Last weekend was the annual Game City festival, where everyone, from industry experts, personalities, enthusiasts, developers, and the game loving public come together to general mingle, and do with games what they are intended: play them! Myself and Robin from Static Games were only, unfortunately, there for the opening weekend, but what a fantastic experience it was.
Firstly, with Mendel's Farm this is the first time in over a year since I've been able to be there with live players to see their reactions and experience. Not only was it quite affirming for my personal motivation, but has spawned a flowing list of notes and improvements to take back to the team for our next beta release. Feedback was overly positive, and, judging by the core audience that the game grabbed the attention of, I'm going to definitely be moving towards making the game more kid-friendly in future. The only downside is some hideous bugs that popped up during play on the first day, but that's what you get for merging code from a fellow programmer two days before the event and not testing it yourself. A lesson well learnt, although live bugfixing interested some of our younger players who wanted to see the process of making Mendel's Farm, not that they understood most of it!
It wasn't all work and no play however, as I spent a lot of time abandoning Robin at the stand to meet other indie developers, some new, and some whose games were very familiar to me. Only in the games industry could developers, journalists and the public alike be seen running and pushing each other out of the way to frantically whack buttons. Highlights include the aforementioned frantic fun of the aforementioned Tap Happy Sabotage (which brought out a nasty competitive side I haven't seen in a while), dueling with jetpacks in There Shall Be Lancing (located right next to our stall, and thus fatal), cooking up fun with the Cook of Play, seeing the inventive dungeon generation of Hashtag Dungeon (seriously, see it for yourself). Shout outs must also go to Becky from GameHub and Charlotte from the event team for making my first game event experience far less daunting.
Can't wait to attend more of these, but for now I will be taking this experience and putting all these fresh ideas into the future of Mendel's Farm, whenever that may be.