Julius is home with a severe cold after shaking a lot of hands at Eurogamer Expo (EGX) in Birmingham this weekend (next time we’ll bring a bucket of hand sanitizers), so he’s instructed me to take care of the blogging this week. Sorry for being a few days late, this blogging tech is still new to me. Prepare for wordiness! 😀
The latest show we visited with SteamWorld Heist – Gamescom in Germany this August – was a true test of character and stamina. Gamescom is by far the biggest game expo in the world, with around half a million visitors and booths spread out over about a dozen gigantic halls. You’d better be both very fit and very patient! By contrast, EGX fits snugly into one hall, and even the biggest exhibitors – Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Ubisoft, EA – felt compact yet packed with content. It’s great to be able to walk around and “see everything” in less than 20 minutes.
And when you don’t have to walk forever, you discover so many nuggets! I liked a lot of the stuff I played, but I specifically fell in love with two very different games, Mushroom 11 and Lichtspeer. I certainly hope they both do all right. I guess as an indie developer I’m biased, but I seem to enjoy indie games more than anything; many of them are so to-the-point and just charming.
Nintendo had set up a SteamWorld Heist station for us smack in the middle of their booth, where we had a constant flow of people playing – and, to our relief, enjoying – our 10-minute demo of the game. It was noisy and at times also chaotic, but all wrapped in a happy atmosphere. We also had time to sit down with the press and talk shop. That’s always a bit nervous; what if I fail at infecting them with my excitement for the game, or what if they don’t understand or don’t like the gameplay? I’m like a bouncy five-year-old in that respect: “Come on! Love it! Get it!” And yes… they got it. 🙂
There is something special and familial about Nintendo: they don’t treat us like rock stars (most probably because we’re not), but they definitely don’t regard us as thin air either. It’s more like we’re cousins, perhaps, or friends. For example, their EGX developer party was not held at a cool club, but in the back room of a pub. You could argue that they’re being cheap (and I guess it was relatively cheap), but the point is that all the Nintendo folks were there, with us. Talk about making your developers feel important. The night ended with an incredibly loud punk band that happened to play at the same pub. In my humble opinion punk will always beat techno, which is what we’re usually served at dev-conference parties. I got back to the hotel late that night, very happy and with my ears still ringing.
As soon as Julius is back on his feet, we’ll post videos and more images from EGX!
The Billy Gill Back Story Winner
Last week’s SteamWorld Ambassador Challenge was to provide a plausible back story for Billy Gill, our tight-lipped, gun-toting fish robot. And again we got so many wonderful entries! I have to tell you it’s really hard to pick winners for these challenges. Most everyone in the office gets involved, and we’re both flattered and overjoyed by the efforts. If it would have made any sense, we’d let everyone win.
So many of the entries would work well, but one stood out. The winner is:
- “Aboard the Titanium” by jmaster2710
As the author mentioned in the comment, they went overboard and made a comic that is simply irresistible. We made a point of judging it fairly against the text-based entries. It didn’t win because it’s a comic – but because it’s concise and there’s a marvellous twist to it. See for yourselves:
Congrats jmaster2710, you’ll soon get an invitation to our secret Facebook group. As a SteamWorld Ambassador you’ll be among the first in the world to play SteamWorld Heist on all platforms starting this fall (you get to invite your friends, too). You’ll also get exclusive information on the SteamWorld games as they progress.
As always we feel a little guilty towards all of the other contestants. But keep at it and you too might become an ambassador one day!
SteamWorld YouTube Series
If you’re following our updates I’m sure you know we’re regularly uploading videos to the Image & Form YouTube channel. The series is a container for all sorts of content: Q & As, interviews with staff, let’s plays, discussions, contests, announcements, fun randomness and other SteamWorld related content with the community in focus.