If you're a game developer, there's nothing better than standing over someone's shoulder while they play your game. Likewise, there's nothing worse than seeing your game completely misunderstood by someone who walked up to play it, then leaving frustrated.
We've been exhibiting our games in the Retro Games area at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany for 6 years in a row. During our time there, we've established that multiplayer games are the best way to have visitors enjoy their time at your booth. The competitiveness of the game can be easily measured by just listening to the frustration of one player and gloating of the other.
Since it’s a unique experience that we have the privilege of experiencing on a yearly basis, we’d like to offer a small taste of it to other Löve developers.
The setup is simple: Make a 2 player game. 1v1 or co-op are both fine. If we like it and it’s up to our standards, we will showcase it at our booth at Gamescom, 21. to 25. August 2018.
A convention audience is nothing like your usual internet based audience. "You Suck at Showcasing Your Game" GDC talk by the developer of Move Or Die (which, by the way, is also made with löve) is a recommended watch even if you have experience with conventions.
Basically, you're not making a PC or console game - you're making an arcade game. Because of the nature of a convention, you need some sort of a hot seat system. If players leave the game while it's running, you need to gracefully reset the game to be ready for the next pair to stop by. In addition to that, because of the international audience, the game needs to be intuitive enough to be understood without instructions even by someone whose gaming history is composed of Flappy Bird. Some minimal text is fine but use either English or German for things like Round Start, Finish, Winner.
Don’t get limited by what you know. Your hard limits are 1920 x 1080 screen size and two controllers. A competitive game or a coop game, either works. You don’t need a scoring system, you don’t need clear winners, but you need to make a fun game.
If you've watched the GDC talk linked above around 23:20, you've probably caught the part on how convention appearances affect sales - they don't. Even for us, there is no dent in the usual website visits either.
So, why even exhibit?
Since it’s unlikely you will be there in person at all (and especially not all the days), we will act as your eyes - to a degree. We’ll take some photos. We’ll keep an eye out and keep you posted of what’s going on. If we’ll see something that just doesn’t work as planned, you’ll be the third to know. We’re not capable of making a competent video recording though, so don’t count on that.
Assuming 5 winners, each game will be running total of about 11 hours, and depending on how eye catching your game is, it will be played perhaps half that time. Because we won’t be able to watch your game constantly, you should be collecting stats of anything you want data on. At the end we can send you any file you want from the save directory.
If you have questions regarding the exhibition or if you’d like some feedback on your planned game, we’ve set up a discord channel. If there will be any changes to the above, we will notify you in discord.
Send the finished game as a .love to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is 13th August 2018, Noon CEST