Gaming Con was two weeks ago, I spent most of the last two weeks getting over a horrific cold that I picked up at the conference. Lots of stress, late nights, and shaking lots and lots of hands led my frail constitution to collapse. But I’m better now, so that’s great.
The conference was a lot of fun. It was larger than last year and had a lot of fun stuff to see. But I was there to show the game, not see the sights. And that was a great success. I had three stations set up and frequently had all of them busy. Even when they weren’t busy I almost always had at least one person playing. Several people came by and played for hours until they were able to beat all of the single player missions. I also had the computers networked so that people could play against each other, that was the wisest decisions I made with regards to the conference. I had a lot of people come by and play against each other. I had three elementary age kids playing for hours, excitedly bragging to each other about their custom ships and trying new strategies against each other. It was a joy to watch. I found myself wishing that I had added a record function so that I could record the games they were playing and harvest gameplay videos from it. Perhaps next time.
Last year the response was overwhelmingly that everyone wanted multiplayer, this year proved that I was right to make that my focus for a while. One individual remarked that after getting a taste of the multiplayer the single player wasn’t worth playing, to a new person who was just learning to play he said “The game is built to be a multiplayer game, there are some single player missions but they aren’t very good.” I guess I’ll have to work on my mission building skills.
Overall I’ve gotten the feeling, and have been told as much by several people, that no one is really interested in the story campaign. The gameplay is what really interests people. I’m going to make some efforts to provide a lot more gameplay content to people, so they don’t work their way through all of the missions and then forget about the game. The new single player content is going to be separate from the story campaign (yes I’m still doing a story campaign even though people have told me they don’t care, I’ll address that in another post) because I want to get the content to people faster than it would take me to pull the story campaign together. I’ve got some ideas on that, but that’s not the highest priority right now.
So what is the highest priority? Well, the conference revealed many bugs, all of them duly logged. I’ll be making my way through those as quickly as possible. The very top priority bug is the lovely little ‘dancing waypoint’. If you’ve played the game I almost guarantee you’ve seen it. You’re trying to position a waypoint, when suddenly it starts jumping back and forth wildly. It’s confusing, gets in the way of the player playing, and above all it’s really embarrassing. It makes the game look really cheap and unfinished.
So that’s what’s up for the next while.