There are hundreds of games hitting Steam every day, which makes the prospect of finding your next favorite rather daunting and exhausting. But what makes a page capture your attention, shine among the crowd? YouTuber Danny O’Dwyer, who runs documentary channel Noclip, wondered how and why this happens and investigated the intricacies that go into creating an engaging Steam page that tricks gamers into spamming that listing button. of wishes.
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O’Dwyer, a animate the video game documentary channels Noclip since September 2016, as well as associated strings. O’Dwyer posted a video on Tuesday about what makes a good Steam page on the Noclip team channel, a “creative playground” for O’Dwyer’s documentary team.
O’Dwyer sought advice from game designer-turned-consultant Chris Zukowski and prolific game trailer editor Derek Lieu. The Noclip team develops Stunt Derby, a physics-based driving game with online multiplayer and track building, and wanted to use this project to understand the “game selling business”. This includes two crucial elements: a game’s Steam page and its trailer.
As Zukowski pointed out, it’s not about being “the weirdest, weirdest game” you’ve ever seen, although it definitely helps set your game apart from the rest. Instead, the most effective way to get an eye on your creation, besides outright asking wishlist people on Steam, is to create an association with an established game genre before you strategically part ways. of this delicacy.
“People watch a game and whether they like it or not, it’s settled in 45 seconds,” Zukowski said. “So in those 45 seconds, they’re trying to figure out, ‘What am I doing in this game?’ People forget this all the time and it goes straight to lore, and one of the best and easiest ways is to figure out what kind of games are what we call tentpoles. is the Final Fantasy games or something and you kind of give these subtle hints that, ‘Hey, we’re kind of like this game.’ So that buyers, in those 45 seconds when they come to your page, have those subconscious cues like, “Oh, that’s what I’m here for.” Either I like this type of game or I don’t like this type of game.”
There are some important components that come into play when creating your game’s Steam page, including screenshots and the trailer itself. Zukowski noted that people love what they love, and because games are a visual medium, having eye-catching screenshots not only generates intrigue, but also creates contextual awareness of how one game fits into another of its genre. Lieu echoed that sentiment, saying the trailer is just as important as the screenshots you post.
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“The broadest advice I always give people is to establish gender first and that might take a shot,” Lieu said. “If it’s a fighting game, you see two people [that are] large enough [and] there are power bars – you know it’s a fighting game. Once you have established the genre, you have to establish the hook, i.e. “What’s different about that?” And that’s basically most of the trailer, I think.
Lieu also warned the developers about the details of game modes, boss levels, and number of weapons in the game.
“It’s like, ‘Why do I care about all this?’ The most important thing is the hook and also the emotional experience of playing the game,” he said. “It’s something that can be transmitted like the editing and the music. something that is listable.
There are other elements that help make your Steam page shine above the rest, including high-quality artwork for the main thumbnail and different images to squash any “asset-toggle” ideas players might conjure up. in their minds about your game. Nailing these, alongside an exciting trailer that clearly shows what a player is actually doing in your game, should elevate your project to the crème de la crème.
My box contacted Noclip and O’Dwyer for comment.
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