Dormouse Games has a functional Steam Scouts beta! We’ll have a closed beta, followed by an open beta, coming up in the near future. That means it’s time for the business guy to look to the future. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how we’re going to get the word out about the game.
As a gamer, I don’t like ‘marketing’ and ‘branding’ pointed at me because its weak-sauce when compared to what I really enjoy; a good game, with a good story, in a compelling setting. So the challenge of coming up with marketing material is on the one hand kind of silly as you’ve just invested time and effort into creating an entire world. But on the other hand, marketing and ‘the brand’ is super critical to grow the game beyond the scope of who knows about it right now.
We want to tackle ‘marketing’ and ‘branding’ at Dormouse Games by going that extra step beyond marketing to world building. At the moment we’re looking into the idea of awarding players achievement badges, and merit badges for the completion of Steam Scouts: On Track. We’re going to skip the ‘swag’ and the flyers, and instead create actual merit badges for rewards in and out of the game.
I have this mental image from Pax East 2012 in my head. The Tap Lab on one side of the isle, with buttons and stickers and flyers. And Half Brick on the other side of the isle with fruit for sale. Little plush fruit sliced in half, that stuck together with Velcro Even Dave got a fruit at the Half Brick booth. Which was more effective? We want to give a token that people really identify with, but also something they earned. With a game about merit badges the solution seems rather obvious.
Does that idea strike you as something compelling? Or are we wasting our time? What do you think? Would a sash full of badges appeal to you? This idea appeals to me, but then I was a scout as a kid.