Ever want to break into video games but didn’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re going to school or developing your own game but need some pro tips to ensure your success?
This was my third year hosting and moderating the Breaking Into Video Games panel at Denver Comic Con, and each time it gets better. It’s truly amazing to see the long line waiting for us and the packed room filled with raised hands and burning questions. It is my hope (and belief) that many walked away with renewed confidence and invaluable advice for their game development careers.
This years’ panelists were:
- Matthew Nyquist – co-founder, NYQuist INDustries
- Dr. Dana Klisanin – creator, Cyberhero League
- Greg Stone – producer, Backflip Studios
- Brian Robbins – Amazon developer, founder of Riptide Games
- Serafina Pechan – founder & Game Designer, World Fusion
In watching the panel again, I realize that I didn’t answer someone’s question very clearly. Allow me to try again:
If you are a new video game media outlet (like VGNS) and you want to build relationships with game developers, here is my tried and true advice:
- Contact the right people! If you email “email@example.com” you will not get a reply. However, joining sites like GamesPress will allow you access to the right PR reps for the companies you’re interested in.
- Be professional! This sounds like a no-brainer, but as Serafina and Matt explained on our panel, how you act will determine how you are treated. Introduce yourself, your outlet, why you are interested in that particular company and request to be added to their press list.
- Follow up! Even if the PR rep hasn’t given you any free games, etc. ALWAYS cc them on any coverage for their client. PR reps really appreciate the heads up! If you haven’t heard from that rep in a while, consider a polite email to check in and see what’s going on in their world. Pro tip: don’t email them the week before a major game launch and ask for a review copy. Typically, I will request to be added to review lists as soon after the game’s announcement as possible.
- Network! You can attend your local IGDA meetings for free and meet a number of local developers in your area. If you don’t have the money to attend the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco each year, consider volunteering! Then introduce yourself to whoever you can! I have met SO many great company reps and developers at GDC that I am still in contact with to this day.