At foreignvr, we were lucky enough to have our first game on Steam, “Ruckus Ridge”, greenlit. Inevitably the most scrutinized element of the launch was our box art, and I’d like to go over how we arrived at that decision.
Subconsciously at first, we developed our box art with the following, often competing, goals in mind:
1) Grabbing your attention.
1) Communicating our content.
2) Leaving you wanting more.
You don’t need to look further than the front page on Steam Greenlight to find an anime-girl-dating-simulator. To a lesser extent, the same phenomenon exists with your genre. This means you’ll have to distinguish yourself as fast as possible on the things you set out to do differently. For Ruckus Ridge, this meant featuring prominently the Virtual Reality, and Local Multiplayer. And we are perpetually generating ways to incorporate those into our marketing.
Until the greenlight, our prototype had featured a floating gun as the representation of our main character (The player inside the HMD). And the idea to use a floating-VR-head was a great opportunity to tie in some visuals that would clearly relate through screenshots and media that our game was based in Virtual Reality. The box art also featured two prominent, camera facing characters at the expense of preferred animations (top left), actions (bottom left), and perspectives (top right).
Steam had a few of tips and hints on their Greenlight copy, but they neglect to tell you the most important part: You will receive the majority of your traffic in the first 3 days. You’ll be doing yourself a big favor by showing the campaign to as many people as possible in draft form to get feedback before going live. We realized after the launch that we should have been featuring the words “Oculus Rift” less, and “HTC Vive” more, including in the title of the post, because hardcore steam users who are voting prefer to see the steam brand. Maybe there’s something you’re overlooking, too?
Good luck out there!