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A Newschool Guide to Promoting Your Indie Game

March 14, 2015

by Andrew Haak


Part of being an indie game developer is doing your own promotion. Sure, you can leverage ROBLOX’s advertising system to get your game in front of lots of players quickly (we’ll have more on that soon), but let’s think bigger and broader. How can you use social media? How can you produce game content that acts as promotion? How can you get outside of ROBLOX and capture an entirely new audience of gamers? We’ll answer all of those questions in this article.

While having a good game is the best kind of promotion (and no amount of promotion can make a bad game a smash hit), tools for promotion can amplify your success — a lot. They can bring you more players, help you earn more money, and ultimately reinforce your personal brand, which means more people will be willing to try the games you release in the future.

Step 1: build social media buzz

In the last year, top ROBLOX game creators have turned to Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube to engage with their fans, build hype surrounding their games, and reward fans for continuing to play. You don’t need to do everything on every social channel, but you can pick one or two that are relevant to your creation and be consistently active.

Don’t be afraid to push your ROBLOX audience to your social media channels, and don’t be afraid to direct your social media followers to your ROBLOX game. Create a virtuous circle that feeds off itself.


Twitter is a great place to quickly disperse information and interact with fans. Post links to videos and images, tease upcoming game updates, and collect feedback – in short, create a hub for your games. One particular technique we’ve seen take over Twitter is the promo code. By launching exclusive codes on Twitter that players can redeem in-game for perks and items, you give players a reason to go to your game – or go back to your game – and subscribe to your Twitter feed. You can read more about this technique in our previous article highlighting Taymaster and Twisted Murderer.

You can imagine that private servers will work great for games in certain genres.

Taymaster pioneered the “promo code” in ROBLOX games with Twisted Murderer.


You can use Twitch for the same general purposes you might use Twitter, but do so in a more engaging and personal way. Broadcast and narrate the creation of your game, demonstrate new features and gameplay, and even give away promo codes from time to time. Mad Studio, Hex, and Stylis Studios all do a great job of harnessing Twitch. By promoting their streams on ROBLOX and getting hundreds of concurrent viewers on Twitch, they engage existing fans and also gain exposure among people who are simply browsing Twitch. Those people may not have ever played or even heard of your games. Once they see your stream, they have.


Today, young people discover new games by watching their favorite YouTubers play them. You can tap into that trend by creating video content for your game. Gusmanak and ZolarKeth, the creators of Apocalypse Rising, do a great job of this. They reveal game updates on their YouTube channel to drum up excitement for new content and to spark discussion among their hardcore fans. The comments and sharing help their videos amass thousands of views, which acts as promotion for the game.

Step 2: use updates and events to spark interest

Game updates sometimes serve as the best means of promotion. A great holiday theme gets people talking and playing. A double experience (XP) weekend event spikes traffic at the most opportune time (i.e., the weekend) and pulls existing players back. A consistent schedule of updates (for example, Ripull’s every-Friday updates to Ripull Minigames) means players come to expect fresh gameplay and unlockable items, and never get too far removed from your game. This is a proven model that many top games on mobile app stores follow to keep players hooked and you can implement it too.


PlaceRebuilder brings seasonal events to Reason 2 Die to attract new players and keep veterans entertained.

One of the best examples of this type of game promotion is Reason 2 Die by PlaceRebuilder (who just starred on our Creator Showcase Twitch show). Not only does he host timely (and super fun) in-game events based on holidays, but he also has regular double XP weekends. It feels like there’s always something special happening, and you can see that players appreciate it. Its 17 million+ total gameplay sessions and steady popularity don’t lie.

Step 3: think big

You’re a ROBLOX developer, and that means you have a potential audience of millions of gamers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find more players elsewhere on the internet.

A couple weeks ago, we saw a ROBLOX first: Hex had a standalone article published in a third-party gaming blog. We hope it isn’t the last. The creators of Hex, owen0202 and SilentSwords, treated the release of their game professionally — they built hype with teasers on social media, created even more anticipation by opening an early access beta, and then launched according to a scheduled date weeks later. This built tremendous hype and gamers had to pay attention.

As a ROBLOX developer doing promotion, think about your game as the product. Reach out to writers you think might be interested in your game and tell them why it’s special. That it’s on ROBLOX is secondary to the point that you made a fantastic game and you want people to know about it. If you’re young and killing it in game development, that makes your story all the more powerful.

The creators of Hex did an excellent job of building pre-release hype and post-release coverage.

The creators of Hex did an excellent job of building pre-release hype and post-release coverage.

You’re probably going to get better results by working with “newschool” curators – that is, the people who have amassed huge fanbases by playing games on Twitch and YouTube. Make sure to consider popular Twitch streamers and YouTubers (both in and out of the ROBLOX community) to help spread the word about your game. For instance, if you’ve made a great survival game and you know of a YouTuber who loves that sort of thing, tell them about your take on it! They have their own audiences, and getting them to play your game could mean exposure to thousands, even millions, of new people.

Here are a few places to start your research: Bereghost, ROBLOX Arcade, cazum8, InceptionTime,  FabatistaCraft, MyLeafs, and PhireFox. Don’t forget to tell us, the Communications team! We are always looking for great games and creations to showcase on the blog, Twitch, and other social media.

Regardless of who your target is, be relentless. Use email and social media to make connections. Post your story to the gaming sub-reddit. Always provide links. Tell the world, however you can.

Tip: Developer Attribution brings promotion full-circle

Oh, there’s one more reason you should consider promoting your games outside of ROBLOX: Developer Attribution.

We launched this feature in December. If someone’s first visit to ROBLOX is your game’s page, and he or she eventually goes on to sign up and make a purchase (of ROBUX or Builders Club), you get a 5 percent bonus of the transaction amount. By spreading your game’s link and helping people discover ROBLOX through your cool creation, you can start to build the foundation for a steady background revenue stream. Your player community can help with this, as well.

Developer Attribution is still ramping up and takes time to have a noticeable effect, but it does give you another incentive to be an active promoter.

As you can see, there are many reasons to promote and even more ways to make it happen. Don’t feel like you have to do everything to be successful; instead, prioritize the channels and opportunities that are the most relevant to your game and your audience. Get your name out there and become a indie game promotion machine.