For a video game developer, getting out and about isn’t a huge job requirement but a necessity to get exposure. For over a year, my team and I have been working day and night to put together our favorite things: games, pirates and fighting! We worked through endless lines of codes, hours of modeling, animating models, and, of course, debugging until we finally thought it was time we showed the world. So, with our game – Jolly Rogers: Pirates Rumble in hand, I set out on an adventure to show the world, and over the course of two weeks I got the opportunity to take part in couple of the video game industry’s largest events – Gamescom and PAX West!
My first stop was Cologne, Germany, to take part in Gamescom 2018. One thing that I never thought would be a requirement in the video game business was all the walking, running around, and standing required! Being one of the largest gaming conventions hosted in Europe and the world, over 275,000 people attend the event every year. From the moment I stepped off the train, I was immediately blown away by the immense setup and the crowd which consisted people of all genres – gamers, developers, and cosplayers, all coming together for a one-of-a-kind experience!
The massive event went on for as far as the eye could see. Different gaming tournaments were being held everywhere. The adrenaline rush seeing the professional gamers playing your favorite games is a different kind of feeling that I cannot really express in words. Walking through the section where the retro consoles were displayed was almost like walking through time itself, the nostalgia of fiddling around with these consoles brought back more than a few of the fond memories of my early career in the industry.
Now, onto my highlight of the event – showing Jolly Rogers: Pirates Rumble to the crowd. Since I did not know the workings of a showcase area or indie showcase in the event, I hadn’t booked any booth to showcase our game. However, I was fortunate enough to get in to a few meetings with potential publishers, fellow developers who had traveled like me, and the gamers! It was a great experience and I was elated when I saw how much people loved the game! The travel (and the walking) was suddenly worth it when I saw people lining up to check out JRPR.
With the positive reactions and the reinforcement I had received at Gamescom, I was very eager to make my way to Seattle to check out PAX, the Penny Arcade Expo. The massive jet lag I was experiencing was instantly blown away when I reached the arena and saw the audience. With over 40,000 people consisting mostly of gamers and their families, PAX was a unique experience for me. There were a great number of indie games which were showcased throughout the event and the reaction from the crowd was overwhelming. We definitely will be trying to showcase our game in the upcoming PAX events. The exhibit hall was packed with exhibitors ranging from AAA publishers and developers to fellow indie teams. The camaraderie shared between the players and creators was incredible.
The amount of tournaments being held here was innumerable ranging across all genres – board games all the way to Switch! My inner fan-boy came out when I realized that I was able to spot quite a few Twitch streamers I follow.
As my plane took off the tarmac to home I couldn’t shake this feeling that while 2018 Gamescom and PAX had come to an end, my journey with them and JRPR was only just beginning.