Category : Uncategorized
Hello BG Fans!
I have just had an amazing experience at a convention I’d never been to before. It was as fun and informative as I’d hoped it would be. This event is Metatopia and was held in Morristown, New Jersey. The organizers are those of Double Exposure. They do a variety of events meant in large part to encourage and network game designers and industry insiders.
Metatopia is an interesting event because all the game events are in some form of prototype status. There are Alpha and Beta tests: Alpha tests may not even be playable because of how early they are on in development while Beta tests are closer to completion but could use a varying amount of work. Most of the games do not have artwork yet. There are also Hi-Tests available, which have experienced gamers playing. Everyone who plays the games is also there to provide feedback. It’s a giant playtesting game convention.
I brought with me two Beta games to playtest (Nocturnes and Steam Masters), and was a playtester for three. I learned a lot and have decided to make a few big decisions about both games. Surprisingly to me, the larger changes will be made to Nocturnes which I thought was just about completed. Steam Masters required less change at this point. The three I played were interesting but I find that people make things more complex than they need to be. There are extra layers often added superfluously. Don’t get me wrong, both designers and hobbyist gamers often love this; it’s simply not my cup of tea. I like getting to the point with just a handful of clever and interesting mechanics.
There were also panels at the event. They were interesting; not quite what I had anticipated, but resulted in several interactions afterward discussing the topic matter. Speaking of interacting, that was my favorite part of the event. I got to socialize with a number of people throughout the event. It was comfortable getting to chat with others since that was a known reason why we were all there. I had fun with it, and again, that is most likely my favorite piece of the event. Of course I learned a lot from the panels and for my games, but I enjoyed that part the most.
I hope I can go again in the future. You never know what or where the company will be a year in advance but hopefully I can be there again next year. I liked the culture, the events, and the organization of it. It was definitely my highlight event of the fall.