Hi everybody !
We’re back from the french videogame festival (FJV) ! Our eyes can now stay open by themselves, so it’s time to share our 4 days of experience with you!
> Wednesday: the big departure
It begins with a white night during which we finish most of the things we wanted to have in the demo version that will be playable during the festival.
When the sun starts to rise up, we think it might be a good idea to gather our things, make some backups and transfer the demo source code and assets to our showfloor game machine: my lovely mac mini!
Buster (aka the Boss) seems to be in great shape and steals my seat (as he always does when we stand up).
We decide to let our green carpets (grass style) at home because the festival forbids stuffs that are not fireproof. So we leave with bare minimum: some gift cards and SSS logo prints.
The rest of the day is spent sleeping in the train, acclimatizing to the low-temperature of Paris (I was wearing shorts. Yay), discussing about videogame with William’s parisian host who works at QuanticDream, and finally a spotting of the festival place.
> Thursday: booth installation
When we get to the place, here is what the booth looks like:
We miss our green carpets, instead we have a blue ground. In the same time, we meet our booth neighbours: the mod-makers of Command & Conquer Stargate Universe. They have more experience than us with booths since it’s not their first festival so they give us a lot of tips before we went buying extra stuffs.
After shopping all Thursday morning, it’s time to switch to MacGyver mode and use our favorite tool of all time: double-faced tape! Few minutes later, here is what our stand looks like:
The rest of the afternoon is spent finishing the demo… because the final scene of the demo was not done yet. We knew it since we left home and we were saying to ourself “it’s cool, we will have all Thursday to complete the end, fingers in the nose”… except the shopping session and the fact that the place was noisy due to other bigger booths being constructed.
In the end, we simplified the final scene to complete the demo by 7 o’clock.
> Friday/Saturday/Sunday: meetings
Friday morning, a ball in the stomach we catch up each other at Paris Porte de Versailles. How many people are going to come to see us ? What will the people think about our booth (too cheap ?), our game (too rotten ?). We doubt a lot since we left our office (I mean the living room of William).
10 am: a voice announces that the Festival is now open to visitors.
The first minutes are long: nobody comes. Hopefully, William will soon receive our very first visitors.
The day goes on, we talk peacefully with people who seems interested by our work. I take advantage of a slack period to take a picture! I totally forgot that I brought my camera!
This Friday is the opportunity for us to talk to people that we knew virtually so far: Alain and Mickaël from Alkemi Games, Brice from One Life Remains. We also discuss a lot with visitors not only about our games but videogames in general. We feel reassured!
Pix’n Love Publishing is not far from us, so I take few minutes to say hi and complete my books collection. I highly recommend english readers to take a look at their newly translated books.
During the evening, I join Brice (One Life Remains) and we go to the Milthon ceremony where Limbo and Heavy Rain took the majority of prices.
Saturday: the climax
After a very good Friday, we thought that this day will be the best day of our festival… but then came Saturday!
The festival is crowded, and our booth receives even more visitors than the previous day. The players who stop by at our booth are always peaceful, interesting and interested.
We meet a lot of people from our french blog hosted by Gameblog. I have a lot of trouble remembering all of their names, but it’s a lot of fun putting faces on pseudonyms and avatars!
So I decided to take some pictures of real world people:
Even journalists make us the honor to visit our booth. Here we have JulienC from Gameblog.fr “taken in sandwich” between 2 developers (Jimmy from Punchers Impact) and I):
Divide (from Factornews and NoFrag) quickly recorded some screener video and put it on Youtube, so it is the very first gameplay video of Seasons!
Then a lot of students came to see us. Some of them were singing “We all live in a yellow submarine” in order to obtain a dedicated artwork card of Seasons.
Some friends also came at our booth, and it was a great pleasure to talk with Lina (the roommate of William who is in Paris for summer time!), Channie (Dontnot), Marla (Uacari), Stanislas (AGO Games), Frédéric and Johan (Le Cortex), Alexis (Pretty Simple Games). The front of the stand became a place where we met, and sometimes nobody plays on the booth, everybody talks!
Later, the crazy french reader Enimal offers to both William and I a present that I will call a Gameboy & Watch! It’s a Donkey Kong Junior electronic game (in reference to Greek & Wicked). Thanks a lot Enimal!
The evening come, and we will have the most touching visit we ever had: Fabien Delpiano from the great Pastagames studio comes to play with his son (I should say his hardcore gamer son!). Pastagames is a very inspiring studio and a model for us at SSS. The words of Fabien about Seasons after having played the demo were really motivating.
Sunday was more calm than the other days. A lot of children came to see us and play Seasons under the amused eye of their parents.
Our booth is more calm, so I take few minutes to shoot the Pix’N Love Publishing booth:
Alexis Blanchet (Ph. D and author of “Des Pixels a Hollywood”) will be one of the last person to play the demo and share is opinion about the game on our booth (under the eye of Benjamin from Galhmac).
> How can I conclude ?
These few days in Paris will stay in the memory of SSS. We were not prepared to this. We met a lot of fantastic people and shared a lot of things. I hope we will stay in contact and see us again later.
The event was some kind of giant playtest for Seasons. Some bad things have risen up so we will be able to fix them. Some other things were well received and we will work to improve them anyway.
Now we can move on, more motivated than ever.