Hello World! I’m Daan and I’m currently handling marketing, communication and community here at House on Fire. The team asked me if I could write something about me coming to Denmark to work for them and so I did! Being in marketing I tried to make it a “tongue-in-cheek” reference to the usage of buzzwords in marketing hence it might seem a tad quaint to some. Hope you’ll enjoy it!
In early 2011 I started preparing for my quest to leave my homeland in search of better grounds. My study gave me the possibility to follow a placement abroad so I decided that could be a perfect stepping board for my quest. I soon came to the conclusion I had to move up north as far as I could to get away from the unbearable temperatures in north-western Europe. I started my search on the World Wide Web hoping to find a company that might take me under their wings. After a long search time started to run out but right in that moment of adversity I got approached by two individuals from Denmark representing two different companies. Both opportunities sounded awesome and after a quick question I found out the companies belonged to the same union. This made it possible for them to share my talents and gave me the opportunity to experience life in another country.
In the end of August the time to leave had finally arrived and I could feel me at the start of the cone of uncertainty (which isn’t at all unusual when you’re at the start of a possibly life changing endeavour) almost like I’m standing on the crossroads of my life… Though I was very sure which way I wanted to go and so, filled with inspiration, I set out to occupy the position of marketing expert at House on Fire and community manager for Big Bite Games.
I had no clue what I could expect from working in the indie scene, for all I knew I would end up with a bunch of Hacktivists or something. I was happily surprised to find myself in good company though. These guys clearly had a good sense of innovation and the game Neon Zone has even been compared to Portal at one point which is one of the most successful indie games around. All of this attention and praise does should theoretically point to a real winner but we soon found out it’s not enough for a game to sell. In order to do that, we needed to induce some form of remembrance in the consumers, preferably on par with the Brazilian floods or the Japan earthquake and Tsunami earlier this year (though obviously not in such a dramatic fashion). It goes without saying that this task of ginormous proportions rested near solely on my shoulders.
In order to make a winning strategy I was forced to focus all my time and energy on my work which had the fortunate side effect that I had no time to embarrass myself by planking on one of the national monuments around here in Copenhagen. One problem I did encounter by working for an indie developer is that I had to start the revolution without a budget (wouldn’t it be better if indie developers had a similar virtually unlimited financial power as a Super PAC?.., though that obviously would completely take away the charm of all that’s indie). I started my marketing immersion by tagging up every mentioning of our game out there and by writing fabulous press releases.
The remaining question of course is if this all has worked, was it a great success or merely a waste of web-space? Well I certainly hope that it was, though as long as Neon Zone is not next to Angry Birds (or preferably above it) there is still work to be done. Of course practise makes perfect and everything takes time so I will conclude this episode as of great educational value and hope that both Neon Zone, The Silent Age and House on Fire will go down in history as great names and hopefully one day be able to claim a legendary status like the first Carmageddon or Tetris (to pick two completely different examples).