Returning to GameCity 10
Last weekend saw us return to GameCity 10 for two more days of feedback, bug gathering and generally just enjoying watching people’s reception to Sure Footing. We spent both weekends of 24th and 30th October at the festival, being based at the National Videogame Arcade in the centre of Nottingham. This was in fact the second year that Sure Footing has appeared at GameCity: with a very early build being showcased this time last year. Since then, as has hopefully been evident from blog posts by James, we spent a lot of time re-building much of the game into something that is less error-prone, but also more scalable to fit with some of our weird and wonderful ideas.
We had a great time on both weekends with a lot of exposure – thanks largely to our being located in the entrance lobby of the building. This thankfully lead to a lot of play testing and some really useful feedback. We’re still in an alpha phase working on the game but we have something that is playable and slowly beginning to take shape. Nothing is more satisfying than people actually liking the game. Of course, it’s still useful to hear from people who don’t like the game, or it has some gameplay elements that perhaps need some fine tuning. We had offered a free t-shirt to the top player each day. We do this partly to get peoples attention and have them come back for more, but a lot of the time the game did that itself, which is something we’re really happy to see. A sincere thank you to everyone who came along and tried out the game over both weekends, it’s been highly productive and we hope you liked what you played!
We were able to take on board some of the feedback given and make a bunch of minor edits to fix little bugs during the show. When we returned on the 30th and 31st of October, we had managed to curtail any further bugs emerging. This leaves us with some bigger bugs to fix over the coming months, as well as addressing some changes we want to make to the game having observed player behaviour throughout.
A big thank you to the staff and crew at GameCity 10 who were very accommodating – some even became regular contenders for the daily t-shirt contest given their interest in the game. We also had the chance to hang out with some of the other exhibitors and had fun chatting away with them, as well as trying out their games! A special shout-out to XMPT Games, who released their game DiscStorm earlier this year on Steam (try it out, stupidly good fun). We’ve had the pleasure of bumping into one another at several events over the last year. Given we were actually situated next to them on our first Saturday, it was a great opportunity to chat away and talk about our works. In addition, we got to chat with the likes of Chucklefish Games, the creators of Starbound, Chris and Katherine from Lightwood Games who were showcasing their WiiU title Word Party, Dan Da Rocha showcasing his amazing game Hue and many more! A lot of cool and really interesting projects happening from equally cool and interesting people.
Pete and Polly Are Running Towards PROCJAM!
Now that GameCity is over, it’s time to talk about something else on the horizon! One of the hidden aspects of Sure Footing is that it is ultimately an excuse for me to tinker with some ideas for procedural level generation. However, what was original an idea for just generating chunks of level is beginning to expand and evolve in a variety of other ways: some interesting scientific problems, others just an excuse for me to do something silly. Join me and an amazing group of game developers, researchers and general PCG nuts at this years PROCJAM talks.
PROCJAM is a week-long PCG game jam with an opening day full of talks on November 7th that cover the subject matter in a variety of ways. Hosted at Imperial College in London by none other than PCG-research-genius (and fellow Plus Four To Science! podcaster) Michael Cook. I’ll be presenting a little bit of what we’ve been doing in Sure Footing, what I’ve got in the dreaded branch of doom (the branch of the game full of my weird and broken stuff) and some of the challenges we are now tackling as part of our future builds.
You can find out more about the event and sign up for more info at the PROCJAM website.