Flame Sword: Blog #14: HUD Options & Twitter pt. 2

MORE HUD OPTIONS

Without a lot of time this past week or in general, I wedged in some quicker things like HUD options. The player can now select the HUD to be normal, compact, or off. There is also an option for HUD transparency and the HUD will now fade out and in if the player is ever behind it. I can understand why similar games take a vertical approach to their HUDs as it’s a lot less likely something will be coming from vertically rather than horizontally.

Beyond that, the notifications now have more flair and will jump into existence. They transition between white to aqua color and back to grab the player’s attention rather than being subtle and going unnoticed.

TALKING ABOUT TWITTER

Since there’s nothing else going on, I may as well talk about what’s going on with Twitter. I still manage to get around 100 followers per week even if this week is only 60 new followers to make up for the 140 ish last week. The posts seem to average 250 likes while the worst do a mere 140 likes, which is still far better than my other posts that were lucky to get 25 likes. That could be from almost 900 followers, but it’s like the more followers I get, those likes still stay the average. I was able to score 500 likes on a post before I had 500 followers.

I bring up Twitter, because it was a slow week, with nothing dazzling to show off, so I showed off the dazzling stuff in game… again. I am keeping to my “post every Wednesday and Saturday” mentality. I quickly discovered it’s not about having fresh things to show to keep people occupied when I’m at this small of a level, it’s about gaining new followers. As always, I made a fresh level segment and showed it off via Twitter to net 40 more followers for Wednesday and then 40 more for yesterday’s post. I’d consider that a success as the followers are growing, even if there wasn’t anything new to show off. It’s about getting found. I felt like there would be diminishing returns since this is all the same environment, even if the segments of level are different, but no. Wednesday managed to get 300+ likes, which is still average, but on the good spectrum.

KEYWORDS AND HASHTAGS

People find us via the magic keywords I assume. We go for #pixelart #indiedev #gamedev, which in a way means that we’re only showing off this stuff to other people making video games. So I started including #indiegame which seems to net a lot more non game devs, non artists, non composers. Just normal players and streamers. According to a few Twitter stats lately it seems like #indiegame gets used more than #indiedev.

We discussed having our own hashtag and giving our nameless game a temporary name for the hashtag so people can better find everything about the game, but chances are with us being so small, our own hashtag doesn’t matter at this point and we need to keep harvesting the more common tags. Plus, I’m sure most of the traffic comes from being retweeted by larger Twitter accounts that found us via the typical keywords and hashtags. Also remember, when you get popular (anywhere) pay it forward to the next little project you believe in.

WHAT WORKS FOR THEM VS WHAT WORKS FOR US

I stick with the Wednesday and Saturday posting mentality even after discussing with some friends who work for companies with their own social media divisions, they tell me to tweet 1 – 5x a day. There are articles that say to post 5 – 20x times a day, which to me sounds like spam or excessive tweeting. I assume with excessive tweeting, it will all blur and blend together to the point where nothing has an impact.

I see bigger publishers publishers and gaming news sites getting 10 – 100 likes per post for 10k – 100k followers. You would think with that many followers they’d get 1k likes for everything, but many just post so much since they have so much to talk about. Then again bigger names are doing a lot of things so maybe fans only care about one thing they do and not the other 20 things they juggle. Perhaps people followed these companies and personalities years ago and no longer visit Twitter. Oh and not everyone has to click like; view and go. There are still major tweets that get 1k – 10k likes, but those are months in between.

Then again, with this logic, posting once a week may have a bigger impact. Twitter might want people coming back several times a day to read tweets from your favorite things and people. I tried the once a day method and it didn’t garner me as much as twice a week.

Also, to break down some numbers, it seems like for every 10 views of a .mp4 I get a like and I get 1 retweet for every 4 likes. The first hour always seems to be the most profitable in terms of likes and retweets. Oh and after 24 hours tweets die with only one tweet that lived on a few days later and that was the one that received 500 likes. Comments are utterly random and it helps to ask a question or at the very least say something funny.

THANK YOU AND NO THANKS ( THE TWITTER LEGEND )

We are both happy to get every sort of feedback we receive and we’re both thankful that people care. So between the artist and I on our Twitter accounts, we have both thanked many people… but last year there was some Twitter scare about people getting banned or shadow banned for saying Thank You. We have yet to be banned for saying it or shadow banned (where you’re never told you’re banned), but perhaps that has been corrected or it never was a problem in the first place like a chain letter.

LEVELS FROM TWITTER
As always, Twitter likes are not the end all be all, but it’s good to gauge interest and get quick feedback. Chances are with the Twitter posts of tough segments, I’m making people feel the game is more challenging and spectacular than it really is and that will hurt in the long run.

Running so low on time this week, I was unable to stitch a level from the last 4 segments, so now this next level will have 5 or more segments from Twitter. It’s just getting monotonous, because there’s a similar structure to most Twitter segments and so having so many levels with these same structures probably isn’t good to play through, even if these are just demo levels to show off mechanics, there’s just no new mechanics for these levels, so why bother turning these segments into a level? They will still be tweaked and added somewhere into the game. I just don’t look forward to having another challenging 5 segments into a game that already has 10+ challenging segments.

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