Giving Dungeon Monsters Personality in 'Skelattack'
David Stanley

David Stanley came to Ukuza with his 2D action platformer, Skelattack, a year and a half ago. He thought he would need to pitch the game to us in a detailed way to get us interested. All it took for one member of our team was seeing the main character's eyes squint when he swung his sword. We fell in love with the title in short order

The bare-bones (all puns intended) early build of Skelattack pitched to Ukuza

Our first challenge was going to be gaining a following around Skelattack, which we felt it wholeheartedly deserved since a great slice of the game was already developed and ready to be seen. So we took to Twitter, GameJolt, IndieDB, and Steam to begin sharing David's captivating art from the game. We drove awareness through visual assets specifically because Cuphead was a smash hit at the time, so we knew showcasing Skelattack's hand-drawn cartoon-ish aesthetic would be the way to go. We did the same through the official Skelattack website that we designed and launched.

In tandem with setting up channels for social game art sharing, Ukuza created its first gameplay trailer for Skelattack. To conceptualize the trailer, we considered the game's core strengths, namely the hand-drawn aspect and its throwback nod to SNES-era retro-stylized art and gameplay. Our team knew who this trailer was being designed for (namely retro gamers, but also new gen gamers who enjoyed the retro aesthetic), so we decided to really show how immersed in that world we are by parodying a classic Super Nintendo commercial, with all visuals, dialogue and branding being from Ukuza and Skelattack.

 

Our second trailer for Skelattack went heavy on setting up the emotional and aspirational drive for playing Skelattack by delving deep into the core gameplay and letting both music and visuals carry the weight of showcasing the game's appeal.

Once we had peppered the web with imagery, social content and Skelattack's first trailer, we brought all of the attention these maneuvers garnered to a demo on Skelattack's official website. We also launched the demo on GameJolt, IndieDB, and Steam. As expected, the demo saw a significant spike in downloads on its first day being made available to the public. We also saw our email list of potential paying customers grow, as we required an email form submission on the Skelattack website to gain access to the demo.

Another crucial step in creating buzz around Skelattack was establishing promotional opportunities through press, influencers, and events. Through the crafting of press releases and establishing relationships in the gaming industry, we were able to earn coverage from major gaming press and influencers like PC Gamer and AnnoyingOrange. Skelattack ended up being featured in a YouTube Let’s Play by LuzuGames, garnering almost 200,000 views, and the title was featured by Penny Arcade in their PAX Rising section at PAX South 2018.

These measures mixed with targeted ad placements, paid social promotions, viral threads being created and launched on Reddit and other forums, along with introducing Skelattack to new platforms and further its community on the game’s Discord, built awareness from a few close friends of the developer to several hundred thousand organically gained views from new players that continues growing to this day. Ukuza has further lent itself to Dave by providing writing assistance and bringing on other team members to help in development.

Our client believed in us, and that is why we can share this ongoing success story with you today.