Social media can pay off, folks. Once in a blue moon. If you have a nontraditional approach to announcing your game and the game actually looks good.
It’s not really a campaign that I’m highlighting here, but more of an instance of some stars aligning for a game that absolutely tapped into the zeitgeist of a community.
House House had their work done for them by a fellow developer, Alice from AirConsole, when she shared a tweet that apparently showed up in her newsfeed. I have no idea if this was seeded by House House at all, but man, it worked.
This was the tweet House House shared to do an unconventional announcement of their game about a horrible goose:
It's a lovely morning in the village and you are a horrible goose.
A new game by us, coming 2018.
— House House (@house_house_) October 4, 2017
The tweet itself has been retweeted over 15k times and liked over 43k times so far, which kind of snowballed on itself. It’s worth noting that House House only has one game and only 8k followers under their belt – what mattered here was they’ve established followers over time.
Even though they let their account go to shit/didn’t update it for a long time, at least one solid person was watching and picked up on an opportunity for karma.
Some things they did right
When Alice posted the trailer to reddit, it quickly got to the front page from r/Gaming and is now sitting pretty with a whopping 122k upvotes. For reference, at the time of this post, this post is #136 in all-time posts on the site:
So what did House House and Alice do right?
- House House got quality followers, like Alice, to watch their Twitter feed. Although they’ve been inactive, they at least had been posting a little bit of a ramp-up to their “announcement”
- They didn’t do a video format – you don’t have to click away to view the trailer in its gif format. It’s embeddable and easy to watch, which is becoming the norm. YouTube may help in the long-run with search rankings and results vai the Google, but having to click and wait for something to load is less desirable compared to the instantaneous-ness of gifs
- They also kept it short and went with a well-known gif format (gfycat). It’s interesting to think that people may not watch a video knowing it’s 3 minutes long but since gifs don’t have an anticipated length of time stamped on them, people are probably more likely to watch through them all the way.
- House House showed actual gameplay. Hilarious, beautiful gameplay.
- The title isn’t set – it’s an interesting approach. A ton of the comments on reddit are suggestions for name titles:
- “It doesn’t have an official name yet, but if they don’t name it Goose on the Loose I say we riot.” – H720
- “Actually Gander or The Gandering would be a good name for the game as it means both a goose and too look at something. You might be onto something there… To be clear though. I did understand the joke lol” – UnrealSlim
- “I prefer the original title, A Stealth Game Where You Play A Goose” -Tsukubasteve
- “Metal Goose Solid” – freakedmind
- “Duck, Goose, Duck” – wongo
- “Untitled? They better go with Goose on the Loose…edit: No, wait. Duck, Goose, Duck! is way more clever.“ – H720
- Alice posted on r/Gaming, which is a very challenging subreddit to post anything on. But – she’s established a presence on the sub and knows the ins and outs of reddit.
- It’s worth noting another person also posted on r/Games but they linked to the YouTube video rather than the gif.
- AdequateSubject also found it via Twitter, “I saw this on my twitter feed and just had to share it. This game looks so silly, but there’s definitely potential for engaging and hilarious gameplay here. Plus that delightful music!”
- Game journalists took note pretty quickly of the quickly rising post, which then had a beautiful ripple effect
Really, the key to House House’s success here seems to be that they got solid followers on Twitter after their first game.
The only thing I hate is that they didn’t put any sort of call-to-action at the end of the gif. They haven’t titled the game (which is good and bad), they didn’t give any information as themselves being the developer in the gif, and they didn’t give a way for people to sign up for more information.
I also can’t find easy information about these guys. No website, nothing like that – makes me want to shake them. It would have been extremely worthwhile to have some sort of way to get email addresses from people interested in following up on the game.
Regardless, it’s also worth noting: the game itself, from the gameplay shown, looks purely wonderful. There aren’t any well known goose games, unlike the plethora of zombie and ninja and other repeat topics. But it still manages to build on a well-known, tried and true gameplay concept.
And the Internet, especially reddit, seems to be latching onto the weirder ideas that come along as long as they’re done well, like Goat Simulator.
Kudos to House House for an unconventional and surprisingly successful game announcement!