Hey all, Brolley here!
I just wanted to give a quick little update after my trip to California for the IndieCade independent game festival.
Overall, the trip was an amazing experience! I was able to meet a ton of other indie developers making awesome games. The indie community still continues to amaze me with how excited and friendly everyone is, especially in person and during events like this.
Thursday and Friday were dedicated to the IndieXchange networking event and various boot camps and panels discussing game development from music and design to marketing and story writing. I met tons of fantastic people and learned some things that will help us at alchemedium to push further into the game industry.
The indieXchange was an excellent event; indie devs get a chance to meet each other, participate in game dev discussions, and show their projects to others. I even got a chance to show off A Tofu Tail to a bunch of people at the end of the day. The play testing allowed me to see some of the weaknesses in the design of A Tofu Tail; things that we will need to alter and adjust as we move towards completing this game.
Some quick advise to you new game developers out there: you need to play test your game at various points throughout development to new and old players to your game alike. The new players have fresh eyes on the collective experience that you are creating, and your previous players are able to see the improvements made and the history of changes and comment and criticize accordingly.
Another important thing to avoid is ego and laziness. If a play tester mentions a flaw in the gameplay or overall experience, hear it with an open mind. Part of me was slightly put off by some of the more critical comments, but after mulling them over later, I realized that they were good suggestions. I didn’t want to hear that some of the hard work that we had put in would go to waste. This could have been avoided with more prototyping of game mechanics and play testing during production. Nonetheless, we will be moving forward still with A Tofu Tail, now with a fresh perspective and a better product as a result 🙂
That said, we have decided to take a momentary step back from development to reevaluate and plan our path forward at this point. There are a few pieces of the game development puzzle that we need to figure out such as PR, marketing, and post-release support; as well as some rebuilding and polishing of the gameplay. This will hopefully let us make A Tofu Tail reach the level of awesomeness of the games that recieved nominations for IndieCade!
Also, if you have not yet looked into the games that were featured at the event, please do so. They are all amazing games in their own way.
Saturday and Sunday were the actual festival days of IndieCade open to the public. All of the nominees of the competition were displaying their games; Nintendo and Sony had tents set up showcasing many of their indie games; and there was even a bunch of gaming and social events after dark outside in the tents. It was quite mesmerizing!
All in all, I had a blast! There are so many awesome indie projects out there, and so much rising support from major companies like Sony and Nintendo. We are glad to be a part of this growing community and hope to continue diving deeper into the indie game culture and development circles.
As always, please comment and let us know your thoughts!
Until next time,