A couple of weeks before this May’s London Comic Con, the organisers got in touch asking if we would like a place in the Go Indie Games booth as someone had dropped out. Obviously we wanted to take up the slot and show ya’ll Chronicles, but this left us with very little time to get things ready for the show!
Not my first rodeo and also, my first rodeo.
So I’m no stranger to MCM Comic Con, having been to a few as a punter/cosplayer (#geek) but back in those days they didn’t have an Indie Booth. I contacted MCM a few years back to see if they would be introducing one when we wanted to take Glyph Quest on tour and it was something they were planning on introducing, fast forward to this years show and I must have been remembered as I was contacted at super short notice to see if we would like the space! After hastily putting together the marketing resources they needed, and buying a new printer so we could sign all the forms, we needed to come up with a plan on how we would demo Glyph Quest Chronicles.
Like I said, I’ve done MCM before and I know Cosplay is one of the major draws of the event so it seemed super obvious to me that I should cosplay as one of the characters from Chronicles! Yes we needed to finish all the spell animations and get a working demo version together, but more importantly I needed a red ombre wig and some foam board!
And as it is traditional, I was of course painting my head wings the night before the first day! But that wasn’t the only thing we needed to make to help demo the game, no, no, no. We* decided we should create some sort of elaborate iPad stand to showcase Chronicles (by we I mean me).
Keeping everything on brand, we made an iPad (Air) holder shaped like a big magical tome, complete with QR code (it is an ancient tome after all)!
For those of you at home wanting to make one for yourself, you will need a lot of cardboard, packing paper and gloopy glue, Parchment printer paper, some fake leather, felt and ribbon!
So we were all set right? Alex had been busy getting all the spell effects finished and front loading the character so all spells were available, I had made the cosplay and the iPad holder, all the documents had been signed and the media assets sent away; now all we needed to do was get to London and let the thousands of people come play Chronicles!
Stuck in the Middle
Well, we didn’t exactly get the thousands of people we were hoping for. Most notably because they couldn’t get to us!
At this point I want to give a big shout out to Failbetter and Sukeban (who were at either end of the aisle) for ushering people down the aisle to have a look at Chronicles! Also not sure why we had the wrong art printed for the backing banner, probably because of how short notice getting all the assets to them was. So we didn’t get the traffic or number of passersby we expected, but some folks did stop by to have a play!
I also gave away a few sketches, so lucky you if you got hold of one, they are very much limited edition!
If we did it all again…
We learned a lot bringing Chronicles to MCM. Mostly that you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of a tight aisle but also about how to demo a mobile game at an event like this.
You need a monitor.
The number of people who dismissed Chronicles for being ‘just a mobile game’ was heart breaking (most of these people were waiting to play the game opposite us). The folks looking at the games moved from one monitor to the next and completely overlooked us despite our best efforts to make the game as big as possible in the space we had. I got more attention for the game when I sat down and started sketching than when trying to strike up conversation with the people queuing to play the other games.
If we did it all again I would have made a trailer/demo video for the game and had that showing on the stand and hovered about with the game on device for people to play. Also you need handouts.
This might be super obvious, but with so little time before the show we couldn’t justify the extra for express printing/delivery. In the 20:20 that is hindsight, it would have been worth the cost. People asked for handouts. So if you have a booth planned somewhere make sure at the very least you have some leaflets!
And because we had the wrong art printed, no one knew who I was supposed to be cosplayed as! I had a number of people ask for a picture (and even more ask where I got the wig from), but without the reference it was a bit lost on people. So never mind. We had a great time!