Hey there, and welcome back to the portfolio of yours truly, Brandon Greene-Hooks. Although it’s a lot later than I had planned, I’ll be going over the last event I attended.
From June 2nd to June 5th, I spent eighteen hours over the course of those five days allowing curious passersby to play Geo at the Arizona Video Game Showcase at Phoenix Comicon 2016. This was my first time at an event this large, dealing with such an immense volume of people. It was also my first time at Phoenix Comicon, or any convention in general, so there was a lot to take in. At odd ends of the day, my phone completely lost its signal, so I wasn’t able to cover the entirety of the event via Twitter as I had planned, but it was still a great time, and an even greater experience. My mother and brother were a big help in setting up and supporting the booth:
Hundreds of people came through and were enticed by the challenge Geo brought:
At one point, there was a rather impromptu interview conducted by Ezekiel Garcia of Guff and Stuff:
But, my favorite moment of the event was on the last day. As I was packing up my devices to leave, two youths jumped into the chairs to either side, and began playing on the tablets. Without a single word from me, they picked up the game’s mechanics almost instantly – determined to beat each area in the game before one another. Every so often, one would get stumped by a puzzle, and I would give them a hint; the other would use this time to get a higher score on an earlier level, but would end up losing the lead because of it. After completing over twenty levels, a conversation like this happened:
BoyA: You know a lot about these levels!
Me: Well, I should hope so.
BoyB: Have you beaten all of them?
Me: Of course.
BoyA: How long have you been here, playing?
Me: I’ve been here all day, but I haven’t done much playing.
BoyB: Then, how have you beaten all the levels?
I was sitting down at the booth when the two came by, so to them, I was just another guest trying out the game. This didn’t cross my mind until just then, but I hadn’t given them the elevator pitch I gave to everyone else that came to the booth. So, I cleared things up from there:
Me: Well, a developer has to make sure the game is beatable; that means each level has to be beatable, as well.
BoyB: Wait, you made this game?
Me: *Gestures at shirt, then to booth banner*
BoyB: Dude, pause your game!
BoyA: *Shakes device* What?
BoyB: He made this game!
BoyA: He- *Looks at shirt, then at banner* Oh, woah!
For a good while there, they forgot they were competing with each other, and bombarded me with questions regarding Geo, other projects I’m working on, and game development in general. I told them about how a handful of people chose to skip ahead to the last level of the game, since the devices I brought to the event had a special version of the game with all the data unlocked. And just like that, they did the same, only to be immediately dumbfounded by its difficulty.
It was loads of fun; I got to watch people enjoy my game, took a bit of time to try out some of the other exhibitor’s games, and met a surprising amount of people who wanted to get into game development. Just a great opportunity, overall.
To everyone who has supported me, I want to take a moment to thank you, regardless of how you did it. Thanks for buying the game, thanks for trying the demo, thanks for sharing it or the portfolio on social media, thanks for showing up, thanks for the feedback, and thanks for playing. That’s it for now, but there’s another post underway. Until then.