On Thursday, August 2, we were lucky enough to have two experts in free-to-play videogame art and marketing, Isabel and Andrés Tallos from Everguild, at F2P Campus.
Their conference, which took place in the auditorium of the Vitoria-Gasteiz Artium Museum, gave us the opportunity to learn about their experience in the industry and take home some tips for making better games.
For those who don’t know them, the Tallos siblings are the founders of Everguild, a studio that specializes in developing free-to-play games for mobile platforms which has so far released Drakenlords and The Horus Heresy: Legions, two card games based on their own IP and Warhammer 40,000 respectively.
This experience has helped them learn what to do and what not to do when developing a free-to-play game.
7 marketing tips from Andrés Tallos
- These days you’re not only competing with the other free-to-play games on the market, you’re also competing with Facebook, Netflix and any other form of entertainment. You have to create a game that’s more attractive than all of that and convince players of it.
- There are studios that dedicate all their time to developing a game and spend hardly any time creating a good marketing strategy. You could have the best game in the world but it’s useless if nobody knows about it.
- Integrate marketing into the development of the game. Add features that will interest players and will make them install the game. Create appealing gameplay that provides screenshots which are fun to view and share.
- Clearly determine your audience and refine your message well. Think about who your core audience is, other interest groups, and everyone else. Talk to them, find out where they are, what might interest them most about your game… You can trial the game and your message at trade events.
- Combine awareness campaigns with user acquisition campaigns. If you make the effort to get your game recognized by the audience in the months leading up to the launch, user acquisition campaigns later on are more effective and therefore cheaper.
- If you have a low budget, optimize the target selection as much as possible to get the absolute most out of every euro. Use A/B testing to test assets and messages as much as possible.
- Listen to the problems players communicate to you, but not to the solutions they propose. As Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”.
6 tips for videogame artists from Isabel Tallos
- Beware the butterfly effect. What may seem like a small change to the interface can end up bringing unexpected changes.
- Don’t go too far with the artwork. Otherwise it can cost you a lot of time and money to add new content or release updates.
- As well as being beautiful, videogame art has to be understood instantly.
- Always check how the assets appear in their real size. What is clearly an archer on your monitor can look like a rabbit in the game.
- As an artist you have to leave your ego to one side. The game always comes first; you have to accept that there are things you won’t be able to change and, above all, understand the players.
- There are things that can be done in painting or films which don’t work in videogames. People spend so much time on games that there are things you can’t do.
Many thanks to Isabel and Andrés for sharing their knowledge with us!