So my first time at EGX Rezzed was pretty awesome. A learning experience in different ways, the main and most important one being that the indie game community is very supportive of each other. It was a surprise to see younger and older developers so open and willing to help each other out.
Previously I had attended the bigger EGX event in Earls Court, but only as a consumer, not with a product to promote. I was witnessing a lot more of what was going on behind the scenes, and the amount of preparation and hard graft that go into each project. I was there to help Tom and Julian at Knifey Spoonie Games promote the game we’re working on, Pro Puzzle Wrestling, along with our good friend Keaton from Abyssal Arts. The four of us travelled up from Hove and crashed at a hostel around the corner from the venue, The Tobacco Docks.
It was busy to say the least; having worked Comic Con before, it wasn’t on the same scale regarding volume of people, but then the way it was spread out over different rooms and floors made it much more pleasant to work in. A few school groups were on their field trip which was pretty cool. I would have loved that when I was their age. Much better than visiting the Hovis factory like I had to. I did get to share some of my knowledge about writing for game with a couple of uni students; that was really surprising to me, as most of what I know was learnt at my PC in my bedroom.
The game was well received by players, especially for being only in pre-alpha. People initially showed reservations about playing another match-3 game, particularly when the crowd are hardcore gamers. Match-3 games get tarred with the mobile game brush, making them appear less in-depth; something you would unwind with on the tube ride home after work, unlike the bigger, more attention demanding games like MOBA’s and FPS’s. People would play for a few minutes then realise there was more to the game, they could work out the tactics involved, play strategically and enjoy the excitement and fun of wrestling.
I understand at these events, people wouldn’t be fully immersed in a game all the time, the big crowds, due to the noise and distractions. We had the game set up so people could play, and have the option to wear headphones if they wanted to experience the music and sound effects I had created. Tom would mostly take the lead and sit the guys down after Keaton, Julian and I would divert the traffic towards our game. He would walk them through the game, show them how it works and generally engage with the person and obtain feedback and critique.
Admittedly I felt disheartened to see that most people chose not to wear the headphones and listen to the sound over the three days. Obviously it was something I worked hard on over the last few months, it was a part of the game that was being completely over looked, I should probably blame the sensitive artist inside! There was one guy who came along, gave him the speech about the game and he played for a bit half heartedly, but then he chose to place the headphones over his ears. We lost him to the game for about 25 minutes, he was completely and utterly immersed in the game. That made it worth it to me, I wouldn’t have expected a reaction like that from anyone. It does make you think how important the audio side of things can be in games; you really want to evoke an emotional response from the player or listener, it really adds a solid layer to the experience. One guy did crack me up: soon as the headphones went on, he started aggressively rocking out in his seat with the dual devil horns out on display.
I really appreciated how supportive everyone was at the convention. It was a great learning experience as a composer and all-round human being.I appreciate you taking the time out to read my thoughts and feelings on this subject! If you want more information on the game you can check it out here.
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