Who is Daniel Doan?

I'm a growth marketer and inbound marketing expert with over half a decade of experience building brands and growing communities for hundreds of independent game developers and companies worldwide.

I'm also a game designer specializing in maximizing engagement and retention and UX design across both desktop and mobile games.


As Co-Founder & CGO of Black Shell Media, I've handled marketing, growth, and publishing operations alongside my business partner Raghav and our amazing team.

Over the last few years, I've grown my combined social media network to over 725,000 followers. As of Q4 2017, we've shipped more than 2.1 million copies of games on Steam, and have given talks at Google, SXSW, TwitchCon, and numerous industry events on growth marketing and game design.


I've made several award-winning video games for the PC platform including the world's first fully ASCII RPG on Steam, SanctuaryRPG and a dungeon-crawling roguelike adventure game called Overture. Games that I've worked on have been played by hundreds of thousands of players, and many have received worldwide critical acclaim.

I've also been blessed with the opportunity to work with fantastic companies in the games industry including Microsoft, Alienware, Discord, Playcrafting and many more.


I try to read a book a week on growth marketing, game design, software development, or behavioral psychology. In addition to my voracious consumption of books, I've also authored a handful of popular game development books on Amazon which have been read by thousands of people including Indie Game Marketing Secrets, The Game Development Mindset, and The Making of SanctuaryRPG.



When it comes to writing, I don't really like to give out "advice" too often. But, I'll tell you what worked for me, and hope it helps you on your personal journey towards greater success. 

I’ve written 550+ articles which have been featured on LinkedIn Pulse and Gamasutra. The topics range from marketing and productivity, to game design and behavioral psychology.

Here are a few of my most popular posts from the past few years:


How to get your indie game covered by the press

5 basic yet highly effective marketing strategies

How to figure out if paid ads are worth it for your indie game

How to continually market your indie game using storytelling

What buying a stupidly overpriced BMW taught me about marketing

An actionable 10-step guide on how to market your indie game


Is game development a good career choice?

How to break into the games industry without using a recruiter

How to survive in the crowded market as an indie game developer

3 small mistakes that can ruin your game development career

4 common reasons why most indie game developers fail

How to overcome the odds and actually succeed making indie games

5 simple techniques that will skyrocket your productivity

How to be a billion times more productive

How to effectively motivate yourself on a daily basis

How to accomplish more throughout your day

How I lucked out and got the car of my dreams

How to actually finish your indie game projects

Game Design
How to tackle the issue of difficulty when designing your game

How to design an objectively better indie game and improve your design skills

How to keep players coming back to your indie game

A quick primer on how to tackle balancing your indie game

Why less is actually more when it comes to game design

How to properly reward your players and keep them engaged


Want to work with me?

If you're someone who wants to learn more about digital marketing, I can help.

My mission? To help founders, game developers, and companies grow in the fastest way possible using cutting-edge digital marketing techniques, growth tactics, and software most people don't know about.

I'm always seeking new areas to put my growth marketing skills to use. Helping others achieve greater success is my life's mission, and I'm always looking for a marketing challenge to tackle.