Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Don't eat our controllers- More thoughts on EGX

One of the things I like most about going to events like EGX is the fantastic, passionate people you get to meet. I was lucky enough to strike up a conversation with Zhan Gurskis lead programmer at Zaubug Games. We talked for a while about their new mobile game MindFork before I noticed a rather odd collection of fruit arranged on their section of the indie mega booth. not only is fruit an odd sight(for gamers in general) but these bananas had wires  protruding from them like the cast-off from  Dr Frankenstein experiments. A strange sight indeed, But it instantly got my attention, this, as it would later dawn on me, was intentional. EGX is loud and busy and its hard to get noticed (especially in the indie sections where you are packed in tight) but the guys at Zaubug came up with a novel way to get the punters interested: make your own controllers...out of fruit. This, it would seem was a stroke of genius as it soon attracted much more attention.

I recently asked the guys at Zaubug games to write about there experience at EGX  as I think they would give an interesting insight into the process as well as to the value of the event for a small studio

Anna Lapinsh CEO at Zaubug Games

"its always useful to get your game out there and have the abilty to talk to the public in that sort of space. We got a lot of great responses from players that tried out MindFork

Our goal for the show was to get press actually playing the game and we really achieved that. Our game does not screenshot too well, seeing it in motion is really critical. We managed to get a lot of people filming it which was ace.

The one thing no one really mentions is that that exhibiting your game at shows like this really makes your whole team motivated and lifts everyone spirits. When you have been sitting at a computer for 6 months straight you lose a lot of your passion for the product- just getting it out there and seeing people respond to it is really helpful to keep development going.

All in all, i would go back to EGX again"

Zhan Gurskis Lead programmer Zaubug Games

"EGX is a huge convention, there are endless amounts of games here and there, and so it can be very difficult to stand out
Perhaps interesting emerging behaviour is that most developers try to make their stand look more attractive as the show goes on. Our plan B was bananas, we have decided to do something different and added bananas to control our game.That really increased the flow of people wanting to play the game, suddenly we had people taking pictures, videos and tweeting about the game.In that way, it was an interesting experiment.
Going to a show of this magnitude needs a lot of preparation, and i am not talking about the way the game will be presented and promotional material like stickers and flyers, i am talking about physical and mental energy. You need to be able to present your game from 10 am to 6 pm for 4 days not mentioning parties that finish at 3 am, we hardly had any sleep, but the amount of great people we met make it more than worth it.
Over all it is a great experience, for me personally game development can get very daunting after you have added all the main mechanics and all you have to do is endless amount of polish, and a show like this is a validation of my time and efforts, it always leaves me inspired to make more games"

Zauberg Games

Anna Lapinsh - CEO, Founder
Jerry Boucher - Concept, Design
Daniel Jackson - Code, Design
Andrew Lemon - Sound, Music Design
Zhan Gurskis - Lead Programmer, Art, Design
Nicola Zamboni - Code, art, Design

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