Last weekend we were at the Evergreen Tabletop Expo, where our game Countervirus was a semifinalist for the LUCI award. Since this was our first convention ever, we didn't really know what to expect going in. We found out about the contest only 3 days before the submission deadline and decided to give it a try, figuring at the very least it would motivate us to get around to writing the rulebook and think about how to pitch our game to complete strangers. After a mad scramble to produce the submission materials, we were selected as semifinalists (much to our surprise), and had about 2 weeks to get Countervirus ready for judges and others to play at ETX.
Putting our game out there was scary but totally worth it. Not only was it a valuable learning experience for us but we also had a great time talking to the other contestants and playing new games. A special shout out to the winner Jeff Beck and the people's choice award recipient Badger (who by the way just launched an amazingly successful Kickstarter, check it out!)
Getting feedback from playtesters, interacting with the community, and seeing all the enthusiasm that exists for indie games has motivated us to keep going and work on new game ideas. Looking ahead to future events, and for anyone out there preparing for their first convention, these are the key takeaways from our experience:
What was your first convention experience like? What advice would you give to someone attending for the first time? Any other ideas to help demo more complex games effectively?