Showcasing Prismata at Fan Expo was a wonderful experience, despite all of the small hiccups we encountered along the way. It was exciting to see so many people take such a deep interest in our game, especially coming from an audience that we didn’t expect at all! Anyway, I bet you thought we were done talking about conventions once we posted up our full Fan Expo post-mortem account, huh? Well … you thought wrong!
This is a continuation of Part 1 from last week. Read that first, as it explains how we ended up at Fan Expo in the first place.
Fan Expo Preparation
Fan Expo for us practically began after the first week of August, when we finally got confirmation that we’d have a booth. It was exciting, especially after the disappointing news from PAX, but there was a lot to be done and we didn’t have much time.
Most important of all was figuring out the booth. We provided our own tables, seats, and computers, so we had to determine the exact dimensions of the space to ensure that our equipment would fit in the booth. Acquiring this information was more difficult than expected; Will had to make a huge number of phone calls to receive an answer, since the plans weren’t terribly well-organized and no one was completely sure how much booth space we actually would be getting.
This is the complete story of the first public appearance of Prismata, our new Starcraft-meets-Hearthstone turn-based strategy game. As you may know, PAX Prime—one of the world’s largest video game festivals—happened about a week ago in Seattle, Washington. Tens of thousands of fans were treated to exciting previews, live announcements, and playable demos in the massive Washington State Convention Center. It’s always been a dream of mine to show off Prismata at PAX, and we’d been planning to have our own booth there since early spring of this year. It was going to be great!
Except, we didn’t go.
In a move that left us all extremely disappointed, PAX’s sales team left us hanging for weeks without returning our emails, and ultimately denied us the opportunity to even submit an application for floor space at the event, giving preferred treatment to AAA developers and other established exhibitors. We ended up relocating our PAX booth to Fan Expo Canada—another large convention that happened to fall on the same weekend. Despite requiring a ton of planning, effort, and upfront costs, the Fan Expo booth went really well. Thousands of people played the game, and many of them came back multiple times, often bringing their friends, or waiting in line to play a fourth, fifth, or sixth time. There was nothing more satisfying than watching newbies turn into veteran Prismata players, after which most of them happily signed up to our mailing list to receive a beta key. Everything was going great! That is, until we returned to the office and realized (to our horror) that the entire list of hundreds of emails we had collected was wiped out by a bug in Google spreadsheets. More on that later.
This article is our exhibitor post-mortem. Here, you’ll find a full description of what happened with PAX, info on how we planned and ran the booth at Fan Expo, a full listing of our expenses, and a complete description of everything that we wished we’d done differently. If you’ve ever considered presenting a game at a convention, this is a must-read!
This will be a pretty quick post, as we just got back from the labour day long weekend. Most of our team spent the last 4 or 5 days in Toronto, where we showed off Prismata at Fan Expo Canada 2014. At our booth in the largest comic/anime/gaming convention in Canada, over ONE THOUSAND people tried Prismata for the first time, and their responses completely blew away my expectations. People absolutely loved the game, with many people returning to the booth to show Prismata to their friends, or coming back a day later to play for a second time (or third, or fourth…).
As mentioned in our previous blog post, Lunarch will be making an appearance at FanExpo in Toronto, Canada from Thursday, August 28th to Sunday, August 31st. We’ll be demoing Prismata to anyone walking by, so if you’re around, stop by our booth and you can get a chance to chat with the co-founders about the game and experience playing it firsthand. Our booth is located around the same area as Riot Games, Teletoon and Hasbro.