Aftermath: TheGamesCon

thegamecon

Whoo! We’re back! It was a crazy weekend, and it’s been a crazy aftermath since SpaceCats In Space at TheGameCon. I’ll just go over what happened briefly

  • Arrived at TheGameCon & setup. It was pretty juryrigged, we used a lot of tape a
  • Had a great lunch at Leo’s Cajun Corner, then dinner at Jimmy’s on the pier
  • Woke up at 8am to get our setup. Panicked a little because our TV that was provided was in rough shape- the stand wasn’t correct, the screws were wrong, and there was no HDMI cable. We had to tape down our television mount in the end with Gorilla tape!
  • Aaron and Damian put on their costumes and looked great, we borrowed a pair of dog ears from Mr. Hop next door.
  • When the doors opened at 10am, the rest of the con was a blur. We had just tons and tons of kids playing our game. There was a brief moment when we had a small line going!
  • I had no idea, but Minecraft was played mostly by children. The players at my booth were almost exclusively children, with most of the adult players being their parents.
  • Things quieted down a little towards lunch when the BIG events were going on
  • We had a couple of twitch, youtube and reporters stop by
  • Did some networking with the great folks at Dark Shot Studios, All Organic Studios and Happy Chess. I think we were the only video game studios there.
  • After the con, we went out for BBQ with some of the folks at Dark Shot, and then drinking at Tortuga’s next door.
  • Sunday was pretty quiet, but we had a lot of repeat visitors! I was surprised that these kids were playing the game 3-4 times!

Overall, it was a great convention. Initially I was afraid it might be too small, but we got a lot of good press and opportunities out of it. Kinda felt like we were the belle of the ball.

Some things that really helped us

  • Gorilla tape. Everything was hung with gorilla tape, even our television
  • Banners/flyers/posters. I think our artwork is really hot, and it attracted ALOT of attention. Kim did a great job. A lot of folks were asking for T-Shirts
  • Costumes. This was a HUGE draw. Aaron and Damian were wearing their Imperial uniforms from my wedding with cat/dog ears and frankly it was gangbusters. Kids wanted to take their pics all the time
  • Water. I bought 3 serious hiking/camping style water bottles for us, and they helped immensely. Also probably saved a ton on bottled water.
  • Networking: Walking around and talking to the other devs was a huge help, and we made some friends who showed us a great BBQ place.
  • The Convention staff: They were very helpful and responsive. Things were a little loosey goosey because we were a ‘dropin’ but it all worked out!
  • Having the demo prepared. Since we were ready from Playcrafting NYC and Gencon, we didn’t have to tweak our demo to be show ready.
  • Mailing list. We got a TON of mailing list signups not just on paper but also through our online demo functionality.

Stuff we needed to work on

  • Should have investigated the Con area. Brought stuff we didn’t need on the plane, like snacks, which we could have gotten from Texas because the con was next to a giant supermarket + Walmart
  • Definitely should have setup the TV + electronics the day before, that way we would’ve known what issues the TV had before the start of the con.
  • Did a last minute change of our floor plan that worked out really well, but we probably should’ve come up with a floor plan before. Also the symptom of knowing we were going to the con just a week before, lol.
  • Eating earlier. Since we’re from NYC we’re really not used to places closing at 9pm.

Additionally, we found a TON of bugs in our game. The ones we really need to work on are

  • Having some kind of navigational/guidance to point players to where to go on the map. A lot of people were getting lost on the first level
  • There was a weird bug where the player would die and not respawn
  • There was an issue where the game would simply crash or not respond
  • Enemies would be overly aggressive towards respawning players, so players would die again and again. We need to put in an invulnerability period and/or have the players return
  • We definitely need to get our new environmental artwork in, because people were getting confused about the walls in my crappy programmer art.

Thanks for reading! A mailing list update will probably go out shortly, with exclusive contents, thoughts and updates about the game and upcoming features!

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