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EGX 2017 - Gracie Drake

October 6, 2017

So now that EGX is over and I’m slightly less sick and bed bound, I’ve written a lil blog post about how EGX went for Supremely Excellent Goblins! (and me, Gracie, specifically).

 

For those that don’t know, EGX is the largest gaming convention in the UK. Held in the NEC in Birmingham, each year it attracts about 70,000 people over 4 days! Woo! 

 

It was a simply incredible experience, over 250 people came in person and played our demo! 

 

(above are some of the aforementioned kickass people)We received an absolutely incredible response from people, including our industry peers such as the awesome Tommy Refenes from Team Meat, who gave us some valuable advice and feedback. 

 

Having never gone to such a convention to exhibit work before, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I worked with my team for such a long time, working late nights and early mornings to make sure this demo was as close to perfect as we could get it (even still requiring an emergency bug fix session after the first day. It is incredible what people will try and do to your game lol).

 

Here's what I would advise any other indie devs heading to their first public convention/public showing of their project:

 

  • Be prepared for fairly extreme negative feedback. Not everyone is gonna love your game, which is obvious! However, not everyone is gonna be polite about that. Honestly, we received about 98% positive feedback from people, but the first person that played the demo absolutely hated it and was not shy about that fact. That utterly crushed me and made the first day a lot harder than it needed to be. Have thick skin and have faith in what you’ve made, but don’t be blind to it. Honestly, the negative feedback is going to be what helps you the most in the end, so take it with a “Thank you!”, even if it leaves you feeling a little shitty.  
     

  • Bring hand sanitiser and wet wipes. The filthy unwashed masses are, unsurprisingly, filthy and unwashed. Jokes aside though, not everyone at a convention understands basic hygiene (just being brutally honest) and you’ll probably need to degunk your kit at some point.
     

  • Bring stuff to give out to people! People LOVE stickers, badges, postcards etc - and it means free advertising for your game, and a lot of people will play just to walk away with a cute sticker or a cool badge. Dead Pixels 2 was displaying behind us and they were giving special shiny badges to people that played the whole demo and you bet your ass people were coming round multiple times. 
     

  • Don’t be scared to invite people to play your game! If you see people umming and awwing around your stand, invite them over to play. Give em a hello and a quick introduction and they might just walk away as a newly converted fan.
     

  • Bring! Business! Cards! You will meet industry types there and you will need to give them some way to remember your details. I met over 70 different industry folks while I was there, and the only reason I can remember that is because I got business cards (and gave cards to) all of them! 
     

  • Thank people that give you feedback or who talk about your game on social media! This is such a simple but easy thing to forget. Journalists, streamers, lets players and even the average joe are your best friend. They took the time to play your game and give you feedback, take a few seconds to thank em <3 
     

  • Support your fellow devs! If you have time, visit their stands, play their games. Get numbers, twitters, badges, stickers. Make friends! These people are your peers and they love what you do as much as you do, and we all gotta stick together, y’know? I made some amazing friends while at EGX and meeting them was honestly my top highlight!

Lastly, expect the unexpected. Why? Cuz at this EGX, while displaying my first video game, I met the man who inspired me to take up game design to begin with: Lorne Lanning.

 

Yes, that's me, in the shirt (with our sound designer in the red hoodie). Standing mere feet away from my childhood hero and creator of my all time favourite game series. Did I cry like a baby after he wished me luck and gave me a hug? Yes. Yes I did. A lot.

 

That's all from me for now, I gotta go chug a bunch of cough medicine and nap, but I want to thank everyone that came to see us at EGX and to everyone that worked with me to make it possible to begin with. Love ya <3

 

Gracie Drake

@smallgamedev

http://gobbodev.tumblr.com/

 

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