WHAT A DAY!!!!
Morning came, I woke up, feeling down and going with pretty low expectations, "OK.. a max of 10 people will test the game, MAYBE they'll like it" I said to my self in trying to prepare for the worst case condition, packed my gear which consisted of my wife's laptop (my laptop can't run the game on higher than 25 fps), my mother in law's TV and big patch of cookies baked by my awesome wife as a reward for who ever kills the boss.
We arrive to Hub Zero, things are looking good, the place is well organized, and I'm faced with my first let down, the table I booked had a pretty terrible location where it's nudged in a corner, sure my expectations were low already but along with that came the attitude of "what do I have to lose?"
So we pushed the table forward to be more in the view hooked up the TV and blasted it to it's max volume, clicked on the game launcher and here it was ! all my hard work was playing on that screen that said "Shadow Dreams Alpha Build"
The moment of truth
"this looks nice, can I try it ?" said the first person to test the game
"Sure, here you go" as I handed him the controller and pressed START GAME
the cut scene starts, and the game begins and the player doesn't know what to do as my tutorial isn't clear enough!
Then something clicks in me, one thing I learned from playing music in-front of strangers, when you mess up, don't show it and improvise!
So i took a hands on approach in teaching the controls and things started to improve, more people started to show up, wanting to test the game and before I knew it 9 hours have passed with the game being played NON STOP by every passing visitor! I was in the front explaining the game to every new tester while my two awesome friends handled the people in the back, keeping them interested while the player finishes their turn, and to my surprise even kids enjoyed the game and handled it pretty well, the information I collected were priceless and no amount of google research could have taught me the things I learnt.
IN SHORT, the feed back was over overwhelmingly positive with over 70 feed back cards filled, If you were one of the people who tested the game that day, THANK YOU!
let's start with a few pictures of the progress, oh beautiful progress.
It has been two weeks since my last update, the one where I was freaking out about not having a level ready for the convention (which is in two days from now), I started by me casually freaking out, bashing the keyboard when the game engine breaks down and deletes my progress and in general screwing up.
But out of the sudden, clarity came and I could connect the dots again, I had that moment when I saw the level in my head and all I had to do was convert it into reality, so in short, I started work, fixing monsters, adding environment upgrades, studying lighting and discovering how stupid I was before by making things way too dark (which I did in a sad attempt to raise the FPS as my poor laptop couldn't handle the game).
So my routine was wake up, go to work, think about the game, come home and work on the game!
one day off I managed to pull a work session from 7 AM to 10 PM, thankfully now I'm at the final steps, I am happy with the Demo and believe it's good enough to be shown in the convention.
BUT no happy endings for your casual game developer, as I'm facing a major error right now in packaging the game, which is basically the FINAL step before it's ready to be played on any other computer, but that's a story for another day.