The Indie Experience at PAX East

I went to PAX East a couple of weeks ago. 

I was attending for purely recreational purposes; I had no plans to write an article about my experiences there. I went for the first three days, April 5th-April 7th, and enjoyed a plethora of video game and tabletop game goodness, and enjoyed every minute of it (well, outside of waiting in the rain for 40 minutes for Chicken & Rice Guys. But it was worth it.)  

Before I get further into it, I'm sure some of you aren't entirely clear as to what PAX East is. It's a gaming convention: there are several events year to year, with, yes, a PAX West, South, etc., that revolve around gaming in general. It most closely focuses on video games, but also has a significant tabletop presence as well. It's a place for gaming enthusiasts, such as myself, to gather and play new unreleased titles, get discounts on gaming hardware, and meet their favorite streamers, gamers and developers. 

So why are you reading about a video game convention on a blog for an information technology consulting firm? Well, we're also a startup company, if you hadn't noticed, and while perusing the various stands I had a lot of fun in the indie game area. There was a large section in the center of the exhibit floor dedicated to indie developers who were showcasing their generally smaller-scale games, which was such a different experience than standing in the very long lines at the Playstation and Xbox booths. Most of these booths had actual developers and creators of their respective games, created by companies I had never heard before. One of those games was Battery Jam, developed by Halseo. 

Battery Jam is a simple four-player party game where four players compete for territory. That territory is based on the color of their character, and you knock other players off of the small stage you are on in order to gain territory. The game has a time limit, and at the end, the player with the most squares of their own color win the round.  

I was introduced to Battery Jam by the two people standing at the Battery Jam booth simply holding out a controller and asking me and my friend, "wanna play?" So we played, quickly got a grasp on the mechanics and had a blast. Eventually we were shouting and yelling competitively, and we both wanted to keep starting a new game every time we finished a match. They gave us codes for special skins for the game, told us where we could purchase it (on Steam for $9.99! Great deal!), and their eyes lit up when we told them how much we enjoyed it. 

It reminded me of when we brought Chowdown to TechDay last year in 2016. TechDay is a technology-centered convention revolved around startup companies, and while talking showcasing Chowdown to the hundreds of people that came by our booth, their excitement got us excited, it made our eyes light up, we were thrilled with everybody's enthusiasm about our idea. You can read my article about our experience at TechDay here.  

Starting up a company, headed by a new innovative idea, is daunting. You ask yourself many questions...can we do it? What if it's all for naught? Is our idea unique enough? Will people buy into this? So to see people visibly take interest in your ideas, enjoy them and get excited about it, that is a reward in itself. So to meet these developers for these games, enjoy their creation and tell them how excited I am for it to come out, or for me to go home and simply download it that night, I really appreciated how they felt because...to a degree, I've been there, too.