Bishop On The Road: PAX East 2017 Recap

A few days after PAX East, the dust is finally settling down. Last weekend, the city of Boston was invaded by thousands of avid gamers from all around the world. It was our second year at East, and this time around, we were prepared for the ”Horde” of fanatics. Here’s a recap of our 5 days in Boston!

Problem at the Border

Boston is only a 6-hours drive from Quebec City. As we had done in the past, we decided to travel by car once again. For this edition of PAX, only two of us were attending. This allowed us enough free space to bring the entire booth equipment in the car. We had the two 48-inches TVs, our laptops, the Light Fall banners, an extra table for the press, etc. David and I left on Wednesday morning, at around 8:00 AM. The weather was nice and everything pointed to a safe travel to Boston. But sometimes… things don’t go as planned. This was one of these times.

We arrived at the border at 11:30 AM, the ride had been smooth thus far. The border agents asked us the typical questions: ”Where are you going? For what purpose?”. Then, they saw the two TVs on the back seat. They thought we were bringing them to resell them across the border and asked if we had our paperwork in order for these commercial goods. They called it a TBI. We had no clue what a TBI was, and as you can guess, that clearly didn’t help our case. The agents asked us to go inside to talk with their superior. After several minutes of us explaining why we had brand-new TVs, it became obvious they wouldn’t let us cross the border without this TBI-thing.

They gave us phone numbers of US customs brokers. The only one who could set up a TBI quickly required a 900$ entry-fee. Yes, you read that right. 900$ to bring two TVs that were probably worth less than that. We obviously declined. But then, what were our other options? We could either leave the TVs in the snow or go back to Canada. Luckily for us, David had the idea to check for the closest storage unit. We found one within 30-minutes of the border. We went back to the agents, told them we were going back home and went back to Canada. We dropped our TVs there for the week and drove back to the border… We would rent the TVs at the convention, we had no other choice.

Desperate times call for desperate measures... Welcome to the Bishop Storage Unit!

Desperate times call for desperate measures… Welcome to the Bishop Storage Unit!

In hindsight, we can’t be mad at the border agents. They were simply doing their jobs. However, we had wasted 3 hours on this whole thing and, worst of all, it made our arrival in Boston right into traffic hours. The 6-hours drive became a painful 11-hours one… Quite the way to start our PAX East adventure!

New Build… New Bugs

After a long and tiresome day, a good night of sleep was much welcomed. On Thursday, it was time to set up our booth and test everything before PAX debuted. This time around, we had a demo version with our brand-new sounds and in-game physic system for the character. We were excited about the new changes, but also worried about potential bugs that might have escaped our internal testing. I won’t lie… we did have a few bugs in there. I counted 29 different ones, to be exact.

Nevertheless, nothing game-breaking happened throughout the weekend and the game ran smoothly in general. Better to find these bugs now than two weeks prior to release! Now that we’re back at the studio, we can easily fix them.

Despite some issues here and there, PAX East 2017 was a blast. We had a lot of fun meeting everyone and the comments on Light Fall were very positive! We can’t wait to go back for another edition of PAX East and we want to thank everyone who showed up at our booth during the event.

PAX East 2017 was once again a very pleasant experience for us.

PAX East 2017 was once again a very pleasant experience for us.

Update on Light Fall

With all that said, we know it’s been roughly two months since our last update on the game. Rest assured that everything is going according to plan. It’s just that we were working on so many things at once that we had nothing truly groundbreaking to show in these two months. We have an update coming up next week where we will showcase the new audio of Light Fall, as well as some environment changes we’ve made to make the game feel more immersive and reactive to the player. Stay tuned!
-BEN

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Bishop On The Road: PAX South 2017 Recap

Hey guys, we hope you are all doing fine! Today, we’re introducing a new blog series that will touch on our day-to-day lives on the road.

Attending conventions around the world like PAX or GDC is an amazing experience, it’s something quite unique in fact. We get questioned a lot on what it is like to have a booth and show our game to the world, so we figured it would be great idea to share what we go through as exhibitors. PAX South 2017 was our third time in the beautiful San Antonio, and we loved it just the same as the first time!

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Once again, the public’s reception was outstanding!

Texan Winter Ain’t So Bad

The first thing that we enjoy about San Antonio is that it’s a nice break from our cold Canadian winter. Sure, Texas in winter isn’t that warm, but it’s nothing compared to what we go through up north. At least there isn’t a couple feet of snow everywhere! It’s a welcomed change and it usually feels like we are splitting our own winter season in two!

Snow break for a week? Count us in!

Snow break for a week? Count us in!

We even managed to buy swimsuits once we arrived, as there was a nice pool on the roof of our hotel. That’s dedication right there!

Day 1: A Bumpy Start

We setup our booth on Thursday, one day prior to the beginning of PAX. Everything went fine and we didn’t run into any major problems. Our equipment was working fine, our Light Fall demo was tight… but you know how it goes right? When we arrived Friday morning, none of our three stations worked properly. Even worse, they all had a different problem!

One had a sound issue with the headset, the second one wouldn’t open our demo and the third one would display that damned ‘Activate Windows’ message on top of our game. Thankfully, we managed to get everything fixed by 10:15 AM. So only 15 minutes late… not too bad! The rest of the day went fine, but that was a stressful morning for sure.

We then finished our day at The Original Mexican Restaurant on the beautiful Riverwalk of San Antonio. This is ”our spot” whenever we attend PAX South. The drinks are quite something…

On the menu, it is said that under the Texan law only one of those is allowed per night...

On the menu, it is said that under the Texan law only one of those is allowed per night…

Day 2: Packed All Day Long

Saturday is always the biggest day of any expo and this time was no different. Time flies by and you realize at one point that the show is over! On a personal level, this was my ”big day” as well. I am the one who handles the press and, at one point, I had five meetings in a row. I remember looking at my phone only to see it was almost 3:00 pm… It was time for my lunch break. All in all, Saturday was great but exhausting. I think we all went back at the hotel pretty early in the night and just watched some TV before falling asleep.

We might have needed more than two playing stations on Saturday.

We might have needed more than two playing stations on Saturday.

Day 3: Time to Play Around!

I won’t lie, Sunday is definitely my favorite day. Why? Because it’s gaming day of course! It’s on Sunday that we usually rotate at the booth, allowing us to finally explore the convention and try out all the amazing games. I had my eyes on a couple of them since the beginning, and it was finally time to get ”my hands dirty”. Dauntless was one of them. Our booth was nearby, so I could check them out all weekend long! I really enjoyed playing their alpha battle demo. From all the games I’ve tried, it was my #1.

Math and David also had the chance to try out the much anticipated Nintendo Switch, and let me tell you they weren’t disappointed!

It will be a long wait for Dauntless, but I'm very excited for the game!

It will be a long wait for Dauntless, but I’m very excited for the game!

The budget of some of these booths never cease to amaze me. I can only dream that one day we will have a similar one for one of our games!

Earthfall went all out with this beauty!

Earthfall went all out with this beauty!

Finally, Sunday is my favorite because it usually presents a different crowd. By the end of the afternoon, it’s not rare to see parents with their kids walking through the now less-populated convention. We had a few of them hop in and try the game, and despite their young age, they were very talented!

A father and son duo exploring the world of Numbra.

A father and son duo exploring the world of Numbra.

PAX South: Indie-Friendly

To conclude, we really enjoyed our time at this third edition of PAX South. Every time we’ve been here, we have felt welcomed by the community. It truly feels like the crowd of PAX South enjoys indie games and we always feel extremely motivated after such an event. We had a blast chatting with you all this weekend and it will only make us work harder to release the best Light Fall possible.

Thanks for the support and the love, we greatly appreciate it! Stay tuned for more Light Fall in the upcoming weeks :)

-BEN

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Our Medium Approach

Hey guys, it’s been some time since our last update on the blog.

Fear not! It’s not that we’ve stopped posting online, far from it. Recently, we’ve been trying a new approach for our social media posts. Two months ago, we have created a Medium account under the studio’s name and have started posting there regularly on different topics about our activities and the game.

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Why Medium?

First of all, Medium will not replace this blog. Our blog has been running since day 1 and we intend to keep it that way. Then, you may ask, why post on Medium? Well, Medium is mostly about education, learning and sharing. As game devs, we have been asked often times by fans, family and friends to describe our everyday life. Questions like ”How did you come up with this idea for Light Fall?” or ”How do you manage to pay for your expenses while starting a studio?” have been asked many, many times.

As such, Medium is the perfect platform to share this kind of stuff with others. Our blog, and our Kickstarter page for that matter, will remain focused on Light Fall and the important decisions we take at the studio. Medium, on the other hand, will touch on many different subjects related to video games at large. So if game development has always interested you, feel free to go there to discuss and interact with us.

You can read the topics we’ve talked about right below:
TwitchCon: I Thought I Knew Twitch, But I Didn’t
The Importance of Colors in Game Design
Build a Coherent Game Universe
Our Game Studio’s Road to Success
Story vs Gameplay: How We Did It
5 Life-Savers For Your First Expo

Medium: Reaching A New Crowd

Using Medium not only is fun, but it also allows us to reach a new crowd of people. We share our stories and our knowledge with the public, and in doing so, some of them develop an interest in the game and decide to follow us. It’s a win-win situation for us and so far we have enjoyed it a lot! We’ve already seen the positive impact of Medium on the growth of our social media’s followers.

So far, we have been very pleased about this new approach:

Our humble beginnings on Medium so far. It has been fun to share our stories with the public.

Our humble beginnings on Medium. It has been fun to share our stories with the public.

 

The Medium posts have helped grow our brand on other platforms as well.

The Medium posts have helped grow our followers base on other platforms as well.

Light Fall Update

As for Light Fall, we’re currently finalizing the last steps of our beta. Right now, we are working on the bosses of the game! We are all very excited about that and we’ll do everything in our power so they live up to your expectations! While we can’t reveal too much right now, we still have a little something for you today. Right below, the Lair of Animus… an underwater cavern hidden beneath the Lost Lagoon! This is where you will encounter the first boss of the game… Enjoy!

What has happened to Animus the Wise?

What has happened to Animus the Wise? Find out soon…

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