So, four-fifths of the Total Monkery team (Poor Fred was ill) have been up in Coventry this weekend at the Ricoh Arena exhibiting MagNets at Insomnia52! The olds went to i51 and loved the vibe, so we were delighted to attend the next one as exhibitors!
So, how did it go?
Player response was amazing. We had the usual few people coast by after identifying that we are not a gritty FPS, but nearly everyone who played was engaged and enthused. We had a good range, too, from the 6-year-old boy who was determined to beat the first boss to the non-gaming father who’d not really handled an Xbox controller before.
The first morning was extremely scary when the game decided not to function, sending Richard scurrying off to a corner for half an hour to tackle the malfunctioning code (that’s what happens when you cram in a last minute bugfix… six more pop up). On the plus-side it did give several passers-by the chance to spectate a professional at work.
Most awesome bug found goes to the player who discovered that he could simply run up the bridges and jump across the ravine rather than collecting the scrap and fixing the switch that lowered the bridge… although it turns out that was in our database already (thank you, Scott!)
As with all events we have attended, one of the best things is the confidence the team gets from seeing people playing (and most importantly enjoying) the game. It definitely serves to fill us with renewed vigour. We want to give the players the game they deserve.
Another highlight for us when attending events is the chance to meet up with the other indies. There was a mini Gadget Show reunion (Mighty Tactical Shooter, you were missed). Indies are a very friendly, massively supportive and not to mention talented bunch. We very much enjoyed seeing everyone else’s games, sharing ideas and advice and drinking with them at the amazing first night gig and the Sunday after-party.
Hmm… didn’t get much formal contact with the press, or at least not as much as we would like. We didn’t manage to nab any major YouTubers so we could get them to fall in love with the game. Also, we probably lost years of our lives to overeating and drinking. But that’s pretty much it!
Though we missed much of the daytime schedule, what we saw of the event itself was pretty awesome. Zane Lowe was booked for Friday, but didn’t appear… He was not missed. DJ Fresh rocked the house (well, Marquee). We were sad to miss the quiz night on Saturday due to Convention Fatigue. And we all thank Jagex for providing a free bar on the last night, a first for many of the team!
In summary: we had a fun-packed, exhilarating, slightly alcohol-fuelled and definitely exhausting long weekend and we would do it all again in a heartbeat. Well, maybe need a week or two to recover.