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Jotun’s Pax East Post-Mortem

by William Dube on 03/12/15 01:54:00 pm   Featured Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

This post-mortem covers our experience at Pax East 2015 showing off Jotun. I’ll go through what our goals for the event were, how we prepared, how much it cost and how things went.

TL;DR: Pax was insane.

TEAM

We brought five people to Pax: myself (game designer), Bruno (brand manager), Max (composer), Jo-Annie (artist) and Alex (programmer). Bruno and I focused on taking care of press while the rest of the team focused on the gamers. It was great to have different parts of the team present to answer questions about specific fields, mainly art, music and design. We were also part of the Up North Indies, a group of about 15 studios from Quebec who made the trek to Boston. Five was a good number for our booth size. I think having one person per station makes sense.

BOOTH

As we only had a 10’ x 10’ booth and a limited budget, we tried to keep things simple. We arrived on Thursday and went with an L-shaped design with 4 stations, a single TV and 2 big vertical stand-alone banners. Each team member had a tablet to collect emails. It was packed all weekend-long and sometimes got a little cramped. It would have been good to have higher TV’s, since a crowded booth meant people walking by couldn’t really see the game.

PAX GOALS

·      Build relationships with the media

·      Generate media value

·      Add emails to our mailing list

MEDIA

Leading up to Pax, Bruno worked 4 weeks full-time organizing the press list (which includes traditional press, bloggers, youtubers and streamers), reaching out for interviews, following up by sharing theJotun Combat Teaser Trailer and scheduling everyone into 20-minute blocks.

Not only did we have physical press kits to give press who played the game (burned CD’s with Jotunstickers on them), but we also had a rigorous schedule that we followed very strictly. We made sure to always have a station open for press and to respect everyone’s time. As I said earlier, Pax is crazy and no one has time for messing around.

FANS

It was so fun to see people play and enjoy the game. It was great to see smiles and just how excited gamers were. Some came away from the demo shaking. People also loved showing off their Norse mythology and Shadow of the Colossus tattoos! Some came back all 3 days; others brought their friends. It was particularly special to meet and high-five Kickstarter backers. Thank you all for stopping by! We even met Thora:

Our process to invite gamers into the booth was pretty straightforward. As people walked through the aisle, they would stop in front of the booth to take a look, intrigued by the art and animation style (“Whoa, that’s gameplay?”). We’d then pitch them the game and ask them to play. Once they went through the demo, we asked them how they liked it and if they wanted to join our mailing list for future updates. If they did, we gave them a Jotun pin.

We were also sponsored by Razer (thanks to Atul and the Up North indies!) and were able to give out some swag to the players who were able beat the Winter Jotun:

RESULTS

·      Did we build relationships with the media?

Over the course of the weekend we gave away about 75 physical press kits. We had pre-scheduled 35 20-minute interviews with press, youtubers and streamers. We almost constantly had someone from the media in the booth, and I went through about 200 business cards (and collected about 300). Almost everyone loved the game and we’ll be sending out tons of Steam keys once the game hits alpha. Amazing success.

·      Did we generate media value?

As of today, we have been featured in tens of articles, including amazing coverage from IGN. We also did interviews with other huge sites that we’ll be able to share once they’re live. We can’t believe how much everyone loved the game.

·      Did we add emails to our mailing list?

All told, we collected 717 emails over three days. Before Pax, our non-Kickstarter mailing list had 250 people. Now we’re almost at 1000. For a small indie studio, that’s huge.

COSTS (USD)

10’ x 10’ Booth - $1,600

Extra Electricity - $111

Hotel - $683

Stand-Alone Banners - $300

Gas - $150

Parking - $150

750 Pins - $200

Food - $250

TOTAL - $3,444

CONCLUSION

Pax was crazy intense. Jotun’s pitch, “Jotun is a hand-drawn action-exploration game set in Norse mythology”, will forever be burned into my brain. Our press coverage was better than anything we could have hoped for, we generated a ton of media value and meeting gamers - especially Kickstarter backers - was such a positive experience. People really loved the game. The event was also great for the team. So much positive energy created really boosted our confidence.

At the end of Pax, we were brain-dead, tired, our feet, knees and back ached and we had to drive back 6 hours to Montreal. Was it worth it? YES!

As I type this, Bruno and I are in the plane on our way to Austin, Texas for SXSW Gaming. If this is half the event Pax was, we’ll be jumping for joy come Sunday night.

See you in purgatory,

Will and the Jotun team

If you want to impress the Gods and learn more about Jotun, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and to join our monthly mailing list. Thank you!

Jotun is coming to Steam in September 2015.


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