Introducing Game Dev Ninja

Welcome! My name is Rob, I’ll be posting regularly on the blog here on GDN about the business side of indie games, as well as covering our own philosophy, development process, and features.

But first, I should talk a little a bit about what we’re trying to create!

Game Dev Ninja is our attempt to help solo developers, independent studios and smaller publishers with the business and project management portion of creating a game.

It’s a combination of relevant guides, metrics and software tools designed specifically to solve problems that can cost developers time and money.

You can think of us as a game engine for everything except the actual coding of the game.

OK, but why would I need it?

We’re actually planning our product with a similar question in mind: “What problems do solo and small teams of indie developers commonly face?”

It should be no surprise that some of the most common answers to that question are about marketing, coverage and engagement, so let’s break down how Game Dev Ninja could help in this area.

Now, if you’re an indie developer who is new to marketing, you’ve traditionally had two options: You can read online articles or grab a book about marketing and try to follow along, or you can hire an external agency or PR person to help you.

But let’s face it: the former can be a daunting experience without help, and the latter is simply out of reach for many developers from a financial standpoint.

So for many developers, the options are low cost but high risk of doing it yourself, or the high cost but low risk of having someone else do it. What Game Dev Ninja does is bridge that divide.

Say you’re already trying to put into practice some of those basic marketing tips:

  • Running a dev blog on your own server
  • Creating a press kit using an external tool or your own code
  • Building a network on social media
  • Managing contacts on Excel
  • Sending out codes through multiple sites
  • Trying to keep an up-to-date calendar of events on Google

Now imagine you had one place where you could not only oversee all of those tasks, but also help you learn and discover better ways to do them that are tailored to your game’s platforms, genre and release date.

What if that place could also allow you to perform and monitor many of those tasks directly, so you need less monthly subscriptions, less accounts and less time.

And finally, what if that place could wrap all of that up in a neat dashboard along with advised dates and times to perform those tasks, combined with relevant news, information, guides, events, game jams and anything else you might need?

That place is what we’re creating with GDN. Through combining tutorials and knowledge with software tools that all tie in to each other, we create a platform where you can better monitor, manage and plan those marketing efforts.

So it’s a marketing tool for indie studios?

Remember earlier when I said you could see Game Dev Ninja as an engine for everything except the actual coding?

Just like the best game engines, we want GDN to be continually finding new ways to make the lives of developers and publishers easier. The best game engines don’t stop at just a single task; they support developers and teams in many different ways through new features, regular updates and clever integrations.

So, when we ask our question, “What problems do smaller indie developers commonly face?” we’re looking at so many more avenues than just marketing. From finding team members, to maintaining motivation through development, to budgeting and financing support and plenty more that we’ll tackle as we grow.

I’ll be going into more detail on some of those things next week, but in the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter and join our mailing list here for the latest updates.

Thanks for reading!

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