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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: A MAZE exhibition - what went wrong, what went right

About Legends of Pixelia with 0 comments by SimaGames on Apr 26th, 2015

Yesterday (April 25th) was the last day of the international independent videogames festival A MAZE and I had the opportunity to showcase my game at the exhibition (thank you, Indie Arena!). I had some experience in presenting games on smaller local events, but the A MAZE was the first real conference where I had the chance to show my game to a big international audience. If you are interested in my thoughts on what went wrong and what went right during the exhibition, read on!

a-maze lop 2

What went wrong

1. Color coding on a black gamepad
The game that I showcased (Legends of Pixelia) supports local multiplayer by pugging in multiple gamepads. I thought that it would be a cool idea to bring the three gamepads that I own, so that multiple visitors could play at the same time. Well, the idea did work to some extend, but I totally forgot that there are people outside who don't know the XInput buttons by heart. That wouldn't be a main problem, but Legends of Pixelia heavily depends on color coded objects and two of my gamepads were pitch black with black buttons: Fail...
Also, there was one exhibition visitor that was color-blind. To my surprise, he said that he was able to differentiate the colors. Nice!

2. The tutorial fails
The point of a tutorial is to explain people that have no idea about the game, how to play it. Making a really good tutorial is a difficult task. I observed some players play the tutorial and talked to them later and we came to a conclusion: The tutorial fails, sad but true.

About 50% of the players had no idea what to do in the room on the screenshot below:


I'm a logical thinking programmer and I guess some of the tutorial rooms were simply impossible to understand for normal people. There were lots of helpful artists and designers at the A MAZE that had some really good ideas of how to redesign the tutorial, so I have an idea what to do next.

3. There is always one bug left...
No matter how much you try to fix bugs before a presentation, there is always one bug left. In my case, there was a special pattern of players leaving and joining the game, that resulted in a bug preventing players from starting a new game. I had to restart the game multiple times during the first hour of the exhibition, until I figured out how to avoid it...

What went right

1. High interest
There were some really great games at the A MAZE this year. Although there were cool projects like Face It!, Line Wobbler and Crawl (just to name a few) in the same room, players were very interested in playing Legends of Pixelia. During the five hours of the exhibition, the three gamepads were in use most of the time. I'm really glad that so many people enjoyed playing Legends of Pixelia yesterday. :-)

a-maze lop 1

2. Dedicated A MAZE build
I decided to create a presentation version of Legends of Pixelia to better match the requirements of a game for an exhibition. Time consuming non-ingame things like choosing a hero class and typing your hero's name have been removed and I added a quick join feature that allowed players to join others who are already ingame. This way, players had more time playing the game itself instead of reading through multiple menus to be able to start a session. Although the presentation version isn't perfect yet (I mentioned a bug ealier), it was a good idea to create a dedicated presentation version.

3. Feedback
It's interesting to talk about your game with players who have a totally different background in gaming. To name a few, there were casual players, console gamers, developers and designers at the A MAZE -- all of them gave feedback and most of them had ideas of how to improve the game. I made a giant list of useful comments from the testers yesterday evening and I'm gonna work my way through it during the next weeks. Thanks to everyone that played Legends of Pixelia at the A MAZE, you were great!

31,5 d2 coop i

Oh, you've made it through the whole article? Nice! Want to test the demo featuring the tutorial I mentioned earlier? Check out the downloads section here or visit the itch.io page to buy the full game.


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Post comment Comments  (110 - 120 of 176)
Yuki-kill09 Sep 18 2011, 5:36pm says:

If someone is looking for a project, I give the project

-2 votes     reply to comment
DontHarshOnMeMellow Nov 11 2011, 7:17pm replied:

O_o umm.... ok?

+3 votes     reply to comment
figalot Oct 9 2011, 5:38am replied:


+2 votes     reply to comment
hemebond Sep 14 2011, 7:17am says:

Please remove Linux from your list of supported platforms until you actually support it. Thank you.

+15 votes     reply to comment
shipoopi Apr 12 2012, 8:38am replied:

Can i download this on my PS3 or is it just for PC

+1 vote     reply to comment
Catalyst440 Jun 21 2011, 4:53am says:

Hey guys, Im starting to use Unity for a class project. I was wondering if anyone could give me any good tips on a small tech demo. If anyone can help just message me. Would appriciate any help given.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ChromeFusion44 Dec 29 2011, 1:35pm replied:

Here's a few links with tutorials on Unity:








(I know it looks like I'm giving you the same sites, but ModDB is parsing the URL's sort-of weird)

Also, here's a list of a bunch of tools I found, (It also has a few tutorials) but not all of them are free:


+5 votes     reply to comment
JacobVay Jun 16 2011, 6:13am says:

Hey, I am trying to put together a dev team and one of the engines I was looking at was unity. If anyone who happens to read this is interested just search Kilo-Romeo-Whiskey. -Jacob Vay

+2 votes     reply to comment
Choczy123 May 27 2011, 9:49am says:

Blackout : Pre Alpha Demo released :) Indiedb.com (no enemies, just a nice walk around :) ) Be sure to watch the latest video on the page to see how its looking at the moment ;p

+2 votes     reply to comment
Taharos May 14 2011, 6:40am buried:


Honestly, this engine sucks. Considering there are some many better free engines out there (UDK, Cryengine 2 SDK) why should I have to pay $1000 to actually get something out of this engine?

-8 votes     reply to comment
matis Jun 16 2011, 5:28pm replied:

when you want release game with UDK you must pay. unity have also a free version

0 votes     reply to comment
[A]Doppler Nov 5 2012, 10:13pm replied:

You obviously haven't read the licensing on UDK then have you?

+2 votes     reply to comment
saymoo May 22 2011, 11:22am replied:

True the price is quite hefty initially. (for some common features, like rt-shadows, etc)
(one point though, CryEngine 2 SDK is not out yet ;))

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Released May 30, 2005
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Highest Rated (6 agree) 7/10

The advantages of Unity are: +You can build for nearly all major plattforms +Easy to learn +Great assets pipeline, which supports most 3D packages +Great and helpful community and hundreds of useful tutorials +Good documentation +A big fund as backbone. So this engine will be further developed and getting better +one of the most optimized mobile engines So why I give only 7 out of 10? Well, Unity has unfortunately some really weak points: -Basic version is free. But if you serious about game development…

Sep 21 2011, 4:07am by dongiboy2000

Lowest Rated (5 agree) 1/10

Terrible engine.

Jun 9 2013, 6:11pm by HobbyPsychopath


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