Almost a year ago we debuted Tengami at Rezzed in Brighton. It was a fantastic experience for us and when Eurogamer phoned last March to ask whether we wanted to join again, no convincing was required. As an added bonus the show took place at the NEC in Birmingham, which is right around the corner for us.
Like last year our booth ran Tengami on 4 iPads and we also used the same booth artwork. No matter how many times I see the cherry tree in autumn, I remain in love with it.
Friday, on the day before the show we had a major crisis. Phil and I went to the NEC to setup the booth and took our iPad Mini to play the latest build on the train and see what last minute improvements we wanted to make. After we finished setting up the booth we went to Birmingham Airport to run some more errands. On the way back Phil noticed that he didn’t have the iPad Mini anymore. He thought he had left it on the train and got in touch with Virgin trains, but no one had turned it in. Needless to say the mood on that day was very grim. We definitely needed a 4th iPad for the booth, but couldn’t afford to just go buy another one. Thankfully Martin Hollis (@martinhollis) recommended engaging the Twitterverse to see if we could borrow an iPad for the duration of the show. To my utter surprise within minutes @bonzrat (Alec from RPS) and Laura from @RezzedGameShow offered to help us out. We took Laura up on her offer, thank you so much!
Before the show started on Saturday Phil went to Brimingham Airport to look for the lost iPad. Luckily someone had given it Lost & Found, after unsuccessful attempts to break the security code and Phil reclaimed it. As you can imagine, we were extremely relieved and the show was off to an excellent start.
Similar to PAX East we showed the Forest Demo and the Ocean Demo. Since PAX we had heavily iterated on the Ocean level and added completely new puzzles. I was very eager to see how the changes we made to the Ocean level would hold up at Rezzed and how people would get on with the new puzzles. On the Saturday most people opted to play the Forest, but on Sunday we got a good amount of people playing the Ocean demo. While I had to give a few hints here and there the new puzzles worked well and we came away with a surprisingly small list of required changes. The puzzles in the Ocean demo are a lot more demanding than in the Forest and I was very delighted to see that the players stuck with it. Seeing some people playing the demo for up to an hour until they had finished the demo on their own was one of my Rezzed highlights. It is wonderful to see such dedication in a game show environment.
I was very happy to see familiar faces from last years show and to getting repeat players. Before Rezzed I couldn’t shake this superstitious feeling that people might not like Tengami if they would play it a second time. Talking to fellow game developers about this during the show I realized that it is quite a common and completely unfounded thought.
We were a lot smarter this year when it came to running the booth. Last year only Phil and I staffed the booth for the entire show. This meant that we couldn’t take any breaks to eat or go to the restroom. About 2 weeks before the show we put out the word on Twitter that we are looking for help with the running the booth and @jonmillymiles, @qixotl, @Joshua_Unsworth and @hannardynamite offered a couple of hours of their time in exchange for an exhbitor pass. There help was invaluable for us and we will definitely try to get additional booth staff for every big show we do from now. Jon wrote about his Rezzed experience here: Opportunities & Contemplation/
In addition to getting help running the booth we spread Tengami info sheets throughout the booth. This way we didn’t have to tell every single person that came to the booth what Tengami. Of course I didn’t notice until after the show that the first sentence had a typo, ooops… but everyone was kind enough to not point it out.
Unlike last year we gave away Tengami buttons and mini cards with game info. Unfortunately I didn’t anticipate that 250 buttons and mini cards would only last 4 hours.
Thanks to Rezzed we finally got to meet Tengami’s Animator Christiaan Moleman in person. He flew over from Holland to attend the show and stayed at my place for the duration. Because Christiaan has no iOS device, he had actually never played Tengami and only seen his work as part of videos we had sent him.
So many things happened in preparation for Rezzed and on the show days themselves that it is hard to decide which to include or leave out. Let me just finally say that we are very grateful to Eurogamer & RPS for putting on such a fantastic event, we hope to join you again in the future. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came to play Tengami. Seeing you play and talking to you about Tengami is the reason we attend events like Rezzed. Thank you all and I hope to see you again!