Creativity, a gaming development trait, can sometimes be missing in action. If you are a writer, you understand how to deal with your writer’s block; run through some quick writing exercises and you are on your way. A gaming developer must go through similar ways to jump over the hurdles to finish the race strong. Google Trends can be a helpful tool to when you are down on your luck.
Google Trends, as most of you know, calculates the world’s interest in particular topics. Not only is this website fun to play around with on your own personal time, but it can also be a valuable tool to any gaming developer. The idea of having a theme for your game is one of the most important aspects of gaming development. Where is your game going to take place? What type of characters will you have for your game? Will your game appeal to a younger or older audience? All of these questions revolve around your theme.
Sadly, life is not that simple. Creating themes takes time and developing ideas for your overlying concept will also take time, which is where Google Trends can come in handy. Not only can Google Trends help alleviate the development block you may be having, but it also can be a prime tool regarding marketing. So, let’s dive into it already!
- Pay Attention to the Obvious – If you take a look at the hot topics for this week, you will see a lot of Valentine’s Day trends: rainbow roses and ftd (an online florist). These short-term trends are not what you should be looking for as a gaming developer. You want to find trends that will last a while, instead of a small period of time. Valentine’s Day trends will be considered hot trends around Valentine’s Day, but they will quickly decline.
- Don’t Use the Main Trend – Whether you’re taking a look at hot topics or hot searches, there is one thing you should do: dive more into the trend. You, as a gaming developer, want to find what is making the larger trend hot – an idea investors use to find hot stocks. Verizon may make phones, but you want to dive into their phones to find out the companies they use to put their product together – the same goes for trends.
- Use the Main Trend – The last piece of advice was a top-down approach, but what I didn’t tell you was that you can do the exact opposite as well. Instead of using Valentine’s Day to find roses, use roses to find Valentine’s Day. Sometimes the main trend can be your best friend, but also your worst enemy.
- Market with Trends – Finding out what’s hot also helps the marketing department of your game. If a lot of books, movies and television shows are coming out with a particular theme, use that theme for your game. By doing this, you will attract gamers just on the popularity of the theme, and your product will be a lot easier to market to consumers.
Fool around with Google Trends to see find out which approach works best for you.
CJ Arlotta covers the world of social gaming for development firms as well as the average consumer. Currently, he is accumulating more knowledge of the international gaming market to follow and understand what global developers may need to compete with already striving markets.