And To Austria We Go...!
It feels extremely surreal writing this post today as I am about to head out on a journey, my first time to Europe, to show off a game that I had no idea would be the start of the next page in my life. I started Unboxed as a solo project this last September didn't even have a working prototype for my nailed down idea until the first week of October. Not even 3 weeks into the progress, Chris joined and we struggled blood, sweat, and tears to have it ready for the Chicago Toy & Game Fair that November. The Toy and Game Fair was my first time ever demoing my own creation at a festival (I had shown others on behalf of DePaul's program) and that was really enlighting on what proper festival "etiquette" is. But as great as that experience was, as I saw how many people enjoyed a game I had created, the thing about it was that the Toy & Game Fair was a guarantee. I knew just by being in DePaul's MFA program that there would be space for Unboxed (at the time called "In The Box"...lol) to be shown. I still had yet to be truly "admitted" somewhere, which honestly at the time seemed so far off. But now... I am about to show my first game at a festival that I had to apply for and that, to me, is a huge milestone.
Now granted, this last year from September to now was the only year I truly made a festival push. I made a game that's intention was to be shown at festivals and not necessarily played at home (I mean, you should play it at home because it's awesome, but most people enjoy it as a novelty experience). I also stayed on top of every possible deadline I could when we had a working build to ensure that it got seen. I toyed with itch.io and a different version of the website, I made a company Twitter and Instagram and struggled with keeping up on it (still do...). I also started more projects than just Unboxed to show the flexibility of the Studio and to craft and create a company culture and a stance on how we view games to show that we should be taken seriously in the Indie market. I got some of our friends to help with little tasks like making a flashbang particle effect when we were up against a deadline. I've had friends over crafting promotional materials for hours (i.e. painting 30 1' x 1' boxes) to make our booth look the best it could be when we did show it. I met a friend who has now decided to join Studio Fire as our Artist growing our team to a total of three now as we conquer the world of mobile games. I struggled with funding to even make it to Vienna. We also almost couldn't travel when we realized my programmer's passport was expired yesterday so had to rush to the passport office today where they were, in fact, able to give him a one-day turnaround. We have struggled and prospered over and over again this last year and it is incredible that we are now finally able to show our work. We have made the next step in our lives (shoutout to Chris, our programmer, for graduating with his Masters this Fall!) and because of what we accomplished this year, Studio Fire lives on... at least for a little bit longer :).
Now when we are in Vienna we are primarily showing Unboxed, but we also are able to take part in some contest called "The Big Indie Pitch". Since we have started working on a mobile game, we decided to take a shot at pitching it if not only for the press coverage. This will be the first time our next project faces the public so I am excited to share that with you once the contest is over :). At our booth, along with Unboxed and the mobile game, we will also have another mobile game made by one of DePaul's amazing faculty Doris Rusch created to address Sickle Cell to people who have it and those around them (a project which both the artist and programmer from Studio Fire were apart of). The Studio Fire table will be full of entertainment, our Alpha of You Busy? is going to have to sit this one out but if you are in Vienna you should come join the fun and check us out! If you cannot make it, be sure to follow @iamtrynn on both Instagram and Twitter for updates (when I has Wifi :P).