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We just got back from EGX Rezzed 2015 in London.  EGX Rezzed is a spring game show that focuses on PC and Indie games.   We were fortunate enough that our game Monster Medic was selected for the highly competitive Leftfield Collection which looks for unique and innovative indie games. There were some really interesting games such as Line Wobbler, Convoy, Fossil Echo, and Magic Shot. Here is a video a few of the games there.

Booth Preparations

Leftfield Collection provided us with free stand space, however the space was quite limited.  The games all shared same wall and table and each game had about 1 meter of space available.  It was also requested that our posters were no larger than A4 in size, however we could draw on the wall behind us.  This is how our booth looked like.

Monster Medic at EGX Rezzed Leftfield

Monster Medic exhibit space at EGX Razzed Leftfield Collection

It was really hard to catch attention with the small A4 size images, so our artist drew our game theme on the wall.  I believe this was helpful since some people did mention that the liked the wall art.  Given a more space, we would have added:
1. Larger poster
2. Big signs for “2P CO-OP Shooter”
3. Large screen TV to run a trailer

Stating the type of game is important so we quickly communicate what our game is and effectively attract our target customers.  Having a large screen TV is also great for attracting attention and showing off game play.  These two combined worked well for at the Taipei Game Show.

Monster Medic at Taipei Game show

Monster Medic is an iPad game, so we needed to provide our own hardware for the show.  We strongly recommend locking down anything of value in your stand.  Unfortunately we learned this the hard way at Taipei Game Show when some one took off with one of our iPads.  This time we purchased lockable iPad cases.  We prepared two iPads and at times unlocked one so people can play in the aisles.  One disadvantage of this case for us was that it didn’t allow the iPad to lay flat on the table, which is a good orientation for our game since it requires 2 players.  The cases that we used are made by Obien.

For marketing material, we only printed out game cards.  We wanted the game to speak for itself and if they are interested, they can take a game card to remember us by.  So the card was not designed to tell people about our game, but to give them a way to contact us or follow us on social media.

Obien iPad Cases   Monster Medic Game Cards

Lesson Learned

Ask for feedback.
One the first day we had a note book that requested general feedback and placed it on the stand.  Players can write down their thoughts about the game voluntarily.  Less than 10 people wrote feedback and some were just one word comments.  The next two days we decided to ask what they like and not like.  We also asked players to write down feedback after playing.  This resulted in twice the number of feedback with a lot more helpful details.

Pay attention to who is enjoying your game.
We designed our game for family members as our target audience.  However, it was really helpful to watch people play and see their reactions.  We paid attention to who enjoyed and who did not want to be bothered with this type of game.  From the show we learned that our target audience is younger than we had expected.  We also found that couples also really enjoyed our game as well which was not really our focus.  So this experience will help us fine tune our understanding of who our customers are.

Have multiple devices available
One advantage of being a mobile game is that devices are small and it is relative easy to prepare multiple devices.  Other games at the show had limited seats for games and some people will play for a long time.  This limits the number of people exposed to your game.  So if the first iPad is occupied we can ask people who are watching if they like to play too instead of them waiting or leaving out of impatience.

Don’t mess with code, except..
This was a lesson learned from from Taipei Game Show where we tried to fix a bug with our repair ship the day before the show.  The change ended up making the bug even worse in certain situations.  However, making simple adjustments may make sense at times.  After a few play session, our neighbor tweaked the enemy appearance and level design to improve game play.  These “configuration” changes are relatively simple and will most likely not cause any problems.  We also changed our demo after the first day, so that people will play the story mode instead of the arcade mode since some people mentioned that the learning curve was too steep.

Add players to email lists
This was something we didn’t do and really should have done.  It would be great to keep in touch with players that really enjoyed the game and inform them about our development and our future launch.

Review
After each day, it is good to spend some time to write down notes and review the results.  This helped us document observations while they were still fresh in our mind and think about what we can do differently to improve for the next day.

Conclusion

Overall the EGX Rezzed was a great experience.  Watching people play our game and getting their feedback was invaluable for learning how we can further polish our game.  It was also great meeting with developers from Europe.  Unfortunately we were not able to get any press coverage during the show.  This is probably because the show is more focus on PC and consoles.  This was also echoed by GLAD’s Leftfield recap.  However, if your mobile game is really strange and out of this world, I think it could still attract press attention even at this event.  Finally we would like to give a big “THANK YOU” to all the people who stopped by to play our game and talk to us!

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