Event Recaps

PAXAUS 2014: Getting our foot in the door

For us, this whole PAXAUS shebang kicked off at a fairly innocuous "show and tell" event organised by the IGDA Sydney branch. The usual fare for IGDA Syd was a monthly event called "Beer and Pixels," held at a pub where local devs would commandeer desks to set up laptops or other tech to show off the latest build of their game. Playtesting and networking, basically.

The show and tell was a bit of a one off. It involved devs registering interest and getting a five minute spot to play and talk about their game while it was projected enormously on the pub's back wall. We brought Fatal Theory along because we'd just thrown it up on Greenlight, and we figured why the hell not. We hadn't done the Sydney IGDA circuit in awhile and it's always invigorating to talk shop with other devs and see some of the local talent.

Make your own luck

After our spot (which we didn't think terribly impressed anybody), we were approached by one of the organisers of PAXAUS who sat down with us and told us Fatal Theory was the kind of game that would be perfect for the Indie Pavilion, he could really see it working he said, and he asked if we'd be interested in showing it there. 

It was a strange turn of events to us, going to a pretty low-key show and tell and being handed an offer like that. On the other hand, it was the kind of "create your own luck, just put yourself out there" story we were used to hearing. We asked how much it was and when he named the price, Matt nearly said no straight off the bat - $1200 is a lot to pay for a two man studio who had no money and didn't have much of a prospect of making a significant amount in the near future either. Plus flights, food, accomodation, et cetera et cetera.

Making the Call

We took the offer away, mulled it over, drew invisible pros-cons lists in the air, did a whole lot of research and eventually decided to go for it. I was pretty much pro-going the whole time, and I think my argument went more or less like this: "when they do it, when indies actually get somewhere and make a name for themselves, this is how they start. Nine times out of ten. Why go into this whole indie games thing at all if we're not prepared to take that plunge?"

It was harder for Matt to embrace the all in attitude, with a family to take care of and a very tight budget week to week, but I raved about press and exposure and the value of networking until he came round. I'm glad he did, but it was stressful at the time: I was convincing my brother to take a big financial hit for something I was only fairly certain would be worthwhile for us in the end. So it became really important to me that if we were gonna do it, we were gonna do it right.

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