Creating a Killer Comms Plan @ Boston FIG Talks 2018

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at Boston FIG Talks 2018, an event here in Massachusetts geared towards independent game designers and developers looking to learn from one another on topics ranging from the business of games, to design and development, art, and other tracks.

My talk focused on how smaller development studios can work to create their own communications plan, even without a background in marketing communications. I often hear of companies that are so heads-down developing their product that they forget to plan for any sort of marketing, let alone PR or messaging.

I emphasized in the talk that a communications plan is necessary well ahead of a product’s launch, as message distribution doesn’t just happen at launch. It happens in your Kickstarter campaign or in fundraising efforts. It happens while you are trying to build an audience, even if that is just an audience of testers. It happens if you find yourself pitching to Apple or Google or a potential publisher.

In addition, it is important for developers and designers to realize that the exercise of planning for marketing communications can actually help in the product development process. It helps you see holes in the product that you might not have seen if you weren’t pro-actively thinking about how your audiences might perceive the product messaging.

Creating a solid comms plan isn’t just to prepare for media and press relations either. It is integral for things like content marketing and blogging, social media promotions, and community development. Consistency-of-message across all of these channels is key to building needed awareness both pre- and post-launch.

Now, everyone builds their plans slightly differently, but a great foundation will include sections for goals, analysis, audiences, key messages, strategy & tactics, and then a timeline. In my talk, I went into some detail on each of these sections, but really wanted the audience to take away that it is the message development that is most important. It is only after you decide on your message – what you actually want to say to all of your various audiences – that you can actually implement any marcomm plan.

If you were in attendance at the talk, thanks for coming! If you weren’t, but would like to talk more about creating a communications plan, feel free to reach out!



Back In The Saddle

For the past 3+ years I’ve managed PR, events, community, content and social media marketing at mobile game company Disruptor Beam. I’ve learned an immense amount while working with the company, with its executive team, and its three products (Game of Thrones Ascent, Star Trek Timelines and The Walking Dead: March to War). I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with some truly amazing people during my tenure. But as 2017 quickly comes to a close and I look forward to 2018 and beyond, I’ve decided to return to my consulting practice; to get back in the saddle helping not just game companies, but technology and consumer product companies spread the word about their products and the people behind them. If you are looking for an independent PR veteran to help you with your marketing and communications program; someone who is fun to work with, but serious about results, head on over to my contact page.

Some Updates!

Forgive me, for I have sinned. I haven’t updated my blog in months! So, I thought it appropriate to throw up a quick update on what I’ve been up to over the past 6 months or so…

Back in May, I accepted a full-time position with my long-time client, Disruptor Beam. I’ve taken the helm as Director of Communications and am loving it. The Disruptor Beam team is not only talented, but they are a wicked fun group of people to work with. Coming from an agency and freelance background, it has been an amazing experience to roll up my sleeves and really dig into one company.

In addition to joining Disruptor Beam, I had a baby this summer! Motherhood is amazing and baby is doing very well.

With all of that said, I’m currently focused on my work with Disruptor Beam and am on hiatus with consulting…at least for now.

So, there. A short update, but an update nonetheless. Until we meet again 🙂

(Disruptor) Beam Me Up! Star Trek Timelines Announced.

timelines_logo_color_bitmap_finalI’ve been working with Disruptor Beam for the past couple years to promote their hit social / mobile game, Game of Thrones Ascent. Well, the next big game for the company is based around a similarly huge IP…Star Trek! A story-driven game in which millions of fans will build their ultimate starship and crew, while exploring the vast Star Trek multiverse, Star Trek Timelines will be released across mobile and web platforms. One of the many things that will make this game great is that it brings together content and characters from a variety of Star Trek shows and series. You can have Spock and Captain Picard on your crew simultaneously!

More details about the game will be released as it develops, but we did just announce (in partnership with CBS) these initial details right before PAX East in Boston. Press reception has been great so far! Below is just a small selection of coverage resulting from my media outreach and coordination. Thanks to everyone that covered the news!

GamesBeat / Venture Beat
Beta Boston / Boston Globe
Polygon (PAX Article / Interview)
Inside Mobile Apps
Shack News (PAX East)
Cult of Mac
Digital Spy (PAX East)
Boston Magazine (PAX East)


Prime World Defenders Launch on iOS

Defenders_scr_2I recently started working with strategy game developer Nival to help promote a variety of their games including Prime World: Defenders. A classic tower-defense game with a twist, Defenders launched on PC awhile back. It did well and so the team decided to port the game to iOS, which launched for US and European players just this week. Despite the game being previously released for PC, I was able to secure a number of news stories and/or reviews surrounding the game with key gaming and mobile press. A selection of this coverage follows:

Touch Arcade (4/7/14) – Review

Pocket Gamer (3/26/14) – Review (3/26/14) – Review

148 Apps (3/25/14) – Review

Inside Mobile Apps (3/24/14) – Article

App Advice (3/21/14) – Article

Mac Rumors Pro (3/21/14) – Article

Game Trailers (3/21/14) – Trailer–defenders-ios-launch-trailer

Game Revolution (3/21/14) – Trailer

Pocket Gamer (3/20/14) – Article / Review

Pocket Tactics (3/20/14) – Article

Game Mob

o   Code Giveaway

o   Upcoming Games Article

o   Date Announcement Post (3/15/14) – Launch Date



Game of Thrones Ascent’s iPad Launch & Season 4 Kick-Off

I’ve been working with Disruptor Beam for the past couple of years to help promote the company, along with their hit game ‘Game of Thrones Ascent’ based off of the HBO TV series and books by George R.R. Martin. Following a successful Facebook and Web launch in 2013, the team at Disruptor Beam has been focused on the game’s mobile launch. The first mobile platform for the game is iPad, which we just announced last week.  This month has been busy, to say the least!

Leading into our iPad launch, we formally announced a partnership with Kongregate to publish the mobile versions of the game. After some targeted pitching and outreach, the announcement led to some good, positive business-focused coverage including with sites like Polygon and Pocket Gamer.

As we eased into our launch day, which occurred just in time for the Season 4 premiere of the show on HBO, I helped to line up numerous stories across gaming media to help promote the game and drive installs. Coverage appeared across sites like GameSpot, Kotaku, VentureBeat, Fortune, ShackNews and many others (see a selection of coverage further below). The game was also featured by Apple during launch week, which was a huge win for the company!

Elicia on ThroneAs the iPad version of the game was taking off, the Season 4 premiere was just on the horizon! The Disruptor Beam team was invited to HBO to attend a special pre-screening of the first episode in Boston. For about 400 attendees, the Disruptor Beam team was able to showcase the tablet version of the game to attendees. Plus, the majority of the staff attended the event itself because, well, who wouldn’t miss an event like this one! We all got to sit upon the iron throne, enjoy the first episode, and talk up our new iPad game!

Here’s a photo of me sitting on the throne – I just happen to be pregnant as well, so this is my “Mother of Dragons” pose 🙂

Selection of iPad Launch Day Coverage

Fortune / CNN

VentureBeat / GamesBeat

Pocket Gamer (news)

Pocket Gamer (review)

Pocket Gamer (guide) (News)

Arcade Sushi (review)

Digital Spy (review)

iPad Insight (review)

Another MassDiGI Game Challenge in the Books

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For the past three years, I’ve managed the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute’s (MassDiGI) Annual Game Challenge. And, the event has been a highlight of my year for the past three with 2014 being no exception. This year’s event featured 45 teams of independent and student game developers competing for a variety of honors. The basis of the event is to help indie, start-up and student game entrepreneurs to sharpen their ideas, pitches and products for launch. But, the event is not just a competition. It also provides teams with a chance to meet with industry mentors, listen to talks, play other games, and meet with peers.


What is my role in the event? Along with my partners in crime, Monty Sharma and Tim Loew of MassDiGI, I coordinate logistics for the event and manage VIP communications. So, in other words, I handle everything from the master scheduling, to recruiting our VIPs (speakers, judges, mentors), to catering, competitor registration, and a little bit of everything in between. While I love event planning and all that in entails, my favorite part of the Game Challenge each year is interacting with participants – our competitors, judges, speakers and mentors. Each year I see many familiar faces, but also have the opportunity to meet new people and be inspired by all of the great work that our competitors, mentors, speakers and judges have done throughout the year.

As the years have gone by, we’ve continued to see the caliber of our competitor’s work improve. This year I was particularly impressed with our Grand Prize winner, Jenna Hoffstein of Little Worlds Interactive for her mobile educational title, The Counting Kingdom. Not only was Jenna our first “serious” games entrant to ever win the Game Challenge Grand Prize, but she is our first female Grand Prize winner! Congrats Jenna!




Indie Studio Breaks Through English Language Barrier with Therian Saga

Therian-Saga-Logo-MediumAfter attending the Montreal International Game Summit last fall, I started working with an interesting indie studio based out of Quebec City called Virtys. A handful of RPG superfans, the Virtys team had been working for years on their complex browser-based MMO, Fatecraft. With French being their primary language, the game released in French in the summer of 2013 with much interest  – over 50,000 players (a great starting community for an indie game). After experiencing this success, the studio decided that they wanted to branch out and start working on an English-language version of the game and with a new name – Therian Saga.

Well, they just launched their English-language open beta with my PR help last week! Hundreds of accounts have already been created in just a couple days, and it continues to grow. We’ve seen some decent press coverage surrounding the game thus far, and many more interested in meeting up with the team at PAX East in April and beyond. We’ll be formally launching the English version later this spring!

Some snapshots at coverage from the past week follows below. To play and stay tuned on the game’s progression visit – MMObility: A Newbie’s Look at the Fantastic Therian Saga – Therian Saga Open Beta Preview, Part 1 – Browser RPG Therian Saga Now in Open Beta – French MMO Therian Saga Launches English Beta – Therian Saga English Beta Begins Today – French RPG Fatecraft Enters English Open Beta as Therian Saga – Therian Saga Enters Open Beta

Demiurge & Disruptor Beam Take Over NECN


Mobile games have exploded in recent years. The Boston area has been no exception with the landscape of developers in the area showcasing this fact. Many new mobile development studios have been founded in recent years and even some established local game developers have re-focused their energy into mobile games vs. console games.

Two of my clients, both Demiurge Studios (Marvel Puzzle Quest) and Disruptor Beam (Game of Thrones Ascent), are currently focused on mobile. So, I recently pitched a story to New England Cable News (NECN) about the rising popularity of mobile games among local game developers, and what it is like to do business in the state. The result was an awesome “CEO Corner” segment featuring both Hank Howie, COO of Disruptor Beam, and Albert Reed, CEO & Co-Founder of Demiurge Studios. The episode aired throughout this past weekend and was posted on the website. Check out some photos below or watch the show (split into three segments) here:


Recent VentureFizz Posts – Proletariat, Indie Game Collective, and more!


Throughout 2013, I’ve contributed blog content to to highlight the Boston video game development community. It has been a fun side project, as I’ve had the opportunity to learn even more about a community that I love. I’ve highlighted contributed content on my blog in the past, but realized recently that I hadn’t linked over to some of my more recent contributions. Below are a few favorites!

A Few Minutes with Seth Sivak, CEO of ‘World Zombination’ Creator, Proletariat

Game Devs Join Forces in Cambridge with “Indie Game Collective” 

Indie Games Shine at Boston FIG

Moving to Mobile Games: A Q&A with Demiurge Studios’ CEO Albert Reed