Affordance in New York City
Affordance attended MontrealX this past week in New York City. It was a super fun press day for 10 of the coolest independent game studios in Montreal including Rogue Factor, Spearhead Games and Zandel Media. The event took place in Rockefeller Center with journalists from the Examiner, Pulp, Indie Game Magazine and many other important news outlets. The after-party was held at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game at Barcade on the lower east side. Fun was had by all!
In early November, Affordance was contacted by Kate Lollar, co-founder of Rogue Counsel and video game PR ninja. She explained in a slightly southern twang that she wanted to put together a press junket where Montreal independent game studios could meet one another, show off their games to media outlets and get the word out to the world that Montreal is the where-it’s-at spot for indies. We jumped at the occasion to be a part of the event.
First, we got our press kits together. We wrote our pitch letters, designed our fact sheets and edited our video trailers. As we finished everything, we realized that we had to make some money decisions to stay under budget. In the end, everything made the cut… except the USB keys. We went with old-school CD’s. Take a look at an example here. If you’d like an autographed version from Jonathan Lalonde, our junior programmer, arrangements can be made.
Then, on Wednesday, December 2nd, we jumped in the bus, la Québécoise, and headed over the border at LaColle where no one was frisked even though Atul Mehra from Spearhead Games offered to give full-body searches to any interested parties at no extra charge. The invitation is still on the table I think.
The next 36 hours was filled with bad jokes, references to long-lost video games and horror stories of running over budget with no clients in sight. On Wednesday night, we had a dive bar beer bonding session with half-price pitchers that were borderline flat and hamburgers burned to a crisp. Jeff Hatam of Tuque Games, the decider-in-chief for this outing, seemed satisfied with the locale so we went along with his excitement.
On Thursday, for the main event, we headed over to Rockefeller Center in the Québécoise which was loaded up with monitors, computer towers and enough power cords to keep the Death Star running. The Québec Government Office in New York, where MontrealX was going to be held, was beautiful. And our reception was planned to a “T”. The delegation’s organization skills were second to none. It was made even more amazing by the chef-in-residence who put out incredible Québec cheeses, hors d’oeuvres, local beers and charcuterie for the invités.
The journalists and publishers arrived on time for the main event which started at around 3pm. Astrid Rosemarin from Hololabs got things going by adeptly leading a panel discussion about being an indie in Montreal with samurais David Lamarre, Yves Bordeleau, Jeff Hatam and Thiéry Adam dropping knowledge for the audience. They dove into subjects such as financing, facing the AAA competition and best-practices for development pipelines. It was at this time that Yves from Rogue Factor was celebrated as the entrepreneur behind first independent game studio in Montreal in the early 2000’s. A four-minute standing ovation followed this announcement which did not actually including standing and was actually only 10 seconds long. Yeah Yves!
After the panel, the studios presented their games. There were some amazingly beautiful hard-core and mid-core games like Rogue Factor’s World War Machine, 3Mind Games’ RedShift: The Ascension, Spearheads ACE, illogika’s Subaeria and Clever Plays’ Leap of Fate. And there were some super cool more-casual games like Hololabs’ Papercade, Studio T Adam’s Words are Power, Zandel Media’s Missing as well as our games, Entpreneur Saga and Ready to Negotiate.
After shaking our money-makers with journalists and publishers for over 6 hours, the teams retreated to the hotel where we only had 10 minutes to prepare for our last sortie as a team. No one was late and the bus departed for a Korean barbecue in lower Manhattan. The meal turned out to be quite surreal as many participants including Yves, a rather big human, had to make do with three tiny pieces of meat because others including Keena Meetaroo, a much smaller human, devoured the fourteen other plates of perfectly cooked food delivered to our two tables. Being at two separate tables could be blamed for the distribution problems. No one fretted as across the street there was the Papaya King which is known around the world, oddly enough, for its hotdogs. After too many games at Barcade, a visit to Times Square and another late night run for some munchies, the teams hit the sack for the evening.
The bus ride home was uneventful. In the end, events like this are incredible for Affordance. We get a chance to show off our games to the world; we get to see the newest, most amazing products offered on the market; and we have the chance to bond with everyone in our amazingly fun and exciting community.
We look forward to MontrealX 2.0 where we hope nothing changes except for the Korean Barbecue. Five pieces of meat minimum for the participants over 6 feet tall!
December 8, 2015