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December 2016

Essex Big Bang Fair 2016

By | indiedev | No Comments

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This week Teaboy Scott and Aidan hit the road to visit Essex Uni and their popular annual Big Bang fair, which brings industry and academics together with a focus on promoting STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to students aged 14 – 15 across the region.

As mobile game developers, we’ve always struggled at fairs/exhibitions because an iPhone screen doesn’t quite draw the same crowds as a 32″ flat screen. So this event was the first opportunity to try our new widescreen monitor setup, with the game running directly from a laptop with Construct 2 (our game engine of choice).

Standing out in the crowd

A second new addition was the use of Makey Makey. This simple circuit board turns everyday objects into touchpad. When you touch the banana, you make a connection, and Makey Makey sends the computer a keyboard message. The computer just thinks Makey Makey is a regular USB keyboard – therefore it works with all programs and webpages. So here, we converted our currently working title Pendulum to work with cursor keys and then hooked them up to some fruit – making EVEN more appealing to our teenage audience wandering past.

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Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Our main purpose of the day was two fold:

  1. To inspire young people about getting into the games industry.
  2. To test the latest build of Pendulum in front of a young audience, testing our latest level design and difficulty curve improvements.

Events such as these are invaluable to us as developers, its so easy to get wrapped up in your own world so putting it into the hands of new users allows us to get instant feedback. Does our tutorial make sense? Does the UI make sense? Are the controls responsive enough? Etc. As such we usually take a note book with us that gets filled with notes.

The latest version of Pendulum will be available for public testing soon, so be sure to sign up to our mailing to best the first to play it!