Isabelle and I attended Winter Play where Stinky Snake, our first game, was featured. The whole team would have attended but being my first time–I wanted to test the waters with my right hand at my side.
Some pictures Isabelle took at the event:
It turned out better than we could have expected. We had initially thought that nobody would show up, but many people came up to us, willing to play our game and give feedback. In addition, many people were willing to join our mailing list. The act of meeting and talking to new people about our game has also sharpened our pitch.
Things we did right and learned from this experience:
- Have a backup travel plan. Uber or some other car service can be your best friend instead of battling busy city traffic.
- Have a few cardboard cutouts of your game characters nearby to grab people’s attention. We will get a couple made for use in future events, and make sure they can be broken down into smaller pieces ideal for travel and proper storage.
- Bring a bag full of essential items such as bottled water, extra cables, paper towels, granola bar or some other snack, etc.
- Knapsacks for transporting the laptops, and other small devices.
- Bring marketing material including your mailing list signup, business cards, flyers, and pins. These fit great in the knapsacks.
- Wear layers, especially during the winter time. However, you should probably wear a light top since the room will soon heat up due to the abundance of machines and humans.
- Eat a light meal before the event; not like me, too stressed out to eat all day.
- Celebrate with your team the day after.
- Rewrite you game pitch in the day following the event while it is fresh in your mind. With all the practice one goes under during the event going over what your game is all about; this sharpens the pitch and maybe even prompt you to rewrite the press release you were planning to put out for an upcoming product launch.
- Make time the day after to recover.
- Have a team member responsible for taking pictures throughout the event.
In conclusion, going to that first game event is important to gain exposure to the world as a developer. I am happy that we did this and also for bringing Isabelle along to experience this. I guess my only regret would be that I have not done this sooner in the process of building Stinky Snake.