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QuakeCon Postmortem: A JRPG in a World of FPS

A few weeks ago we were offered the opportunity to demo “Witch” at QuakeCon 2019 in Dallas, TX. While some of our team have attended the convention as a patron in the past, this was our first opportunity to showcase our work at the event. Friday and Saturday were almost a non-stop day of people stopping by, playtesting the new and improved combat demo, and hearing about the game itself.

We were lucky to be right next to the Last Epoch and Alluris development teams, who we met and befriended through Dreamhack. It was nice to see the teams again and get to hang out during down times. I highly recommend checking out both games because they’re made with a lot of the same love and passion we put into “Witch”.

Our new demo featured a level that felt more appropriate than the one we had at prior events. Where the past demo was a battle against training dummies, we made a last minute decision to add some of the Capitol Army soldiers and one of our major characters, Commander Farrow, as the enemies. Christian also created an entirely new level that is reminiscent of our poster and banner. Everything came together and the demo looks and plays much better.

We were grateful to get the feedback we did from so many that stopped by, and realized how valuable the QA and constructive criticism can be. The demo didn’t have any major issues but there’s some obvious quality of life changes that we plan to implement (if we haven’t already!) and will have them completed for San Japan and Tokyo Game Show.

The most heartwarming response we got was from many fans of the genre saying it reminds them of different games, from the obvious like Octopath Traveler and Final Fantasy, to the less obvious like Ragnarok Online and Star Ocean. One person even mentioned Dark Cloud when hearing about the city building engine. Each person spoke with the utmost love for the games they mentioned, and that kind of reaction is the same one the team has when we approach this game. We know that the genre has set the bar high, but it’s also provided so many stories and experiences that will remain with people for decades after they see “The End”.

The only hiccup we had was thankfully unseen. A build issue Thursday night had Ben up until almost 6am working to correct the issue, only to be up at 7am and be at the convention center by 9am for a 10 hour day. While he wasn’t able to correct the issue on his own, the other devs jumped in early Friday morning, found the cause of the problems, and fixed them just in time to complete the demo build before the doors opened.

In the end, it was a wonderful experience and we hope to be able to go back next year. A huge thank you to Dayana, the Alluris team, and all of QuakeCon’s staff for having us out and being extremely helpful.

Now for some much needed rest and recovery, we have 2 very busy months ahead of us.

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