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  • My Experience At PAX West With Indie Megabooth

    - Ross Przybylski

  • Mastering the Pitch

    The showfloor was a great place to discover what gravitates people toward games. I found out it was a combination of familiarity and weirdness. "Summoners Fate is a top down fantasy adventure meets deck builder." "Ohhh, ok" (nodding inquisitively). "And you get to hurl squirrels at your enemies and then transform them into super squirrel mutants." Laughing. "Ok now I gotta try this...". Being with the Indie MEGABOOTH helped: people knew going in that everyone manning the booths were the actual game developers - and that's what makes the experience so special. It wasn't just a chance to show the game, but also my personality: that I'm sincere about my enthusiasm with the game and my commitment to players.

    The Power of Connecting

    Hanging out with fellow indies was good medicine. It was reassuring to hear similar stories about the sacrifices we're making. One of the dev teams, working on a game that rivals the art of Skyrim called Eastshade told me how they were living together with their mom and grandma. Others were taking breaks while dealing with family emergencies or trying to juggle a full-time job or contract work on the side to keep things up.

    I could relate: My wife had to return to working full time to give us extra runway on our project. I had to take on more responsibility taking care of our two children. We had to pay for an expensive surgery out of pocket because we didn't have corporate insurance. We've missed out on vacations, we never travel to see family, and we're constantly dealing with disasters that come up. Uncertainty creates enormous pressure and there are many times it feels all-consuming and soul crushing.

    Despite our common challenges, none of us deterred away from the hopeful sentiment we all believed in: You can always make more money, you can't get back the time in your life. Your moment must be seized while it can.

    Meeting new people was the best!

    I met so many amazing people, including some of our longtime fans and followers who made a special trip just to see me. Shout outs to Tom, Patrick, Kyle and Jeremy! I got to tell John Baez, founder of The Behemoth how Battle Block Theater's level editor inspired my son to become a game developer. Chainsaw Games Studio, creators of my favorite Xbox party game, Knight Squad, were just across from the MINIBOOTH showing their new game, Aftercharge.

    An analyst from Magic the Gathering team told me he really enjoyed the onboarding in our demo. Wanderbot, a YouTuber I admire and really wanted to share my game made a surprise visit. My new friend from Tencent, YiCong, also stopped by and I got a chance to show the development tools I wrote to make the game. As the sole engineer on my team, I don't get many opportunities to speak about the behind-the-scenes challenges of production and supporting a live service. It felt so incredibly validating to have a fellow developer take delight in the feats I'd accomplished.

    YiCong plays Summoners Fate


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