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  • Lessons Learned From Steam NextFest

    - Laura Tallardy

  • When to release your demo

    -You can release your demo at any point once it's approved, you don't have to wait until the festival to publish.

    -When you release your demo, Steam gives it a promotional boost.

    -If you publish it early, you can get people to play it and find bugs before the festival.

    -If you publish it right at the start of the festival, you could use that promo boost to your advantage, but any bugs that crop up, you'll have to fix on the fly.

    -We published early this time, but will probably publish at the start next time.


    -Use Steam's UTM links to track where your traffic comes from.  I thought it was complicated, it's not.  Get on the UTM train.

    -We got a lot of nice promotion from Steam itself for the festival.

    -We posted on a few reddit subreddits, did alright, got some nice comments.

    -I posted on some discords.

    -We sent out a mailing list email, but I was so busy I forgot to do it until the end.

    -We got a few playthroughs on Youtube and Twitch! We contacted streamers who had played our other games, and we got some nice responses and plays!

    -Steam's livestream events helped visibility as well, but there's a lot to say about those so I've written a separate article about them (coming soon).


    I've mapped all our traffic, download, wishlist and sales numbers in an exclusive post for our patrons- subscribe to our Patreon to get all the details!

    Sequel effect

    -This game is a sequel to our other game, "Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 80's".  When we started promoting "Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 90's", some people remembered us!  They liked our other game, and said they'd check out the new one!  So we had some nice familiarity from our previous game.

    -We got some extra sales and views for the 80's game, which wasn't even in the festival!  We even got a good review, saying the person played our 90's demo and like it so much they bought our 80's game.  How cool is that!  We were hoping for a halo effect and were happy to see it happen.

    The End

    I'll cap things off here!  We are super glad we participated in Steam's NextFest.  Even if we hit some speed bumps along the way, we got a lot of wishlists and visibility for our game.

    Keep an eye out for my other posts- one about livestreaming I'll be posting soon, and the full numbers post to see what quantifiable effect the festival really had on sales and visibility.

    Big shoutout to the How to Market a Game discord for help and advice through the festival.  It's a great resource with a lot of helpful people- come join us if you're a game dev

    Thanks so much for reading, I hope this is helpful for your next Steam festival!

    Follow us at @lunabeatgames on Twitter for more game dev posts & for more about our awesome VR escape room games!



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