This past week a few members of DePaul University attended and showcased games at DreamHack Atlanta. For most of us, this was our first time at DreamHack showcasing in front of a large audience. Luckily, we had a steady flow of people come by and try out the games we had set up. As far as the setup goes, we showcased 3 different games (SK8-9, JDE Drifter, and OVERTIME) along with a ton of booth swag for attendees to check out. Our booth gained so much attraction that people were going out of their way just to experience the thrills of our section.
DreamHack was an event that kind of displayed that whole idea albeit focused a lot on the esports side of things. By showcasing our games, not only were we exposed to the environment of competitive games, but we also gained experience as developers showcasing along other passionate developers.
A majority of our highlights would be the activities we attended outside of DreamHack. Although we enjoyed showcasing our games to the public, the activities gave us a chance to meet with other developers. On one of the nights we attended DreamHack, there was a big developer meetup at a local restaurant. Josh Delson put together this event with over 70 developers across the globe attending and the photo above isn’t even half the group! This was a fantastic opportunity to mingle around and see what other developers were doing aside from making games. We heard from many other developers that this meetup was their highlight of the week as well. We are super thankful for everyone that attended!
Thanks to the amazing connections we had, the group took a tour to Adult Swim Games. This by far was another highlight for us since we were able to see the behind the scenes of the awesome work this studio does. It was pretty funny as well because we were with Trinket Studios a few days beforehand talking about Adult Swim Games. Their quality assurance department was super helpful with answering questions about the studio culture as well. Maybe one day we’ll be back again!
Our team also did an escape room and that was an experience all by itself. We were on set of where Stranger Things was filmed, but participated in the Escape Woods in the middle of nowhere. Truly if someone visits Atlanta, this place is where to go! Overall, showcasing our games wasn’t a bad experience. Everything we did at DreamHack will be an unforgettable moment for us.
Indie Game Highlights:
The few games that stood out to our team were Pig Eat Ball by Mommy’s Best Games, REZ PLZ by Long Neck Games, One Step From Eden by Thomas Moon Kang, and True Messiah by Sinister Design. There were so many other amazing games, we wish we could write about the whole section!
For Pig Eat Ball (located at booth I-32), we had the opportunity to play the multiplayer portion of the game and we loved how there were different goals for each round. It was a very fast-paced game with simple controls which allowed it easy to pick up and play. The game’s environment was completely random, yet strangely felt like it fit well.
We really enjoyed the unique gameplay mechanic for the game REZ PLZ (located at booth I-02). In order to progress through the game, there would be situations where players would need to sacrifice one of the characters in order to complete a puzzle. We loved how they put their own twist on a puzzle platformer and that twist was what made the game very enjoyable to play.
One Step From Eden (located at booth I-01), was a strategic action, rogue-like, deck builder game. What made this game unique to our team was the gameplay mechanic. The controls were simple but the game took aspects of turn-based strategy games and put them into a fast-paced setting. This allowed the game to become more strategic and more complicated as the player progressed through the level. Unfortunately, we were unable to play it for long, but with the short amount of time that we played, we enjoyed the experience.
Finally, the tabletop True Messiah. (located at booth I-39) It’s a strategy game that involves a good amount of resource balancing and contains a deck-building mechanic. This makes the game feel new each time it’s played. While there are a lot of details in the game, it also contains a lot of depth and feels very balanced. We felt like it was similar to Starcraft and Hearthstone by Blizzard in a tabletop form.
If there was anything we took from attending the event (other than an empty wallet), we learned to appreciate what it means to create an experience not just in games but outside of them as well. Games are a medium that can be used to bring people together in so many ways from just talking about mechanics/tips to as far as cosplaying. We also learned a few programs some of the developers used to create their games. Some members were surprised to hear that some games created their pixel art through Photoshop. Other members didn’t even realize how much time the indie developers had to commit to creating their games. They would constantly be in development for about 2-5 years to reach where they are at now. The team has so much respect for all the developers for their dedication in creating new and unique games.
We hope everyone else had an amazing DreamHack Atlanta and hopes for a bright future with the amazing games happening. Thanks for checking us out! 🙂