So for the past few weeks I've been freaking out over DaffCon, a U.K. Based gaming convention organised by a long term acquaintance of mine, Mr Mike Marshall of Malifools/Fools Daily fame.
Well DaffCon has been and gone, and wow! What a ride!
For starters, let's cover the venue: Firestorm Games in Cardiff.
This place is awesome! It is BIG, well lit, a good amount of stock, lots of gaming tables, a relaxing sofa area, a kitchen and a bar! What more could you want at a venue?
The staff there were friendly and welcoming, and I really have nothing bad to say about the place.
On to Day 1.
On Day 1 I was bricking it. This was the day when we would reveal the game en-mass to the world. In the next 8 hours players from across the UK and beyond would get to sit down, try the game out and turn to us and say "meh, it's alright".
But that's not what happened.
Our first game was against long time friend Will. Will has been following the blog for some time, so he knew of the game, but not much else.
Well, he enjoyed it. During his game, a member from another game's development team (I believe it was Paranoid Miniatures) came over and Tom demoed to him. He also enjoyed the game!
Here we were, 1 demo each under our belt, and the people were enjoying the game.
I wanted to SQUEE and jump for joy! But rather than that, we grabbed more people, and ran more demos.
The feedback began to flood in: "it's like Infinity, but with good rules", "it's simple to pick up but I can see there's lots of combos you can create", "I can use a giant robot mech? Gimmes!"
The day came to a conclusion with me providing a demo for another Richard who at the end of the demo handed me his business card, told me that he owned a small online games retailer and that this is exactly the sort of game he would like to sell. I believe the exact phrase used was that it "could be the scifi equivalent of FrostGrave".
Well you can imagine how that made me feel. I wanted to hug the guy!
- As an aside, I am now exploring the possibility of moving a production up, and seeing just how viable it would be to get the game printed in a small sellable format.
Following Day 1, we went back to my friends, had some dinner and talked about Moonstone.
We were exhausted, but strangely enough, talking Moonstone used up a whole different side of the brain to First Law, so it was actually relaxing to do. Needless to say, we quickly crashed out until the next morning.
Day 2 began.
We had moved ourselves from where we were before into a more prominent position. A decision that did exactly as we hoped and allowed people to stop off while walking past, have a look, a chat and a demo if they had time.
One thing that amazed me, out of all the people who we asked - only 1 of them said no to a demo, and that was because they were literally in the middle of a tournament who was coming back from the loo but had stopped because our bright yellow Exo-Suits had caught their eye.
We had some great demos, really good ones, with one in particular that stood out, Gaz from Paranoid Miniatures. He's their fluff writer, so was really interested in our world, the how and the why, and after his demo we sat for between 30mins and an hour chatting, discussing and making suggestions. One suggestion in particular we are going to bring in, and with hope we can do it for Book 1, but it adds additional complexity, and may need to be moved into Book 2. Only field testing will prove either way.
After another 8+ hours of demos we finally packed up and left DaffCon until next year, before going back to Tom's, eating and going to bed far too early and crashing out for about 12 hours.
So to everyone who had a demo with us, thank you all!
To those who I got to chat with, in particular Carl who gave me advice on using pictures of miniatures in a game, and all the people I really wanted to give demos to, or get demos from, but just couldn't get away from the table myself:
I now know that the game demos well, and that we can give a demo without too much problem.
And onto the photos! (I wish I had taken more)
Tom & I standing proudly with our product in hand. This was near the end of Day 2. Which might explain why we look so damned tired.
Wraiths vs Raiders on Day 1
Wraiths vs Raiders on Day 2. The greater variety in heights gave for a more enjoyable game for sure.
UEF vs Red Claw. Notice the careful placement of terrain as to knock out all long fire lanes.
Tom gives a UEF vs Red Claw demo to Gaz from Paranoid Miniatures.
So, with hindsight is there anything I'd have done differently?
For starters, beginning in the prominent position would have driven foot traffic from day 1, however starting off in a slightly more hidden position allowed us to ease into it.
I'd have loved to have produced some banner standees to grab attention. Maybe I can do that for next time,
Other than that, I genuinely think we did a stellar job! We demoed our ass off, pressed flesh and made some good contacts.
The models and terrain looked good, showing off exactly how viable a variety of terrain is in the game, and the book and counters were well received.
Looking forward, we're doing more work on the book, and it is with great hope that next year, rather than just running demos, we'll be hosting a tournament.
Until next time, stay safe and be excellent to each other!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley