We don't actually have a booth at PAX this year. I wasn't able to submit my game in time for judging back in May (I was traveling). It wasn't ready for judgement anyways, so it probably wouldn't have gotten past the filters. But NOW, it's the end of August and the game has progressed much further. It's actually worth showing to people. Luckily, we're right next to Benaroya Hall (PAX Main Theatre) so we should be able to get some good foot traffic from PAX attendees. It's kinda nice, actually. I don't need to break down my development machines to let people try the game either, and I don't have to set up a booth and spend money on tickets, banners, staff, or equipment. I invited the other indie game studio team to show case their game alongside ours, so double the fun!
We've had to put in a bit of work into the actual planning of all of this. I need to go get some sign boards made. I scouted the sign board companies out here and they're charging anywhere from $130 to $200 per sandwich board. Craziness! I need at least three and I'm not going to spend that kind of money. I am going to get some sheets of plywood and laminate some poster boards to create my own sidewalk signs. I've also had to plan where I'm going to put people and how we're going to manage crowd traffic in case things get more busy than I thought.
We're not doing this to advertise our game. We're doing this to figure out what potential customers think of the game, as it is right now, and figure out what they want and what they don't like about the game. I want to test a lot of my assumptions about our customers. Am I wrong? Where am I wrong? What needs to change? As a game developer, you can be forgiven by your early testers for broken or bad game mechanics before you release, but after you release, it's 100% about first impressions and reviews, so your game had better shine on day one. Anyways, my gut feeling says that "this is the right thing to do right now.", so I'm doing it.
I need this to go off without a hitch. It's stressing me out a bit. But... I have a good feeling about this. It could be really really awesome.
I have yet to come up with a good name for the game.
I was considering, "The Tale of Tom". Tom is a wizard. His brother is an enchanter, named "Tim". But Dan pointed out that the game title doesn't really suggest anything about wizards or zombies. I was also thinking "The Wizard Saga" or "Wizards Tale" (similar to Bards Tale). I still don't know what I'm going to title this game :( Do I have to figure it out before PAX?
"The Tale of Tom" has decent google possibilities. There's a Peter Rabbit book called "The Tale of Tom Kitten", so it wouldn't be too tough to compete with that. There is a game called "A Virus Named Tom" though, so I wonder if that could confuse people.
Funny story: When I was writing my narrative, I named my wizards wife "Kate", after this girl in high school I had a crush on. I started thinking about it... there's something wrong here. Those two names together are more familiar than they should be. ...Why? And then it struck me. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, aka "TomKat". UGH! NOOOOooooo!!! Ruined! Would I have to legally say that any resemblances between fictional characters and real people are merely coincidental?