Thanks to everyone that came out and saw us at PAX! We had a great showing and the crowds were unstoppable at the Indie Megabooth this year. With so many amazing games on display, it was no surprise that the Indie Megabooth was one of the most popular areas on the showfloor. We also want to give a big shoutout to all the other indie developers that we met and that came by to talk shop. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to play many games this year, but the Megabooth was proof that this is one of the most amazing times to be a gamer. Despite the long hours and extra day, we had an absolutely great time showing off Dead State for the first time and meeting so many backers.
(From left to right: Mazin - GUI/Concept/Models Artist, Oscar - Lead Artist, Christina - Producer, Jake - DB Testing/Science Dept, Brian - Project Lead, Annie - Design/Writing)
Since PAX was the first time many of us have ever been in the same room at the same time, we took the time to study playthroughs and take notes as a group. While most of us had already made a lot of notes on our demo build, having the chance to watch people play through the demo gave us a lot of insight into first-time player issues. We came away with about several emails worth of improvements for our interface, combat, and presentation, which will all be applied in the near future or during beta-testing. In all, the demo prepared us all for the work that needs to be done on the path to the Beta version of the game and will help us polish the gameplay in ways that should be immediate the next time we show off the build extensively.
If you missed out on coverage of Dead State on the showfloor, here’s a link to our segment on Twitch TV:
(Note: if the link doesn't bring you to our segment, cut and paste the link into your browser directly. We're at the 3h44m mark.)
We were also mentioned in PC Gamer’s post-PAX podcast (thanks to Evan and TJ for playing through the demo):
Our demo was about 45 minutes long if players stuck around for the whole thing, which a surprising number of people did stay for (note to self, more demo machines next year) – we were targeting 20 minutes and overshot a bit. We truncated the opening of the game to some text and a conversation to get players into the game faster.
The first day consisted of Llano Commercial to get parts from the hardware store (we’ve shown this before) and then we steered the player back to the shelter for some rest and daily results, which show a summary of the day’s events and supplies consumed. Next, we had some conversations in the morning that gave player a whole host of new options for exploration and the shelter. Players were able to assign party and repair the shelter’s fence on the job board, then it was off to the area map for a decision to either hit up a nearby supermarket or Llano Residential. We jacked up the difficulty on the second day (especially in the Supermarket), so very few people made it through day two with their life or their allies’ lives intact. Some of you may have also noticed your allies or enemies get up as zombies after being killed. In all, the demo did a pretty good job at showing a brief slice of Dead State’s gameplay.
We had two other announcements at the show. First, Dead State will unfortunately slip into early 2014 so that we can take the time to polish up the experience as much as possible. As much as we would like to ship this year, delays sometimes happen with software development and we would rather launch as polished and bug free as is possible. We definitely want to deliver the game we promised, so we would rather take the extra time than cut content or features. You only launch once, so it’s best to get it right the first time.
However, for those that backed us and for those that pre-order, we will make an extended version of our PAX demo available to you later this year, which should give those of you itching to play the game a small bit of Dead State until the full game hits. We’ll have more on this later this year.
With PAX over, it’s back to working towards Beta for us. For anyone who saw us at the show, feel free to give us your impressions here or on the forums.