GunnRunner is officially out of Early Access. You can find the game on Steam. If you are on the fence of a purchase, try the FREE DEMO.
That took some consideration there: a free demo. Luckily for me, I went to several conventions to showcase GunnRunner. The first con was PLAYTHROUGH 2023 in Raleigh, NC. Everything was splendid, except I was dissatisfied with the upkeep of the game. Meaning, I had to physically reset the game back to the point where I wanted players to begin. This was simply not going to fly at the next convention: PAX EAST 2023.
For PAX EAST, I prepared a demo build of GunnRunner. This demo has a tutorial level to begin with extra tooltips. The level is longer than most levels in the game, but serves the purpose of introducing the player to the primary mechanics in a controlled environment. I realized that you must cater the experience to the potential audience. In this case, a person who you will only hold the attention of for maybe 5 minutes. I would never design something so tooltip and tutorial heavy into the game itself. But for a convention experience; the perfect concession to make.
Probably the most important part of the demo. An automatic timer that counted down when the player stopped moving. If a player walks away from the setup, a timer begins and at zero: it resets the demo. Absolutely no work on our part. Additionally, an overall timer that will reset the demo after the player had played for 10 minutes.
So, with a few tweaks, I cooked the demo and sent it to the Steam-verse. I know questions raise regarding the validity of demos. Well, I believe my game is great, and the demo is great. I have done the best I can; if I still do not make a sale, then it is what it is.
My push for social media has been extravagant. Each post I make is almost an experiment in “what works?” I strive to make clickbait thumbnails and titles, and deliver with engaging content. I ask myself, “I released a game, now what?”. My mission statement is to continue to support it. But you have to MAKE time to show it to the world.
My most recent YouTube Short (subscribe to @pixelcastgames) has it all. Silly thumbnail (at least on Instagram), nonsense title, hashtags, and it even loops somewhat nicely.
But the content is fascinating. Potentially to developers who might be inspired by dynamic explosions. And of course players, because explosions are cool and go boom. This next one is borderline parody:
You really just have to not be afraid to put yourself out there. My posts across social media have garnered well over 100k views in the month since release. 100k is more than ZERO. All it takes is for that right person to spot you.
A couple dedicated Runners have made their way to the pixelCast Games Discord. Foster that community as well. Interact and be transparent; be chill. Share random updates to the appropriate platform. Record some random developer stuff and post it. Right a off-the-cuff blog (like this). Be excited and get your mind thinking about all the little-awesome things you have accomplished. Takes courage to put yourself out there.