With the first release of our Dev-Demo last month we experienced a small scale game-release situation. It was terribly exciting to watch it all unfolding, everybody hurriedly fidgeting around, desperately trying to resolve all known bugs and attempting to polish up the game for our players. It amazes me every time, how industrious people get under time pressure. Due to the season it makes me think of Santa’s little helpers shortly before Christmas, bustling around, painting toys, packing presents, mixing up wish lists and then quickly undoing their mistakes (we all know this from movies, don’t we?).
And then comes the day when it’s all supposed to happen and you know that something could still go terribly wrong, making the announced release date all just a big lie. What a shameful thought. But it all worked out. Luckily we were on time – thanks to our amazing team!
But actually my preparations began long before that.. Being complete newbies with a very young project, scarce web presence and no marketing whatsoever, a lot hat to be done. After a first redesign of our website with the help of our artist, all contents needed to be reviewed and updated. I got busy keeping Facebook up to date and got acquainted with Twitter (Pluggio makes life much easier – thanks for the recommendation Andy!).
Then there was the big question of the official release date. I was really eager to publicly announce our demo and kept pestering the developers to set a deadline – I wanted it to be sooner, they wished it would be later. This was risky business, for when could we be sure to have completed all features to be demo-ready? How much time should we allow for all the unforeseen difficulties? This required very careful project management.
Meanwhile I got busy writing press releases and scavenging the internet for contacts. The Promoterapp proved very useful here, since it has a long list of gaming sites which I could work my way through. I visited around 1000 pages, first sorting out those which were either in English or German and then dumping those with irrelevant content. The most tedious task was finding contact data – it felt like an easter egg hunt! I understand that people try to protect themselves and hide their contact data to avoid spam, but why do they need to hide it so well?? I might have overlooked some, but I’m convinced that some sites have no contact data at all.
Finally through with this task, it was bliss to send out our press release to dozens of email addresses at once. And if there wasn’t such a thing as contact forms, my work would’ve been significantly less tedious. I filled out more than 70 of these and there would have been more had I not failed with the anti-bot verification a couple of times. Specially reCAPTCHA gave me trouble, though I’m usually good at this kind of stuff. I even tried to use the audio function – it sounds really scary, you should try!
Anyways this whole process took me about a week and I sent out over 300 press releases announcing our demo. We got almost 50 reactions to this, which is really good since I was told to expect no more than 10%. To these I then sent a second press release, once our demo was published.
With most of the pressure gone, the rest of the team could now sit back and relax a little. For me the work began piling up however – keeping all Schein-profiles up to date, monitoring comments, replying to inquiries, managing interviews and sweepstakes, reviewing mentions and correcting them if need be and most importantly thanking the journalists for their kind words. Schein got about 20 mentions or videos of the Dev-Demo on different gaming sites (most of which you can find here) and a couple of new likes, so all the work really paid off!
In the meantime the excitement and workload has significantly lessened, and I’m very grateful for that because I was truly beginning to neglect my studies. But I’ll be getting busy with Schein again real soon – our first Dev-Demo update is almost ready ..we might make it a Christmas present.