As a game developer, you understand the importance of participating in events where you can showcase your game. It's great for testing your game, validating your game idea or even just promoting the game, and getting people to talk about it.
But without a great plan and knowing the right way to showcase your game successfully, you may not get the best out of it.
In October 2017, I got the chance to showcase a prototype of my game Musa- a brother's story at IGN convention in Bahrain, and I must say that I really got the best out of that opportunity. So I decided to use that experience and share with you my best 7 tips to successfully showcase your video game.
Tip # 1
Define your purpose
In order for you to achieve your goal, you first need to define it. Why are you showcasing your game? What do you hope to achieve from it? In case of my game, I wanted to validate my idea. I wanted to know if people would consider playing a game about refugees and if they would consider paying for such a game. So with that in mind, I could plan accordingly.
So define your purpose. Do you want to promote your game? Do you want to test it for bugs? Do you want to get funded for your game? Are you looking to build a team and for the right people? Once you have this down, the rest gets easy.
Design the Experience
Remember this is not a game jam, where you can have an unfinished game with zero polish. This is an event where people expect more. Even in the case of a prototype, design the user experience. In a loud event, without you being able to tell the user what to do, is your game intuitive enough to allow independent gameplay? If you come across a bug, can you exit and restart quick enough without losing your user?
For Musa, even though it was just a very basic prototype, I had a menu screen, an "About Musa" button, which could be clicked and you could read about the game, and an intro screen before gameplay starts that mentions the objectives and the controls for the game. This way if I'm not available at my booth, someone can still pick up a controller and play my game as they would play a fully finished game. I even had a small finishing animation that would loop back to the main menu after the player achieved the objective.
On day 1 of the two day event, I did realize something I hadn't thought of. Game abandonment or my game breaking in the middle of a level. So whenever someone would give up, I would have to do the whole level, complete the objective, watch the final animation and then loop back to the main menu. So at the end of day 1, I did three things. Programmed the "Home" button to skip to main menu from wherever in the game I am, programme the "R" key to restart the level, and update my intro screen with this new information. Communication is so important.