How We Approached The Press For Velocity Reviews

It can be hard to get the games press to take notice of you if you’re a first time indie.

There are a bunch of posts around the web dedicated to giving advice on how to approach the press, but none that we’ve seen which give concrete examples. Here’s how we did it for Velocity.

We sent this initial email from our game’s main character, Lt. Kai Tana, using this email address: kai.tana@powerlev.com

Hello,

You have been selected for a top secret mission, the attached invitation will provide you with further details.

We urgently need your expertise.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Lt. Kai Tana

Lead Test Pilot | PowerLev Research

http://www.velocitygame.co.uk
http://www.powerlev.com
http://www.futurlab.co.uk

Kai Tana’s Invitation (click to read larger version)

This was Play Magazine’s initial reply:

WE ACCEPT

WE SUPPORT YOUR TELEPORT RESCUE MISSION

SEND US A SEN CODE SO WE CAN GIVE YOU OUR HELP

GODSPEED

Then we responded, still in character, with this:

Welcome aboard Commander,

Everyone here at PowerLev is extremely pleased that you are willing to help us!

Crew have become stranded in 50 of our Space Stations, the mainframes have malfunctioned and reprogrammed themselves, trapping the survivors. The stations are being sucked towards a black hole – time is critical! Your ship, the Quarp Jet, has been equipped with an innovative teleportation device which will be crucial to your success.

Please enter the following code into your PS device to start your mission:

7N89-9MNN-KRTJ

Your Flight Computer will provide you with further information, including an extra 20 bonus missions.

PowerLev ask that you please do not publish your findings until the 16th May – the date of launch. We’d love to hear any initial thoughts or previews of your experience before then though.

We will endeavour to assist you in any way we can, please let us know if you require any pictorial data etc.

Thanks again – and good luck Commander!

Lt. Kai Tana

Lead Test Pilot | PowerLev Research

Finally, Play Magazine responded with this, which made us love them:

MY GOD THIS SOUNDS SERIOUS!

I WILL INPUT THE CODE INTO MY PS DEVICE AND I WILL ENDEAVOUR TO REPORT BACK TO YOU WITH MY INITIAL THOUGHTS AND HOW MANY SURVIVORS DIE IF IT ALL GOES A BIT WRONG I HAVEN’T FLOWN A SPACE CRAFT FOR A FEW YEARS I’M A BIT RUSTY BUT IN FAIRNESS IT WASN’T MY FAULT I TOLD CAPTAIN JENKINS I DON’T LIKE INVERSE CONTROLS

I AGREE NOT TO PUBLISH MY FINDINGS UNTIL 16TH MAY I WILL REPORT TO YOU IN PRIVATE

THE PLAY TEAM IS WITH YOU KAI TANA!

(In all seriousness – brilliant email, so rare for a PR email to stand out!)

We used this approach for every website and print publication that we didn’t already have a relationship with.

You might find it interesting to know that most people from the UK replied in character like Play Magazine did, whereas people from the US chose not to.

Most of the time, it pays to do something different :)