Hello! I’m Seiji Tanaka, the creative director at Game Over.
July was a pretty busy month as we had two public events where we exhibited our gameFailsafe. These were both small-scale events so they were perfect for showing our game publicly for the first time.
The first one was a collaboration between Riot Games and Glitch City where over a dozen indie teams were invited to the Riot campus to show off their games. The event was open to all Riot employees and a couple hundred outside people.
A collaboration between a tiny indie collective like Glitch and a financial behemoth like Riot might at first seem like an odd mix, but once you learn about the massive respect they have for the indie scene, it starts to make sense. I was excited to exhibit there, but I had no idea what to expect since I had never attended a gaming event of that nature. It turned out to be a great experience for everyone, and there was a lot of engagement with the players. One thing that really stood out for me was the fact that everyone was very willing to actually play the games. This might seem like a funny thing to mention regarding a gaming event, but at all other events I’ve attended, people were generally rather hesitant to pick up the controller, even when offered. Perhaps it is the fact that the audience was mostly game developers as well, so they were more interested in gameplay.
Also worth mentioning is that we managed to include Failsafe‘s new time trial mode, which Evan touched on in the last devlog. The key features of this mode was the leaderboard that stored the top 5 scores, a “ghost” of the top player, and a level designed specifically for competitiveness. As we had hoped, this created a level of engagement for the player with the game as well as other players. We saw many players attempt the time trial repeatedly to try to reclaim the throne, which gave us some reassurance on the replayability of the game.
I couldn’t give enough props to Riot for the amazing job they did planning, setting up, and running the event. They were incredibly accommodating, going above and beyond to make it as painless as possible for the devs. They provided each team with a table, two monitors, and a workstation for those of us who only had one portable machine. All we had to do was basically show up, plug our laptops in, and then at the end just unplug and walk away. Huge bonus points for their kitchen serving delicious food free of charge to everyone throughout the whole event.
I’m very grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a unique event and excited to see how Riot will continue to help indies strive in the future.
The second event was at a gallery space called Giant Robot 2, as a part of the bi-monthly Game Night event, organized by @AngryBananas. Here we had the opportunity to project our game onto the building’s white wall. Since the game was in the complete open, right next to a busy sidewalk, we were treated to a wide variety of players ranging from couples to groups of teenagers to families with children. Despite the array of demographics, most people were able to understand what the game is about without too much trouble. The build was not too different from the Riot version but the few improvements and tweaks that were included proved to be effective. Thanks to the Time Trial mode, groups of people who lingered would take turns trying to beat each others’ scores, having good laughs while they’re at it.
The highlight for me were when the children, around the ages of 8-10, were getting really into the game and kept coming back, watching and playing. One of the first people who played that night, who happened to be one of such children, regularly showed up to play again, was also the last player before I packed up. Often times, as a game developer, I experience self-doubt about the validity of my game, and nothing clears up that feeling like seeing the uninhibited joy and immersion of a child who is experiencing the game I created.
Showing at Giant Robot 2 was uniquely invigorating, as showing your game with a refreshing breeze of a cool SoCal evening is not something you get to do often, and the generally relaxed atmosphere kept my stress level very low throughout. Many thanks go out to@AngryBananas for inviting us, and we are definitely down to do it again in the future.