Archive for Game Jam – Page 2

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

TwitchCon: I Thought I Knew Twitch, But I Didn’t

Hey everyone,

I hope you’re all doing well. For my part, I feel lovely! After spending 5 days in the beautiful and sunny San Diego, it is hard not to.

I wanted to write my recap on TwitchCon as soon as possible, while my memories of the event were still fresh in mind. There are many things to discuss when it comes to TwitchCon, but what I want to talk about is how clueless I really was about Twitch and its community in general. Don’t get me wrong, I am a user of Twitch and have been for a few years. Like you guys, I watch my favorite video game events, e-Sports competitions and my favorite streamers. I’d dare say I’m well familiar with Twitch, even. The truth is that after attending my first edition of TwitchCon, I came to the conclusion that I thought I knew and understood Twitch, but in fact I absolutely didn’t.

Welcome to TwitchCon, where memes and dreams come to life.

Welcome to TwitchCon, where memes and dreams come to life.

TwitchCon won’t be completely packed. Wrong.

Look, I’ve been to several PAX and other big video game conventions in my life. And I’m not saying there were more people at TwitchCon than at PAX East. In fact, I don’t know the official numbers and they are unimportant for the matter at hand. At a convention like PAX, you can expect a huge audience to show up because this is an event that celebrates the entire video game industry. From the indies to the AAA’s, from the publishers to the streamers, everyone attends PAX. But for TwitchCon? Twitch is just a community (albeit the largest one) inside video games. It is a fraction of the industry, or so I thought. Boy, was I wrong. This event was quite eye-opening for me, I was surprised by the sheer number of people attending. Twitch is part of gaming now and it is here to stay. Every gamer nowadays is familiar with Twitch, no matter the type of game he plays or the platform he uses. And that’s a good thing.

The San Diego Convention Center, home of TwitchCon 2016, was at full capacity.

The San Diego Convention Center, home of TwitchCon 2016, was at full capacity.

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The Kappa Theater, one of the many showrooms at TwitchCon 2016.

Twitch is just a by-product of gaming. Wrong.

I always thought Twitch was just a by-product of gaming. I initially put it on the same level as voice-chat programs, some sort of secondary tool for gamers. Boy, was I wrong. The truth is, Twitch brings gaming to another level. Really, the longer Twitch stays around, the better it is for gaming. It makes the experience both for the viewer and the streamer better. It was a big factor in making video games mainstream. Streamers can now easily showcase their skills and personality to a large audience and viewers have an easy way to watch content online.

Of course, I’m not saying Twitch is perfect. We’ve all heard about the horror stories; the bullying, the police raids, etc. But these examples are a water drop in the sea of interactions on Twitch, which for the most part, are positives for everyone involved.

Despite the overused memes, Twitch chat is a powerful tool that makes watching or playing games more interesting.

Despite the overused memes, Twitch chat is a powerful tool that makes watching or playing games more interesting.

 

Twitch is also so prominent among the community that game developers have started to integrate Twitch features in their games. Shardbound and Streamline are two examples of games that are made with a stream-first mentality. There are several ways to include the viewers in a game, these are called Stream First tenets by Twitch:

  • Game UI: Display a user interface that is comprehensible to viewers, not just players.
  • Inclusion: Include the audience in the streamer gaming experience.
  • Recognition: Recognize the audience for their involvement in the game.
  • Community Achievements: Give the entire channel community a chance to make progress.
  • Audience Feedback: Allow the audience to influence the gameplay.
  • Motivation: Reward the audience for their contributions.
  • Community Co-op: Ensure that everyone in the community feels included.
  • Twitch Plays: Allow the audience to play the game directly using Twitch chat or other controllers.

As you can see, a game experience can change drastically with Twitch. The viewer is now involved in the process, he can participate and engage with his favorite streamer. And this brings me to my last eye-opening realization.

Twitch is just about video games. Wrong.

I thought for the longest time that Twitch was just about watching people play games. Boy, was I wrong. Twitch is beyond the scope of gaming. It’s much more than that. First and foremost, it is about social interactions. It’s a mean for people to connect with others. I realized this when I walked in the lobby hall the first day. Seeing people that had never met at all (in real life or online) hug each other and start talking like good friends was a bit of a shock. People connected so easily with each other, all they needed was an interaction about their favorite streamer or their favorite content to watch.

I was also surprised by the amount of love the popular streamers received. I attended some of these ”Meet and Greet” reunions and some streamers were receiving cookies, t-shirts and all kind of crazy stuff from their most faithful fans. And thinking about it, why would they not? If you watch someone every evening, he is part of your life even though you have never met him in the flesh.

I also found out that there is a big audience on Twitch that is not watching game-related content at all. Some people have a cooking channel or a painting channel. You can watch pretty much anything on Twitch, it is quickly replacing television.

The bottom line is that the viewers on Twitch watch for different reasons: some are seeking attention (donation message and shoutouts), some are looking to interact and chill with others (Twitch chat), some are simply enjoying watching their favorite games or e-Sports competitions and some are watching pro players to improve their own play. And that’s the beauty of Twitch, everyone is benefiting from it. Each and every streamer has his own channel’s theme and way of streaming, and the same can be said for viewers and their watching habits.

 

MANvsGAME, a popular streamer, has built his channel around struggling and beating every video game he can get his hands on.

MANvsGAME, a popular streamer, has built his channel around struggling and beating every video game he can get his hands on.

Some streamers, like FuturemanGaming, have a very recognizable element to stand out from the crowd.

Some streamers, like FuturemanGaming, have a very recognizable element to stand out from the crowd.

Twitch brings a very diverse crowd, even the UFC champion Demetrious Johnson can be seen streaming regularly.

Twitch brings together a very diverse crowd. Even the UFC champion Demetrious Johnson can be seen streaming regularly.

 

To conclude, I really enjoyed my time at TwitchCon 2016 and as a game developer, I truly understood what this platform was all about.

That’s it for now, stay tuned as we will have a big announcement about Light Fall in a week or two.

Cheers!

-BEN

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!