It’s the second interview of my Manufacturing a Hit series, and this time I’m talking to Lightbringer777 about his game “Learn To Fly“. In this interview, I asked him about the distribution methods behind his success and, more importantly, what aspects go into the development of a successful game.
What methods did you use to market Learn to Fly?
Close to nothing, a good game distributes itself, the most I did was manually submit it to a few bigger portals, then add it to Flash Game Distribution and gamers/portals did the rest. Learn to Fly 2 was also an experiment on a new type of sponsorship for me, based on performance rather that an upfront payment from Kongregate for example. Because of this the game was pretty advertising and branding-heavy and I believe this harmed distribution a bit.
What sites did you submit your game to?
My two top portals are Newgrounds and Kongregate, mostly because of the community and feedback you get from them (especially here on Kong). I did update to better suit the players needs, mostly balancing out stuff, odds of getting secrets and such.
What do you think made your game go viral?
Learn to Fly 2 had a big reputation to begin with, and that played a HUGE part it making it go viral. There are a few elements to make a game go viral however. IMHO, you need to get the player’s attention within seconds, make them enjoy themselves/laugh/get hooked to something, the game has to be easy to pick up at first, yet complex enough to allow strategizing and finding your own way of reaching goals…
Another important element of the Learn to Fly series is how large its target audience can be. I’m 24 and I just love distance/upgrades games, and so does my 10 year old cousin and all his friends at school. The humor and gameplay is simple enough for anyone to grasp, yet not too childish (at least I hope so!)
Of course many games have and will be successful without following these guidelines, but it’s the strategy I came up with when I decided to create Learn to Fly in the first place, and I just took it a step further in giving players what they asked for with the sequel.
Anything else that you think played a part in your game’s success?
A few simple points: a sense of progress, upgrades, achievements to expend and shape the gameplay, humor, small details all over the place for people to find and to keep them from getting bored, and most importantly, penguins. I also think a big part of its success come from simply earring out what gamers wanted in a game, and though the job wasn’t perfect, I think I did pretty good seeing how to game was received!