It’s been a week since we exhibited our Solitude tech demo, which has given us a bit of time to unwind after 5 weeks of solid crunch. In that time we went from pretty much nothing, to a 2 player cooperative scenario that not only played well, but was also quite polished. Still, we had no idea what to expect until we got there.
We managed to get the our booth set up in pretty good time but then ran into a few networking issues. Since our tech demo is multiplayer and we know from previous experience that the provided wifi and Internet at these venues cannot be trusted, we opted to bring our own networking gear. After testing pretty much everything at home before we arrived, one of the network cables still resulted in being faulty, which meant one of the connections had to rely on own mini wifi network. This worked fine for the most part, but we suffered from minor latencies in the afternoon for some reason. That was the first issue we ran into, the second was that after we got the network up and running, the Commander’s machine (left) was refusing to connect to the server. After assuming that firewalls were to blame and disabling them everywhere, it wasn’t until a fresh pair of eyes looked over the client config and spotted an issue with the second octet of the IP address, which had been entered incorrectly and completely blind-sighted from then on. Whoops! After this was corrected, we had both machines connected to the server and ready to play one minute after the doors opened.
From here on out, things just got better and better. We could not believe how much fun people were having. One of the key gameplay requirements is communication, so we had a voice chat system running with headsets for people to communicate in-game. Players were getting really into it and being very vocal about it, and this was drawing in an even bigger crowd. Apologies should go out to the talkers on stage. When the room was quiet for talkers, occasionally there’d be a “GO LEFT! NO, YOUR OTHER LEFT!” emanating from our booth. Whoops. For the entire day we pretty much had people playing the tech demo with a crowd spectating behind, we even got the Wales Interactive directors into the driving seats.
Even though the booth was really busy most of the day, we managed to get out and about a couple times to check out what the rest of the show had to offer. This would not have been possible if we didn’t have our additional helpers, thank you Chris, Andy & Ben! A few of our personal favourites were Infinity Runner by Wales Interactive, really polished game with good use of the Oculus Rift and, surprisingly enough, does not come with the nauseating side-effect that most VR games seem to induce! Friendship Club by Force of Habit, a great little top down battle arena game that supports up to 4 players via local multiplayer. And Sim Raiders by the single developer (the entire game, down to the music and art), Matt Stockham, a fully procedurally generated RPG dungeon crawler that’s different every time you play.
All in all, the show was absolutely brilliant for us. Solitude got way more attention and positive feedback than we could have ever hoped for. We were definitely one of the more active booths at the show so it’s incredibly encouraging. A big thank you to everyone who came to the show and made the day awesome, both exhibitors and visitors alike. An even bigger thanks to everyone who came over and tried out the Solitude tech demo, we had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs throughout the day. If you didn’t get a chance to come over to our booth or didn’t attend WGDS2014 but are still interested in the tech demo, we’ll be releasing a video based on the tech demo gameplay soon to both this site and the Solitude site.