Our wild adventure continues! E3 was a blur of fun meetings with new partners in the gaming and environmental world. It’s gratifying to see our long journey to craft a new, relaxing style of exploration and gameplay start to be recognized. We were also unexpectedly invited to show the game at the MIX event at E3 – a very cool opportunity to show off the latest build and gain some new fans and contacts. Awesome party!
As part of our school outreach in late June, we spoke to elementary school kids in Lyman WA and Pacific WA. Sharing our experiences building games and the importance of creative problem solving, personal excellence, teamwork,Â diversity, andÂ STEM skills was a super fun way to kick off our summer vacations. The kids’Â boundless enthusiasm for learning and their flexible perspective of games is alwaysÂ a treat to behold.
In late July, we took some time off. Sorta. Russ and I headed to Iowa for RAGBRAI, the week-long bicycle ride across the state that we have ridden 8 of the past 9 years. On this year’s ride, we visited the libraries in the towns we rode through and left gift codes for free access to the game. We discovered on previous RAGBRAIs that the town libraries were delightful oases of peace, quiet, air conditioning, and internet access. Since schools are not in session in July, we thought library outreach might be a fun way to get the game into the hands of kids who might not be able to explore the ocean easily on their own. We enlisted our friends on the Tall Dog Bike Club to help with marketing, too. We all looked fab in our new Infinite Scuba jerseys. 🙂
In early August, we were excited to attend gamescom in Cologne, Germany as part of the delegation from the Washington Interactive Network (WIN). This is an immense show – 345K attendees this year – and open to the public. So. Many. People. Some of the best people watching ever. Anyway, the game went over very well in this land known for its enthusiasm for simulations – WOW!!!
The game is localized into German, but we don’t actually speak German. It was a fascinating experience to observe how people reacted to the game without being able to understand specifically what they were saying. The game truly had to stand on its own. For example, experienced PC gamers pick up the game controls right away. But, the game often appeals to people who don’t yet consider themselves gamers, so we gathered loads of data on how we might make the experience more approachable for them. We even made changes during the show to make things more clear to novices. The comments were overwhelming positive, things like “Wow, it’s beautiful!”, “The details are amazing!”, “Why aren’t there more games like this?”, “It’s so unusual!”, “It’s so relaxing!”, “I don’t usually play games, but I want to play this game!”, and “This is perfect for education.” (Hooray!)
In late August, we showed the game at PAX Prime in Seattle (also with WIN) and at the juried Seattle Indies Expo (SIX), both fantastic shows. Great reactions to the game across the board!
So that was our summer… Unbelievably fun. A great workout. We are energized to finish our Steam build, our new Pacific Northwest dive site (drysuits – woohoo!), and to get to work on some awesome new projects we can’t discuss yet. Stay tuned.
Many thanks to all who have reached out with feedback on the game – we appreciate your emails, tweets, posts so much! Please keep them coming!
kathie & the Infinite Scuba team at Cascade Game Foundry
ps: We also found an injured kitten…
Her happy story is here: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/local/kyle-munson/2015/07/30/ragbrai-luckiest-kitten/30892399/
She even has a Facebook page now! 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/StormyRAGBRAI
Providing moments of digital Zen…