Writing Sales Copy

Hmm, well writing sales copy (for Indie games) is a skill for sure and takes practice. My partner Helen is a journalist and she does mine. I’m not an expert, but I’ve a fair idea, so here’s my personal opinion…

If you look at other games (especially portals) you generally have a first sentence that sums it up, followed by a couple more which are an overview. Lots of people may not read any further you see. Then, if you have a plot or character you can say, “Help X defeat Y” or something in the next para with a bit of plot. Then finish with a third section (paragraph) with some “unlock the mysteries” and “you’ll love this game” stuff. Perhaps even a call to action like “get this game today and Z” where Z is some kind of benefit or decent reason.

Try to avoid too many amazing, incredible superlatives and complete bull about “this is the BEST game ever!!!” etc. This should be obvious. But conversely, it mustn’t be like a technical document; it has to be exciting and interesting and informative without being all “air” and “puff” – if that makes sense.

Note that lots of portals actually have fairly short text but it’s pretty well focused. If you have your own site you can play with a bit more and add in paragraphs so that it doesn’t get boring, but don’t make it too long. If they like the screenshots, and get the gist, they’ll download the game. Which reminds me, are you going to make a gamplay video or at least a little flash movie? These are proven incentives to get people to download. Oh and another thing, please display clearly some kind of “No Quibbles Money Back Guarantee”, preferably with some official looking icon/graphic.

Obviously you also need a list of bullet points at the end. Don’t list everything like “it has an icon”, just 5 or so points is about right including: number of levels (or game modes), “family fun” type thing, original or lovely music/graphics etc, and hopefully a unique selling point or two which you should put first in the list. Oh, you could try to slip in “educational” for parents but would this alienate more hardcore gamers? I don’t have any data on this…

Good luck!

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