This was the big week. Our chance at redemption! I’m kidding, we were all super excited to showcase Groundless to the thousands of people that would be attending Pax East 2018. Over the course of the last few weeks we made plans on how the booth was to be laid out, as well as wrapped up the final changes for the Pax Development build. Personally, I had no changes that needed to get in because I had finished them early over Spring break like some of there others on the team. The only changes that needed fixing were a few technical issues, and some simplifying of the build like removing the Quit or Options button so no one could screw around.
Since I had no work, and wasn’t leaving for Pax until Thursday night, I volunteered to help Tyler with the final QA Wednesday night. It took a few hours, and everything worked well. It was funny leaving that night because I told Tyler, Jackson, Jess and Arden, “Bye, I’ll see you in Boston”
The Booth
From the other members of the team who were present at the booth on Thursday, I heard that the flow of players was pretty steady. But I also heard that convention was only at 30% capacity and on Friday it would be around 70%. That’s an insane leap in attendees, but I was confident and excited for what I would experience.
After my night bus dropped me off in Boston around 6am, I rested for 2hours before joining the entrance line at 8 at the convention center. I didn’t have an exhibitor’s pass so I got to mingle with the other attendees in line. This turned out to be pretty great because I was able to talk with people about my work, and groundless! One couple I spoke with actually remembered the game from the previous day, which is awesome!
Once I got in, I went straight for our lovely booth! It was so vibrant with it’s shades of bright green, and all of the fake plants that the others bought from Target to spruce it up. It definitely stood out from the darker colors every other game had. It was a neat set up too. We had two monitors ready to play the game with four controllers at each, business and post cards ready, and even a laptop set up to sign up for the newsletter. It felt professional. A passer by or exhibitor would have no idea that we were actually a bunch of students. After such hard work we had made it to an established convention to show off our game with an amazing mechanic.
After 2 busy days at the day I can confidently say that people loved what we had to show. Just about everyone who played Groundless left with a smile on their face telling us and their friends what amazing time they had. I think it really has to do with the building and destroying that players use in the game. It flips their expectations on their head because they can’t just walk around the map. They need to strategize their every move and communicate with their partner to succeed. Not many games have that kind of interaction.
After the long hours and jelly legs, I can happily confirm from my bus seat home that this was the best thing that’s happened for us and the project. It was such a great experience seeing others love all of the hard work we’ve put into the project. I have no doubt that the Senior Showcase will be a piece of cake.
Hours (30 hours)
Booth (26hrs)
Build QA (4hrs)

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