Monday, 30 April 2018

PAXEast 2018!

As part of our month of travels, Pontus, Rich, and Steve all made it out to PAXEast to show off the game.  It’s a really friendly and inviting show and we’d definitely recoomend it.  We were lucky enough to get to show the game as part of a little collective of friends all put together by Kinifi Games, called Figs & Co, run by husband and wife dev team Hollie and Chris Figueroa, those two are a total powerhouse, and we are so proud to call them friends!!

A nice thing about PAX is the airport is a 10 minute ride from the conference centre and the free airport shuttle drops you pretty much at the doorstep of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC).

Hello Boston!
The setup!

Build up was pretty fun, and Hollie who does all the heavy lifting for organising the stand had done some stellar work to get everything together, not least because UPS lost our shipping pallets with all the banners, computers and gear 24hrs before the show.  She is some kind of supernatural force because she managed to source everything we needed in that time and setup went ahead on schedule.

Last minute printing inside the conference centre was a major win.  Rich had worked pretty tirelessly in the build up to the show to get a new trailer ready, setup the ‘Coming Soon’ page on steam and create a fancy QR code poster to take you to it, but not had time to print out handouts for wishlisting. It was relief to add this cherry on top with such convenience!

The team all land!

Off the plane (and after Rich and Steve made the mistake of trying to use the wheelchair-not-so-accessible subway system), we all settled into a much deserved team dinner.

There were omens that PAXEast was going to be good even before the showfloor opened: our AirBnB had a foam recreation of the Master Sword from Zelda just hanging out in the corner (see above!).

The team at our stand (Rich, Pontus & Steve), all set up and ready to go!

Demoing the game itself was great as always for meeting players and getting feedback. We had a lot of really enthusiastic visitors to our stand and a couple completed the demo too.

The biggest lesson we learned was that the game really does benefit from the creation of an introspective space, and in our case, a chair to sit at.  Our second day dragged and didn’t get as much footfall as our first, but the moment we got a chair in for people to sit and play on, was the moment the quality of the experience for our players visibly increased. Off Grid requires time to understand and enjoy due to its complexity, and something as small as a chair really does help with that.

Lots of friends were there, Ana and her VR retro game ‘Pixel Ripped’ above.

As well as our good friends and fellow London Indies, Mike and Angus, who are making the wonderful Pool Panic with Adult Swim games.

We had some stonking Boston breakfasts and fot a fairly hefty dose of Americana in at the same time. This one was in a tiny old rail carriage.

There was some of the funniest cosplay we’ve ever seen!  Not sure if this guy was demoing a game or just making a statement.

We finished up PAX with a celebratory dinner at the Legal Seafood restaurant harbourside (in the Boston Harbour, where the historic Boston Tea Party took place no less).

We also had a day to take in some sights, which basically involved walking the Freedom Trail (yes, inspired by Steve and Pontus having played Fallout 4 rather than a keen interest U.S. Revolutionary War historical sites). This is not least given away by the fact that we ended our historic tour with the two most important sites to us:

The bar from the hit TV sitcom ‘Cheers.’

And the bench from Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams’ psychologist character finally makes some progress with Matt Damon’s troubled mathematical genius.

PAXEast, thank you so much, you were fun! 10/10, we would def come back!  :)

p.s. If you read our previous post about GDC and no kids allowed - no worries here cause PAX East is totally kid friendly!  Hollie and Chris even had their little one, Sofia, working the booth with them over the two days! ;P

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