Me, Valerio and Giacomo M. (Tusso, we use nicknames, so indie) have been showcasing your next favorite game here. Time to tell you about it.
For those of you who weren’t paying attention, *aehm, Red:Out was submitted to Epic’s call for developers working with UE4 and got selected, along with other seven games, obtaining a spot at the Epic booth for the event.
London welcomed us with a ridiculously cold temperature, which of course resulted in me getting a cold immediately. Being in Oxford drinking the night before the event didn’t really help. But I digress.
Day before the fair: obviously, we arrived late to the appointment. Everything on the ground floor, anything related to a triple-A title looked like a construction site. I have no idea how they managed to get everything up and running in less than 48 hours. They must have worked overnight, employing elves. I’m still digressing. The Epic booth, tucked away on the first floor, was pretty much up to speed already. The structure was in place, computers were connected, monitors plugged in and working, and wi-fi. Sweet! So first thing we did, we powered on the computer that has been assigned to us, to deploy our build and test it. A dim of blue light, then nothing. It was toast. Off to a great start! Damn.
Somehow, I don’t really know how (and I’m fairly sure he doesn’t either) Valerio managed to use his welding-fingers to magically fix whatever broken electronics was in there, and after about an hour of worried gazes we enjoyed the relief of seeing the machine up and running. A quick copy of the build, a couple of magic settings, and we were already racing. It will break again in two days.
The Epic booth, viewed from the front. Red:Out was installed on the left side. I forgot the name of that guy with pink hair. He was super knowledgeable, kind, and hilarious.
EGX in itself didn’t disappoint. Even on the first day, which was a Thursday, the amount of attendees was pretty impressive. Of course, the ground floor dominated the scene, with its gigantic installations, stages and a constantly threatening level of noise. The queues for COD, FIFA, Quantum Break and all the massive productions were always full. Even for Destiny, a title already out.
The first ones playing Red:Out were our fellow indie companions, especially Five Pixels, the Innocent Devils, and White Paper Games. When we came in the second day, we found our computer already powered on and these guys challenging each other for the best time. It was uplifting to say the least.
We weren’t exactly at the center of the show, nevertheless many people came across and felt brave enough to pick up the controller. The general feeling was good, especially when the game was on the big screen. It’s funny how we dramatically slowed the ship down for the exhibition build, just to make sure the game was accessible enough for a first-time play session, and yet everyone told us that the sense of speed was really there. We got positive feedback on aesthetics as well, another field where we believe we can still improve. It feels really good, because there’s a solid foundation with so much margin of improvement in all areas.
On Thursday and Friday it was mostly adults and teenagers. On Saturday and Sunday, schoolchildren overrun the fair en masse. Seeing how people of different ages approached the game helped us pinpoint our target audience, but it was the number of small kids approaching the game and succeeding in playing that surprised us. Red:Out is a difficult arcade game, but the will of a kid is stronger.
On Friday morning, Dana and Jason approached us, one holding a microphone, the other a big camera with a huge light. The result is below. Look at my expression, a mix between tired and terrified.
Of corse, we made time to play ourselves. Besides the awesome Futuridium (GO BUY) showcased by our friend Mauro, we got to play many great games such as Nidhogg, Hotline Miami 2, Nuclear Throne, TRI, Galak-Z, The Escapist, and especially Helldivers. Not to mention the big productions such as Shadow of Mordor.
So, was EGX fun? Yes, it was. Tiring? Yes, exhausting. Motivational? YOU BET. Useful? Yes, totally. We got our very first preview on VGFirst, distributed a good 150 flyers, got dozens of people playing our alpha, a bucketload of interesting comments and a whole trail of good feedback.
A new alpha gameplay video is underway, so if you haven’t had the chance to play Red:Out yet, you will soon be able to see the progress. The next stop is Milan Games Week.
See you soon!