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Self publishing lessons learned from James Brooksby of Doublesix Studios

By on July 15, 2010
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Welcome to the eighth in a series of 12 posts from games developers who have taken the brave step into self-publishing. They have all contributed to How to Publish a Game, and you can get the first two chapters absolutely free here.

James Brooksby is CEO of doublesix, a studio established to create addictive, “have another go” video games across all downloadable formats: XBLA, PSN, Wii-Ware, PC, DSi, PSP and iPhone/iTouch.

Their first release was Burn, Zombie Burn! on PlayStation Network.

What’s been the best thing about self-publishing your game?

The best thing has to be the buy-in of the doublesix team. Self publishing makes all of us care so much more about the success of what is OUR game, we watch eagerly every sale and come up with ideas of how to get more people playing our game end enjoying it. It has inspired us to repeat this route and I know that now the team have felt that excitement of launching their own title, they will put even more love and attention into the games from day one.

What’s been the worst thing?

The worst thing has to be the unknown. Will people take your game to heart and buy it? In work for hire, it is less likely you will go out of business as a developer if the game you made does not sell as well as you hoped, but in self publishing it really matters!

What would you do differently if you did it again?

When we do it again, we will put more organisation into building a fan base and community before the launch. There are several reasons why we did not do this for this launch, but in future it will be a big focus for us.

What advice would you give someone thinking about self-publishing for the first time?

This is a big question, but the top tips would be to think about your marketing plans early, but not be scared by marketing. It’s not rocket science! Build very strong relationships with the platform holders for your game, pick up the phone and talk to them, they will help a lot.

Finally, you have to make a good game and make sure you have everything you need to do that: the right team, right tech, right time, contingency, focus, maximum effort!

You can find out more about doublesix at www.doublesixgames.com.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com