PAX, Day 1

The first day of PAX is over, and we are still alive!!!  We had crowds almost all of the time, and occasionally a giant line.  Best of all, we had a fair number of repeat customers.  One pair of guys game back 5 or so times, which is exactly what I was hoping for, because you can only start to get into the depth of the game on repeated playthroughs.

I cannot thank my friends Tom Bui and Ian Hetu enough, I would not be here writing this if it wasn’t for their help.  The manual helped a lot, but almost every person still needed a lot of help on their first game, and Tom and Ian did almost all the talking.  It was a lifesaver, and it allowed me to keep my voice and stay sane and deal with issues as they came up.

People played 170 games today.  I can’t wait to analyze the journaled data.  That will hopefully make for some really interesting blog posts!

Our only real problem of the day was that one of the machines had a persistent problem when high/lowlighting people when in Sniper mode, and it took forever to figure out.  Luckily, we eventually did.  I turn off the mouse when the gamepad is active, but I was using a cached mouse position for highlighting when the mouse was over the portraits at the bottom, so every time the Sniper would trigger over a person in the party, it would also highlight the person who’s portrait was under the old mouse coordinates.  It was hairy to debug, but once we did, the fix was one line, and better yet, the workaround was just moving the (invisible) mouse on that machine, so I didn’t even need to update the game live.

Here are some pictures and videos from the day:

And video:

Finally, for fun, here are the code fixes I made tonight after the playtests:

------------------------------------------------------------
revno: 1107
committer: Chris Hecker
branch nick: spyparty
timestamp: Fri 2010-09-03 23:46:14 -0700
message:
 don't enable pick up statue when facing away
modified:
 spyparty/project/spyparty/code/situations/pedestal/pedestal.cpp
------------------------------------------------------------
revno: 1106
committer: Chris Hecker
branch nick: spyparty
timestamp: Fri 2010-09-03 23:32:47 -0700
message:
 - check in journals
 - change name of statue to swap
 - don't allow book back into same bookshelf book
added:
 spyparty/notes/journals-20100903.zip
modified:
 spyparty/project/spyparty/code/situations/book_transfer/book_transfer.cpp
 spyparty/project/spyparty/content/situations/steal_statue.prop
------------------------------------------------------------
revno: 1105
committer: Chris Hecker
branch nick: spyparty
timestamp: Fri 2010-09-03 23:25:09 -0700
message:
 tune mid importance colors, some text
modified:
 spyparty/project/spyparty/code/round_events.cpp
------------------------------------------------------------
revno: 1104
committer: Chris Hecker
branch nick: spyparty
timestamp: Fri 2010-09-03 23:19:25 -0700
message:
 pax bugs
 - mouse still selecting portraits, hosing highlight/lowlight
 - stuck in pie menu when up and affordances go to empty
modified:
 spyparty/notes/paxtodo.xls
 spyparty/project/spyparty/code/spyparty.cpp
------------------------------------------------------------
revno: 1103
committer: Chris Hecker
branch nick: spyparty
timestamp: Fri 2010-09-03 02:12:00 -0700
message:
 fix putting statue/book back on taking ai control...need to eat A button up
modified:
 spyparty/project/spyparty/code/spyparty.cpp

All in all, pretty minor fixes.  On to Day 2!

8 Comments

  1. Remi Gillig says:

    Playtests like this are the best. We had the opportunity to do that once during IGF Student Showcase and it was worth anything.

    What do you use as source control by the way? Those logs look really nice.

  2. jordy says:

    Great! That line look really immense at one point lol. Hopefully you get more people coming back tomorrow!

  3. jordy says:

    Great! That line look really immense at one point lol. Hopefully you get more people coming back tomorrow! Looking at the pictures I see the people playing the sniper with some sinister grins, intense focus and cold eyes and some with a who gives a fuck attitude, is that what this game does with you! ;D The spies overall look more worried and concerned haha, really great.

  4. Chris says:

    I also see a lot of focus in the faces of the players! Looks like people are really enjoying the game – can’t wait to try it myself.

    Chris, have you had Tom and Ian face off? After having instructed and watched so many games, they must be among the best players of the game. Your journaled data might be better off to include newbie data as well as experience player data.

    • checker says:

      Yeah, in fact most of the playtests have been with expert players since I’m going Depth-first. These are the first tests with noobs (hence the need for the Four Page Instruction Manual), so it’s going to be interesting to crunch the data.

  5. Ron says:

    Great update for those of us who couldn’t make it.

  6. cars says:

    Hey! you got a picture of me! :D (I’m the one in the close up, image 25) Loved your game, and was one of the guys who kept coming back (mostly watched due to noob concerns, but still, was very entertaining predicting the spy) Cant wait for future developments, and good luck with this project!
    ( ”) b

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