Countdown to PAX: “Behind the scene” planning

Hey folks, it’s been a while since we updated our devlog. Sorry about that, but at the very least you know we have been working hard on Light Fall with our recent demo release. I take this opportunity to thank the many testers that gave us their feedback, this will definitely help us better our game.

This pre-alpha demo, among other things, is to prepare ourselves and test the material we have for the upcoming PAX South, held in San Antonio from January 23 to January 25. We are all very excited about attending and showcasing Light Fall at the first ever PAX South, it will be a surreal experience. But despite all the fun, we still have alot of things to plan…

“Behind the scene” planning

There are several things that go unnoticed by the general public when it comes to showcasing your game in a big event like this. This is what I mean when by “behind the scene” planning. Nonetheless, these things are important and need to be done.

To help you understand, I divided the tasks into three categories:
– Preparing your booth
– Preparing your build
– Preparing your trip

Preparing your booth

In a big event like this, your booth is there to attract people. Many games will be showcased during the weekend, your booth needs to be appealing and intriguing. Just a table with 2 TVs won’t do it. You need decorative elements, some “eye candy”. For our booth, we will have Bishop Games shirts to give out, decorative cards with our website info, a Light Fall media roller and a custom made Bishop Games tablecloth. And that’s just the basics… some people go crazy and invest thousands of dollars in booth material. But that ain’t us… maybe one day.

Our little baby... our Light Fall media-roller
Our little baby… our Light Fall media-roller

Preparing your build

This one is obvious. Your game/demo needs to be on point because hundreds of players and potential customers will try it out. It’s also worth mentioning that sometimes a build specifically made for an exhibition is preferable. In events like this, the playing session needs to be quick and easy to learn. There’s no time for the new player to learn all about the mechanics of your game. If you overwhelm the player with new mechanics, two things will happen: it will be too time-consuming, meaning your booth will miss out on potential players or the player himself will leave because the learning curve is too big and there are 100’s other games to try a few meters away.

You need to select a few key elements to showcase, that are easy to pick up and play with, and create a short playtest session. Basically, you want to get the players hooked, and that’s it. Don’t show too much, don’t overwhelm the players, just get them hooked on your game!

Preparing your trip

Well, you need to get there don’t you? Depending on the location of the event and your budget, will you go by plane, car, train, will you WALK there? Will you sleep in your car, or are you filthy rich and get a 5-stars hotel? Would you rather get a less expensive hotel that is far from the location of the event, or one that is close but more expensive? Do you have to switch planes during your trip? Can you bring all the stuff you need by plane or will you need to buy some once you’re there? Do you want time to visit after or before the event?

You need to have an answer for all these questions. Also, make a reservation as soon as you can because as the event approaches, the hotel prices will rise up fast. Most important thing, ¬†absolutely get a travel/health insurance. You do NOT want to go to the States without health insurance (we get it good in Canada, but try being hospitalized for a few days in the States…).

So obviously, there’s alot of things that you need to take into consideration when you attend a big event like PAX and most of them go completely unnoticed by the public. Prepare in advance, be smart, never underestimate how fast time flies and last but not least, just have fun with the players out there ;)

Hopefully, this post helps you understand what we’ve been through in the past weeks. Thanks for your amazing support once again and stay tuned. We’ll be posting alot of pictures and updates once we get there and during the whole PAX weekend.