Hello again and welcome to another Guile & Glory: Firstborn development blog!
PAX Australia has wrapped up for another year, and it's once again for me to share our adventures at the convention, and all the lessons we learned along the way.
It was our third year showing the game at PAX, but it was also our first year in PAX Rising. In previous years, we had demoed the game as part of the Academy of Interactive Entertainment's Incubator Showcase, but thanks once again to the generous support of the AIE, we had the opportunity to have our own stand in PAX Rising this year.
We knew that the larger booth was going to be a lot more demanding, so we came prepared. For starters, this year we were joined by the very talented Nyra Drakae (also known as Goat Toaster Games), a remarkable artist who has recently started working on Firstborn. While she had not exhibited at PAX before, she has run stalls at other conventions, and her experience proved invaluable on several occasions.
We also printed 400 of our business cards for the game, which turned out beautifully thanks to some great new art from Nyra. We packed snacks, and water, and made a plan. We had our best demo yet, and twice as many stations for people to play as in previous years. We were organised... and it wasn't enough - not even close.
The student showcases had always been busy, teeming with passionate gamers and press alike, but the PAX Rising area was something else. Our break schedules fell apart almost immediately, as we needed every member of the team available almost all of the time to answer questions, hand out cards and engage with the incredibly passionate community PAX Aus always attracts.
We also could not have been more wrong in thinking that two stations would be enough to ensure a smooth flow through the booth. Much to our surprise, we often had waiting times of more than half an hour to play the demo. While we would definitely endeavour to make more stations available and streamline the process as much as possible in the future, it was incredible to see so many people engaging with and enjoying our game.
By the morning of the second day, our 400 gorgeous business cards were gone. In retrospect, 1000 would have been closer to the number the convention called for.
Thankfully, Nyra was able to whip up a few hundred very basic cards at a local printing store to see us through the rest of the convention. We got through, but we definitely learned a lesson about the amount of printed material to bring to an event on the scale of PAX Rising.
We also had some Guile & Glory: Firstborn merchandise available for the first time this year, and we made sure to kit the team out accordingly (you can totally pick up our merch on Nyra's Redbubble page, by the way).
We didn't end up selling a lot of shirts through the convention, but having immediately-recognisable clothes for the team was a huge help in allowing players and journalists to quickly identify which of the people thronging the booth were developers.
All in all, PAX Australia 2018 was an incredible experience. While working the booth for the three days of the convention was exhausting, it was also incredibly rewarding to once again engage with such a passionate community of gamers, and see another year's hard work bear fruit as people got the chance to enjoy the greatly-refined experience we have spent the last year crafting.
PAX was also an opportunity to make some announcements. For starters, we now have an official Early Access launch period set for February of next year. We also have a new, free Pre-Alpha launching towards the end of this month.
I'll be posting a lot more exciting updates to the blog as we get closer to Early Access. For now, though, I should get back to work on that Pre-Alpha!
If you didn't get the chance at PAX, or you'd just like to play it again, you can download this year's PAX build for free here.
Thank you so much for reading, and we'll see you next time for another Guile & Glory: Firstborn development blog!