How to Write a Kickass Game Description
How do you stand out from the mass of indie games online?
There is certainly no shortage of indie games for players to choose from. On Steam alone, there are 22,059 indie games at the date of writing!
Even with the best gameplay footage and screenshots to entice players to dive deeper on your game page, you can’t just stick a basic marketplace description and count on the visuals to pull more than their fair share of the weight to convince players to choose your game.
Here’s how to write a kickass description for your game’s storefront that will engage players and make them hungry for more.
Breaking down the game description structure
If you take a look at the most successful game descriptions, they all follow a common structure.
Let’s break down this structure and explore how the devs of the successful indie game, Don’t Starve, created an awesome game description that captivated players!
1. A one-sentence zinger that sums up the game experience and hooks readers
Your opening sentence - the first words your prospective players will see - serves two purposes:
To catch the eye of targeted players;
To rule out players who will not be interested in your game.
Let’s face it - not everyone is going to like your game. If you’re making something amazing and unique, there will always be some people who will absolutely love it, and others who won’t care for it at all. And that’s okay!
Your job is to focus on engaging those who will like your game.
Your zinger should be short and sweet, but still needs to capture the essence of your game.
Let’s take a closer look at the zinger created by Don’t Starve:
This sentence tells the player to expect a survival game that won’t forgive your mistakes, and that lovers of science and magic will be well-served. See how this immediately appeals to players who love a challenge (and a niche topic)?
2. A few descriptive sentences (up to five)
After the zinger comes a longer description of your game.
To describe your game, use a blend of context and story elements with action-oriented language. Avoid passive language at all costs!
You want to paint a scene in your player’s mind of what it will truly feel like to play your game. Let’s see what kind of image Don’t Starve paints:
Notice how three of their four sentences start directly with action words?
This description incorporates vivid imagery to tell the player what they’ll be doing and how they’ll be doing it. That way, you can really imagine yourself in their mysterious world.
3. A final compelling hook to seal the deal
Now is the time to present your final value proposition - what will players get out of playing your game?
“Fun” is an obvious answer, but let’s go deeper than that.
Don’t Starve communicates to their players that the game affords endless variations in playing styles, while offering a unique opportunity for adventure and discovery. This final hook conveys more than just fun - it shows what type of experience you can expect.
4. Bullet points with gameplay features
After hooking your reader with an awesome description, you’ll need to provide details about more specific features to give them an understanding of the intricacies of your game.
But don’t be tempted to just list out your features here! Use creative language that fits with the tone of your game.
Let’s take a look at one of the bullet points included in the key features of Don’t Starve:
Notice how this bullet point clearly illustrates the game features - crafting, hunting, etc. - in a way that fits with the tone of voice shown in the previous sections of the description.
Don’t be afraid to be colorful here and let your game shine!
Avoid these game description mistakes!
Now that you know what to do, let’s take a look at a few blunders to avoid.
Overwhelming readers with too much info
Sometimes it’s tempting to lay down everything about your game in the hope that more means better.
But if you churn out a pile of information in your marketplace description, readers won’t know what to take away from it!
They may also be intimidated or bored by the length of your text and decide to move on to the next game instead.