Do We Judge Games By Their Covers?
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. We’ve heard that a thousand times and yet we all seem to kind of do it. Is the same true with games? We’re going to talk about that coming up. What’s going on guys Tim Ruswick here from Game Dev Underground helping you build finish and launch better games. Today we’re talking about something that I find super interesting. And it’s the idea that stuff is judged by its cover.
Now I’m going to start with a quick story because I want you guys to understand the context of this so…Chris DeLeon which runs Gamekedo which you should check out he’s awesome I was on his podcast recently and we were talking… And he recommended a book to me called the E-myth and we were talking about how a lot of developers myself included when I started are scared of selling and he recommended a book to me. And so I recently purchased it and read it but when I saw the cover I was like I’ve seen this book a thousand times.
This was a book that I’ve seen like because I’d love to go like Goodwill bookstores because they always have like really good books for super cheap. I love to like check around eBay or Amazon and stuff ’cause you can find really good stuff. I’m just a big book reader like at one point I was reading one or two books a week. So I seen this book a thousand times and I never picked it up because the cover looked like it was so completely outdated.
And it’s you know it’s not a new book but I completely judge it by its cover. And when I read the book I was like holy shit I wish I would have read this book five years ago because the book sums up a lot of the stuff that I learned over running a company building a company transitioning from doing the work to managing the work so much stuff. And it was all in the book and I was like I wish I would read this five years ago but I judge the book by its cover.
And similarly like when I’m browsing Steam or when I’m going through figure out of the game I want to play I’m not clicking through everything I’m looking the the thumbnail of each game. I’m like oh that looks cool I’ll click on that. And I’m looking at the thumbnail and the title. And it’s the same thing here on YouTube right I’ve noticed a massive increase in click-through since I switched to my new thumbnail version and I’m sure there’s a thumbnail out there that I could switch sure that would do even better.
But we judge stuff by its cover we do. And as an artist it sucks to think about that we want to say oh the world’s broken they you know don’t judge a book by it’s cover blah blah blah don’t judge a game by its thumbnail but we do. And it’s a hard reality. And you can wish that this isn’t reality. And you can try and fight it or you can embrace it.
And so I want to urge you guys if you’re working on your game do not rush that last part of the process where you’re working on the thumbnails you’re building the the pages out the landing page in your website or the description on the you know portals on Steam or the thumbnail on Steam or the trailer.
All that stuff is so important because people make decisions about whether or not to buy your game in 10 seconds they do in 10 seconds. And beyond 10 seconds it’s a minute or 2 max. They might watch your trailer if they’re if they’re on the fence. They might read your description if they’re on the fence. But this these decisions are made so short like you have to understand that you are being judged. And you’re being judged by your thumbnail. You’re being judged by your title.
You’re being judged by a lot more than you think you are or by a lot less than you think you are. And that is determining the worth of your game so you need to take that in mind and really understand that hey you got to spend time on this you know. I’ve seen because I’ve worked with a couple writers over the years I know a lot of people that have like they they make living with Amazon Kindle.
They they write books whatever. And I just one friend that was just I loved his writing I loved it so much. It was sci-fi it was like right up my alley it was awesome but his cover sucked. His cover sucked! I would never buy his books because the covers were just horrible. And I was like dude you gotta pay somebody to do this and he’s like no I don’t want to hire ’cause I’m losing money.
I am like okay you’re not losing money you were investing in this. And he didn’t understand that by paying X amount now he was going to make so much more of a long-term buy more people choosing his his book than they would have and that’s what ended up happening when he finally took my advice. I’m not a guru all the time but I felt pretty cool pretty cool right there I’m like yeah you know I was right damn straight. But but seriously like people judged by the covers and you got to understand that.
So if you have people doing your assets you have people working on stuff you have contractors if you have teammates you know spend some extra time there. Like really have if you’re an artist really spend the time on the tumbnail. If you have an artist have them really spending time with a thumbnail. Really put care into it really make multiple versions of it test amount ask people’s opinions on A versus B.
You know don’t just throw something up there and hope it sticks like that’s not how you how you make it happen. And that’s my message for today if you guys have anything to add or you have any questions please leave them down below I love to hear from you guys as always and they help me promote my video out to YouTube so more people more awesomeness.
But once again I’m Tim Ruswick and I’ll see you guys next time.