Convention Conversations

I’m a couple of weeks late, but—man, Boston FIG was a blast! I got to meet a lot of friendly devs from the New England area; playtest The Beard in the Mirror with a wide range of gamers, from little kids to dudebros to adventure game aficionados (to adventure game developers);  and discover what it’s like to nearly talk myself to death. (In fact, the reason this post is going up so late is because I just woke up yesterday.) I hope I get a chance to go again next year.

BUIHN01IcAAFeKOEither I’m testing out my phone’s new petroleum jelly filter, or I need to get a new phone.

Some of the highlights, in no particular order:

• The little girl (who couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9) who loved our game because it reminded her—of all things—of Zack McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, an obscure LucasArts game from the late ’80s that even I could never beat.

• The fact that little kids and even angsty-looking teenagers were getting into our old-school point-and-click adventure game. I was afraid Mirror would only appeal to fans who grew up playing games like it, but I’ll be damned if we didn’t have kids who’ve never even seen a three-headed monkey before having to be torn away by their adults.

• Doing my first on-camera interview (and not knowing if I was supposed to look at the dude or the camera).

• Making everyone love us because we brought free candy.

• Finding clever ways to work “my beard won an award, you know” into casual conversation

• Refining our pitch throughout the day, from “it’s about a kid who doesn’t know what he wants to do and then he goes through a magic portal and then there’s this girl and then there’s a talking vine and then and then and then…” to “it’s about finding your place in the world, even when that world isn’t yours.”

• The guy who thought the pink crowbar in the game was a, let’s say, “marital aid.”

• The woman who sat down and plowed through our entire half-hour demo.

• Realizing that maybe we should’ve brought two computers so other people could do that, too.

• Staying in a palatial hotel room the night before because Boston doesn’t have any hotel rooms that aren’t palatial (seriously, the kitchen was the size of our whole apartment. Also IT HAD A KITCHEN.).

• Getting lost late at night in Boston on the way back to our car (oh wait, that was actually horrifying).

• The big self-esteem boost I got every time someone sat down at our game and said “Man, this takes me back. I can’t WAIT ’til you guys finish it.”

I wasn’t sure how a story-driven adventure game would demo in a loud, busy convention; but it went great. I’m so glad we had the opportunity!


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