There are hundreds of games hitting Steam every day, which makes the prospect of finding your favorite game daunting and exhausting. But what makes a page grab your attention and shine through the crowd? YouTuber Danny O’Dwyer, who runs the documentary channel Noclip, wonders how and why this happens, and set out to investigate the intricacies that go into creating a captivating Steam page that causes players to spam a wishlist button.
Odoer Running the documentary channel about the video games Noclip since September 2016, along with the accompanying channels. O’Dwyer posted a video on Tuesday looking at what makes a good Steam page nuclib crew Channel, a “creative playground” for O’Dwyer’s team of documentaries.
O’Dwyer sought the opinions of game designer-turned-consultant Chris Zukowski and prolific video editor Derek Liu. The Nuclep team is evolving Derby trick, a physics-based driving game with online multiplayer and track building, and I wanted to use this project to understand the “game selling business”. This includes two main components: the game’s Steam page and a trailer.
As Zukowski pointed out, it’s not about being “the weirdest, weirdest game” you’ve ever seen, although that certainly helps set your game apart from the rest. Instead, the most effective way to draw attention to your creativity, aside from explicit requests from people to have it listed on Steam, is to establish an association with an established type of game before strategically separating yourself from that binge.
“People look at a game, and whether they like it or not, it was created within 45 seconds,” Zukowski said. So, within 45 seconds, they’re trying to figure out, ‘What am I doing with this game? “People forget that all the time and it just goes straight to the science. One of the best and easiest ways is to figure out what kind of games we call props. You know JRPGs, they’re Final Fantasy Games or something and you kind of give these subtle hints, “Hey, we kind of like this game.” So shoppers, within 45 seconds when they look at your page, have those subconscious clues like, “Oh, that’s what I’m into. I like this type of game or I don’t like this type of game.”
There are a few important components that come into play when creating the game’s Steam page, including screenshots and the trailer itself. Zukowski noted that people like what they like, and because games are a visual medium, getting eye-catching screenshots not only generates intrigue but also creates contextual awareness of how a game fits in with another of its kind. Liu echoed that sentiment, saying that the trailer is just as important as the screenshots you post.
“The most comprehensive advice I always give people is first, create the genre and that can take a chance,” Liu said. “If it was a fighting game, you would see two people [that are] rather big [and] There are electric rods – you know it’s a fighting game. After creating the literary genre, you need to create the hook, which is, “What’s different about this?” And that’s basically the bulk of the trailer, I think.”
Liu also warned developers not to get bogged down in the details of game modes, boss levels, and the number of weapons in the game.
“She’s like, ‘Why do I care about any of this?'” “The most important thing is the hook and then the emotional experience of playing the game.” “This is something that can be conveyed through like editing and music. It is not something worth waiting for.”
There are other elements that help make your Steam page a lot brighter than the rest, including a high-quality illustration of the main thumbnail and various images to squash any “reflection of assets” thoughts players might have in their minds about your game. Pinning this stuff, along with a captivating trailer showing what the player is actually doing in your game, should elevate your project to a crop level.
Kotaku I reached out to Noclip and O’Dwyer for comment.
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