What’s up, people!
Gamescom 2017 happened! Over the course of months, we’ve been working diligently on a special Gamescom build to showcase RITE of ILK in its full glory.
It started with a short road trip to Cologne in Alanay’s car. Now, his car is super duper cool and all, but it’s not the largest of cars. Basically grab thousands of flyers, several carton boxes, a television, fake jungle plants, and four people (including large old me) and cram it all into that car, and we were well on our way to creating a slapstick comedy. Truth be told, we had gained a few levels in Tetris.
(Figure 01: Poor little car!)
Thankfully, the trip from our office to Cologne only takes about 3 hours. It was honestly a heavensent when compared to the 13-hour flight from last year to GDC, San Francisco, where there was little to no leg space.
Once we arrived in Cologne – and after searching for hours for the entrance we could use – we immediately started setting up our booth. We were part of the Indie Arena Booth line-up and the awesome people of their organization helped us so much (shoutout to: Wolf, Dajo, Anna, Oliver, Jana, and a whole lot more – thank you!). There wasn’t a shortage of Indie representation at Gamescom this year, with the Indie Arena Booth alone boasting a plentiful 83 games on their showfloor.
(Figure 02: Welcome to the jungle.)
We wanted to stick to our game’s theme and made sure we emblazoned our booth in RITE of ILK’s vibe and feel. Wherever we could, we would stick a variety of vines, leaves, and twigs, incorporating the impression of a jungle.
Open for business
Gamescom had officially started the next day, initiating its magical days with press day. As is to be expected of a press day, media swarmed the entirety of Indie Arena Booth and a good amount of people interviewed us and played our game. The thousands of promotional materials we brought; mask cut-out flyers, A5 flyers, character stickers, and our small game cards, were all well-received and everyone seemed eager to get their hands on them.
The next day on Wednesday, Gamescom opened its doors for all types of visitors from all over the world. Almost instantly, the show floor was jam-packed. It was filled to the brim with people earnestly keen on playing all types of games, making it difficult to navigate around the booth.
Brazen and excited by the amount of people that played our game, we held our own and enthusiastically presented our game to each and everyone that came by.
That night, the Indie Arena Booth (IAB in short) held their award-ceremony. With so many beautiful, unorthodox, and eventful indie games, it was definitely going to be difficult to pick favorites. Oliver (IAB) presented the ceremony amusingly and announced award after award. There were a total of five awards, with the first winner of an Indie Arena Booth award being fellow Dutch developers Paladin Studios, who won ‘Best Mobile Game’ with their tactical game Stormbound. Soon after and much to our surprise, we won both the ‘Rising Star Award’ (sponsored by Utomik) and ‘Best Game Award’ (sponsored by DingitTV)! It turned into a blissful night for us, where after years of hard work, we received recognition for our sweat and tears.
(Figure 03: Not one, but two awards.)
It’s indescribable how good it feels to see a large crowd show such an enthusiasm for our game. People were lining up, sitting on their strange cardboard chairs, and talked to my colleagues as they waited. We’re just a quirky group of ambitious developers, striving to create a game that we love, to the best our abilities. It’s scary how some people even came back to play our game the day after. One group of friends in particular played the game six times! If you guys are reading this: hello!
(Figure 04: Liam & Laurin came back six times to play our game.)
We wanted to do more than just show our game. It took quite some time to prepare, but during Gamescom we launched our official trailer. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check it out:
Our booth consisted of two tv-screens; one screen running the game-build and the other playing the trailer on loop. This worked exceptionally well. First we piqued people’s’ interest with the trailer, followed by them noticing that they could play the game as well.
We also met a lot of our fellow colleagues from back home, like Rami Ismail (Vlambeer: Ridiculous Fishing), Adriaan de Jongh (Hidden Folks), the Little Chicken guys, and the Xform duo Diederik and Pieter (Man or Monster).
It’s not unusual for a major event like Gamescom to be accompanied by late night parties. We didn’t go to every party in order to conserve energy for later event days, but we couldn’t resist visiting a few parties.
(Figure 06: Yeah, that’s right. That’s a Jaeger-Robot dancing with people.)
When the last day of Gamescom came by, most of us were running on low-battery mode and energy drinks. The last crowd played our game and we started preparing for departure. We said our goodbye’s to fellow developers and the IAB staff, tore down our booth, and squeezed it all back into the car. The road back home seemed shorter and more comfortable, but trust me when I say that nothing beats the comfort of your cozy beds back home. And home to our beds we went.
It wasn’t our first and certainly won’t be our last Gamescom, but we had such an amazing time this year that it’s hard to imagine any better years. It was a great showing and we would like to thank everyone that came by and played our game! We would also like to thank everyone who voted for our game during the Indie Arena Booth Awards.
It was certainly worth it all.
You guys are awesome.
Coen & Alanay,