If you were paying attention over the last week, you’ll have seen that we attended a local Comicon with Unique Drops Live; the idea was to bring our online concept of video game art and indie game curation into the real world. So we set up a booth, shared a variety of our favorite indie games and some artwork from video game inspired artists.
How did it go?
Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
From the perspective of this being a learning experience, things went really well. We found out what it takes to show at a convention, and we were able to really hone our overall message. I believe it also helped confirm that what we're doing is filling a certain void in the game world. Lots of people who play AAA titles were interested in seeing and trying games they hadn't known existed, and I had a few in depth conversations about game art and fashion.
At the same time, there were certain shortcomings in our approach and setup that we hope to improve upon that may help us moving forward, both for the site, and if we are to attend future events. Our pitches for games/art should have been more polished before we arrived, as well as our pitch for our own site and what function it fulfills.
I’d say we also miscalculated a bit in terms of audience. While I knew going in that this was a comic convention, I had wrongly anticipated more video game/comic reader crossover than there was at this specific event (I thought it would be something like 75-80% crossover, but it felt more like a <50% crossover). While it’s not something that hurts us overall, it certainly led to less impact that I had hoped to make over the 3 days. The positive to take from this was that we were able to spend more time with those who did have interest - we had some visitors that demo’d all 5 games and able to give each game a fair trial to decide if it was something they’d be interested in or not. This really benefitted games like The Magic Circle and Brigador, as TMC is really narrative driven and requires a bit of time to develop, and Brigador has a bit of a learning curve due to the unique control scheme so the additional time allowed them to ramp into comfort and more fairly understand/enjoy the game.
That slightly slower pace also afforded us ample time to refine and adjust our approach when speaking with visitors.
Unfortunately that audience miscalculation also meant less than stellar sales, and we went home with a bit more left over stock than I had anticipated we would. We will be able to turn that remaining stock into a positive with other plans we have going forward, but that lessened impact for the artists meant doesn’t have the same potential positives as the games, where some get additional play time. I hope we can rectify that in the near future.
Even with a mixed result, I still feel pretty upbeat about the whole thing, and we are already considering plans for more Unique Drops Live in the future, so stay tuned.