The story is set in the land of Jorokiim; a fantastical land teeming with all the right elements that make for a fun adventure, up to and including maniac shopkeepers. Buster is a once-famous knight of the Royal Guard of Jorokiim, fallen from fame as per the slow march of time. Evil reared it’s head long ago, shooting Buster to fame as the lone knight who stood up to it and clawed back the sanity of the world. Well, not really. There was another guy, a wizard named Lars Séance. He paid the ultimate price, giving his life to perform an archaic spell that would seal away the evil forever, or about 20 years as it turns out. Buster made it out alive, and quietly forgot to mention Lars' sacrifice thus gaining all of the glory.But evil has awoken once more, and has conveniently inhabited the many abandoned dungeons scattered throughout Jorokiim. Rising to face the challenge is what you’d expect of Buster, but really he was forced to do it...
Phew, Q-Con XXI is over, and what a weekend it was!
I had a booth at the Indie Arcade, which was in the tradehall area of the convention, meaning that it was a prime location for public attention. I gave out at least 130 business cards to fans and fellow gamedevs over the three days of the convention, and presided over at least 100 separate playthroughs of the Dungeon Buster demo dungeon.Getting the game into a very public setting such as Q-Con provided a very unique opportunity for some free QA testing, and that's exactly what I got! The first person to sit down and play had broken the sword in less than 15 seconds... Shit, how could I have missed this game breaking bug? Turns out there was a flaw in my scripting where using the sword at the exact moment you leave a level will break things, and I had missed that in the hundreds of hours I've been creating this game. That's actually a huge positive, and has opened my eyes to the need for constant outsider testing, and was the first of several nasty bugs that were revealed and subsequently squashed (in between public playtests of course).The booth was popular with convention-goers (I had Rikku from FFX-2 as a booth minder for a while which really helped!)
Another very important thing I learnt from the convention is that Dungeon Buster is a very niche game in today's world, but that fans do exist and that they are fiercely loyal. I also discovered a demographic that I hadn't considered at all; kids! Quite a few children came over and tried out Dungeon Buster, some of whom fared far better than their adult counterparts at picking up the control scheme and figuring out the dungeon puzzles.
Overall the convention was amazing, I learnt so much from the general public about their approach to the game, and also got a ton of feedback from them with regards to what they want to see in the game and how they think the game could be better. I had a notebook with me and was busy scribbling down every suggestion and critique that was mentioned.Most importantly however, Dungeon Buster is:
I am eternally thankful to the directors of Q-Con for inviting me to show my game at the Indie Arcade, and I would strongly recommend to anyone else who is offered something similar: DO IT!!! You won't regret it, and you'll gain priceless insights into your game.