On the heels of recovering from PAX-E, it was off to Austin TX for SXSW! We had only a singe day of recovering back at basecamp: Miami until jet-set again. We left very early from Fort Lauderdale and were greeted with amazing weather and even better people in Austin. We could only set up the booth the morning-of, so we went straight to the Austin Convention Center and scoped it out. The scene was crazy. The entire city had transformed in a way we have never seen for any individual event. SXSW literally takes over the entire town. For two weeks: traffic, venues, everything becomes a supporting effort for this massive event. We were beside ourselves for the opportunity to showcase VarDragons at this cutting edge venue!
From the airport, it was straight to the Convention Center (with of course the requisite pit stop at the local Best Buy). After a bit of confusion and chaos, we were all checked in. We had a great corner booth and were (somewhat) holding on to the enthusiasm that it would take to set up again and do it all over again for 72 hours. An empty booth for an exhibitor might be more intimidating than an empty page for a writer.
At last we did it! and the setup looked better than ever. You get good at this after a while..
It’s not ALL work. For being selected into the pitch competition, we were rewarded with SXSW music badges! The bad news: After 9 hours of ‘conferencing’ each day there was very little energy left for night time fun. This was the only event we went to the entire time due to fatigue. Yes, we’re weak :-/ The concert was very cool, and it was exciting being able to see up and coming artist (much like our own Juni) hustling to make it big!
You gotta eat: We found this phenomenal Russian spot tucked away behind a club. ‘Russian House Nazdorovye’, downtown Austin if you’re ever interested.
The complacency is real in this one (Pikachu). Ive seen the same look on cattle just before…you know.
The pitch competition sponsored by Streamline Studios was exceptional. This was a unique chance for us to get some really good exposure in front of quite a few seasoned games representatives. The judges really entered mentor roles and took a lot of time to guide us. The competition was stiff, but out of over 100 we finished 4th! Better than that, we got a lot of reinforcement from the experts, and very good insight as well.
We capped off PAX-E with Chowdah and Ale, We figured Mexican treats and a Margarita would be fitting here. We recapped all of the past months conferences and the way ahead. Much much work to do, but couldn’t have been more of a rewarding conference season. Next stop: Let finish and deliver this game. So long Austin.