Hey everyone, Lauren here! My first EGX was a crazy ride. The whole team at Antler is super grateful to Brunel University for inviting us along – one of the many perks of being their in-house studio.
The week before EGX, Tom passed on the message that if we wanted to, Brunel had a spare ticket available for each day and would like to showcase Project Grove. For those who don’t know, Project Grove began as the team’s dissertation while studying Game Design at Brunel. The original build won Best Game Design & Development at the 2017/18 Degree Show and from this Antler was offered the studio in residence position.
Once we confirmed with Brunel, Tom, Harry and I set to work on a gameplay montage. We needed something up-to-date that would demonstrate the progress made since DreamHack Winter 2018. The montage went through a few drafts and we pulled the final thing together in the space of 3 days – lots of restructuring and footage being recaptured. Looking back, it was a great practice run before creating our Kickstarter trailer.
Fast forward to the Saturday of EGX. I arrived sharp at 10am to be at the front of the 11am queue, the atmosphere was buzzing! 11am hit and everyone thrust their wristband arm in the air ready to go.
We were lucky that Brunel was located at the end of the education zone. In front of the booth was an open space with tables and seating – this meant passersby could watch others play Project Grove as they relaxed. To our right was the Ukie Career Fair, so we had a steady stream of people throughout the day.
Within minutes of arriving, Ago from ID@Xbox and Stuart from Get Indie Gaming were over chatting to us! A little bit of Twitter networking goes a long way for indie studios. I was super happy to hear positive feedback about Project Grove from them.
Throughout the day people of all ages tried Project Grove and we are so grateful for their time and their feedback. Some were new to Project Grove and some were returners, eager to find out what updates had been made. The youngest were easily our most honest critics – if they didn’t understand something or got frustrated, they would straight up tell us.
Later in the afternoon we were lucky to be visited by Bridie from Level Design Podcast. From what Tom has told me, Bridie enjoyed Project Grove! We’re hoping that something will blossom from this first encounter.
I’m the kind of person that gives something 100%, then crashes and burns later. That happened once I got home. Impostor syndrome struck hard, paranoid that I had said something to someone in the wrong way. No precise examples, just a general exhausted dread. Then my phone pinged and I saw this:
Suffice to say I was over the moon, all dread forgotten.
Main thing I learnt at EGX 2019: Tradeshows take a lot of energy from everyone involved, remember some much needed self-care!