Events, Events, Events, Events (Oh, Yeah... and Events)

by 10/31/2017
Man! October had a LOT of events for us! September 30th-October 1st gave us GDEX, October 14th saw Ohio Gaming Brigade's Pop-Up Con #2, the 21st-22nd gave us BOTH Kabo, and LexPlay, with the month ending for us on the 27th with the West Virginia Game Developers Expo! That's not counting all the news that happened BETWEEN those events! Let's get going else we'll be here all day...

GDEX: Wow! We are so happy to see GDEX become what it has! GDEX is run by our good friends over at Multivarious. When we started going, it was still called OGDE (the Ohio Game Development Expo). It was a pretty small affair, mainly targeted at developers so they could meet, and showcase to, other developers. This year, GDEX has exploded into an event for both developers and consumers and is now the largest gaming expo in the Midwest! It's so cool!

Previous years had GDEX at the COSI science center, but this year, with the expansion, it was at the Columbus Convention Center (a venue we know so well, we practically live there). Like previous years, we got to show off the latest build of Collapsus and meet tons of great new developers (and hang out with all the friends we made at previous events). I also got to give another talk about starting, funding, and running a studio as a small business! Great time all around (as always)!

Now, as you may remember, last year the tech blog CLE Tech named us their top pick at the show in a wonderful article they did. What you may not know, however, is at the same time the good people at Playvue had an app where players could choose their favorite games of the show, and they were given an award. Unfortunately, not enough people knew about the app, but luckily it was made an official part of the show this year! There were Playvue banners and flyers everywhere, and as exhibitors, we were asked to promote our games so that people could vote for them.

In addition to this Players' Choice award, there were a few other awards as well. The one we're concerning ourselves with right now, though (for the sake of this article, at least), was the "Most Accessible Game at GDEX 2017" award presented by the AbleGamers Charity. If you may remember, we've had some great conversations with them in the past about getting Collapsus' accessibility options up to snuff...

Well something MUST have worked, since that was the award we brought home! It was such an honor to be chosen for it, since it's always been a huge deal for us to make sure that everyone can play the games we make. It only makes us want to try even harder to make Collapsus the most accessible game we can!

Pop-Up Con: We LOVE the Ohio Gaming Brigade's events! They're generally smaller affairs, typically lasting just a day, and are hosted in more private venues (such as the Star City Brewing Company), and man, does that intimacy (for lack of a better word) really make all the difference. In so many ways, these events are like friends coming together to hang out and show cool stuff they've made. Love. It.

This one, I got to fly solo, and like some sort of idiot, I went in a little before noon, already being up for 24 hours. Now, luckily everyone was incredibly patient with my special brand of sleep-deprived stupidity; but when it was all said and done, I left there at midnight, having had a complete blast! Not much to be said beyond that. Showcased Collapsus, talked to friends, had butterbeer and some chocolate-covered espresso beans. Can't beat that.

Kabo: This is where things get tricky. Last year, you may remember that GDEX and LexPlay were on the same weekend.We had to split up the team just to be able to do both events (not everyone, of course, because some of the team really despise handling the booth, but that's fine). Natalie and I went to LexPlay, while Adam and Kristy headed up to GDEX. It was really unfortunate, since the people who run both events were actually looking forward to attending the other one; but due to problems with their venues, those were the only days available to hold their respective events. It was a real shame.

This time, everything worked out where they were a couple weeks apart. So what about Kabo?

Kabo is the little sibling to the now defunct Kabochacon. Since Kabochacon was going to be holding a massive raffle for Extra Life Dayton, it was decided that a smaller event at the D20 Bar in Dayton to hold the raffle and charity auction, as well as some other smaller gaming activities, such as having us come out to demo Collapsus, and the big Galatune tournament.

You guys remember Galatune, right? We mentioned them before a couple times. They're a really awesome card game that's kind of like a mix between Magic: the Gathering, Overwatch, and Smash Bros. We had the fortunate opportunity to do multiple Ohio Gaming Brigade events, as well as Kabochacon and GDEX with the game's creator, Adam. It's so good. Luckily, we ended up becoming fast friends with him. That's where us being at Kabo went from being a cool thing we should do for charity to being something we simply couldn't pass up on...

At Kabo this year, we were able to announce a partnership that we'd been working on in secret for some time now: an official Galatune companion app made by us! I'm not going to go into much detail about it here, but here's a link to the announcement video:

Other than that, Kabo was spent eating so much cotton candy from our friends over at ConeZone, and once again, talking and playing great games with friends. While that was going on...

LexPlay: For LexPlay, our Adam (as opposed to Galatune Adam), Natalie, and Steve (going to his first event in a long while) headed down to Lexington to show off some Collapsus! While they were down there, much like with GDEX, they got to meet up with some of our developer friends from events past and meet all new people.

On day one, Natalie and Steve also went on to the Game Over Game On podcast, like I did last year. Man, those guys are awesome! Since last year, I'm really glad to have gotten to know the GOGO team a lot better, and am happy to call them friends. From the sound of it, Natalie and Steve had a blast being on. For me, though, after Kabo, I had to catch a Greyhound, which brings us to day 2.

After meeting me at the station, we had a bit of a breakfast, and went right back in to set up for the next day. Very early on, I had to step away to give a talk all about VR: Past, Present, and Future (a title and premise that I used before for a talk at Pandoracon 2016). It was a great crowd with some even better questions. My only regret is that I wish I had been a little more awake; but everyone swears they enjoyed it anyway. While this was going on, Natalie and Steve went back on the air with Game Over Game On!

I hit the booth again, along with Adam, and shortly afterward our programmer Mark showed up! Apparently, he had been by the day before as well, to help everyone run the booth a bit too. He's actually from Kentucky, so it wasn't that crazy of a drive for him. So at this point, this wasn't the most team members we had at the booth, but it was certainly tied for second! Pandoracon 2016 had me, Kristy, Natalie, Adam, Lance, Thorne, and Cody (with some extra non-Wraith friends and family helping out); and OGDE 2015 had me, Steve, Camille, Thorne, and Cody! So hot dang!

WVGDE: I'm cheating here a little bit. The West Virginia Game Developers Expo had asked us to come down, show off Collapsus, and for me to give a talk. With all of the other events that were going on, it was something I was going to run solo. Unfortunately, on my way to the Greyhound station, we ended up hitting two big patches of construction in the middle of the night, and I ended up missing my bus by, like, 10 minutes.

Fortunately, the good people running the event let me Skype in onto a projector and sound system, so I was able to give my talk anyway! It was very similar to one of the talks I gave at Pandoracon 2016, Vector Conference 2017, LouisvilleMakesGames, and GDEX 2017. Basically I ran down how to start a game studio, secure funding, and make sure that it doesn't implode on its first few years. It's a talk that I've been pretty comfortable giving; though it does change a little bit every time. It's something that I think a lot of people just starting out don't realize you can do: just starting up a business, getting a traditional loan, things like that. It all seems pretty overwhelming; there's a lot of little fees and paperwork. I'm really glad that I'm able to use the knowledge I've learned (a lot of it ripped straight from the head of my small business advisor, Mark Lankford) to help prop people up.

So yeah. We had so many great events this month! As you can probably tell, this is just the Cliff's Notes version of it all. Next month, we're heading out to the Ohio Gaming Brigade Pop-Up Con #3, once again at the awesome Star City Brewing Company in Dayton, Ohio. After that, who knows? So far it's looking like we're clear until January; events-wise, that is. We keep trucking away on Collapsus, and we have tons of updates you may have noticed while playing the weekly builds, or if you were at any of these events. Who knows? Maybe that'll be the next blog post.

Until then, catch you next time.