Southampton Game Fest 2018 · Stephen Ray
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Southampton Game Fest 2018

Back at the start of October, Roxanne, Harrison, and myself went to a local games festival, Southampton Games Fest. The festival mainly focuses on smaller and more independent developers from the southeast of England but also had some of the larger names there as well. There was also a few more community focused events at the festival as well such as gaming tournaments and cosplay competitions.

The festival was the first time that we ever showed off any game at a convention, and the first time we showed off this game to people who weren’t course mates or close friends, and it was quite the learning experience. When we first found out about the event, we contacted the organisers and it took them a little while to get back to us. Eventually, they did, and we were very unprepared, as they asked us for some promotional material and social accounts that they could link to, none of which we had, so we quickly prepared a social media presence, a company logo and some material for the game. When it came to the day of the event, we packed up two computer setups, two virtual reality setups, and everything else that we needed into a car, and took it to the venue. When we got there, we had a couple of hours to get set up, and we had an entire room in the basement to ourselves. Setup was a bit tricky at first, as we were running two Vive setups in a single room, and the IR tracking was having issues with the 4 base stations, so we solved this by putting up a massive sheet in the middle of the room to block out the IR beams. Once this was done it was all mostly OK, with the occasional stray beam throwing off tracking.

The festival then opened to the public, and it was quite the slow start. With there being 4 floors in the venue, it took a while for people to get to us, after that it was quite the steady stream of people showing up and playing the game, and the feedback that we got was generally positive. Over the course of the day we encountered a few bugs and quirks that needed to be addressed, so we ended up doing about 4 builds over the course of the day.

Dog in a Box Demo

As we got towards the end of the event, it calmed down a bit, and we were only really using one of them, so we started doing some tests and had a bit of fun with some wonky physics. Overall it was a really fun day, and I really want to do more stuff like this in the future.

Roxy in an Action Pose