Last night I attended the Ludum Dare / GitHub GDC party in San Francisco at the fantastic offices of GitHub. I have no idea where their employees work (perhaps another floor?) but their gathering space was fantastic, and they even had a nice big TV with a dangling HDMI cable set up which I was able to snag for an hour or two of showing off my game, Splody. I turned the TV over to Shnipers for the latter half of the night, as that was also a fantastic local multiplayer game, and had a chance to play a bunch of other indie games around the room as well.
Splody is basically Bomberman taken to the extreme, optimized for larger numbers of local players (though also has online multiplayer). The showing of Splody went quite well, often had 6 or more people playing at once, everyone seemed to be having fun, and quite a few were really excited about the game. It was great to have so much positive feedback! Everyone unanimously enjoyed my simultaneous multiplayer character customization/control test screen.
Now, I just need to channel as much attention as possible into getting Greenlit on Steam, so, if you have a Steam account, please go vote on my Steam Greenlight Campaign, every vote helps!
I did learn a few things that hadn’t came up with my previous demos – as this demo was to a bunch of random people at varying frequencies, and most of my previous demos have been to larger captive audiences. I need a good way to show the game to just a single demoer – playing a 1v1 match against me, a tournament-winning Bomberman player, either doesn’t go well for them, or feels like I’m just committing suicide. I think I’ll throw in an option to pad out a match to a fixed number with AIs, so if there’s just one person demoing, AIs can fill in so there is at least 4-6 players on screen for a better feeling of what a party game can be, though obviously playing against AIs isn’t as fun as stomping your friends. The other thing was with one particular game mode, Mount Control, which currently has a bit of randomness in it which can lead to rather long matches, and I think I can do a little tuning so that the expected match time is a lot more constrained which would lead to much better conference-floor demo experiences.
Oh, and the other thing I learned, or, rather, already knew, but keep forgetting, is that I really shouldn’t play against a set of people and win 3 to 0 to 0 to 0 to 0 to 0… but some people playing the demo get really competitive and I have to give it my all to give them a fair fight, and the I forget to tone it down a notch for the next group. Best solution is probably to continue talking about the game constantly, as me paying half attention is probably the right skill level for most people ;).
In conclusion, please vote on my Steam Greenlight Campaign, and also follow me on Facebook if you want updates on the development of Splody (and my other projects).