Make them hooked: Indie Game Design in Two Ways!

Top 10 ways here and there are very usual in blogs. But did you get the pulp out of the juice they claim, that the aesthetics, story, progression, humor, sense of familiarity, and humor are all the recipe to create your power puffed indie game? I bet my 10 bucks, they did not (and betting is worth it at this point.)

For us indies, limited budget and time to work on our game projects while having day jobs, taking advantage of every resource we see available is a must.

Sure, that may have been effective, but there is a bigger picture that most of them forgot to tell us. Do they succeed to tell you how those tips make a game successful? Did you blindly believe that just improving your game will make the cut? If none of the questions I asked answered the current 10-tip guide you’re following, don’t sound the alarm just yet

There’s still time

So what should I do now then?

Here’s a 2-way essential game design tip you should know to increase your game’s success rate

Market it All The Way

indie game marketing struggle meme

Who should you target? Know the niche of your game, the genre of your game, the purpose of your game, or whether it’s good for children, for all ages or just R-18 (Hope not!), marketing is a way for you to tell the players in your market scope that your game exists. This is your gateway in getting assurance that you can acquire as many players as possible but you have to remember that effective marketing comes from promoting the right game to the right people.

So I know what my target market is, are my contents on point? 

Let me give you a checklist of questions and do a self-internalization (Yes, do it yourself! Don’t be exactly me, I know you have your taste and that unique taste of yours is the most effective of all!)

  • Does your game have the right visuals?
  • Does your game have the mystery to make people curious?
  • Have squeezed all the game juice into your game? (Of course, they have to feel different layers of satisfaction along the way!)
  • Can you extract social media or website content from your game? (Come on, you gotta have something to show!)

Squeeze for More

They say all people leave but your target is for them to not get enough and come back! Even fast-food chains do black magic tricks to your brain to make you addicted to their greasy products (Ehem! Burger King.). What are they? Hijacking your brain to fire dopamine to make you want to come back for more?

Well, technically yes. We all do. I mean, look at his eyes:

But the thing is, if food can hijack every person’s dopamine receptor then your game can!

The rule for maintaining your game’s player retention is: You have to get them on a loop so make that hook! (Almost rhymed!) 


Improving your game is one of your main paths to indie game dev success. Improvements are cool but knowing how to give them another purpose gives us a little more edge to becoming successful. Developers achieve this by making the gameplay satisfying, giving rewards, pleasing, and give a clear sense of achievement because we can’t deny, people want to feel valuable. But remember, you don’t have to always take the long process.

No matter how many processes you do, if none of them have these essences I just provided, you’ll be the one stuck on a loop.

If you are a mobile game developer, keeping players from playing your games increases ad viewership and boosting in-app purchases performance. But remember, you don’t have to always take the long process.

Now let’s just sit and think for a while. Is your game enough not just to attract new players but to also make them stay?

Other Reads: Rookie Game Developers Recipe For Disaster

Learn game design tips that will increase your next game’s success rate for FREE. Subscribe to our mailing list, no spam, just informative content.

3 responses to “Make them hooked: Indie Game Design in Two Ways!”

  1. flixbeat Avatar

    first impression plays a crucial part that creates a huge filter or hook on the people that will play your game, this is why game trailers are very important such the producer/developer must pour the heart of the game within the first 5 seconds since most people would walk away from a game after seeing the first 5-10 seconds of it.

    I agree with player retention, we don’t want to make games that can be played once and dumped, if we devs are serious about their project, one must think about replayability.

    1. Ezekiel Marcelino (High Leap Studios) Avatar

      Very well said! Thank you for that additional info. Most devs often neglect this part of the game development process. I used to not pay attention to my trailers and ad banners as well, but that was a big mistake of me. That might’ve increased my download at least 30% more if I only pay more attention to it

  2. […] Other Reads: Make them hooked: Indie Game Design in Two Ways! […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *