Throughout this semester, team Unknown Space has been hard at work making sure that we could get our game Reboot at a solid enough state to show off at the Champlain Games Festival, and we did it! On April 13, we all got into a bunch of different cars and drove out to Essex Junction to set up our booth, all kitted out with Reboot stickers, coloring sheets for the children, feedback forms, and of course, the game itself!
It was really an exciting moment to be able to stand behind this desk and show off what my team and I have been so hard at work on this semester. A good handful of people stopped by to play our game, and for the most part the reception was very positive! Of course, that wasn't without our fair share of good critique and criticism, but people really did enjoy moving at psycho-fast speeds as an old TV on rollerskates.
While the experience as a whole was amazing to say the least, the feedback we got on the game was also really solid. One of the pieces of feedback that really stuck with me was actually from the dude on the left in the picture above; he said that he often found himself crashing into walls and losing speed, but it never felt frustrating in a bad way. Sure, it was initially frustrating to have lost progress, but he felt excited to be able to try to go back and go along all the speed surfaces once more to truly master the game's content.
Another really good insight came from Ryan Huggins, one of the founders of Sundae Month - a local Vermont game studio. He said that while the intent of the game (going fast and staying in that state of "speed zen") was solid in concept, there were issues with the level design that directly contradicted the game's intent. This is something that the design team had definitely felt before, but we were never able to fully grasp what it was that was going against the core of the game. Now, we know exactly what it is, and we are already hard at work on fixing that issue!
All in all, taking Reboot to Games Fest was amazing. Without sounding like too much of a broken record, I think it's safe to say that people really enjoyed the game in its current state! One specific moment worth highlighting was when a pair of young siblings spent around an hour trying to get the highest score possible; eventually, one of our producers had to step in and lend them a helping hand, but it seems like they were hooked on the gameplay of going faster and faster. Knowing that we're definitely on the right track with Reboot, I'm greatly looking forward to giving my all to Reboot to make it as good as it can possible be before this semester ends!