The Announcement of Alone in the Dark: Illumination
I am currently working at Pure FPS, a small game dev team in Los Angeles, which is doing live operational support for the game Nether as well as developing the game Alone in the Dark: Illumination under the world-renowned publisher Atari. These are just some minor thoughts about what it was like to announce our game. I’ll have to loosely summarize though as there are many things that are still confidential, but I felt this was worthy of a blog post.
The PAX Announcement
Prior to officially announcing our game, it is normal to contact various press outlets about the fact that you are announcing a game so that they can come over and check it out and post new media about the new game. It usually is not normal for media to use the limited information in this invite and announce the game early for us, but sometimes it happens, and it did. So that was annoying. It is never cool to see the name of your game in the headline of an article when the game has not even been announced yet. Kind of induces an, “oh no, how fucked are we” feeling. Didn’t turn out that bad though.
We decided to have press meet up and check out our game in Seattle during PAX, which is a great time to do it as all big and some small press will generally be already in the immediate area which means more press can look at our game faster, which could either be really helpful or become really bad. While I don’t think I’m allowed to go into specifics, I can say it was a pretty interesting set of three days where all I got to do was demo the game repeatedly and then wait around for the next demo. I’m generally used to this type of thing as I’ve run demos at E3, PAX, GDC, CES, and QuakeCon; but what I wasn’t ready for this time was the fact that if you sit next to a cold air fan and an open window long enough your hand can start to go numb. Numb hand means impaired aiming which means more deaths during demos than planned.
Overall, the PAX announcement was a pretty good experience and turned out pretty good for our game. It was also nice not being on the PAX show floor but somewhere a bit more isolated, as the masses of PAX attendees are pretty intense.
The Sudden Nvidia’s Game24 Livestream
More recently, as in 40 hours before this blog post, both myself and Jason Brice (owner of Pure FPS) demonstrated Alone in the Dark: Illumination publicly for the first time during Nvidia’s Game24 livestream. The time slot was pretty peculiar, something like Friday 12:05AM PD, but the viewership ended up being more than we expected anyway. The whole event is something we weren’t expecting though and the idea of showing the world our gameplay when we still have a lot to do was a bit worry-inducing, especially when we encountered various technical issues immediately before our broadcast, but we got through it pretty well. It definitely was my first time demoing a game live where I had to sit on a couch and play with a wireless keyboard and mouse (a mouse which was mostly unresponsive and actually had tape around it) while looking at a 20-inch screen off-stage 15 feet away under intensely bright stage lights.
And The Most Valuable Thing I Learned Is…
…if I’m not actively talking or actively doing anything while on camera, I look absolutely stoned. A large number of twitch channel comments were about how I was “so rekt” and “stoned out of his mind”, while the only time I’ve ever been high in my life was when I had to get some teeth pulled and I requested the most effective numbing agent the dentist had.