AVCON 2017 – Recap

Hello World!

Welcome to our first ever post for the Toybox Games blog. This blog will mainly consist of updates and the general adventures of the Toybox gang as we hurtle towards the completion of our first game.

This past weekend, after a year of development, we showcased PRIMORDIALS: FIREBORN for the first time to the public. Happily the response was overwhelmingly positive from everyone who played our game and has made us even more excited to showcase the game at PAX Australia later this year. The things we learnt from our first time presenting on a convention floor was invaluable and the weekend as a whole was a great experience for the Toybox team. This is just a brief cover of the events that took place…

Day One:

We woke up early to catch our Friday morning 10.00 o’clock flight from Melbourne to Adelaide. Coming from all over Melbourne most of us arrived easily with time to spare. However to Billy and David’s dismay, on their way to the airport they were unlucky enough to burst a tire on their car. While the rest of us rolled our eyes at the news in a very “Of course that’d happen to us” sort of way, Billy and Dave sprang into action. After changing the tire faster than anybody has ever changed a tire, they both arrived at the airport in time hands covered in dirt and grease. Good start!

After checking in our luggage and finally getting on the plane we were off. After an hour in the air and a Whiskey for good measure we landed safely in Adelaide and made our way to the hotel.

The hotel, fantastically, was located literally over the road from the convention centre. We checked in to our room and then made our way to the convention centre to get set up. Once we got there we were given our exhibitor passes and then made our way to our table. After adding our own ‘Fireborn Red’ table cloth and Billy revealing our freshly printed banner we were all feeling pretty good. We were keen to do a last minute play test of the build before leaving for the day but before we could do that we had to get our equipment tested and tagged…

… 4 hours later and someone finally came to test and tag our gear. The line of developers waiting to get there equipment tested was insanity. Now that we could finally plug in we started to play test our build. There were some noticeable issues to be fair, but it is pre-alpha and the majority of issues we were aware of. Despite these problems we started to overhear fellow developers talking behind us about how our game looked ‘Amazing’. It was a good feeling after so long working in the dark.

After this we went back to the hotel where we did some last minute changes to the build (Risky I know) and then decided to see what the Adelaide nightlife had to offer.

After an amazing meal, where we were so impressed we decided to book again for the next night, we made our way to a bar where a bunch of developers decided to meet for drinks. It was fun catching up with old friends and meeting some new faces.

After that we headed back to our hotel to get a goodnights sleep for the big day ahead of us.

Day Two:

We all wake up very keen to get into the first day. We make our way to the convention centre where we already see a great many people cosplaying and lining up to enter the event. We make our way inside and prepare our booth. We were lucky enough to have a fair few of the Toybox team at this event so it was easy enough to do shifts and have people collecting food for others. Thank god we had the hindsight to get a slab of water before the event as we were on our feet all day, talking to people, watching people play the game etc.

It was a fantastic experience, with everyone enjoying our game, despite a few technical hiccups. It was also great to see what other development teams were doing as well, with some absolutely amazing games being developed from all over Australia.

The first day of AVCon went off without a hitch. We got loads of valuable ideas and feedback about what people loved about the game and where they believe improvements could be made.

The two highlights of the day was when one person came up to us asking to buy the game, not realising it wasn’t even close to completion. This let us know we were hitting our mark when it came to developing at the high level of quality we wanted to achieve.

Secondly was just the overall interest. We were blessed to have people looking at or playing our game the whole day. This felt great as it was a justification to the long payless hours the whole team had put in in the project. It proved to us that our hard work was paying off and that we are heading towards what will hopefully be a game all people can enjoy.

After finishing up a long tiring day we left the convention centre and once again had great food. After that we went back to the hotel in preparation for our final day at AVCon. It was soon time to go to bed but not without a few friendly games of Mario Kart first.

Day Three:

Day 3 played our pretty similar to day 2 with respect to the event. Which was fantastic because that means we once again got very positive feedback. By the end of the day we had a nice list of things to consider, bugs and recommendations. It was fantastic to have had such a good initial showing of the game. Other than that it was pretty similar to the day before with the exceptions of a few short interviews which was cool!

In high spirits we left AVCon and then got back in a taxi and headed towards the airport.

After our plane was delayed by 3 hours we were pretty wrecked by the time we got home in the early hours of Monday morning.

Despite this it was a fantastic experience and we are excited to share more updates about our team and PRIMORDIALS: FIREBORN in the future.

The Author

Tyson Butler-Boschma

Creative Director - Toybox Games Studios

August 6, 2017