Exhausted + Exhilarated. Those are two words that I would use to describe my current state of being. I’ve barely slept since we arrived in Austin at around midnight on the 18th, and as we prepare for our flight back to the home office in Cancun (where we are promptly heading out to Ireland to speak at TBEX with our travel brand + spend a month in country with the drone + cameras), I wanted to give you all a recap on what went on this past week.
First up, the Austin Game Conference. Talk about an intense three day event for us. While we originally only went for the event itself and the sessions that were provided, there was icing on the cake for us because we were also invited as one of ten finalists to participate in the Intel Game Dev Showcase.
While we didn’t win any of the awards (kudos to those who did!), we got a boatload of great feedback from folks who understood what we are building (including a couple of MMORPG veterans from the judging panel who spent a good 15 minutes playing our live build, and then had additional feeback for us, all of which was positive), and we had a lot of great talks with people who enjoyed what we had on display and wanted to know more.
We also got to host our game for two days at the Intel booth for four hours each day. In both cases, it was free press for us, and our first “commercial” showing of our game to anyone outside of our social media channels, and the overall response was amazing. A couple folks who reminded us that what we have bit off is, indeed, a huge mouthful, but that’s just how we roll 🙂
The sessions were intense. With seven of our team members there, we were able to split up between the sessions and focus in on a few areas where our small team is lacking in knowledge, which was the whole reason for us to go in the first place. I was also able to do some one-on-one Q&A with some veterans in the MMORPG industry (shout out to Matt from Zenimax, Jack from Daybreak, and Steve from Versus Evil) and get some invaluable feedback on what we are building, reinforcing that we’re on the right track with our entire development.
From there, we moved to our annual team meetings on Saturday and Sunday, complete with our annual D&D campaign. Only this year we did something different, as Joey and I spent a couple of months putting together several massive war boards for our team to play on, as well as setting everyone up with custom miniatures.
We were finally able to reveal the boards to everyone on Friday night, and we then played through three epic sessions that wrapped around our two primary business meetings that took place for 3-4 hours on Saturday and Sunday. We also brainstormed for around 10 hours each day for the year ahead, and took a little side trip downtown into Austin with a few of us to play tourists.
Stay tuned, as we’ve got a ton of information coming up in November + December once I get back from Ireland. That includes a brand-new YouTube series documenting the building of the boards (I think there are 17 – 18 videos in total off the top of my head), a new series of Mastery Mastery featuring footage from the latest build, and beyond!