We are just about recovered from an amazing 4 days of showing Mages of Mystralia at PAX West in Seattle! For anyone not familiar, PAX West is one of the largest gaming shows that caters to actual players. We were honored to be included in the Indie Megabooth, which has been the launching pad for so many of our favorite games over the years! The Indie Megabooth has become extremely popular among both indie devs and PAX attendees, so the committee has become increasingly selective in deciding which games can get booth space there. We’re very proud that our first game as a new studio has made the cut!
Booth assembly (Antoine, Philip and Cassie) – The demo gods try to smite us
We were fortunate to have an extra large booth at PAX, but it’s a lot of time and organization to put it all together! We had to ship it internationally and were under quite a bit of stress until we got there and saw that our booth was waiting for us.
8 AM: The installation process begins! This went much faster than at PAX East, which was the first time we had ever tried setting up our booth.
2 PM: First major problem of the show! Antoine, our sound designer and composer, installed both 60” televisions, turned them on and found that one was broken! We have to settle for having only one TV this time.
3 PM: Second major problem! Everything is more or less set up, we go to connect the computers and realizing we’re missing two power supplies for the three Alienware PCs powering the booth. The other two are still at the studio in Montreal! We went around the convention center to see if anyone had a spare, but it is unfortunately a discontinued model and only available from Dell’s website.
5 PM: We checked with the amazing organizers of the IMB to ask them if they knew where we could get a spare power supply. We were ready to give up in despair, but two hours later, they were able to scrounge up some power supplies for the new Alienware model. They were less powerful that what we needed, but we tried them anyway, and everything miraculously worked!
7 PM: We finished installing the rest of the booth and looked forward to doing some sightseeing in Seattle a little bit! We got ready test the build of the game… and all screens turned black! We started to think we would just have one station available instead of three – clearly not enough to show the game to thousands of people over 4 days! We went back to the IMB people who were able to lend us two full Alienware PCs. Awesome! We installed everything… but now the Xbox controllers won’t work in the game! We were on the verge of tears when the IMB guy points out that we just have to press some combination of buttons on the controller to change its mode. Everything works for real now!
8:30 PM : We can finally visit Seattle and especially eat!
ID@Xbox Event (Louis-Félix, Patric and Dan)
While Antoine, Philip, and Cassie were busy pulling their hair out getting the booth set up, Louis-Félix, Patric and Dan participated in a pre-PAX event hosted by Microsoft. There were a ton of great games from indies targeting both Xbox One and Windows.
Days 1 to 4
The actual PAX West show
PAX West is an incredible event for developers! We’ve been so focused on developing the game for so long, that it’s very hard for us to tell if we’re on the right track. Was the game fun? Will people get it? Is it too easy? Too complicated?
The highlight for us was seeing the reactions of people when they tried the spell creation system. They show appreciation and excitement for our game. In addition to meeting tons of attendees, we were also able to meet up with media who were in attendance. Probably our favorite writeup was an article by Darren Nakamura from Destructoid! After going through the basics of the spell creation system, Darren totally got the dept of what you could do with it. Watching a jaded industry journalist laugh out loud about the crazy spells he was able to create made all of the long hours worth it!
Games We Loved at PAX
We can’t go to PAX and not try some games! Here are the games we loved the most during PAX West:
Dragon Quest Builders (from Philip/Producer) :
Probably the biggest surprise of my PAX West 2016. A real gem disguised by its close similarities to Minecraft. The breathtaking environments are filled with this magical feeling that is usually found in the Dragon Quest franchise. The storyline supports the creative aspect of the game very well, creating a nice balance for the player.
Chasm (from Patric/Game Designer):
We were pleased that our booth neighbor was the same as PAX East: Chasm by Bit Kid Games. The fact that our booths are next to each other twice in a row is not entirely a coincidence. Dan Adelman, our lead business and marketing guy, is working on Chasm too! In case you’re not familiar with it Chasm was a resounding success on Kickstarter, and the game seems to have come a long way! If you are fans of Castlevania, you’ll be happy because this game definitely wears its Castlevania inspirations on its sleeve.
Final Fantasy XV (from Antoine/Sound designer and Composer):
After waiting for over 10 years (formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII), it was with great joy that I finally got to try the final (almost) version of Final Fantasy XV. I was sold in advance, but the promise of an adventure in an original carefully designed universe, the overhaul of the combat system and the stunning soundtrack conquered me again. My boss does not know it yet, but I plan to take a vacation for the game’s release on November 30th!