Our PAX East 2014 Wrap-up

By now PAX East 2014 is well behind us but it feels like only yesterday when we were setting up our booth and inviting folks to stop and play The Phantom PI.

Rocket 5 PAX East 2014

There’s this amazing high that comes from being part of a show as big as PAX. This was our first time attending a PAX event so we didn’t quite know what to expect. I mean we knew it was gonna be big with something like 60k people attending and passes sold out months in advance. But the energy of the show didn’t really hit us until 10AM on Friday morning when the doors opened for the first time. We heard this huge roar of a crowd erupt in the distance and at first we were like “that’s a weird noise”. And then a moment later there was a rush of people running through the show on their way to be first in line to play their favourite games. That’s when we knew. PAX is a show that’s 100 percent for the fans of video games. And we felt right at home.

Rocket 5 PAX East 2014

Over the course of the 3 day event, hundreds of people stopped by the Rocket 5 booth to play our game. And the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We made a lot of new friends and maybe even scored some actual fans! One person played the game for 4 hours (hi Stacie!), she made it to the last level of the demo but she had to stop before she could finish the final puzzle. She came back the next day to finish the game and told us she had a dream about how to solve it! Then there was this little girl who turned to her mom while playing the game and said “mom, I love this game!”. And a little boy when asked if he liked it goes “naaaaa…. not really”. lol

Rocket 5 PAX East 2014

Getting ready for a show like PAX was no small amount of work for us, but it pales in comparison to the amount of time and effort put forth by the Indie MEGABOOTH organizers and volunteers. It was an absolute honour for us to be chosen as one of the games to be in the Indie MEGABOOTH and we’d like to say a special thank you to Kelly and Christopher for all of their hard work and general amazingness.

We’d also like to thank the Indie MEGABOOTH sponsors for their support including Creative Labs for providing speakers and headphones. Microsoft for providing us with a Surface Pro 2. Intel for providing a 42” TV and stand. And Alienware for providing a desktop computer and Dell monitor.

The next stop for The Phantom PI will be the Bit Bazaar Spring Fair on May 10th 2014 so if you’re in the Toronto area be sure to stop by!

PAX Press For The Phantom PI:

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The Phantom PI @ PAX East In The Indie MEGABOOTH

Phantom PI Indie MEGABOOTH

We’re thrilled to announce that The Phantom P.I. Mission Apparition will be playable at PAX East 2014 inside the epically awesome Indie MEGABOOTH!

Cathy, Christine and Tim will be heading over to Boston to demo our game and we’ll also be handing out some fun goodies. If you’re going too, be sure to stop by the Rocket 5 booth to say hi and take The Phantom PI for a spin! You’ll find us hanging out with our pal Cecil somewhere under the giant MEGABOOTH sign!

The Rocket 5 GDC Play 2014 Recap

Those of you who develop games know that there’s nothing quite as terrifying as putting your game into the hands of gamers and watching them play it for the first time. Months and sometimes years of hard work can either be validated by cheerful squeals of happy players or dashed to bits on the rocks of harsh criticism by those who don’t “get it”. Last week we took The Phantom PI Mission Apparition on the road to the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and to our relief, the response was amazing!

The Phantom PI GDC 2014

We estimate that 500+ people played the game over the course of the 3 day event and I’m happy to report that the reception for The Phantom PI was overwhelmingly positive! Nearly everyone who played took the time to tell us their thoughts on the experience. Most people felt that the controls were intuitive, that the puzzles where easy to understand yet challenging and that the game “looks beautiful” (blush)! We also got a good bit of criticism that will help us tune the game as we get closer to release – thankfully there were no real surprises, all of the critiques were totally things that we can fix and many were things that were already on our todo list.

Rocket 5 GDC Play 2014

Cathy and Christine having a little fun at our GDC Play booth

The GDC Play space was easily the most exciting and active area in the whole event, with a constant rumble of games and gamers hanging out, talking and playing with stuff they’d probably never heard of before the event. Compared to the South Hall which housed all of the big name companies in video games (plus the IGF nominated games) with their flashy booths and super-soft carpeting, the GDC Play space in the North Hall was noisy, casual and alive with excitement.

Rocket 5 GDC Play 2014

Cathy and Christine look over an artist’s portfolio while Adam from Asteroid Base plays The Phantom PI

We were surrounded by amazing micro developers from all around the world including a few of our friends like the awesome folks at Phantom Compass and the OMDC booth which allowed a bunch of Ontario developers to show off their games. We also made a few new friends at Schell Games, Shark Punch, Right Pedal Studios and Xibalba Studios.

The next stop for The Phantom PI before we release will be at PAX East in April so if you’re going to PAX, be sure to keep a lookout for us (we’ll have more info on our booth location in a few days)!

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Autodesk Warpzone: GDC 2014 For the Love of indie game makers

Alchemic Dream GDC14 Interview Rocket 5 Studios presents Phantom PI Mission Apparition