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The Kiwi's TaleWitchBlasterDerelict Blow Stuff Up

Overload: Day 1

Exhausted, just home from the first day of Overload, probably not going to be too long out of bed.

It was an interesting day. Didn't start out so well. I did a last minute test of the CD and found two issues

  1. Not all of the games directly worked from the CD. While it's obvious that save games, custom configs etc wouldn't work, I didn't expect it to actually break some of the games (I should have tested it in a read-only environment earlier). So certain games either require an install, or simply require a copy to hard disk.
  2. There is a bug in the launcher system where, for some games the menu music will continue to play during the game. I have no idea how I missed it.

Obviously since I can't repatch the CDs, I typed up a note explaining the issues (and where to find the patched menu.exe file, which I fixed and uploaded this morning - if you want it) to put inside the cases. Since Warehouse Stationary doesn't open until 9am on a Sat, and Overload was opening to the Artists at 8:30am, I thought I'd better set up at Overload first.

I arrived to a technical hitch, although I had both a 3m power cord extension and a power box, the closest power point was five meters away and two meters off the ground. Even then, I couldn't run power cables directly between there and my laptop as it'd be a health and saftey issue, I needed to run it around the neighbouring tables. So on my way to Warehouse stationary I resolved to buy a 10m power cord extension.

No problem buying the 10m power cord extension, but getting the notes printed in A6 took approximately 40 minutes. The biggest issue was the Anti-Virus software checking my pen drive, my pen drive has extensive backups and took a long time to scan through. There were several people behind me who also wanted stuff printed from pen drives, so I felt really bad about making them wait.

A smaller issue was that the Warehouse Stationary don't actually do A6, so they printed on A5 with two sheets per page and then guillotined it in half. It took them multiple test prints to get everything properly formatted and orientated before they could do the full print run. The end result of all of this is that I got back just shy of the 10am opening time, and had to rush to finish setting up the laptop!

I'm sharing the table with Anthony and Sergio (who are selling copies of their comics) who did a really great job playing and marketing the games to the public. The games were being played by attendees all day, though sales were a bit shy of the break even point (The fact that there were a few sales though, was encouraging. This marks the first time I've ever actually sold a game that I helped develop). Feedback was mostly very positive, I think Blow Stuff Up and The Kiwi's Tale in particular were well received and frequently played. There was one guy who managed to (mostly solo) beat Blow Stuff Up on easy on his first try! Even more interesting was the fact that he did it with the harder-to-use XBox 360 controller rather than mouse and keyboard.

Quite a few people took one of the business cards with my email and URL on it - If you're one of them, hi there, welcome to my site! 

What really helped market the games was an LCD screen generously loaned by Mark. The setup was the LCD screen facing the audience, the laptop facing us, and while we played with mouse and keybord the audience could simutaneously play with an XBox 360 for windows controller.

The event was great. We were treated to a brilliant performance by champion cosplayer Yuri Inaba, who sung, danced and dressed as Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku. Lots of great artwork on display, I probably bought between 20 and 30 A3 prints and a smaller number of A4 prints. They were very reasonably priced (none were more than $5, some were even given out free at the end of the day). There was one other table selling games, it's a visual novel with very attractive looking graphics. I'll do a review of it sometime.

Tomorrow at Overload is when I'm sitting on the "How to get into gaming panel". Hopefully I don't look like too much of a fool!