Game Development Reference
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gamers came expecting a challenging tower defense game, whereas casual players came expecting a fun puzzle
Create a Recognizable Brand That Unifies Your Games
As a web game developer, it's likely you're going to make many titles and that they're going to be hosted on
numerous sites that you don't directly control. You can, however, control your brand, which you can promote
within and throughout your game, to build player recognition—and hopefully, player loyalty. This was an in-
sight that helped drive the development of , a casual web game site that now counts three million
monthly unique users.
“We make a lot more advertising money from someone playing the game on our own site than we do else-
where,” Nitrome's Matthew Annal tells me. “So a key aim is to attract users to our site. It is easy on other sites
for your game to get lost among the sea of other games out there, and even if users enjoy your game, they are
unlikely to check out your developer's site. If a user, however, realizes that other games they are enjoying are
all made by the same developer, you gain their trust, and they are much more likely to seek you out to see what
else you have produced.” At this point, you not only attract site visitors—and earn revenue from them—but also
you increase the chance of getting repeat visits and growing by word of mouth.
NOTE “[S]tart building your audience early on…it will take a long time and you may never get there, but
you have to plant the seed if you want it to grow,” says Matthew Annal.
For Nitrome, that meant building not only high-quality games, but also games that were recognizably from
the same developer (see Figure 8-2 ). This meant creating consistent visuals (it's why all Nitrome games have a
distinctive pixel style) and branding (see Figure 8-3 ) .
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