As with any product, games need a central hub to get all the key information to budding buyers. But beyond information, a site will entice those on the fence, make visitors into fans and build incredible levels of hype. That is, if it’s a good site.
Here are four key components essential to any gaming website.
Show Cinematics and Gameplay
Cinematics are the poster children of modern gaming, presenting all the lore, style and quality up front in order to convert onlookers into fans. But games are about gameplay. And, chances are, buyers want to know how a game plays before they fully buy in.
Because your site will primarily be visited by individuals who have experienced a piece of external promotional material already, it presents the perfect opportunity to show some good gameplay along with your cinematic, to solidify your game’s image in the minds of visitors.
Of course, it’s only worth including the most exciting parts of gameplay. So be sure to pick and choose wisely to make any promotional gameplay materials the most compelling as possible.
And, if straight videos don’t necessarily show your game in the best light, consider using gifs, animation and other more partial gameplay elements.
Sell Your Story/Lore
Behind most great games is a good story—but I mean that in more ways than one.
First there’s lore, narrative and character. These elements which exist within the game world are frequently the foremost reason players fall in love with games. From Link to Ellie and Joel to the Dragonborn, we’re all partial to some good storytelling. So be sure to include a trail of breadcrumbs leading to your story, its key themes and its uniqueness, keeping on the side of the tease. After all, you don’t want to tell your entire story. You want to sell it.
Second, there’s the story behind the game. The story of that one life-changing event which sparked the idea for the game. The story of the dev team coming together from across the globe. The story of receiving community support, funding and being accepted into award ceremonies. All of these stories, although less important than your game’s story itself, can help to add credibility, character and community to your game. Letting players also buy into the human side of the experience.
While both of these types of stories can feature, be sure to keep in-game lore at the forefront, with the real-world stories taking the back seat.
Keep With Your Art Style
Aesthetics can make or break a website. We all know this, as we all live on the web these days.
Thus, your website must be an absolute stunner.
Although it may seem like a no-brainer to some, it is also important that your site continues your game’s aesthetics. And does so to an incredibly high standard. We’re talking the same fonts, same colour palettes, same model design, same elements and perhaps even some of the very same elements from the game’s world design, in-game menus or interactions.
Keeping this aesthetic coherent between your game and its website ensures that your project projects a coherent, and competent, brand image. While simultaneously clueing players into what they should expect if they are to pick up your game.
Think of Your Website as an Experience in Itself
Beyond a storage unit for information and promotional materials, modern websites have proven that they can be experiences in and of themselves.
Playing with 3D space, interesting scrolling mechanics or even mini-game elements can lend a huge amount of character and memorability to your site. Heck, they can even bring users back just to experience the wonder once more.
Crafting a website into an experience isn’t necessarily an easy task, though. Requiring knowledge, finesse, creativity and lots of testing. Fortunately, there are plenty of web design wizards out there looking to create such complex, fascinating experiences.
But while you can go wild creating the most unique and impactful experience around, it’s worth remembering our previous three points to ensure you stay close to the core of your game, honouring its gameplay, lore and art style along the way.
A fantastic gaming site is attainable for any project. It just takes some time, care, creativity and hard work.
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