The time has almost come. The month is June, and "Gamer Christmas" has arrived. Yes, I'm talking about E3 2019! This is one of my favourite times of the year, and this year is no different. In fact, this year is by far the most significant E3 yet, to me personally, anyway. That's because this is the first time I've ever actually been a part of it! I could spend this entire post talking about why E3 means so much to me, and probably so many other people, but I'll save that for another day haha. What I really want to share with you is a small look into my entire E3 experience, particularly highlighting Kinda Funny's E3 Showcase as well as The MIX LA, both of which Super Space Club was, fortunately, a part of.
Kinda Funny Games Showcase
Starting off with the Kinda Funny Games Showcase, Super Space Club was featured very early on in the show, right alongside 3 other dope titles which were also at The MIX. I promise you I was next to tears while watching it all unfold because there's no way I'm working on a game that was actually featured in a prominent E3 showcase, right? No way. Flashing back to a few weeks before the showcase, I got an email inviting devs who were going to be in it to also be a part of the MIX in an as-seen-in-the-KFG-showcase section. Let me tell you, I don't think I've responded to an email faster! And thus, the best E3 of my life so far came to be.
The MIX LA
The MIX itself was a blast. Open to a smaller, select audience, it gave me a chance to demo SSC for the first time to the public, but also in a manageable way. It allowed for me to re-learn the do's and don'ts of showing at an expo as well as what works specifically for this game. Naturally, I took notes to share. Hopefully, these points (below) are helpful, or at least interesting, to you or someone else reading :)
Expo Pro Tips
Here are the main takeaways I got about showing at expos.
Having a trailer running at all times was a great way to capture people's attention. I watched as people walked by the booth and read the Super Space Club signage, then looked at the main menu screen and seemingly kept waking. It was when they looked at the trailer running on my laptop however that I saw them slow down and 90% of the time come to a complete halt, interest being fully piqued. I think what I'll do for future expos is have a trailer built into the demo and have it run whenever the game has been idle for a while.
Having colourful, eye catching visuals really helped make the game stand out.
Headphones are a must. They fully teleported people into the experience and a few players even forgot where they were. One guy was definitely playing for a solid 15 minutes (for context, each round can last as little as 20 seconds if you just let the enemies kill you haha).
Utilize printed materials to explain the game. This is something I didn't think about until I saw other games doing it. Instead of either making an entire section explaining how the game works and the controls, or verbally explaining it each time (which, let me tell you - exhausting!), some games made use of printed postcards and posters explaining the simple mechanics of the game. This definitely saves precious time if you already don't have a tutorial built out, and also helps people who are waiting in line to get acquainted with the mechanics.
Response to Super Space Club
Here are some key takeaways I got about the game itself!
Despite being such an early build of the game, mostly showcasing mechanics, people were really enjoying their experience!
Whether people were good or bad at the game, everyone was having fun.
It's easy to pickup and understand (at a point I had to leave my booth alone for a minute. When I came back, someone was playing and I never had to say a thing - they just got it!
People seemed to love the visuals and the audio, both individually and together. The look brought them in, and the sound kept them there. "Issa vibe."
All in all, it was a huge success! A very special thanks to Greg Miller and Tim Gettys from Kinda Funny for giving me the initial opportunity to be a part of the KFG Showcase, and shout out to Justin Woodward from The MIX who gave so many fellow devs that were a part of the KFG Showcase a moment to shine.