There are so many things I should’ve shared since like… 5 months ago, finally I’m able to post something. This time I’ll be focused on the experience at the events I’ve participated so far: IndieCade, Tokyo Game Show, GamExpo 2013 and finally Tokyo Indie Fest 2015.
In a previous post I talked about this too but since recently I was at Tokyo Indie Fest, I would like to add more details to the rest of the events as well.
When the Fluff Eaters project started, I really wanted to take it to as far as it could go. The game was sent to IndieCade in 2012 as a very first prototype for PC made in HTML5. It was not intended to PC but thanks to what I explained here, that was the kickstarter to be more focused on game development.
Fluff Eaters was not selected as one of the finalist of the IndieCade but the opportunity to go to the festival, show the game (a mobile version of it) to people, get feedback, discuss about how to make it better and feedback from the judges of the contest was completely worth it.
Showing your game, prototype, proof of concept or whatever you are making or made is completely worth it, there are so many things you can learn from other people. In addition, going to those events is a bridge between you and people who could be interested on your work, you could find investors, publishers, etc, and more than all these things, you are going to have so much fun if you love games as much as I do.
So far I’ve had the chance to go twice to IndieCade, both of them have been amazing experiences, now I have some friends I made when was there and from time to time we chat about new ideas or to get feedback from each others work.
Tokyo Game Show
In 2013 there was a huge opportunity to be part of Tokyo Game Show (an event in Chiba, Tokyo) exhibitors as an indie game developer, the show was opening the area for the first time and Fluff Eaters was sent to the show and fortunately was accepted.
Great opportunity to show the last version of the game (which was already on Android) to the public, get feedback from them, see people’s reactions, understand what we were doing wrong at that time and finally meeting other developers.
The experience was truly amazing for so many reasons: at that time, the tutorial of the game was still a very big issue, watching people playing, explaining them how to play and seeing reactions was how the current tutorial was made. Something not so complex, that explained how to play in the easiest way we thought. I guess it’s interesting to mention that the tutorial of Fluff Eaters was the most difficult design part of the whole game.
This was my first experience as an exhibitor in a show, of course I learned a lot of things from my mistakes, things I didn’t do and things that could be done better but I guess that this is how it is.
In my short experience, I understand that depending on your goals with these kind of events, you should work towards reach them as well as you can. For example, in this particular case, the tutorial of the game was a fail and I was looking for a better approach to explain how to play, that’s why I focused on it while was showing the game.
It’s important to promote yourself, make people know who you are, to do that you should make business cards because with them people will be able to get in touch with you, will recognize you, your logo, your name or simply because you make good games. In addition, offering business cards usually allows you to get cards from other people which is very important to contact them after the show.
I would recommend to make small things to give away to your players as well, you can think about flyers to promote the game, nice stickers about your characters, whatever that is not so expensive (in my case I didn’t have a lot of money to invest) but establish a connection between you and them. You could give them small prizes if they play a lot or are very interested in the game, it makes the difference.
Last thing I would like to share about the Tokyo Game Show, although it’s not directly related to development, it was very cool, I met the Mega Man‘s creator Kenji Inafune at a private party held by Sony for indies.
GamExpo is an event that was held in my country (Venezuela) in 2013, to show to the people what we, game developers from the country, were making at the moment.
The experience was similar to the one I had at the Tokyo Game Show, this time with an almost completed version of the game and knowledge from the previous experience helped a lot to have a very nice experience.
I was able to see how people reacted to the game, how they played, how difficult was to understand and the general difficulty curve of the levels made for the show.
It was a great experience overall, I met a lot of developers I didn’t know, played their games (which were awesome) and shared a little bit about what was making, old prototypes, future projects, etc.
Tokyo Indie Fest
This is an event that was held in Akihabara this year for the first time and was a great opportunity for indies to show their games, promote them, show Japanese people what they were working or what was going to be released at the moment.
Since Fluff Eaters was released for Android in 2014 I wasn’t sure if was going to be selected, because I thought it was mostly directed to new games and unreased games but the release for iOS was coming soon so was a great opportunity to promote it and see how it went.
Luckily Fluff Eaters was selected to be exhibited at the show, both version, the Android version and the one on iOS were both there for people to try. The overall feedback was good.
At this event I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people, from the industry, indie scene, publishers, investors, etc, so if you want to focus completely on game development I guess having contacts and meeting people is a key to progress and get better.
In addition, one of the nice things from this event is that finally Fiery Squirrel was there as Fiery Squirrel. What I mean is, at the GamExpo, Tokyo Game Show and IndieCade Fiery Squirrel was not consolidated yet, the logo, name, website, etc, was not there at all. So it was a great chance to promote the developer’s name as well.
It’s important to make yourself noticed by people, in order to promote what you make, get recognized as whoever or whatever you are is an important step to sell and reach people more effectively.
For all of you who met us at any of the events, thanks a lot for your support, developers, publishers, etc. In case you want to know any specific detail about what was mentioned in this post, comment below or send me an e-mail.
Next post will be about the upcoming projects.