Getting In The Game

By Kyle Mays (Multimedia – California Lutheran ’18)

Attending the DemoNight was a fascinating experience, mainly because I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve never attended any sort of developer event like this before, and upon entering the show-floor I was hit with a wave of familiarity from convention parties I had attended in the past back home in California. I wasn’t expecting a stuffy, no-nonsense environment for a night of game demo presentations, but I guess I was not expecting it to be as casual and energetic so it was one of a number of pleasant surprises had that night!

Having not a whole lot of hard-asset skills and very little experience in the field of game-making I found it hard to squeeze into conversations myself, but it was refreshing to see how social the community truly is. Being able to grab a drink from the bar and just talk about aspects of the industry and personal projects with the level of enthusiasm and joy I saw in myriad developers dispersed all throughout the giant room was really invigorating. It felt thrilling just to be there!

When the games all started being shown off, we had five minutes to see the game and action and hear from the developers themselves about their vision. I think the grand majority did a phenomenal job pitching and selling their projects to the large crowd of fellow creators. It felt less like a regular pitch presentation and more like a celebration of these new games from the ones who helped bring everything we saw to life!

I’m typically pretty picky when it comes to games I get excited for, but there were so many games there that looked incredible. Each had completely unique mechanics, gameplay genres, and artistic design from each other, curated in such a way where there didn’t seem to be in any overlap in features or visuals in games. Every single game had something fresh and new that we hadn’t seen in any of the other projects! Even in their early stages, there was a lot of polish and passion in what we were seeing! With a sort of drought in the triple-A industry in games I am looking forward to this year. Suddenly games like Speed Brawl, 39 Days to Mars, Raygun Gadabout, Boyfriend Dungeon, Omensight, and a ton more filled up the next year with titles to be super excited for!

One last interesting aspect of the DemoNight at a personal level was the fact that I was actually in the room with a whole mess of other people, experiencing these games with them first-hand. I would normally watch similar demonstration events like the Tokyo Game Show and E3 conferences streamed online from home, so it was remarkable to be able to be around other Champlain students and react with them about the games we saw. A highlight was the walk back to our dorms, where we all discussed what our favorite games we saw that night was, and almost everyone had completely different answers to discuss and gush about!

It was a wonderful experience, and I really hope I get a chance to attend Montreal DemoNight, and other events similar to it, in the future when I become a more accomplished developer in my own right!