Stunfest 2016: Mat’s thoughts and recap

Hello everyone. This devlog post is not written by your usual suspect Ben, but by myself, Mat.

I decided to write a quick recollection of my thoughts and a short recap of my experience at the Stunfest 2016, that took place last week in Rennes, France.

My journey or how to introduce oneself to a new country

Last week, I attended the 2016 edition of Stunfest in Rennes, France, leaving my proud Bishop compatriots behind. My first mission was simple: to make new friends to replace them of course! It was the first time we presented Light Fall in Europe, and man, what a first time. I was travelling with Louis Leclerc from Pixel Quebec so at least I was in good company!

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The first dive
To start things in full force, I had to give a lecture on the first day in front of hundreds of game developers. The topic was on independent game development but also on our own experience at Bishop Games and how things are in Quebec, Canada. Obviously, the best way to grab everyone’s attention is to start strong. What else than a broken Powerpoint to do so? It was a stressful first minute but overall it went quite well. It allowed me to introduce myself to all the other exhibitors out there and break the ice in a funny way. At least people remembered me easily as ”the guy who fails at Powerpoint”!

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The leap of faith
The start of the exhibition! Ah, the Stunfest… a retro-arcade-indie game festival who brings forward everything we love in the video game culture. An outstanding and unique event! Armed with my laptop and a boatload of business cards, I was ready to showcase Light Fall to the European public: French, Swiss, Belgian and many more were at the rendez-vous. Three days of exhibition starting from 10 AM to 3 AM… Wait what?! Yeah, you read that right, it isn’t a typo. As a wise sage once said: sleep is for the weak…

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Seducing the French people
Quite the task, but I had some help. A rumor went by that some stranger from over the sea, living in the cold North of Canada, was in town. My French accent from Quebec, which is nothing like the one in France, was enough proof. People came by just to hear me speak sometimes…
Moreover, the Stunfest and the other indies in general were extremely generous. Light Fall received a lot of exposure: trailer showcase on the ‘Grande Place’ in front of thousands of people, public speed runs, a full-page in the event’s promotional pamphlet, etc. I was lucky enough to meet the gamers, the media and the press, as well as lots of speed runners during the days I spent there.

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France: the home of Speed run
What attracted that many speed runners to my booth: my Quebec accent or the Speed run mode of Light Fall? Alas, we will never know! One thing is certain though, the French speed runners absolutely loved their experience with the game. RealMyop, Speed them All and many others will keep an eye out for the game and are eager to share their feedback if needed. Good news for everyone, right?!

My pilgrimage: success or failure?
Only time will tell, but the reactions from the public and the press was honestly outstanding. I didn’t expect this at all, I’m usually not the guy who handles the press so I was going in blind. Overall, the event organizers and the indies were all extremely welcoming and helped me survive this gruesome exhibition schedule! Shout-out to the people of EpicBob, Eode Group, RuffleRim, Wako Factory and all the speedrunners! A very bright and amazing indie community resides over there.

As of right now, I can definitely say: Mission accomplished and until next time Stunfest!

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