The Big Day
Yesterday was a pretty big day for us on the Fragmental team.
In one day we were planning to put our game up on Steam Greenlight, and also show the game off to the general public for the first time.
We had spent the past couple of weeks getting the build into a solid and consistent state, so that we could both capture good video for the Greenlight trailer, as well as ensure that people who played would have a great time with the game with no hand holding from us.
Yesterday morning, we still had some last minute tweaks to make to the build, and the trailer was still at the 1st pass stage. By lunchtime we had the build the way we wanted it, and it was now on my usb attached to my keys – that’s some scary shit there, having the entire contents of all of our work attached to my keys, technology is both amazing and extremely worrying at times like this. We had to rush out of the office to catch our train while the guys continued to work on the final touches of the trailer. By the time we had arrived at the Mash House in Edinburgh – which was the location of Vol 3.0 of the GamesAreForEveryone event – I received a text message telling me that the Greenlight page was up and live, and all we had to do now was to announce it.
Me and the guys were standing there under the bridge in Guthrie Street in the rain, waiting on Martin turning up with the pc. We were all huddled around my phone looking at Fragmental on the Steam Greenlight page. I understand that this was simply getting the game up on Greenlight, we still need to enough votes to actually get through, but just seeing the game on the Steam Greenlight page was amazing. We all stood there, dripping wet, grinning at each other like muppets. It was a genuinely fantastic feeling, the perfect boost to get us ready to show off the game. Then Martin arrived in the taxi and it was time to get setup.
The Mash House
We quickly got setup at our location, we were right next to the bar, and the first thing you saw when you came into the club, so we couldn’t have asked for a better place to be. We decided to have one game to test out the setup and make sure it was all good, and one game turned into five as it always seems to do with Fragmental. Pretty sure I won more games than the rest of the guys, but they’ll all have different stories to tell – I usually refer these as LIES. So, that was us all setup and ready to go, we just had some time to grab some food and then get back to show off the game.
When the doors first opened we instantly had a few people milling around, looking a bit lost, and a little apprehensive about being the first to play the game. So rather than trying to talk them into playing, we thought we would just kick a game off ourselves and let them see it in action. We played one game to the end, getting through it as fast as we could, and as soon as the game was done we had 4 people grabbing at the controllers to get on next. We then took them through the really simple set of controls and they were off.
Once the first group got on the game, a crowd started to develop behind them, people just standing there watching and waiting to get a game themselves. From that point on the game had a constant crowd of people and the atmosphere was fantastic. The reaction was everything we had hoped for. There was lots of shouting, pointing and laughing, squealing at instant kills that caught people off guard, exclamations of “what the fuck” when some of our more off the wall levels appeared, huge celebrations for winning tense rounds and even bigger celebrations for the people who won the entire match. It was great to stand back and watch the guys picking the game up easily and having the same kind of noisy fun that we do when we play in the office.
Of all the years of showing off games to the public, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a better reception. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I hate this ridiculously overused word, and it’s very rare that I ever have reason to use it, but the response honestly was AWESOME.
By the time we had to leave to catch our train home, we were all itching for a game ourselves. So four of us jumped on for one quick game before we had to go. As usual, one wasn’t enough. We had a look at our watch, we still had about 20 minutes to get to the train station, so we had another game. Honestly, this game is ridiculously moreish. So, we had the last game – which I totally won! – and then we really had to leave. That extra game cut our time to get the train so much that we then ended up looking like a scene from Trainspotting, because we had to run at full pelt, through the soaking wet cobblestoned streets of Edinburgh to get to the train station on time to catch the last train back to Dundee.
We managed to catch the train, and while we sat there grinning at each other, soaking wet and breathing heavy from the run, all I could think was “I won that last game”.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to Andrew Dyce who invited us to come along to GamesAreForEveryone, we had a great time showing off the game and we would love to do it again in the future.
I’m now finding it extremely difficult not to just sit and watch the stats of the Greenlight page, and hit F5 continuously to see how the game is doing. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever willed a percentage to increase as much in my life – not even when my pc decides to turns itself off and do another bastard Windows update, and that’s saying something!
It’s less than 24 hours since we actually put Fragmental up on Steam Greenlight, and the early signs are positive, but we’ve got a long, long way to go before we get through this stage, and we need your help to do that.
So, if you like the look of our game, it would be amazing if you could spend a few minutes to click on our Greenlight link, and give it a Yes vote, and even better, spread the word to any of your friends that you think would be into this kind of game too.