1718305418170

1718305418170

Changelog

All new updates and improvements to the IMPRESS suite!

We want to be as open as possible with you.
This is a journey shared.

17th April 2024
New Tool: Steam Wishlists To Sales Calculator!

12th April 2024
Steam Revenue Calculator — Search & Share!

14th March 2024
Press Kitty – Dark Mode!

14th March 2024
Press Kitty – Custom Domains!

14th March 2024
Press Kitty – Multi-language Support!

2nd February 2024
Steam Next Fest Guide: 10-Step Marketing Checklist

8th December 2023
Coverage Bot – Top Creators!

26th November 2023
Press Kitty – PSD Support

23nd November 2023
Coverage Bot – TikTok Tracking!

22nd November 2023
Coverage Bot – Steam Data & Twitch Data Graphs!

21st November 2023
Set Company / Tax Information

13th November 2023
5 Biggest Indie Game Press Kit Mistakes

18th October 2023
Steam Benchmarks & Estimates: The Other Side Of Market Analysis

16th October 2023
Press Kitty – Re-import Screenshots from Steam

9th October 2023
Press Kitty – Brand Colors & Fonts

4th September 2023
Press Kitty – Re-order Trailers

29th August 2023
Coverage Bot – Portfolio CSV Export

17th August 2023
Reset Password (Finally!)

26th July 2023
Mini Marketing Summit @ Develop 2023

7th July 2023
Press Kitty – Showcase Examples

4th July 2023
Speed & Stability Improvements

14th June 2023
Code Of Conduct

14th June 2023
Press Kitty – Preview Thumbnails

6th April 2023
Coverage Bot – Case Sensitivity

5th April 2023
10 Free Tools for Video Game Market & Competitor Analysis

3rd April 2023
Game Title Collaborators

20th March 2023
Coverage Bot – Top Coverage Overview

8th March 2023
Best Free Press Kits for Indie Games

22nd February 2023
What's Killing your Games Marketing?

1st February 2023
Press Kitty – Instant ZIP Downloads

31st January 2023
6 Ways to Make the Most of Steam Next Fest

25th January 2023
Finding The Right Influencers For Your Indie Game

5th January 2023
Indie Game Press Releases: The Ultimate Guide!

4th January 2023
Team Management & Invites

8th December 2022
Coverage Bot – Slash Commands

30th November 2022
Coverage Tracking & Reporting 101

16th November 2022
Press Kitty Launch

16th November 2022
Introducing: Press Kitty!

2nd November 2022
Indie Game Press Kit: Master The Basics

19th October 2022
How to Make the Most of your Steam Page

12th October 2022
How to Talk to Games Press

21st September 2022
How to Calculate Steam Game Revenue

7th September 2022
Newsletter Launch

1st September 2022
Coverage Bot – Rolling Metrics & Twitch Streams

16th August 2022
Steam Review Wordcloud

9th August 2022
Podcast: Getting IMPRESSive Results from Tools and Resources

9th August 2022
Coverage Bot – Auto Approve Rules

27th July 2022
Steam Revenue Calculator

25th July 2022
Batch Approve/Rejection Tool

30th June 2022
Best Discord Bots for Game Developers

29th June 2022
Introducing IMPRESS!

29th June 2022
Coverage Bot Launch!

9th June 2022
Audience Data – In Full!

19th May 2022
Brand New Landing Pages

28th April 2022
Longer Login Sessions

4th April 2022
Ludum Dare 50 – Coverage Report

21st February 2022
Manual Coverage Submissions

7th March 2022
New Web Tracker

24th March 2022
PR & Coverage Reports

11th February 2022
Sign Ups are Now Open!

3rd February 2022
Ad Value Equivalency

27th January 2022
Export CSV Data

1st January 2022
New Changelog

23rd December 2021
Advanced Discord Notifications

21st December 2021
Twitch Analytics

17th December 2021
Audience Insights

13th December 2021
Invoices & Receipts

5th December 2021
Custom Date Range

4th November 2021
Twitch Live Streams!

October 2021
Soft-Announcement

History

January - September 2021
The Great Migration

January 2021
The Realisation

Oct 2020
Emoji Reacts & Twitch Clips

May 2020
New Command List

October 2019
Patreon Launch

November 2018
Region-specific Codes

March 2016
Self-host & Open-source

January 2016
Social Scheduling

November 2015
Email Merging

June 2015
Coverage Monitoring

February 2015
Hello World — PR & Comms Management

END OF LINE

New Tool: Steam Wishlists To Sales Calculator!

17th April 2024

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New Tool: Steam Wishlists To Sales Calculator!

It's only been a few days since our last update to Revenue Calculator, but today we're releasing another lil side-project — a Steam Wishlists to Sales Calculator!

You should use this tool to give you an estimate of how well your game might perform whilst you're in pre-launch.

Let us know what you think on X/Twitter or Discord!

- Ashley

Steam Revenue Calculator — Search & Share!

12th April 2024

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Steam Revenue Calculator — Search & Share!

Hello! We've made some improvements to our Steam Revenue Calculator. You can now:

🔍 Search by game name
📝 See results in full – with the Steam reviews and price automatically pulled in
🌇 Each Steam game has its own page, so you can share direct links – and also see full open-graph previews when sharing.
❓ Find out more in the FAQs!

Here's a video of it in action on X/Twitter — and a link to the Steam Revenue Calculator tool to try it out yourself!

- Ashley

Press Kitty – Dark Mode!

14th March 2024

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Press Kitty – Dark Mode!

As part of Press Kitty: Plus! we've introduced Dark Mode! Once you're subscribed, you can enable it on your press kit from the Editor!

- Ashley

 

14th March 2024

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Press Kitty – Custom Domains!

As part of Press Kitty: Plus! we've introduced Custom Domains, which means you can now set up your press kits on your own domain / subdomain.

This provides an extra layer of professionalism and credibility to your brand, as well as extra SEO-related benefits. Please let us know if you need any guidance in getting set up!

- Ashley

Press Kitty – Multi-language Support!

14th March 2024

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Press Kitty – Multi-language Support!

Hot off the press, it's multiple language support for your press kits!

You can now add a second language to your press kits – and this is free for everyone! If English isn’t your first language, I recommend adding your native tongue: this will help communicate your game/message in your domestic markets, e.g. for local press/creators.

If you'd like to add more than two languages, you can use the new Press Kitty: Plus!

Press kit boilerplate localisations were kindly provided by the community. If a language is missing that you can help translate, please don't hesitate to get in touch! 🙂

- Ashley

Coverage Bot – Top Creators!

8th December 2023

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Coverage Bot – Top Creators!

Your dashboard and coverage reports now contain all the data about the top press websites and creators that mention your game.

- Ashley

 

26th November 2023

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Press Kitty – PSD Support

Press Kitty now supports Adobe PSD files – and it's free for everyone. Visitors to your press kits are able to preview the PSD in their browser and also download the raw file directly. Let us know what you think!

- Ashley

Coverage Bot – TikTok Tracking!

23nd November 2023

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Coverage Bot – TikTok Tracking!

Big news! Coverage Bot now monitors TikTok for your games! You'll no longer miss influencer opportunities and player conversations happening on the latest and greatest short-form video platform.

And as with every other feature, it brings the analytics into your dashboard, the data into your coverage reports, and is fully integrated like other platforms.

Try it out for your game here!

Oh, and if you're interested in rapid-fire marketing tips, you can follow our new TikTok account here.

- Ashley

Coverage Bot – Steam Data & Twitch Data Graphs!

22nd November 2023

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Coverage Bot – Steam Data & Twitch Data Graphs!

The dashboard now shows a number of new graphs!

You will now see your game's public Steam data, your Twitch Stream data (if you've had it enabled and running) as well as languages charts for all coverage in your account.

We have also set the default view to '30 days' and implemented better 'change markers' so you can more quickly assess your marketing performance over time.

- Ashley

Set Company / Tax Information

21st November 2023

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Set Company / Tax Information

You can now set your company name / address / tax information on your invoices directly from the dashboard. This data is held securely by our payments partner Stripe. You can update your information here.

- Ashley

Press Kitty – Re-import Screenshots from Steam

16th October 2023

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Press Kitty – Re-import Screenshots from Steam

You can now re-import your full-resolution screenshots from your linked Steam page. This helps you quickly and easily keep your Press Kit up-to-date. Especially helpful if your game is in active development! 💪

- Ashley

Press Kitty – Brand Colors & Fonts

9th October 2023

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Press Kitty – Brand Colors & Fonts

You can now list color palettes and font information in your press kits! Essential to help content creators extend your brand in thumbnails, and so on. Here's ours, above!

- Ashley

Press Kitty – Re-order Trailers

4th September 2023

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Press Kitty – Re-order Trailers

You can now re-order your trailers in your press kits. Please keep leaving us feedback on how to improve Press Kitty. 🙂

- Ashley

 

29th August 2023

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Coverage Bot – Portfolio CSV Export

You can now export Coverage Bot data as CSV on a portfolio or account/team-wide level. For agencies, this means no more manually exporting data for each game on your account. We always recommend the Reports tool however, which we will be making much more customisable in the coming months. 😊

- Ashley

 

17th August 2023

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Reset Password (Finally!)

You can now finally reset your passwords via email instead of reaching out to support.

- Ashley

Mini Marketing Summit @ Develop 2023

26th July 2023

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Mini Marketing Summit @ Develop 2023

In July, during Develop conference, we invited the brightest, most experienced minds in indie games marketing all into one room, and asked: how do indie games get discovered?

— Chris Zukowski (HowToMarketAGame.com) — Suzanne Wallace (IndieBard.co) — Thomas Reisenegger (Future Friends) — Ruby Adams (Disobey) — Lou Jones (YRS TRULY) — Lauren Moses (Neonhive) — Joshua Brown (FuturLab)

With over 100 attendees seeking answers from our expert speakers and panelists, it was a ruckus. An absolute blast!

If you weren't there, luckily we took some video, here's what you missed! 🔗

- Ashley

Press Kitty – Showcase Examples

7th July 2023

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Press Kitty – Showcase Examples

We've added an extended showcase of press kits made with Press Kitty. You can use these as reference on how to fully complete sections of your press kit, as well as to take inspiration from in terms of additional graphics and styling.

View Video Game Press Kit Examples!

- Ashley

 

4th July 2023

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Speed & Stability Improvements

With Coverage Bot tracking an increasing amount of the video-game-related internet, parts of the site started to slow to a crawl. The backend web scrape servers were using a lot of CPU, a lot of memory, and this was making the user-facing parts of the site wait around. Not too good!

As a solution, we decoupled all the tracking to separate servers. While we were there, we also migrated to new language and web framework versions. These changes have immeasurably improved site reliability and scalability as we have grown to support more indie games with their marketing tooling. 🙌

- Ashley

Code Of Conduct

14th June 2023

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Code Of Conduct

In anticipation of our Mini Marketing Summit event at Develop:Brighton, we've added a code of conduct. If you're planning on attending, you should give it a read. This code of conduct applies strictly to all attendees at all of our future events. This is to ensure inclusive, safe and enjoyable events for all. If you wish to improve or revise it with specific wording, please let us know.

- Ashley

Press Kitty – Preview Thumbnails

14th June 2023

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Press Kitty – Preview Thumbnails

We've improved the layout of the Press Kitty dashboard, and now your press kits have large preview thumbnails. Would you look at that? It's beautiful! This one's featuring our pals over at Ant Workshop.

- Ashley

Coverage Bot – Case Sensitivity

6th April 2023

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Coverage Bot – Case Sensitivity

Coverage Bot now has the option to only track web & YouTube content that matches specific letter-case sensitivity. This is helpful if your game has a fairly generic name, and/or you are getting false positive results.

- Ashley

Game Title Collaborators

3rd April 2023

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Game Title Collaborators

A part of our mission to empower independent games is to see more open communication and collaboration between indie developers, publishers and marketing/pr agencies.

With Coverage Bot's reporting tool, publishers and agencies can now clearly communicate the value of their marketing work, and developers are now more 'in the loop' than ever in that regard.

But – you guessed it – we wanted to go further.

So, much like Team Invites before this, we are building more collaboration tools into the core IMPRESS platform... From today, teams can invite other teams to collaborate on their game titles!

Whether, as an agency, that's you wanting to delegate your coverage monitoring queue to a developer, or as an indie, having your publisher edit your press kit content, it's all possible! Giving collaborator access let's another team do anything that you can do to your game data – with the exception of deleting it, of course!

In the future, we will look to add more granular access levels. If you're looking to grant access to limited features/actions, please let us know your circumstances and we'll see what we can do.

All the best, and happy collaborating! 👥 🎉
- Ashley

Coverage Bot – Top Coverage Overview

20th March 2023

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Coverage Bot – Top Coverage Overview

Slowly but surely, your dashboard insights are improving!

Today we've published a new Coverage Overview, and game navigation – and it's more mobile-compatible.

You now have a horizontal scroller for selecting games and for viewing top coverage. The time filters have now been moved to the top bar, too, so your date selection is platform-wide. This allows you to more easily benchmark your metrics week-on-week. (We'll have more on weekly digests soon!)

Until the next one!
- Ashley

22nd February 2023

What's Killing your Games Marketing?
Press Kitty – Instant ZIP Downloads

1st February 2023

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Press Kitty – Instant ZIP Downloads

Today marks the first feature update to Press Kitty! Wahoo! (Meow?)

All of your published press kits now have Instant ZIP Downloads for Screenshots, Logos, and for all combined Image Assets!

When you upload new assets, they will be automatically included in the zip downloads after a minute or so. These zip files help press & creators bulk download your press kit materials quickly, rather than having to wait for files to generate on-the-fly. Looking at you, Google Drive! 👀

Just an extra note: if your assets were imported from Steam, they are presently very low-resolution (600x380 or so). This import will be fixed in a future update, but for now, I advise that you remove all screenshots and manually replace them with higher-resolution versions. Very sorry about that!

- Ashley

Team Management & Invites

4th January 2023

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Team Management & Invites

Happy New Year! 🎉

During Q4 2022, a few bigger customers signed up to use Coverage Bot or Press Kitty, and they all had the same problem: having to ask us to add their staff members to their accounts...

To improve customer autonomy and reduce support, today we are introducing Team Invites! Yes! We have renamed companies into teams. It's just more appropriate terminology!

With Team Invites, you are now able to add additional users access to your account data.

Team members can do all of the same things you can do: add & remove games, add & remove subscriptions, edit your press kits, generate coverage reports and even add other new team members!

With that front of mind, please only invite members you completely trust!

We will work on a permissions system in the future, as well as multi-team access, but for now it is not deemed urgent. If you need to be part of multiple teams, or need to delete your team, please contact support and let us know your use case.

That's all for now!

All the best
- Ashley

Coverage Bot – Slash Commands

8th December 2022

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Coverage Bot – Slash Commands

Now that Press Kitty is launched, for the rest of the year (and maybe a bit more) we're knuckling down on our big backlog of quality-of-life improvements. The first of which is ready for you today...

Yes! Your favourite coverage & stream tracking bot has received a new virtual processing chip – so to speak – and now supports... Discord's Slash Commands! 🎉

This update completely removes the cb!* commands prefix, improves bot setup and onboarding, limits spontaneous restarts, and generally improves performance and robustness. Oh, we also now use Discord Timestamps.

On the tech side, we had to complete rewrite the bot in TypeScript, which was a huge undertaking, and also involved changes to deployment pipelines and infrastructure! Whew!

Furthermore, we've added cloud logging to improve our monitoring and investigative capabilities, as has been necessary in the case of some very unique Discord server setups. 💪

These are the new Slash Commands:

  • /init – set up the bot in your server
  • /pending – show pending coverage queue, approve/reject coverage with new buttons!
  • /streams – show top currently live Twitch streams, with buttons to share with your community or ignore!
  • /about – show more info about Coverage Bot
  • /help – show urls for help & support

Lastly, as part of this update, we're also including Charts in Coverage Reports! and also Notifications when Coverage Reports finish generating. No more hitting refresh. Woop! 🙂

We're quite pleased with ourselves, and hope you are too. Let us know how you get on.

If you've not heard of Coverage Bot yet, you can check out the full details here!

All the best
- Ashley

30th November 2022

Coverage Tracking & Reporting 101
Press Kitty Launch

16th November 2022

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Press Kitty Launch

We've officially launched our second tool: Press Kitty!

Put your best foot forward, and create your indie game press kit today — it's completely free!

For more information, check out the product page, and/or read the full announcement blog post!

- Ashley

16th November 2022

Introducing: Press Kitty!

12th October 2022

How to Talk to Games Press

21st September 2022

How to Calculate Steam Game Revenue
Newsletter Launch

7th September 2022

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Newsletter Launch

We've officially launched our newsletter!

We'll be sending out knowledge & resources on how to succeed in indie game development, as well as the occasional product updates. 🙂

Go here to subscribe to success!

- Ashley

Coverage Bot – Rolling Metrics & Twitch Streams

1st September 2022

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Coverage Bot – Rolling Metrics & Twitch Streams

Hey! Your favourite games marketing and insights dashboard (yes) now includes rolling metrics! Simply select a time range and see how your marketing efforts are changing week-to-week or month-to-month... or any time period!

It also now includes metrics for your Twitch streams rather than just the Clips/Videos.

What's your average stream length and CCV? (How you doin'?) Share your benchmarks over on Twitter or Discord.

Let me know if you need any more data made available and easy to digest. I take all your suggestions on board. Thanks to Jacob from Ghost Ship Games for this one. 🙂

Cheers,
- Ashley

Steam Review Wordcloud

16th August 2022

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Steam Review Wordcloud

We're back with another tangent today! It's still super effective!

We set aside some time to keep the non-Coverage Bot wheels rolling recently. (We have a lot of wheels, ok?) Inspired by a chat with PanicBarn's Tim Constant, we built a tool to give you qualitative data on Steam game reviews!

You can use this data for market & competitor analysis to provide insight and solidify decision making, or... to look at your own Steam game's changing review sentiment!

It's only available to Discord members at the moment, so get on down, give it a try and give us your feedback. We have more to come on this front... soon!

Until then,
- Ashley

Coverage Bot – Auto Approve Rules

9th August 2022

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Coverage Bot – Auto Approve Rules

Alright alright alright. Once again, you asked. Once again, we delivered.

Following the "Batch Approve/Rejection Tool", we realised that some of you don't want 100% pure curation, but would rather live dangerously and auto-approve and post content to your team & communities based on the video/clip/article titles.

With this update, we've enabled just that!

Head to your game's tracker settings and toggle the "Auto-approve" box shown in the image above.

Until next time, let us know what you think on Twitter or Discord!

- Ashley

Steam Revenue Calculator

27th July 2022

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Steam Revenue Calculator

A wild 'tangent' appears! You use 'numbers'. It's super effective!

It's only been a few days since the last update, but today we're kicking our first mini/side-project out of the door — a Steam Revenue Calculator!

You should use this tool to look at competitors in your market analysis, and to solidify your pitch deck before sending to games publishers. It's using the Boxleiter method, which has a few caveats (below), but it works for a large proportion of games that perform around the average.

Caveats:

1. This formula calculates Net Revenue based on an estimated "Number of Sales Per Review". Estimates are just that: estimates!

2. If you're checking your own game and the calculation is way off the mark, consider trying to improve your review rate! You could be getting more Steam store visibility – and making more money! Thank me later!

3. If a game has adult/mature themes, consider that not everyone will want to review that publicly!

4. Players of certain genres will leave reviews more often than others. If you have any concrete data on this, please reach out!

Data Source/s:

1. The excellent GameDiscoverCo.

That's it for today. Let us know what you think on Twitter or Discord!

- Ashley

Batch Approve/Rejection Tool

25th July 2022

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Batch Approve/Rejection Tool

Woo! The first product updates after launching! So what have we got...

A number of customers were getting A LOT of coverage coming in, and the dashboard didn't quite hit their needs with wrangling all their data. Customers could not approve/remove more than 30 items at a time, and paginating through thousands of results made this a very time-consuming process. Nobody wanted that.

So: we built a batch approve/rejection tool!

The new tool now lets you search & filter your coverage by text strings – and then from those results, let's you perform batch actions on up to 1000 items at a time! It a took a bit of fiddling with the code on our side, but it's totally worth it.

Alongside this, we have a number of other changes too.

We've made the server infrastructure more stable, we improved health checks, and we also added backfill scripts in case of any future hiccups. Lastly, we also made the Coverage Reports pipeline more robust, and reports should now generate within an hour or so.

Thanks so much to Conor and Sylvia for their suggestions!

- Ashley

29th June 2022

Introducing IMPRESS!
Coverage Bot Launch!

29th June 2022

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Coverage Bot Launch!

Excitement intensifies! We're pushing the Coverage Bot launch today! Here are a bunch of links/resources to cover the launch.

Introducing Coverage Bot – Press & Media Monitoring for Video Games (Launch Trailer!)

Introducing IMPRESS (Blog Post)

Press Kit

If you know someone who could benefit from Coverage and Twitch stream tracking, now's the time to go tell 'em! We'll of course be reaching out to loads of people ourselves, too.

Join the conversation on Discord!

Let's go!

- Ashley

Audience Data – In Full!

9th June 2022

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Audience Data – In Full!

One of the final pieces of the puzzle has always been letting you view the data that Coverage Bot collects on your behalf. That piece of the puzzle is now here!

We're filled out the Audience tab to let you view not just the Top 10 creators in each platform/category, but to also let you paginate through the entirety of your audience data. Yes!

Believe it or not, there still more work to be done in this area. We can't wait to show you what we have planned. Stay tuned for the next milestone: launch!

- Ashley

Brand New Landing Pages

19th May 2022

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Brand New Landing Pages

I am beyond proud to announce the new landing page designs for IMPRESS and Coverage Bot!

We've invested a lot of time, labour and love in putting it all together and... just look at at, it's super special. Coverage Bot has been brought to life. The new product images really shine.

On the technical side, there's even an interactive demo that mimicks the bot interface in the Discord UI! Wow!

Many thanks to Tom Waterhouse (@2dforever) for the excellent key artworks.

- Ashley

 

28th April 2022

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Longer Login Sessions

Contracting and recovering from COVID has been horrible, but now we're back on track!

Today we've pushed a fix which will keep your login session around for a number of months, rather than a number of hours. You also will no longer be logged out every time we deploy an update – whew! That one's been a long-time coming!

- Ashley

Ludum Dare 50 – Coverage Report

4th April 2022

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Ludum Dare 50 – Coverage Report

Following on from releasing our fixed-time Coverage Reports, we have adjusted the tool to track live events coverage!

We're huge fans of the global game jam spectacle that is Ludum Dare – and have participated several times ourselves. So now, we're running an experiment. We want to know who else loves Ludum Dare; Who else is covering it in the press? Who is mentioning it on YouTube? Who's streaming on Twitch?

Our live report will answer all of those questions, and in order to help as many indie devs as possible, we will be sending the final report to newsletter subscribers. You know what to do.

View the Ludum Dare 50 report!

- Ashley

Manual Coverage Submissions

21st February 2022

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Manual Coverage Submissions

Today's update brings Coverage Bot a step closer to launch...

At present, we only actively monitor the most popular games websites, publications and blogs. So, if your game is mentioned on a niche or small-time website, we'd sometimes miss it.

But that stops today! Now you can submit coverage manually, so you can always have a complete record of your coverage, and utilise that data point going into the future.

You can find this new input on the Pending coverage page, and can input not just a Web URL, but also a YouTube or Twitch URL too – all current tracking formats supported.

We're making many more improvements to the web tracker in the road to launch, so watch this space!

- Ashley

New Web Tracker

7th March 2022

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New Web Tracker

Hello! As hinted at in the last changelog update, today we deploy a brand new Web tracker for your video games!

The web monitoring service had to be completely overhauled to make way for this. It's a dramatic upgrade!

The new system can now find coverage – articles, announcements and reviews – that happened in the past! Previous to this, it could only find coverage as it happened, live, before it dropped off home pages and live feeds.

We are now tracking around 500 games news websites, and this number will steadily increase over time, as the tool also now bubbles new sites into the index. It's pretty excellent!

If you still find something it misses? You can submit it manually and it'll get plonked in.

What do you think? Let's keep in touch in Discord!

- Ashley

PR & Coverage Reports

24th March 2022

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PR & Coverage Reports

Our Coverage Reports are now released in beta!

The reporting system refreshes your data when reports are created, so view counts on videos, subscriber counts on channels, and other digital PR and SEO metrics such as Domain Authority from SimilarWeb are fixed for that point in time.

View an example report generated for Toast Time.

- Ashley

Sign Ups are Now Open!

11th February 2022

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Sign Ups are Now Open!

We're pleased to announce today that we're opening sign-ups to the platform, and making our toolkit available to all!

Though – this is not a launch! We still have a lot of work to do.

We're opening up today because our Coverage Bot is offering a lot of value to our pre-launch customers (see reviews on the homepage), and is at a place where it's stable, bug-free and can help a lot more studios and agencies on the way to our official launch.

No longer do you have to 'book a demo' to get started. Sign up today – or spread the word to people who you think could benefit. Thank you!

- Ashley

Ad Value Equivalency

3rd February 2022

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Ad Value Equivalency

Calling all PR & marketing agencies!

If you're looking to put a value on your work and communicate that to your clients, now you can!

We support customising the currency, base values and calculation formulas. If your in-house formula isn't supported, reach out and we can accommodate. We'll be adding more reporting features over time, based on your feedback, so let's keep each other in the loop!

- Ashley

Export CSV Data

27th January 2022

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Export CSV Data

The first update of the year is here. It's a customer feature request, and one that we 100% agree with.

So many platforms in our industry put a paywall between their users and their users' data. We don't blame them – they have to make their VC-money back somehow! We, however, don't believe in that. Indie devs should be able to have control over their data, and their approach to solving problems – and not be locked into platforms completely unnecessarily.

With that, we're very happy to announce: CSV EXPORT!

This allows you - our customers - to pull your data into other tools you might have for analysis and reporting, and do as you please with regard to your process. If you think there's something we can be doing to improve on our reporting tools, please get in touch and we'll be very happy to get stuck in.

Onwards!

- Ashley

New Changelog

1st January 2022

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New Changelog

We're kicking the year off by publishing our recent changes in this brand new changelog!

Development has been fast and loose lately, and updates have not been fully communicated outside of private chats in the Community Discord. Therefore, this changelog is a way of formalising and standardising our communication around updates and deployments - we'll also be posting to socials, of course.

As a bonus, we've also added a little pre-2021 background history, or - if you will - our 'origin story'!

Let us know what you think - and Happy New Year!

- Ashley

Advanced Discord Notifications

23rd December 2021

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Advanced Discord Notifications

We noticed a few of our customers had separate channels for sharing Web news and YouTube content.

So now, instead of limiting to one #coverage channel, we now allow you specify which coverage goes where based on its type/platform! It's routing configuration galore! Let us know if you require any other options.

That's all for this year! A Merry Christmas to all - and see you for a wild 2022!

- Ashley

Twitch Analytics

21st December 2021

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Twitch Analytics

We are working behind-the-scenes on data visualisations for your coverage & stream data - and today's update comes in the form of a new Twitch stream graph.

You can now see hourly/daily/weekly aggregate stats for your game's streams! This allows you to identify whether your marketing/pr campaigns are improving, streamers who can bring in a high-volume of traffic, and peak streaming times for your game.

Let us know what what you think!

- Ashley

Audience Insights

17th December 2021

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Audience Insights

You now have access to a top-level overview of your game's influencer/streamer audience. You can view the top 10 channels by stream length, number of subscribers, total reach, and other metrics.

We will be improving this data over time based on customer requirements, so let us know what information & insights you think we can pull for you. The more feedback we receive, the better product we can make and the better service we can provide!

- Ashley

Invoices & Receipts

13th December 2021

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Invoices & Receipts

You can now view and download your invoices and receipts for your subscriptions within the platform.

- Ashley

Custom Date Range

5th December 2021

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Custom Date Range

You can now filter your coverage data by a custom date/time range - you are no longer limited to fixed time periods!

This is the first step in improving the analysis and reporting tools within the platform.

- Ashley

Twitch Live Streams!

4th November 2021

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Twitch Live Streams!

It brings us great pleasure to announce the monitoring and alerting of Twitch live streams!

These alerts/notifications - straight into your Discord - allow you (or your community manager/s) to jump into your game's live streams, engage with the streamers and their audiences, and grow your community! Awesome!

This had been a requested feature for a long time. We've got this out early so that you - our current customers - can set it up, have a play, and offer us feedback on the details of your specific requirements. We want to make this feature as useful as possible!

In addition to this, we now allow multi-quantity subscriptions (i.e. subscriptions to allow for tracking multiple games), and the use of promo codes on checkout. We might have promised some discounts to our earliest adopters, you see!

Let us know what you think, as always, on the Community Discord!

- Ashley

Soft-Announcement

October 2021

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Soft-Announcement

Hello! Today we publicly announce that we are onboarding new customers onto the brand new IMPRESS platform. We've soft-announced the project to industry friends - and lots of new contacts - at Develop conference in Brighton.

Everyone that we spoke to really loved the idea, which has been incredibly encouraging, motivating and pleasing to hear.

Get in touch for a demonstration of the platform.

We're now kicking development up a notch! Let's do this!

- Ashley

History
The story of how IMPRESS came to be.
The Great Migration

January - September 2021

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The Great Migration

tl;dr. A lot had to happen to make the platform production-ready.

With taking the project more seriously (see next changelog entry), I made the decision to effectively start from scratch, a decision I did not make lightly.

The old platform was built with haste, without considering code quality and maintainability, site availability and reliability, without automated regression testing for robustness, and without a standard deploy process. The list goes on...

New features were bolted on over the years without consideration for, really, anything*. It was built for personal/internal use - between multiple game releases and contract project deadlines - where these factors were of low-importance. If it broke for a few days, I was the only one affected. But now, if customers were involved? These factors would be of critical importance, and non-negotiable.

Given this gargantuan task - for one developer working in the moonlight hours - YouTube video content had to be dropped (sorry!), and the new development effort started.

I decided on a backend written in Symfony (PHP), and Svelte (JS) for a slick custom UI - languages I know through and through. For cloud infrastructure, I chose the well-documented, scalable & reliable Amazon Web Services. For configuring it all I chose Terraform, so that's all nicely modular, and written in code too.

I used test-driven-development (TDD) methodologies to reduce bugs and maximise robustness. I wrote a deployment pipeline that's 95% automated, to minimise human error. I wanted make everything as trouble-free and as low-maintenance as possible. I wanted to do everything 'by the book'.

Some of that process was new to me, so these months were a learning experience. I'm very fortunate, however, to have had a background in web development before starting on game development. I worked on large-scale social/facebook games at Mediatonic back in 2009 & contributed to Game Jolt's marketplace in 2016!

Coming back to web development and building on my skills has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I simply cannot wait to continue building on my skills in other areas too - marketing, business development, sales, hiring - you name it, to make this endeavour a success.

Special shout out to all the educational writers, podcasts, resources and Bootstrapper communities out there - Indie Hackers, Startups For the Rest of Us, Twitter #buildinpublic, etc. You're an absolute inspiration! I never considered this possible.

Migration... complete!

P.S. I know I've not touched on all the specifics around database schema migrations, third-party service providers e.g. payment providers, the deployment pipeline, Terraform modules, and so forth. It's all a bit technical, isn't it? Let me know if you're interested in that and I'll perhaps start blogging properly!

* For complete context of how bad it got, the old site was on a shared cPanel hosting service, and was just three core (read: massive!) PHP files - index/api/util (no tests) - @levelsio would be proud?

The Realisation

January 2021

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The Realisation

My Patreon wasn't started to provide the Coverage Bot service — that was just an extra perk. The primary motive was to create interesting video content, and secondarily, of course, to help wean off from contract work.

After making a number of videos — including how to procedurally-generate puzzles, how much money Toast Time made on Switch, and a few devlogs of a new retro FPS project — I came to a realisation.

People aren't patrons because of this video content... people are patrons because of this service I am providing!

This service is bringing money in. This service is providing value! This can genuinely help people across the entire games industry!

It wasn't something I could just ignore. After juggling contracts and indie life for so long, this seemed like a path to freedom, and a path with a purpose in helping others.

It was time to redirect my focus. It was time to take this project seriously!

Emoji Reacts & Twitch Clips

Oct 2020

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Emoji Reacts & Twitch Clips

We gathered feedback from initial users through conversations on Discord.

One thing that came up multiple times was that it was a bad user experience to type `cb!approve` and `cb!reject` for each item in the coverage queue. We noted that other bots often used Emoji Reacts to perform user actions, so, we did the same! A simple thumbs up and down worked a charm!

The second piece of feedback was to have the bot look at Twitch data. So, we updated the tool to look at Saved Clips & Videos too - huzzah!

See archived Patreon post

New Command List

May 2020

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New Command List

We added a number of commands to give users advanced access to their Coverage data through the bot.

Users could now query to see their aggregate stats across their YouTube coverage (total views, likes & comments), as well as see their 'potential' coverage matches and approve and reject them.

A few utility commands were also added - to show latest coverage (`cb!latest`), a random piece of coverage (`cb!random`), and to search their coverage (`cb!search`).

Initial user feedback was very positive!

See archived Patreon post

 

October 2019

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Patreon Launch

With the front-end interface never designed for external use, but with a drive to deliver useful tools the industry, we devised a plan to offer the existing Coverage Monitoring tool without giving access to the web dashboard interface - or all the other at-this-point unmaintained aspects of the platform.

This product of this came in the form of an interactive Discord bot — with subscriptions handled through Patreon, and user/game onboarding done manually.

$2 a month for this? Who could resist! And thus — Coverage Bot was born!

 

November 2018

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Region-specific Codes

With a Nintendo Switch release of Toast Time around the corner, the key storing & email merging functionality was updated to account for region-specific promo codes.

 

March 2016

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Self-host & Open-source

By this time, Friendship Club was put on hiatus, and Force Of Habit was split down the middle.

As a symbol of goodwill — and because we could no longer maintain the project — a setup & install process was developed, and the project was open-sourced.

The idea was for funded teams to pay for a licence, and to keep it free for small and solo independent developers. We were inspired by dopresskit() and similar projects, and wanted to give back to the community in a similar way.

We never publicised or marketed it though - oops!

(The code repository is now private again.)

Social Scheduling

January 2016

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Social Scheduling

Twitter's minimal & rapid-fire tweet format means the likelihood of all of your followers seeing your content was (and still is) very unlikely — the lifespan for any random tweet is incredibly short.

Knowing this, we built a tool to schedule retweets across the team at spaced intervals. This extended the lifetime of our tweets for a number of hours. Clever!

Email Merging

November 2015

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Email Merging

Up until this point, we'd been writing, tailoring and sending press emails manually. We did this to break our emails free of the 'promotions'/'updates'/'social' tab that exists in Gmail. This approach was fine in the short-term, but was an inefficient use of our time in the long-run.

So we built a mail-merge tool which integrated with Gmail / SMTP to send bespoke-tailored, and delivery-efficient email with a vastly improved open rate.

This also meant we were recording who we sent what keys to, and so we could send follow up emails with the same/previously sent keys. Voila!

Coverage Monitoring

June 2015

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Coverage Monitoring

Now that we had a collated database of everyone we'd contacted, we could use monitoring techniques to surface when our company or games were being talked about across the web.

This saved us from the cognitive load of searching every morning, but also gave us motive to thank everyone who enjoyed and/or covered our work and creative vision.

Hello World — PR & Comms Management

February 2015

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Hello World — PR & Comms Management

IMPRESS (then `impresslist` or `impress[]`) was born into this world as an internal tool for Force Of Habit's self-published releases.

Built to manage press outreach across the 5-person team after the spreadsheet became unruly, the tool was used extensively to promote Friendship Club's public beta, subsequent Steam early access launch, and bi-weekly development updates!

END OF LINE
This is the end of the changelog. Well done for making it all the way here!

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