Discover a Hidden Gem.
Help an Indie Developer find their Audience.
Discover Indies is the brainchild of Indie Gamer Team and, more specifically, Indie Gamer Chick. The idea is simple: on the first Friday of every month in 2019, gamers of all stripes will be encouraged to purchase a single indie game that they’ve never heard of before. It can be on any platform, any genre, and any price (including free-to-play), as long as they’ve never previously heard of it.
You then play that game and report back on how much (or how little) you enjoyed it on social media using the hashtag #DiscoverIndies, including screenshots and clips if possible. You can also stream the game, blog on it, do video essays on it, or review it. As long as you give the game a moment that it might otherwise have never gotten.
The hope is that people will see the activity from the event, see games that are enticing to them that they’ve also never heard of, and maybe inspire them to also purchase that game. While you are discovering games through the campaign, others will also get to share in your discovery, ultimately giving these games a chance to find their elusive audience.
Because the horrible truth is most developers never find their audiences. Lack of fan-base should never be mistaken for lack of talent. I’ve played outstanding games from nameless, faceless developers who will never see their characters become Funko figures.
If we, as a community, can make #DiscoverIndies a cool, trendy activity to participate in once a month, this could give them a shot at success on the level they’ve only dreamed of.
How do I participate?
On the first Friday of every month, go to the marketplace of your favorite gaming platform and just start browsing. You can use whatever filters you feel necessary to narrow your options. Just keep browsing until a game stands out to you that you’ve never heard of before that you would want to play. Buy it, play it, report back on it on social media using the hashtag #DiscoverIndies. It’s that simple.
A good idea is to start with the game’s title screen, include the platform you bought it on and the price you paid for it. If you have the time, check to see if you can find the developer’s handle and include it.
And then just play the game. Put a quality amount of time into it. When moments pop-out to you, take a screenshot or clip (these functions are built into all current game consoles and Steam) and then upload them to your social media (preferably Twitter). Make sure to include the #DiscoverIndies hashtag, so that others can see the game you played while browsing the tag.
Can I choose a game I already know about?
Then you’re not really discovering a game, are you? The discovery process is what makes this work and assures that the initiative doesn’t devolve into gamers promoting the same small handful of games. And so we ask participants to choose games they’ve never played so that they are the ones making the discovery, and let others share in your sense of discovery. While many of you feel that Undertale, Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, or Celeste deserve bigger audiences, the truth is they do have followings already. The goal of #DiscoverIndies is to help those games and developers that have little-to-no following.
But what if the game I already know about is under-the-radar?
We’re going to assume you’ve already been singing the praises of it and those who follow you should already have heard about the game from you, hence the need to pick a game you’ve never heard of before. If that’s not the case, why have you been keeping this hidden gem you’ve previously discovered to yourself? 99.99% of all indie games are fully dependent on word-of-mouth to find their audiences, so if you’ve already found a game and haven’t done your part to spread the word of the game, you can’t really call yourself a fan of it, can you?
How do I find the game?
You browse the marketplace pages of your favorite platforms and keep looking until a game catches your attention that you think you’ll have a good time on Friday with. Check to make sure it’s not published by a AAA studio, and if it’s not, grab it.
Use whatever criteria you need. To really make it fun, wait until the day of the event to shop for the game, and go off your first, visceral instinct.
What if I can’t afford to buy a game?
For Nintendo Switch owner’s, the eShop sales page could be a great place to begin looking. On the PC side, Steam has a wonderful collection of free-to-play indie games by hungry developers looking to find their audiences. Check them out! There’s a very wide variety, including games that should be compatible with even low-end computers.
I’m gaming media. Can I do the #DiscoverIndies work before each Friday and then post the work on the day of the event?
Absolutely! If you’re going to go more in-depth with the game you select and need time to produce the content so that it’ll be ready for each #DiscoverIndies Friday, by all means do what you need to do to participate to the best of your ability.
Can the game be older or does it have to be a recent release?
You can choose any indie game released at any time. Every game deserves a chance to find its audience. As long as it’s under the radar and you’ve never heard of it, by all means choose it.
January 4, 2019
February 1, 2019
March 1, 2019
April 5, 2019
May 3, 2019
June 7, 2019
July 5, 2019
August 2, 2019
September 6, 2019
October 4, 2019
November 1, 2019
December 6, 2019
I’m really hoping to see this movement take off. I’ll be participating every month and plan to write reviews for every selection I make during #DiscoverIndies. I hope to see you taking part too! Let’s do all we can to help the indie devs find success! They deserve to be rewarded for their passion, dedication, and hard work.
Be sure and tag me on Twitter in any posts you make during the monthly #DiscoverIndies events!! Half of the fun is seeing what titles other gamer’s have discovered and then discussing them.