My first time attending a game expo, and it was Game Prime, moreover we received news that we were invited to become exhibitor in Popcon Asia, so basically we will be having expo for two straight weeks. Even before this, I never have the opportunity to attend as one of the audience. I have to say, this is quite exciting and fun experience for me. I am Andreas Ricardi, the gameplay programmer a.k.a Engineer in Joyseed and I am here to share you about our experience in PopCon and GamePrime 2017.
I had to say that we took time in our preparation carefully, so that we did not come out too bland and made sure that it was eye catchy for the visitors. First day of Game Prime, when we had to make a preparation for our booth, looking at our background wallpaper, which display our games and our company tribe, I’d say it was looking good. We also brought our decorations, devices to test, lots of greens, tablecloth, simple letter paper for our booth name even we also brought a fragrant to distinguish the feeling of our booth from the others, it was all prepared. The only concern was our table, we prepared a lot of things, but the table was a little bit smaller than we thought, so we have to prioritize and fit certain things to be displayed in our table. Thankfully it was working well and preparation done beautifully.
On the other hands, PopCon Asia grant us a bigger booth, more tables and one television. We used what we already had in Game prime but with additional merchandises to sell and background to put, because there was no background at all and we managed to do that within 4 days. Right when we were preparing to decor, it was about the tables again. The problem was that with two tables, they kind of took a lot of space, and we had to discuss whether we only need one table, or how are we gonna layout the tables, so that the visitors able to visit us with ease. Moreover we had a television and a shelf that we borrowed from our friends, so we got to fit all of it in that booth, without having the television or the shelf to hinder people from walking yet to also make it not too crowded.
We were not able to make to make the visitors went inside too deep in our booth, because they would be very hesitated to go in. So we finally decided to showcase them all at the edge and put the other table parallel at the inside with the merchandises on the top. One thing we proud of was that we got the idea to create gameplay trailer on portrait, fortunately the television can be placed portrait and thank God, it was beautiful. One by one the other exhibitors came to prepared, we got Celestian Tales, Legrand Legacy, Forged of Blood, Noctn, Fallen Legion, Chips: Monster Tap, Psybrust, Bubur Ayam Rush, Orbiz & other games are being showcased near us, and it was fun because they are closer to us, and we can communicate with each other easier.
Our Chieftain, was in charge of walking around the expo to expand our network and looked around to see any exciting projects from our developers friend, while the rest of us took care of the booth, to showcase our products. Sometimes though in between, we shifted places, to look around as well. There are a lot of exciting projects by our own Indonesian developers, also it was very exciting to see friends from other studios and made a new one in the process. Many have also interesting concepts of attracting people to their booth, for examples, Touchten gave free ice cream for whoever that downloaded their games in their phones. Another example also would be, how Mintsphere, the developer of Fallen Legion, gave out free of its copy to the people who have the most combo in Fallen Legion at the end of the day.
The most working concept for me was from the Game Prime itself. So for the people who join the event had the chance to get Nintendo Switch, Wasn’t that really tempting? Even I want that. But the requirement for them to have the chance to get Nintendo Switch is to collect stamps from the Exhibitors on Game Prime. Because of that, a lot of people will visit the booth one by one and it was really helpful for the developers, because we can expose our products to a lot of people. One of the exciting part was to meet other developers. It was fun to see the other ideas, gameplay, graphics to get us inspired and be in awe, more than that all of the developers are basically gamers, so it was very exciting to discuss games, not just how to develop them but also discussing how other great game out there and sharing each other knowledge. Here we have Fallen Legion, the first PS4 game that is made by Indonesian. It is RPG type of game. The combat feels nostalgic as it feels like the PSX JRPG game, Valkyrie Profile. Another one that I personally liked, was Noctn, from Reverse Reality, it was a rhythm game, in which I personally think feels like Deemo and it was really good. The music was composed by themselves and it was really awesome, and they use a big TV for the demo of the game which was attracting a lot of people and it was a great success.
Seconds after opening, the visitors were going in one by one. It was part exciting but also nerve-wrecking, to see what kind of people we were going to encounter and what will be their reaction about us. Nevertheless, we put on our smiling mask and tried to be comfortable as much as possible. As I mentioned, because of the stamp for the nintendo switch event, massive people come to visit our booth, and it was tiring yet very enjoyable and informative moments. On the other hands, on PopCon, was not a game expo, it was more towards pop culture events. They had local comics, board games, games, toys, apps & local artists to showcase or sell their products. This event of course, was bigger in scale than Game Prime, but somehow it was less crowded in our section, because the event was not focused on gamers.
We lose our voices because we have to explain the gameplay of our game since we didn’t have any tutorials on it and also it was crowded, so we kind of had to volume up our voice at that event. We met a lot of different people, and we had to try to keep up with different people, to get them interested in our game. Some were very outgoing, in which it was easier for us to explain, because they would approach us, and very active to hear about our products. Some were a little bit shy, so we had to step up and approach them, but still making them comfortable, we don’t want to make them feel awkward right? Not only visitors came to our booth, but also other exhibitors would come to visit us, and it was really nice. We were able to communicate with other developers even more to share our knowledges and inspiration. We also encountered several local medias, took photos or videos of our booth to be showcased on the news. One of the media were very hyper, they used small cameras like Go-Pro, and even using smartphone and record through live streaming, which was very cool and awesome. We were even nominated as The Most Promising Games Popcon Award 2017, when the awarding session was held, we did not even know that the MC asked us to come forward, thankfully the admin approached us and called us directly. The winner in that category was Forged of Blood, we did not win, but still it was a great achievement to be nominated alongside other great games.
Nevertheless it was really a great opportunity because we got to see people with different behaviours, ages, backgrounds and saw what kind of expression that they had when playing the game, figured out which feature that got them excited, listened to variety of perspectives, it was awful lots of fun. We got a lot of feedbacks through this experience and it was very meaningful. Through this moments, we were able to realize which one is working and which one is not, moreover we also realized whether we are on the right track or not.
Overall it was very intriguing and meaningful experience not just for me but as a team as well. We laughed when our friend sucked at playing other developers game, and tease them. Giving out feedback to other developer and also received them from developers’ perspective and even hear their inspiring journey. Identifying your favorite characters from the local cosplayer with their great cosplay. Looking out at the invited celebrities at the stage. I felt happy to join this event, even though it was tiring and challenging, but it was a really great opportunity. At the end, it was all fun and fruitful experience, made even more new friends, got to see different people, inspired more from the hard work that they made and the feedback that we got from the visitors, making it one unique experience to shape our future