The Anatomy of an Indie Game Press Kit

The Anatomy of an Indie Game Press Kit

A press kit is one of those things that just sounds intimidating to the new developer. It sounds like something that big corporations do, or some big complex project that you hire a PR firm to work on for you. But despite that bias and general resistance to making one, building a press kit isn’t all that hard. In fact, it’s so simple that I made an infographic for you to wrap your head around.

This article is going to attempt to make what sounds like a complex topic, quite simple, by listing all of the things that you need in a press kit. There are some essentials that you cannot go without, and there are a few things that are nice to have, but by no means required. Here are a few things to hopefully help you out on building one yourself.

 

Press Kit Infographic

Here is an image that breaks down the different pieces of a press kit into one simple and understandable diagram. If you need more detail, I describe each one of these components more thoroughly below.

Indie Game Press Kit Template

 

Press Kit components

The graphic above does a pretty good job of breaking everything down and explaining the component parts, but if you need a little more info, here is a more detailed description of each section.

  1. Header Image
    Your header image is your first impression to anyone considering writing about your game. Don’t waste this space! Your header image should include a visual blend of what your game is, and the game’s actual logo/title. And make it beautiful and compelling.
  2. Quick Facts
    There will always be specific info that people just need to find at a glance. This section helps them find things like that, including but not limited to your name or studio name, your location, the game’s release date, platform, website, price, social properties, etc. You want to help the reader find common elements as fast as possible.
  3. Game Introduction
    This should be a paragraph or two MAX! And it should give the reader a rundown of your game. Think of it like an elevator pitch to a writer. You want to excite them, give them the gist of what the game is, and end strong.
  4. Request Copy Button
    This one  is simple. Either list your business email address, or have a button that allows them to quickly fill out a form and request a copy of your game to review. If you can automate this process, even better.
  5. Logo + Icon
    Here you want to simply provide high resolution copies of your game’s logo (include dark and light versions if you need to), and your game’s icon. Keep the elements here to a minimum, don’t provide 5 different versions of your icon, just one.
  6. Trailer + Videos
    If your game has a video trailer, embed it here so it can be watched easily. Also include a link to the publicly available version on something like YouTube so that they can share it or embed it. If you have some game play videos that are not slow or boring, include those here as well. Make sure each video is properly titled.
  7. Screenshots
    In this section you want to list 5 to 10 of your best game play action shots. These should show lots of cool moments in the game, or epic battles that you have to undertake. Remember, some of these can be animated GIFs as well.
  8. Quotes + Articles
    In this section, list some quotes from articles you have been featured in and link directly to the articles. You can also include awards or nominations or things like that if you have them. If your game has not been written about before, it is acceptable to put some real player’s quotes in this section, however that is not as powerful. And I know this goes without saying, but don’t make these up. Please.
  9. Additional Links
    Here you want to throw in anything additional that you think would be relevant to the writer to see. For example, you might link to your buddy’s music website if he did the sound for you. Or you might include a link to that time some people played your game on Twitch.
  10. About You / Your Studio
    This part is pretty simple Just include a paragraph or two about you or your studio. List a few of the games you’ve made, a brief history of the things you’ve done over the past few years, and any other tidbits of knowledge that might help a writer out or give them a story.
  11. Credits
    If you have a smaller game, list all of the contributors here and give them credit. If it is a bigger game, list some of the key players.
  12. Permission / Disclaimer
    The last thing on the list here is to give permission to the media to use all of the above content. You want to make sure that legally they can use all of your content, even for commercial use. Also make sure that you simply remove your liability and allow them to use all of your materials at their own risk

 

Quick tips for creating your press kit

So you know all the tiny pieces that make up an indie game press kit. But sometimes the component pieces are not enough. Here are a few pointers for you to keep in mind when you are creating content for your kit and wrapping everything together for launch day.

  1. Remember the why
    Keep in mind that every single thing you add to your press kit needs to have the sole intention of getting your game written about. If something makes you look bad, or it does not represent the quality of your game, leave it out. Don’t write or talk about things that are irrelevant to getting press, and keep everything short and concise.
  2. Keep it quality over quantity
    It is always much better to include less high quality content here, than more low quality content. You want your game and your brand to be represented in the best light. If you provide sub-par press materials, you are going against that core philosophy.
  3. Proofread the living Hell out of it.
    I suck at proofreading, and I hate it. I am the typo king. But believe me when I say that nothing will get your story dropped faster than a typo on your press page. Writers hate typos more than anybody, and they instantly think you are unprofessional and unprepared when they see one. Make sure you find them and eliminate them!

 

Conclusion

Hopefully this will help you get over your fear of setting up a press kit for your game. If you were intimidated before, I hope the diagram allowed you to wrap your head around what it takes to make one. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below!

 

Did I miss something? Do you have some additional suggestions for building a pres kit that works with indie games? Comment them below!

Tim Ruswick

Tim Ruswick is the founder of Game Dev Underground and the author of the Game-Maker's Manifesto.