Last night I attended the Ludum Dare / GitHub GDC party in San Francisco at the fantastic offices of GitHub. I have no idea where their employees work (perhaps another floor?) but their gathering space was fantastic, and they even had a nice big TV with a dangling HDMI cable set up which I was able to snag for an hour or two of showing off my game, Splody. I turned the TV over to Shnipers for the latter half of the night, as that was also a fantastic local multiplayer game, and had a chance to play a bunch of other indie games around the room as well.
The showing of Splody went quite well, often had 6 or more people playing at once, everyone seemed to be having fun, and quite a few were really excited about the game. It was great to have so much positive feedback! Everyone unanimously enjoyed my simultaneous multiplayer character customization/control test screen.
Now, I just need to channel as much attention as possible into getting Greenlit on Steam, so, if you have a Steam account, please go vote on my Steam Greenlight Campaign, every vote helps!
I did learn a few things that hadn’t came up with my previous demos – as this demo was to a bunch of random people at varying frequencies, and most of my previous demos have been to larger captive audiences. I need a good way to show the game to just a single demoer – playing a 1v1 match against me, a tournament-winning Bomberman player, either doesn’t go well for them, or feels like I’m just committing suicide. I think I’ll throw in an option to pad out a match to a fixed number with AIs, so if there’s just one person demoing, AIs can fill in so there is at least 4-6 players on screen for a better feeling of what a party game can be, though obviously playing against AIs isn’t as fun as stomping your friends. The other thing was with one particular game mode, Mount Control, which currently has a bit of randomness in it which can lead to rather long matches, and I think I can do a little tuning so that the expected match time is a lot more constrained which would lead to much better conference-floor demo experiences.
Oh, and the other thing I learned, or, rather, already knew, but keep forgetting, is that I really shouldn’t play against a set of people and win 3 to 0 to 0 to 0 to 0 to 0… but some people playing the demo get really competitive and I have to give it my all to give them a fair fight, and the I forget to tone it down a notch for the next group. Best solution is probably to continue talking about the game constantly, as me paying half attention is probably the right skill level for most people ;).