First and Foremost
People at PAX South. Man did they ever impress me. I went in expecting players to dismiss the idea of controlling two ships at once. I went in understanding no one knew who Ask An Enemy Studios was so why would they have any concept of what A Duel Hand Disaster could be. I went in knowing I designed a game that was extremely polarizing and would only, maybe, resonate with a select few. What I didn't know and what I witnessed was jaw-dropping. Never underestimate the power of leaderboards or friendly competition, but most importantly never underestimate the player. Some players were discouraged almost immediately when confronted with with idea of doing multiple things at once; one guy in particular picked up the gamepad, hit the start button, and asked ok what is this? What am I doing? To which I naturally responded with "Well It's a twin stick shooter where you control two ships at the same time." He put down the controller, said "Fuck this" and walked away. Epic. Others would light up when they saw their buddies do better than them and would bring it, oh man did they bring it. A select few played for close to an hour just to get the highest score. Some even tried to pair up on one controller. While I don't outright condone this method my buddy Todd (UI/UX designer at The Grubbery) recommends players give this a shot if they feel overwhelmed by the normal single-player design. He believes it's a good way to familiarize players with the mechanics. Sure, why not. LOOKOUT!!! FIREBALL!!!
For the uninitiated A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher is, like any score based game, a game about getting the highest score possible, however the only way to keep your score is to leave the level when you decide to keep it. That's what seems to push players to the edge of insanity. My sincere thanks goes out to everybody who spent even a minute of their time either in the queue or actually playing the game. To Michael and David who found the bug in the scoring system it has been fixed. Both of these guys, father and son no less, were determined to break my design by cheesing the low health/critical damage bonus which allows you to earn massive points and extremely fast when the Reclaimer's health is below 10 percent; the thing is though you are also extremely vulnerable. They pulled it off the first time but learned the hard way a couple times after that the design isn't broken that's how the game is meant to be played. Next time suckas!
Riley, Luis, [E]Mad_Hoots, Brad Hamm, David Pham, Kyle, Seth and his bro :) were all super rad fellas to talk with and there's a reason I remember these names. These guys continued to come back and devote time from their day to play ADHD. They were at the top of the leaderboards pretty much everyday. There are a ton of you guys that I missed either due to being busy describing the game to people, interviews, or just too shy to talk. Don't ever hesitate asking me questions on the show floor. I'll always try my best to answer them or as I did with most of you just talk video games in general.
So as for the experience of going to PAX South as an exhibitor/game developer