In this interview, Maxime reveals how he got started in the video game industry and the multiple challenges of going indie!
It’s a great day to be Gingear. Open Bar! now dwells in the Indie Corner, a collection of indie games curated by Google on Android.
We tried oh so ferociously to get the attention of this secretive entity, but the gentle giant is harder to reach than the top of a greased up wall.
Mobile game developers can always drop an email to the Apple team to inform them of the existence of their exciting new game; since there is a gazillion of us, we assume that this account is managed by a mutant that has transcended the need to read and can feel all of this information, sort out the good stuff and dispatch it to the team. But realistically, we’re not sure that it’s humanly possible to read every email sent to that address.
Since there are hundreds of new apps that are submitted each day, how do you get yours to stand out? You are competing with well-established studios; they are investing Goliath-esque sums of money in marketing and most certainly know someone at Apple. They already have successful games behind them.
You have your one game (it’s super great), one email address everyone can use and a David-esque sum of money to invest in market-wait-I’ve-never-done-this.
We were shamefully lucky to have Open Bar! featured in the Best New Games category when it got out. It was extremely “puzzling”: was that a sign that Apple reads all those emails? It’s terrifying.
With Google though, there is no contact to be made, there is no email address, you cannot send anything. Period. We wondered how they would know if a new game was cool and worth their gaze. Maybe there is an army of underground robots programmed to play all the games on the Play Store (there are more than all the stars in the sky in your imagination) and when they find a good one they flash a little red light.
You could argue that really, it’s the same deal with Apple (since you have a slim chance of getting your game noticed among all of the others), but it’s comforting to press send after writing a carefully crafted press release about your launch and your hopes and dreams. A communication has taken place, it’s all that matters. You can now wait by the phone dressed to the nines.
We once heard at a game dev happy hour that Google representatives lurk in gaming events and approach you with a white card with only their names on it (no phone numbers, nothing), like men in black. You would have this incredible chance to make your pitch; then, they would vanish in their mysterious world.
We then brainstormed creative ways to get acknowledged by Google: getting on top of a bridge with a huge Open Bar! sign and refuse to leave until Google called, investing 10 million dollars in ads to get a million downloads and/or making a sex tape with a strong focus on gameplay.
The strategy that we finally decided on was thinking really hard about it happening. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Then, Google gave the world a form to fill out (a Google form), to submit games to this new Indie Corner. They’ve finally hired a mutant of their own!
The rest is history.