures

Now that we finished with the short intro, let’s talk about the actual “About this game” section. There is one special thing with Steam, and that’s being able to “play videos” in this section.

That’s why developers should record the most fascinating parts of their game, then cut them into 3-5 second videos, which can be exported as gifs to be placed in the description.

It’s clear that there’s a pretty heavy focus on the gifs, and much less on the text.

Trust me, the first thing gamers look at is not the text, some gamers actually play games because they don’t want to look at so much text. Text is abstract, it will cause gamers to think too much, but visuals can accurately tell players what they will feel and experience while playing the game. That’s why visuals play a key part in attracting gamers.

Note that I’m talking about gamers and not people in general.

So, how should the OP’s Steam Page be improved?

The developer is the one who is best suited to answer the question of who the game is for, but let me give some suggestions on the direction he can take.

1. Physics-based

It seems like the character hit boxes are based upon polygon colliders. In other words, if the enemy slashes a sword of left to right, the player will get hit if they role to the left. It means that the main thing to do in this game is to figure out the enemies’ attack ranges and blind spots.

Using phrases like “physics-based” would really go a long way in not only explanation the concept of the game, but also attract gamers who enjoys such a system (e.g. Human: Fall Flat players).

2. Lite

I only played it for a short while, but it feels like Mount & Blade lite. Being a lite-version of a game isn’t a bad thing, it can actually be a selling point, since it makes the game easier to understand.

The developer can actually choose to focus on this and target the casual market. Casual games don’t really have much experience with Mount & Blade, they generally won’t compare it to Mount & Blade either, so it’ll be easy to make the game more enjoyable for those players.

Conclusion

Packaging your game is extremely important. Game experience is something that can only be felt after purchase, if a developer want gamers to experience their game before purchase, then they have to pay more attention to the sales platform. Different platforms have different cultures and preferences, what I mentioned above mostly applies only for Steam. Since we do launch games on Steam as well, you can also check out how we do it.

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難得連登出了個很火的有關遊戲創作的Post,我又沒有連登帳戶,只好在這裡蹭一蹭熱度。<figure>那個帖有5千多讚!</figure>

「我整左隻game係Steam上左架 但身邊啲人叫我打份工算」
原帖:https://lihkg.com/thread/2057530

該遊戲給我的第一印象

其實我點進去看樓主的遊戲時,第一個反應就是,故事很勵志,但 Steam 頁面很勸退。

第一眼看進去,不打開宣傳片,連遊戲是策略還是動作都不大了解。

所以,我們就來說說可以如何改善吧!

客官,這款遊戲太適合你了~

這位作者參與過手遊的開發,所以也感覺出頁面中很有手遊那種充滿 punch line、宣傳標語的手段,但 Steam 有 Steam 的文化,玩家不吃這套。

始終遊戲是賣斷制,Steam 裡面的遊戲動輒 70 港元,玩家都會很審慎,因此最重要的地方是清楚告訴玩家:「客官,這款遊戲太適合你了~」

一、請告訴我們遊戲類型

Steam 上面的玩家對遊戲有基本的概念,你可以告訴他這是策略/回合制/即時/動作/建設類/roguelike 諸如此類,有助玩家判斷遊戲是否適合自己。放心玩家看得懂的,用 Steam 的玩家都不會零認知的。

二、利用玩家心中的空洞

Steam 上不缺好遊戲,一隻獨立遊戲有甚麼資格和3A遊戲爭呢?獨立遊戲真的只有價格便宜嗎?不是的,獨立遊戲補足了主流市場的空間,這也是它們的生存方式–利用玩家心中的空洞。

以《七龍珠Z 卡卡洛特》為例(這款不是獨立遊戲好嗎>_<),這麼重要的短簡介,它們說了甚麼?玩家可以打鬥、釣魚、用餐及訓練。

打鬥和訓練都容易理解,為何要提釣魚和用餐這麼「看起來無謂」的點呢?其實,玩家正正是衝著這些無聊的點買的。

龍珠遊戲市面太多了,同質化問題嚴重,玩家一直在等一隻「特別」的龍珠遊戲,而釣魚和用餐代表著玩家可以在龍珠的世界中做一些未有龍珠遊戲做過的事,它居然是一款自由的開放世界遊戲!

玩家是視覺生物

說完短描述了,來說說長描述吧。 Steam 有個神奇之處,就是可以在長描述變相「播影片」。

首先把遊戲精彩的地方錄下來,然後把它們節錄成 3-5 秒的短片再轉成 gif,放滿你的描述欄就對了!<figure></figure><figure>圖多於字的長描述隨處可見</figure>

相信我,玩家第一眼不會去看文字的,甚至有玩家就是想逃避文字才玩遊戲的。而且文字是抽象的,有時會讓玩家產生多餘的幻想,但影像可以比較忠實地告訴玩家,你遊玩時的體驗和感受就是如此了。因此玩家會否關注,很大程度取決於影像是否吸引。

(注意我不是說人類是視覺生物,我是說玩家是視覺生物。)

望回去,該如何改善

作者才最清楚自己的遊戲適合誰遊玩。但這裡我只簡單說說我自己認為的可行改善方向。

一、真實物理 (physics-based)

遊戲中角色的 hit box 貌似是 polygon collider,意思是假設對方左向右揮劍,你向左面滾同樣會被打中,變相尋找對方攻擊範圍的盲點成為了這遊戲的主要玩法。

而「真實物理」四個字既短又能把上面的概念帶出,吸引一些同樣喜歡玩「真實物理」遊戲(例如 Human: Fall Flat)的玩家。

二、輕量

我只玩了很短時間,它給我的印像是輕量版的騎砍。輕量並不是一項缺點,有時候它是一項優點,它讓遊戲簡單易懂且精巧。

突出這一點,攻佔優閒玩家的市場,因為優閒玩家跟騎砍本身就少接觸面,他們不會拿它跟騎砍比較,就容易帶給玩家驚喜和娛樂。

總結

遊戲的包裝其實很重要,遊戲體驗是在購買後才獲得的,因此創作者若希望玩家體驗自己的遊戲,就必須在遊戲外的發售平台上下功夫。而不同的平台有不同的文化和習慣,這裡提及的大多只適用於 Steam。

我自己業餘時間也有在 Steam 上開發遊戲,大家也可以看看我如何撰寫描述。

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