Many game developers are becoming more interested in how to leverage opportunities from game broadcasting and content creation to boost awareness of their game. It’s much easier than many developers believe: in part one, I discussed why it’s not necessary to use a streaming SDK for you game. In part two, I discussed some ways that you can make your game more attractive to content creators, both technically and in game design.
In this article, I will explain a bit about the last piece of the puzzle: engaging the people who will actually promote your game:
Tip: DO support the streaming community around your game
While supporting the community, or engaging with the community is probably already high on your priorities, what does that mean in the context of a Twitch stream? There are a number of ways that I’ve seen game developers work with streamers, and these may help your game be seen as more Twitch-friendly:
- Consider using Twitch APIs in your game. This is being seen more and more on the PC games on Twitch, and the concepts work similarly for mobile games: creating ways for broadcasters to engage with their audience through the games that they play. At the time of this writing, I’m not aware of any mobile games that use the Twitch APIs (let me know if there are!), but I believe there’s a ripe opportunity there.
- Reach out to the broadcasters: Perhaps the most effective way to develop a Twitch-friendly mobile game is to get in touch with the streamers who love your game and offer them special content. This ties in with the “offering compelling content” idea earlier: streamers are always looking for interesting and new content for their stream, and an investment here can result in other streamers looking to join the “community” for the game, too.
- Promote prominent community members: The community outside of Twitch can help build your Twitch presence as well. If you have tournaments, then the winners of those tournaments may want to parlay their success into a Twitch stream – why not help promote them? Community members who are creating YouTube content may be interested in branching out to Twitch as well, and helping promote their nascent streams can build the game’s Twitch presence as well.
- Build your game’s dedicated Twitch channel: Who better to showcase your game on Twitch than the people who built the game? Your official game channel can also be a place to showcase tournaments and events, have the developers available to chat with the community, and also show the promise of your game to other streamers who may be considering playing your game online.
While Twitch may appear to be primarily a PC, or even a PC and console community, mobile games can do very well on Twitch. And while streaming a mobile game on Twitch doesn’t require any special technology or SDKs, to be truly Twitch-friendly, there needs to be a combination of:
- Technical considerations for both the streamer and the viewers of your game
- Game design that enables content that streamers want to broadcast and viewers want to watch
- Engagement with the Twitch community to nurture and build it just as with any part of your community outreach.
Finally, I see that mobile games on Twitch are still a somewhat developing segment of the Twitch world. And that means that there is still a large opportunity, both for game developers looking to take advantage of Twitch and for streamers who may be looking for niches that aren’t as competitive as the established games on the site. My hope is that these tips help you better craft your Twitch engagement strategies.