Entry #110

First time exhibiting at PAX

2013-09-14 17:54:07 by I-smel

If I'd have told myself when I was 18 that I'd be exhibiting a game at PAX, I might've lost my damn mind- but so many other things are going on with me right now, and so many things happened on the way to doing this, that I kind of just feel completely normal about it.
Oh- here's some art I've bin submitting. It's JetGetters pre-production stuff for finding the tone and atmosphere of the world. Some of it's useful to us, some of it's just kinda scrap.

SpeedRunners is out, on Steam Early Access. We'll be updating one new level this week, AI players are going in, and there'll be a new weekly 'What If' event this Thursday, and every Thursday from now on.
Last week's What If was "What if every powerup was the golden hook? SpeedHookers"
Play this Thursday to see "What if missiles rained from the sky on every level? SpeedRapture"

So first off, like how do you get to PAX? For the passed year or so, Newgrounds has been a hotbed of people looking to transition out of Flash games. This is my second game on Steam, and here's what I did: work with other people.
Newgrounds is famously business-deaf. It doesn't follow the trends of whatever Kongregate or Armor or whoever else is doing, and I've talked at length about how I like that, and how much fun it is. I'm also that guy. When someone on FGL contacted me about splitting this game's revenue so he could be the producer: I said fuck no. A bit later I came around, and it's gone great. I fucking could not have done the Kickstarter for No Time, I couldn't have sold it myself, I would not be on Steam or promoted anywhere at all, and I wouldn't be showing this new game at PAX, and so on. It's having useful contacts that got us a space on the expo floor, or that got us any of the interviews we did. We were busy the whole week demoing the game for press sites and blogs, and youtubers. It's not me organizing that by myself, it's a couple people I'm working doing this while I'm animating bullcrap in the office. I do not know how to write a press release, or buy ads on a website.
There was about 5 of us at PAX, and I think it took all of us to utilize our time there.

Anyway what FUN stuff happened at PAX? I met this fuckin dude again, him and Porter are working on new stuff swallowed up in HouseOGames.
Egoraptor came over with the fuckin Game Grumps entourage. He's tall in real life. They had business cards for this Lets Play channel, it was weird. I said I watched the panel of him and Max at that pony event, and as soon as I said "panel" he knew exactly which one I was gonna bring up, and apologetically told me Max was a really nice guy in real life. I love Max and I love that panel.
I met Tom in real life, finally. He was playing Papers Please right next to us for like 40 minutes, I was dieing for him to stand up so I could say hi. I got the hot scoop on what Behemoth's doing, and I guess for some reason asked why Newgrounds doesn't have more business-dedicated staff. He talks about it in this interview. Don't know why I brought that up, I guess I'm infested with business-toxins now.
I was lined up to meet Erik Wolpaw, but he was too hooked on the Dota tournament to be there. I did meet Chet Faliszek all over the place though, and it felt really cool to be chatting to that guy in-person. I wish I had a good avenue to really think about comedy work.
Tommy Reffenes played our game for a minute, but honestly I made the best friends with a bunch of fucking people you've never heard of. Our team is all way better friends now, and I hit it off with the girl giving out badges on Little Legends. I don't know shit about the freemason inner-circle of successful indie devs, and I don't think you ever have to. Rihannen was the funnest person there, and all she did was fix GameBoys.

Wrappin it up: Here's a photo of me settin up at "The Indie After Party", one of about 30 different after-parties lined up around Seattle. We had SpeedRunners set up there, and it was fucking packed with people playing the whole night. It was very cool to see, especially since I'd been explaining how-to-play to a hundred people for the passed 2 days. They handed out Free Drinks tickets to us exhibitors at the start of the night, but here's a hot tip: If you hand them a business card of some fuckin shmuck at PAX, they'll take it as a drink token and won't look twice. I was fucking wasted, I did that so many times just to show people. I hit on every single girl, which is totally not me, and did the Super Crate Box infront of Rami from Vlambeer. He did not laugh.
Anyway then I got another 16-hour flight back and AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH

First time exhibiting at PAX


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2013-09-14 18:15:10

Fuck, I never mentioned: I also went to GamesCom in Germany. Since I live in Europe now, I can just drive to Germany. It's weird.

I played TitanFall, and the real finished version of the Occulus Rift. Both are fucking sick as hell, and you seriously need to check it out next time you see it, no matter how long the line might look.


2013-09-14 18:41:23

I asked Porter a couple months ago if ESE was ever going to reform, he said he didn't thing so, now they live together.


2013-09-15 08:32:44

Congratulations. I wish you great success.

I finally played ``Dead Space'' for the first time back in March. I am happy to say I finally got your ``Dead Space Invaders'' joke fully.


2013-09-15 14:17:20

ur handsome!

I-smel responds:

thanks luis!!


2013-09-15 21:26:32

Bumping into you was the biggest shock at PAX, since I didn't expect you to ever turn up in the US. And there does seem to be some sort of inner circle of successful indie devs but then I wonder if every one of them thinks the same thing and that they aren't a part of it... The whole stranger complex or whatever the psychological term is, I'm trying to google it now and finding nothing. And yeah, business stuff... Sometimes I think no business will ever begin on NG until the adult rated content ends, but I've never come to a decision with that... Or my decision has been to not do anything about that.

I-smel responds:

Yeah if you're just submitting stuff to newgrounds as a first-time animator then it feels like everyone on the front page is one circle of friends, and similarly if you're posting games on TigSource then it feels like all the developers you've heard of meet up every Sunday and laugh at you.

In some cases they ARE friends, in that you go to enough events and do enough interviews with the same people that of course you'll know each other. It's easy to become bitter about it, but hopefully I can get the word out that it's not make-or-break to be in that. I've never said anything to people like that beyond "hey man nice game" and I'm doin fine.
It's more fucking useful to have a contact at RockPaperShotgun or Destructoid or something. Those are the guys you wanna kiss ass to.


2013-09-18 22:30:06

I was planning on getting some copies of SpeedRunners for me and my friends but I didn't know tinyBuild did it. I'm sure once I loaded it up I would've noticed your art though, did you have to greenlight it after getting No Time to Explain on?

That interview was pretty awesome too, thanks for linking it.

I-smel responds:

No, it was much easier to get on Steam the second time.