Friday, 14 January 2011

Ongaku…you know about it right? Part 2

If you read my last post you’ll know about how Ongaku was created from its original concept video. Now here’s the bit about how the game was marketed and when SmashMouth Games went to the MCM Expo. Enjoy :). If you missed the first part of the story you can always catch up here...

The Marketing

At the time when Ongaku was released I had no idea what kind of lengths would be needed to market a game especially as an indie developer. Getting a spot on TV would cost thousands of pounds and that’s even IF you manage to get in ‘Prime Time’ hours, which then it could cost tens of thousands!

So we had to think clever with what was available for free. Obvious routes were the Twitters, Facebooks, YouTubes and MySpaces to start, but from there we released new articles on and attempted to increase profile of the game and the company. This worked for a time, but then a new approach was needed, so the next step was to try and make it into in a game convention and setup a SmashMouth Games booth. This was accomplished at the MCM Expo in London back in November 2010 where myself and 4 others setup a stand and demonstrated Ongaku to more than 20,000 people J. Along with demonstrating the game was also selling Limited Masterpiece Editions of Ongaku, which featured the full game and all 6 theme packs for £5 (cheap as chips it was ;) ).

To get the crowds to us we played a lot of the Tune-A-Matic (the music analyser) with some music that a lot of people would recognise. However nothing got people more into the game than the song from Caramelldansen *shudder* ( That annoying tune drew a large crowd on to our booth and before you knew it everyone was getting into the game even the Storm Troopers.

There was this one time at the Expo when after selling Ongaku on the first day, myself and the team went back to the hotel to get some well deserved drinks. Zuby then got a message on his phone saying that someone who bought the game that day couldn’t run it and didn’t work, so instantly he turns to me and questions me if I had tested the master disc before getting them printed. Obviously I did and was calm about the situation knowing that whoever had the problem would have done something wrong on their end. Seeing that Zuby was getting worried about it, I offered to go back to the hotel room and test the disc out on a laptop and of course it worked...but I wasn’t going to let it end there. I spent 30mins having to test the game and by the time I went back down to tell the team the news, they were merrily drinking away. I turn up sit down with a forced straight face trying not to laugh and said, “The game disc isn’t working, it’s broken...” stunned silence followed by a panicking team like they saw a ghost :P. I get up and head to the bar for a drink to let them stew for a while. On my return they were still stunned shocked and asking what we should do. It was hi-larious...for me at least ;), but it would be cruel to let it drag on so I let on that I was joking. And that’s why you should never listen to a single complaint from a forum user; wait till 100 people complain then be a little concerned.

Although there were laughs it was still all hard work, but it was worth it to get the Ongaku and SmashMouth name out there. You can find pictures of the event on our Facebook here

I’m the odd one out on the far right :P

Even after all the publicity done so far, it still isn’t enough and will need constant now in this blog!

The End?

Ongaku for PC is available on our website as well as other online gaming portals and on the Blitz Games Studios (our publisher) website. We’re not on Steam as of yet, but we definitely strive to make it there one day *fingers crossed*.

We’ve also put forward plans to possibly produce iPhone, iPad and Android versions of Ongaku, but on top of this there may be possible version of Ongaku which we think loads of people would be interested in...if things go according to plan. For now I can’t give too many details, but if it we get the green light then a brilliant portable version of Ongaku could be in the works :).

As well as Ongaku there is also Drag Tag Smash to consider and the update that has been recently released. As for the PC version of Ongaku, only time will tell and once the people get wind of Ongaku, play the game and get into its features and content. There may also be a console version on the horizon, but for now we’ll wait and see.

No this is not the end... it is only the middle bit!

Posted by Tim.

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