I just experienced my first PAX ever. I was showing Darknet as part of the Indie MINIBOOTH, and if I did my math right, over 500 people got to play the game for the first time!
The conference started with a bit of technical trouble, as my old Kickstarter Rift decided that the night before PAX would be a great time to die. Oculus swept in to the rescue, rushing me a new Rift from across the country by the next morning. Now that's dev support!
For most of the players visiting the booth, this was their first time trying an Oculus Rift in any way. Darknet apparently makes a good introduction to VR, since the reactions were almost universally positive. I took some pictures of the weekend's best Riftfaces (the classic dropped-jaw look of a new player) and I'll be posting them later. A preview: -O
It was also a constructive playtesting weekend. Even though I was only showing the Darknet flavor demo, a very limited experience, watching hundreds of play sessions in a few days is a great way to discover issues with the game. Aside from a few minor bugs that are unique to the demo, I found that the main UI can be unintuitive, and the core hacking gameplay requires at least a few more rounds of iteration. Conversations afterwards were useful as well; a lot of players asked about extra variety in the hacking gameplay, so that seems like a clear call for improvement.
I also discovered that PAX is exhausting. But it's over, and there's a lot to do that I scheduled for myself in the coming weeks. After a busy couple weeks of promotion, I'm looking forward to diving back into focused development again. Keep reading this dev blog to hear about it!