How I promoted my game for free on YouTube

Hi, Habr. I think it would be good to introduce myself first. My name is Andrey Novichkov, I myself am from Ukraine (Kiev), at the time of writing this article I am 21, I live in a small odnushka with a girl and a small kitten. The very interest in games came to me at the age of 5, when my father brought the Dendy prefix home. My first game was Mario. It was this mustachioed Italian who deprived me of game virginity and opened the world of video games. I was so shocked and inspired by the games that I could look at the scenery for five minutes or listen to the opening song in the game menu. When I was 13 years old, our family bought the first computer and then I just lost my head. It was a new level. I looked at it all with admiration and realized that these games are created by the same people as me. Then what am I worse? Therefore, my 13 years became a starting point in game dev. I felt

Long road short

So, how well I could draw only three letters on the fence, I began to study programming. My first language was Pascal, but both of us then realized that we were not on our way, and I went to Visual Basic 6. Unfortunately, I did not immediately understand that this language is weak and dead, but it became a good basis for me to understand essence of programming. I talked on gaming forums, made acquaintances, considered myself a cool developer and participated in various competitions for game development to gain experience. Over time, I realized that I could not achieve the desired success, using free graphics on the Internet, creating games through WinForm in BASIC and not having my own style. And it was a shame every time to ask artists to draw for my game. My experience was lower than the economy in Syria, so I started working on it. A friend of mine, an artist, taught me how to draw graphics on a computer and find my own style, while at the same time at home I studied Unity3D and game design. I had a strong motivation to move forward. By the way, I got a good knowledge base of game design from the book “The Art of Game Design” written by Jesse Schell. And now, a year later, when I turned 20 years old, I understand that my level has become an order of magnitude higher and I am ready to try to write my first commercial game. I could not wait any longer. that my level has become much higher and I'm ready to try to write my first commercial game. I could not wait any longer. that my level has become much higher and I'm ready to try to write my first commercial game. I could not wait any longer.

First steps

I understood that I was nobody and there was no way to call me. I was afraid that if I create a game, then my friend, another friend of mine and my girlfriend will know the maximum about it. Therefore, I needed to find my audience and support group. But how to do it for free? For this, I chose the most trashy and catchy pseudonym, namely - Flatingo. Further, I created a YouTube channel under the same brand, where I talked about game dev, game development, drawing for games, game design, as well as how I personally make my game. It was a game developer blog. I created fun and short videos, making it look like a show, thereby being different from my competitors. Fortunately, there were not many bloggers on this topic in Russian YouTube. I distributed my videos in all corners of the Russian game dev, for which they fiercely hated and loved me. I distributed videos on all gamedev sites, game publishers and wherever there is a game dev. For example, if in a video I drew a character for a game, then I could easily share such videos on all drawing sites, which gave an additional response. I began to go around little-visited places or small public houses with an open wall, because there is no life there, only a bunch of arrogant spam. Young children (schoolchildren and students in common people) did fine, but older people didn’t like my presentation of the material. This is a normal occurrence. Young children (schoolchildren and students in common people) did fine, but older people didn’t like my presentation of the material. This is a normal occurrence. Young children (schoolchildren and students in common people) did fine, but older people didn’t like my presentation of the material. This is a normal occurrence.

But what about the game?

So, when I launched this YouTube machine, I began to actively create the game. I wanted to create a small project with a twist. Before starting the development of the game, I was inspired by Super Meat Boy games and the old Adventure Island, so I combined the balance of these two games and got my own, different mechanics. So, as I draw vector graphics in Illustrator, I decided to use my favorite, flat design. Drawing all the graphics for the game took me about 3 weeks. I stubbornly shot videos for my channel, PR my videos and made a game. The audience slowly but began to appear. 5-10 subscribers per day subscribed to my channel, which could not but rejoice. Everything went like clockwork until something happened.


For 2 months of development, I managed to draw all the graphics and create several levels for my game. I even fit into my deadlines, but one fine summer evening, my laptop fell out of the window of the second floor. It was a disaster. In the evenings I loved to open the window into the courtyard, turn on the table lamp, put my computer on the windowsill, make myself delicious fruit tea with sweets and turn on my favorite music, but I would never have thought that this could happen to me. Later it turned out that in theory he could still work, but unfortunately the motherboard and hard drive “flew” in it. HDD. The service center told me that it would be easier to buy a new HDD. Well, it hurt me. I had to buy a new laptop and start all over again, but now using Dropbox.

I need more

By this time, my channel began to gain new momentum. In one of my videos, I borrowed a piece from the video of another foreign author, for which a lot of negative criticism piled on me in different places. True, I did not think that this would provoke such a violent reaction, but now I know that hatred is also an advertisement. I said earlier that 5-10 subscribers per day subscribed to my channel? Forget it! Since then, 40-50 people per day subscribed to the channel stably. Haters everywhere began to blaspheme my nickname, thereby making ads for me. I simply watched their attempts and did not enter into conflicts. I also asked a couple of small game editions to write about me, which cost me only mutual PR. After a couple of months, I noticed that when I post a video somewhere in new places, they wrote in the comments saying: “Oh, so this is Flatingo ”or“ Chu , and here is he? ” " It remains only to finish the half-created game, but first I added English subtitles to all my videos and started promoting them over the hill. The algorithm is the same, only instead of VK I used Facebook, instead of Picabu was Reddit, well, other gamedev sites. I can only say that developing over the hill for free is many times more difficult, because there is more competition and sometimes you just do not have time to notice.

Game created

Winter came. On my channel, 70-100 subscribers per day began to increase and I finally finished the game. By the way, if anyone is interested, then my game is a hardcore 2D platformer with puzzle elements and cartoon graphics, in which the main character is a nice kid named Luppy. My game is called TheLooppy. The development of the game took me 5 months, but if it weren’t for that incident with the laptop, then I think that I would be able to meet 3 months. When developing the game, for me the main task was to bring the game balance, convenient gameplay and nice graphics to a good level, because it is with these three things that the player faces 98% of the total playing time. In general, I think it turned out not bad. The game will make you think about how to solve this or that puzzle to achieve the goal, will make you pretty run around the level of enemies and make it clear

Publishing house

Of course, I planned to publish the game through Steam Direct, and my friend helped me with this. It was very important for me to surround myself with good game dev guys. I believe that creating a good game alone is quite realistic, but it’s very difficult to become a cool developer without friends and audience. Of course, not without fun cases. For example, my minor subscribers were so eager to play Luppy for free that they came up with funny stories, posing as cool publishers or friends of major bloggers on YouTube, so I sent them a key. Tricky, but I still love them. I was glad that at the end of the game I had at least some audience of several thousand subscribers. Now, there is someone to play.

The game began to be sold in early February and I immediately told subscribers about it on all social networks and YouTube. At the time of the release of the game, or rather for 5 months of development, I managed to get an audience of 8K subscribers without investing a dime. For the first 3 days, the game brought me almost $ 150, given that the game costs only $ 2. After 7 days, the game already brought $ 210. A trifle, but nice, especially since this is my first commercial game. The only ad for my game was my channel and my social networks. Now it’s exactly one week since the game is available on Steam, but on YouTube a few small reviews of my game appeared, and the main character’s art was sent to me in Vkontakte’s personal and I published them with great pleasure in the group. By the way, on the first day of sales, subscribers found a bug at the very beginning of the game, because of which players began to return money. It happened,


Well, here is such an interesting experience I had with my first game. I didn’t spend a penny on advertising and developing the game, but I found a small audience of like-minded people. During the development of the game, I was contacted 3 times with an advertising offer for my channel, so I even managed to make a little money from it. In the future, I plan to develop further in the field of game dev, creating new projects and gaining new like-minded people. By the way, I noticed that some developers also become game reviewers on YouTube, and then they intentionally promote their games through their channel. As a rule, due to simplicity, such channels gather an audience faster than game dev channels. I really like my hobby. I hope you too love what you do.

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