Those of you who develop games know that there’s nothing quite as terrifying as putting your game into the hands of gamers and watching them play it for the first time. Months and sometimes years of hard work can either be validated by cheerful squeals of happy players or dashed to bits on the rocks of harsh criticism by those who don’t “get it”. Last week we took The Phantom PI Mission Apparition on the road to the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and to our relief, the response was amazing!
We estimate that 500+ people played the game over the course of the 3 day event and I’m happy to report that the reception for The Phantom PI was overwhelmingly positive! Nearly everyone who played took the time to tell us their thoughts on the experience. Most people felt that the controls were intuitive, that the puzzles where easy to understand yet challenging and that the game “looks beautiful” (blush)! We also got a good bit of criticism that will help us tune the game as we get closer to release – thankfully there were no real surprises, all of the critiques were totally things that we can fix and many were things that were already on our todo list.
The GDC Play space was easily the most exciting and active area in the whole event, with a constant rumble of games and gamers hanging out, talking and playing with stuff they’d probably never heard of before the event. Compared to the South Hall which housed all of the big name companies in video games (plus the IGF nominated games) with their flashy booths and super-soft carpeting, the GDC Play space in the North Hall was noisy, casual and alive with excitement.
We were surrounded by amazing micro developers from all around the world including a few of our friends like the awesome folks at Phantom Compass and the OMDC booth which allowed a bunch of Ontario developers to show off their games. We also made a few new friends at Schell Games, Shark Punch, Right Pedal Studios and Xibalba Studios.
The next stop for The Phantom PI before we release will be at PAX East in April so if you’re going to PAX, be sure to keep a lookout for us (we’ll have more info on our booth location in a few days)!
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