How To Write A Steam Short Description So It Grabs Your Target Player’s Attention

Steam Short Description: Free Template

If you’re struggling to convey what your games is all about, then in this article you’re going to get a formula that will help you refine your game concepts.

Specifically you’re going to learn how to create a compelling Steam Short Description (the text under your Capsule Art)… so that it generates player’s interest.

Best of all, you can do this quickly and easily. In 15 minutes, you’ll have an attention-grabbing short description for your game that is clear, easy to understand, but is also compelling and motivates a player to take the next action (like wishlist your game or buy your game).

Ok, first you’ll learn what grabs attention and what doesn’t. Then I’ll show you the formula on how to write an attention-grabbing Steam Short Description.

Ready? Here’s what you need to know…

What Grabs Your Attention — And What Doesn’t

Let’s say you’re walking downtown and you walk by a restaurant that has the following signs:

“Food and something to drink. $9.97”

Or…

“Pizza and beer. $9.97”

Or…

“Large pepperoni jalapeno and bacon pizza with a pint of 6.8% wheat craft beer. $9.97”

What grabs more attention? Even if you don’t like pizza or beer, you see what I mean, right? The more clear and specific you are, the better chance you’ll attract your target player.

And the more generic you are, the less you’ll attract attention.

Why? Because being generic or abstract confuses people. And people won’t give you the time and energy to try to figure out what you’re trying to say. If you confuse them then you’ve lost their interest.

Let me show you with a game example…

What Not To Do With Your Steam Short Description…

Let’s say you’re browsing Steam and you see the following Steam capsule short description:

“Quest of Jarimo is a puzzle adventure game set in a beautiful world with complex architectures. You take Jarimo on a quest to find precious treasures in a landscape full of adventure and mystery. But be careful because the path is filled with deadly traps. Will you survive?”

This short description is equivalent to saying “Food and something to drink”. It’s generic. It’s abstract. It’s not motivating. It’s not interesting.

The reason this doesn’t work in grabbing attention is because a player is not going to “connect the dots” and try to figure out what kind of puzzle adventure game… what kind of beautiful world… what kind of mysteries?

By being specific and clear, YOU are the one who is “connecting the dots” for them. Remember, you have less than 3 seconds to grab their interest. If there’s any confusion… if they have to mentally work to “connect the dots”… then their interest is gone.

So here’s what to do instead…

Formula: How To Write A Steam Short Description That Grabs The Interest Of A Player

In this section, you’re going to learn what I call the “Steam Short Description Formula”.

It’s a step-by-step formula designed to help you get clear about what your game is. And it’s designed to make it compelling so that generates player interest.

This only takes 15 minutes. And at the end, you’ll have an attention-grabbing short description for your game that is clear, easy to understand, and grabs a player’s attention.

So here’s what to do…

Step 1: Name 3 Actions You Get To Do In Your Game

Remember, you can download the template, here: Steam Short Description: Free Template

To be able to clearly communicate what your game is in a motiving way, you need to bring out your BEST stuff right up front. It’s your hook. It’s your promise.

So to find the best stuff in your game, let’s find that hook or promise. So go open a Google document. And on the top, copy and paste this and answer it…

Top Three Actions My Player Gets To Do In My Game Are…

In other words, what are 3 main things the player gets to do in your game? It should be one or two words. Say for example I’m making a 4x strategy game. The three main things a player gets to do is…

  • Lead
  • Explore
  • War

Next…

Step 2: Explain The Advantage The Player Gets Doing These 3 Actions

Next let’s learn how to turn these three actions into something that will grab a player’s interest. To do this, take your 3 main actions, and ask yourself:

What kind?

What does X do?

What will X get me?

So, let’s take my example…

Leader:

What kind of Leader? What does the Leader do? What will being a Leader get me?

  • Lead your dynasty over several generations of Kings and Queens

Explore:

What kind of Exploring? Where do you Explore? What will Exploring get me?

  • Explore foreign lands so you find resources you need to build a powerful empire

War:

What kind of Wars? Where do you War? What will Warring get me?

  • Build a massive army so you can wage wars against rival Kings and Queens and take over more land

The key here is to answer “what will the player get when they do action X“.

Remember, “food and something to drink” isn’t attention-grabbing. It’s not compelling enough. It’s not interesting enough. But a “large pepperoni, jalapeno, bacon pizza with a 6.8% pint of wheat beer” is more clear and specific — and more attention-grabbing. So drill down and figure specifically what the player will get when they do each action.

Next…

Step 3: What Setting, Theme, Or Time Is Your Game In

This one sounds easy but is very important. Your setting (or theme or time) will help you differentiate your game for all the hundreds or thousands of games that are in your genre.

For example, if you look at the FPS market, it’s segmented into different settings, themes, or times.

  • WWII = Call of Duty, Battlefield
  • Hell = DOOM
  • Dark Fantasy: Heretic, Painkiller
  • Zombie Apocalypse = Left 4 Dead
  • Spaceship = Dead Space, Alien
  • 1980s = Counter-Strike
  • Mythic Science-Fiction: Destiny 2

So, in your Google document, copy and paste, and answer the following:

My Game’s Setting / Theme / Time Is…

So in my 4x strategy game example, I’ve written down:

1407 Medieval Times, Bohemia

Again, you’re doing this because you want your game to stand out from the crowd. And by being clear and specific like this, you’re making your game sound more interesting.

Ok, next…

Step 4: What’s Your Genre — And What Kind Of Genre Is It

Every genre has its own categories. For example, 4x strategy games can be real-time or turn-based.

So don’t just say “4x strategy”. You need to drill down and answer “what kind?”. It’s like saying “pizza” without saying what kind of pizza (i.e. is it vegan?, pineapple and ham?, meat lovers?, etc).

So in your Google document, copy and paste this, and answer:

What Genre Is My Game In, And What Kind?

So in my 4x strategy game, I would answer:

My genre is 4x strategy. And what kind? A Real-time 4x strategy card-builder

Now let’s put this all together…

The “Steam Short Description Formula”

To help you write a compelling Steam Short Description that generates a player’s interest, here’s what to do. You have FIVE important pieces now. You have…

  • Action 1
  • Action 2
  • Action 3
  • Setting
  • Genre

All the heavy lifting is done for you. Now all you have to do is to put it together. To do that, here’s what the formula looks like:

[Action 1] in [Setting]. [Action 2]. [Action 3] in this innovative [Genre]

Or…

[Action 1] in this innovative [Genre] based in [Setting]. [Action 2]. [Action 3].

And finally here’s my 4x Strategy game Short Description example…

“Lead generations of Kings and Queens in this Turn-based 4x Strategy Deckbuilder. Set in 1407 Bohemia, it’s your duty to explore, find, and pillage resources to build a massive army to project your empire. If you don’t don’t take over land, then your neighbors will.””

Oh, just remember, you have about 250 to 300 character limit.

Remember, you can download the template, here: Steam Short Description: Free Template

Anyway, let me show you some examples that use this formula well…

You’ll notice that all these examples talk about what the player gets to DO… in what setting… and in what genre.

So if we want to write a Steam Short Description that is compelling and grabs a player’s interest, we need to be specific and clear. We need to explain to the player “what’s in it for them”.

That’s why I had you come up with 3 best actions you player gets to do. And why I had you come up with your game’s unique setting. And why I made you get clear on your genre.

So do this right now, open a Google document. Come up with 3 actions a player gets to do in your game. Come up with your setting, theme, or time. And come up with your genre, and what kind of genre it is.

These are the ingredients for your formula. Once you have these, the hard part is done. Now all you have to do is put them in order that makes sense.

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Thanks! And looking forward to helping you find players!

Later,

Dariusz Konrad
Port Stanley, Ontario
Canada