One of the best feeling a game designer can have is to see players play his game. A while ago, my teacher, René Bauer, was really upset, because for Fantasy Basel no student who was involved in a project outside of the school took the opportunity to show their game. To put it in context, a stand in Fantasy Basel is 3000CHF and there was a opportunity for SGDA members (Swiss Game Developer Association) to get a free place there (of course, being the member means also paying the annual fee, still clearly less than 3000CHF).
This same teacher made a round table saying which could be shown in those sort of festival. When it came to me, I could show Super Splash Fisticuffs. As I learned from this lesson, two of my teachers (René Bauer and Beat Suter) took two places in Fantasy Basel to represent the Game Design ZHdK formation. They propose for each student the possibility to take one stand and to show their game. Without hesitation, I took my place for Saturday the 16th of May. In the same time, I took the opportunity to show the game at the Suisse-Romande Game Dev Meetup on Wednesday the 13th of May, three days before the Fantasy Basel.
So, I presented the game, the challenges how to create it, the location of the Ludum Dare in front of the Suisse-Romande community, where I add the pleasure to meet Antoine Tuloup, the fellow chronicler of After Bit, a video-game music show on jeux-video.com. The game was well received and I already knew the different flaws of the game. A lot of designers gave me several ideas to make the game fully, but I didn’t know if I would continue this game. Of course, my teacher, René Bauer, highly advised me to finish the game and release it.
Finally, I arrived at Fantasy Basel the Saturday morning, around 9pm. Between Basel SBB and Basel Bad, I met a old friend of mine, that I mostly know as my Darth Vader friend. I then got free entrance and install my stand. I prepared everything to be as smooth as possible. Controller configurations were set. And the first players arrived, … and laughed. They had fun playing the game. A lot of them were clearly laughing. From behind, I could see all the bugs, but at the end, I just realized that people liked my game. At a moment, they was a group of four children (they spoke French, so I could understand them clearly), who played between 15 to 20 minutes in a row, always saying one more. I was amazed. Nothing in the game pushed the players to play more than 5 to 10 minutes. What did happen?
At the same time, Kevin Peclet, the artist who worked on Super Splash Fisticuffs was presenting Starfallen. I could play his game and even if they are details, I really liked the mood and all the work that have been put together. The first dungeon, even if it was not perfect, took my attention and I am really looking forward on their kickstarter or release. With Kevin, we could discuss about the game, see if we wanted to make a fully polished Super Splash Fisticuffs. WIth the reaction of the players, he was convinced. We will still discuss it, there is no confirmation of any sort, but we want to make it.
So, after cleaning up everything on Saturday evening, we went eating in a restaurant near the Messe Halle under a beautiful horn-mixed lamp, invited by our teacher, René Bauer. I returned then to Regensdorf, with the conviction to make an awesome video-game out of Super Splash Fisticuffs. You can read my other post on how we created the prototype for Super Splash Fisticuffs. I leave you with the horny lamp: