Boston FIG 2019

After missing this show multiple years running due to totally forgetting about it, I finally got a chance to see Boston FIG through the eyes of an exhibitor! This past weekend, on Saturday, September 14th, two gyms in the Harvard Athletic Complex were filled with games by independent creators. Where Shadows Slumber was one of them! Read on to hear my first impressions of being an exhibitor at this show.


The schedule for this short show was pretty straightforward – setup on the Friday night beforehand, with a show from 9 am to 6 pm on Saturday followed by an award show. It’s worth mentioning the Friday setup was mandatory, and no setup was allowed the day of the event. (If you have a long drive to get to the show next year like I did, keep that in mind! Friday night traffic in Boston is brtual.)

L A M P D A D D Y

I was next to the very chic and awesome looking Sole by Gossamer Games, and I definitely took notes on booth aesthetics. Look at those lamps! Tom always goes to shows in full white attire too, it’s very striking. I might have to come up with a Game Revenant uniform…

The Figgies took place in the other gym (where tabletop games were) at the end of the day. During the show, people could vote for your game by slipping a raffle ticket into your little box. At the end of the day they awarded the Audience Choice award to 1 tabletop and 1 digital game. They also awarded games based on juried categories like Compelling Game Mechanics and Best Visuals. (More on that below)

My legs were killing me at the end of the day, but I had a great time!

Show Analysis: Pros

As always, everyone who came to the booth absolutely loved the game! It was a busy day, too – I counted 135 demos (that is, people who stayed and played on a device for at least a few levels). Journalists from Hardcore Gamer and the Nerd Entertainment Hub approached the table, and the Hardcore Gamer coverage is already online! (Scroll down to read James Cunningham’s thoughts on Where Shadows Slumber)

The show is very affordable, too. You’re not guaranteed to make it into the show, but an application only cost me $63.69. If you don’t live near Boston you’ll have to drive, but parking was only $10 so travel wasn’t an issue. As far as lodging is concerned, that could make the show more expensive for you. (I lucked out because I have family that lives in the suburbs outside the city.)

Since it’s a curated show, you’ll receive detailed feedback from judges about what they thought about your game. This actually benefits work-in-progress titles a lot more, so consider going to Boston FIG pre-launch. Since Where Shadows Slumber has been out and finished for a year, it’s less helpful for us. Speaking of judges and feedback…

Show Analysis: Con

The only negative thing I can say about the event was that I never knew for sure if Where Shadows Slumber was eligible for an award or not. For Boston FIG, you need to apply for a specific award in order to be at the show. My understanding was that being accepted into the showcase meant you were also eligible for the award. (For example, we submitted under Compelling Gameplay Mechanics, but Best Visuals was another option)

So… was our game nominated or not? When they read the nominees for Compelling Gameplay Mechanics at the award show, there were only 3 games listed. I would have appreciated an email saying something like “hey so you’re not nominated for the award but you’re still accepted to the show!” Maybe they’re worried that if they do that, people will bail?


In any event, there’s always next year! (Or next game, I guess) If you’re in the greater Boston area and have a work-in-progress indie game, I highly encourage you to submit your work next year. Don’t forget, you can also go to the show as a customer and enjoy a fun filled day of gaming!

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Where Shadows Slumber is now available for purchase on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store!

Find out more about our game at WhereShadowsSlumber.com, ask us on Twitter (@GameRevenant), Facebookitch.io, and feel free to email us directly at contact@GameRevenant.com.

Frank DiCola is the founder of Game Revenant and the artist for Where Shadows Slumber.

See You At Boston FIG?

Thanks for your patience, trustworthy blog reader, as I took a leave of absence these past few weeks. I’ll tell you all about it once I climb out from under a pile of NDAs, which expire in the year 2030. There’s some exciting stuff to announce in September so I’m sure I won’t miss a week again for a while – until I take up drinking again, that is.

First up, there’s a show this weekend! The Boston Festival of Indie Games is this Saturday (9/14) at the Harvard Athletic Complex. (If you know the area, it’s on Harvard Street in Allston). Let me know if you’re coming to the event or if you live in the area. I’ll be driving up on Friday night to show off Where Shadows Slumber, which was admitted as a nominee for Compelling Gameplay Mechanics in the Digital Showcase.

The show goes from 9 am to 6 pm, with an award show to follow. I’m not sure if the award show is open to the public, but you can get tickets to the actual festival here: Buy Now

More info about Boston FIG

The categories this year are as follows:

Digital Categories: Best in Show, Compelling Game Mechanics, Innovation in Art and Narrative, Multiplayer and Connected Gameplay, Experimental Game Design, Student Games, and Audience Choice Award

Tabletop Categories: Best in Show, Most Dynamic, Most Innovative, Best Game for Social Change, Best Family Game, Best Game in Progress, and Audience Choice Award

I’ve always heard good things, but I’ve never done this show or even attended. I like the one-day format, and it’s also a good chance to see some family that lives outside the city. Hope to see some Where Shadows Slumber fans there!

Wish Us Luck (x 2)

There’s an award show at Boston FIG, so cross your fingers and hope that Where Shadows Slumber takes home the big prize! I believe we’re only eligible to win in the category we’ve been nominated for, which is Compelling Game Mechanics. Of course, anyone can win the Audience Choice Award, which is won by rigging the vote during the day of the event. It’s going to be all hands on deck with that one, so if you come to the show be sure to bring singles. (“See a judge, bribe a judge!” ~Frank DiCola, 2019)

I’m also working on the Independent Games Festival submission for 2019, which is due by my birthday (September 30th). That’s going to be a tougher climb for sure, but it can’t hurt to take a chance on it! I think nominees get to go to GDC 2020 for free?

One more thing…

If you’re on Twitter, tweet “Happy Anniversary” to @blargzor sometime this week [ ^_^]! Jack, programmer and designer of Where Shadows Slumber, got married to his college sweetheart 1 year ago. (Their anniversary was actually yesterday, but this here is a Tuesday blog, damn it.) The couple has requested nice tweets or leaving them alone instead of the traditional “brick through a window with a note attached to it” that is customary for 1 year anniversaries. Respect their wishes!

also

Stay tuned next week for something insane.

[ ( o ) _( o )]

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Where Shadows Slumber is now available for purchase on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store!

Find out more about our game at WhereShadowsSlumber.com, ask us on Twitter (@GameRevenant), Facebookitch.io, and feel free to email us directly at contact@GameRevenant.com.

Frank DiCola is the founder of Game Revenant and the artist for Where Shadows Slumber.

Wish Me Luck in the NFL Verizon 5G Challenge!

Hello everyone,

I wanted to take a break from the usual Where Shadows Slumber news to talk about an exciting opportunity I discovered through Playcrafting. Verizon and the NFL have teamed up to challenge game developers across the country to create an awesome mobile experience that uses the new 5G Network. I’ll let them do the talking here:

Verizon has partnered with the NFL to re-think mobile gaming in a 5G world. That’s why we’re searching for the next big idea for a football-themed mobile game that leverages the power of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.

The Winning teams will be awarded $400,000 to develop a game that will debut at Super Bowl LIV events.

5G infrastructure will take gaming to a whole new level. The high bandwidth and low latency of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband will enable technologies like cloud gaming, multiplayer experiences with ultra-low latency, and more.

On Sunday I submitted on behalf of Game Revenant to create a game called NFL Halftime Blitz. In this proposed game, you are a football fan who is trying to push through the Super Bowl crowds in order to get your favorite snacks before halftime ends. Dan Butchko of Playcrafting was kind enough to help me with the submission even though he was also dealing with his massive game convention in New York City this weekend, PLAY NYC. Thanks, Dan!

Sometime by next week, I think I’ll know whether or not this proposal was accepted into the next round. If it’s accepted, Verizon will host Game Revenant (as well as the other finalists) at a paid game jam in the Verizon 5G Lab. From there, I’ll have to prototype the game over the weekend in order to impress the judges. Only the best game prototype can win, receiving $400,000 to develop the game in advance of its launch at the Super Bowl.

Whether or not I make it past the pitching round, I had fun designing something so zany, i with a bunch of really specific constraints. That’s the best way come up with truly awesome ideas, whether you’re talking about games or some other form of art. Good luck to all of my competitors, especially those that make it to the next round!

I hope to see you there…

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Where Shadows Slumber is now available for purchase on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store!

Find out more about our game at WhereShadowsSlumber.com, ask us on Twitter (@GameRevenant), Facebookitch.io, and feel free to email us directly at contact@GameRevenant.com.

Frank DiCola is the founder of Game Revenant and the artist for Where Shadows Slumber.

Patch 1.0.10 Available on Android, Coming to iOS

If you remember last month’s blog post about an upcoming patch to Where Shadows Slumber, and you’ve been eagerly awaiting it since then, I have good news for you. The wait is finally over! Kind of… for some of you!

Android users with access to the Google Play store can access this patch right now. Please leave a comment if you run into any problems with the puzzle redesigns, or saving / progress issues. I’ll respond as soon as I can!

The patch is coming to iOS later this week once it makes it’s way through Apple’s approval process.

While we have no plans to add more puzzles to the game (a frequent request from fans of the game) we’ll obviously continue to support the game via bugfixes and quality of life improvements as we see fit. Thanks for all the helpful feedback over the past few months on that end!

Stay tuned to this page for more announcements regarding Where Shadows Slumber. While we don’t have anything concrete to announce just yet, a cool experiment is in progress…

What’s Where Shadows Slumber?

I always assume that I’m writing these posts for an audience that reads them regularly, but if you just found out about our game because of this post… welcome! Where Shadows Slumber is a mobile puzzle adventure game for iOS and Android. As the name implies, the driving force of the game’s puzzles center on the shadows your character casts from his bright handheld lantern.

Incidentally, this GIF is slightly out of date now that Patch 1.0.10 is out…

As these shadows move across the landscape of the environment, they can cause objects to appear and disappear from reality. These changes can happen to entire sections of the puzzle or tiny pieces of a single pathway. Shadows from two different objects may have two different effects on the level. Your character’s position matters since Obe is holding the light – he’s more than just a passenger meant to be carted from point A to point B. Where Shadows Slumber encourages outside-the-box thinking, exploration, and puzzle solving!

Try the new-and-improved version of the game at the links below:

App Store (iOS)bit.ly/WSS-iOS

Google Play (Android)bit.ly/WSS-Android

If you love it, please leave a 5 star review/rating for us. If you don’t love it… send me an email [0_0 ]

Enjoy the game!

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Where Shadows Slumber is now available for purchase on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store!

Find out more about our game at WhereShadowsSlumber.com, ask us on Twitter (@GameRevenant), Facebookitch.io, and feel free to email us directly at contact@GameRevenant.com.

Frank DiCola is the founder of Game Revenant and the artist for Where Shadows Slumber.

Where Shadows Slumber Accepted into Boston FIG!

I’m happy to announce that Where Shadows Slumber has been accepted into the Boston Festival of Indie Games, or Boston FIG! (We’re having a lot of success with figs these days, I suppose) Here’s their description:

“BostonFIG Fest returns for our 8th annual celebration of independent games! Join us at our flagship September event and play hundreds of games designed by talented people that may even be your neighbors!

Get inspired by the incredible game creator community that we have both regionally and beyond.”

“BostonFIG Fest (now in its 8th year) is a celebration of independent game development worldwide. The Fest showcases digital and tabletop games, with our showcase games selected from hundreds of submissions from independent game developers, carefully curated by a broad cross-section of game professionals and academics.

Fest attendees have the chance to play digital games, tabletop games, and immersive experience games in a casual environment, for a very affordable ticket price. The games at BostonFIG Fest are as follows: Tabletop games in the Competitive Showcase, Digital games in the Competitive Showcase, Tabletop Exhibitor Games, Digital Exhibitor Games, and even Sponsor Games in both Tabletop and Digital. Other Fest features include the Artist’s Alley, Tabletop Freeplay Area, Boffer Arena, the Figgies (Awards Show) Ceremony, and more!”

We submitted Where Shadows Slumber to this show at the end of April, on the 22nd. After a lengthy process laden with judges and juries, we got the acceptance letter just this week. They also gave us some feedback from the judges about our game. We’ll be in the Digital Competitive Showcase, mentioned above.

My friends Brian S. Chung and GJ Lee winning a prize at last year’s show!

I’ve never been to Boston FIG before, but I’ve only heard good things about it. (It also comes during a time in the Calendar where there aren’t a million other game events going on and you can actually focus on this one.)

If you’ll be in Boston on September 14th, come to the Harvard Athletic Complex and check out all of the awesome games on display, including Where Shadows Slumber. Children under 12 attend Boston FIG for free, and there’s a scavenger hunt going on all day around the festival. Don’t miss it!

The fun begins in 45 days… see you there [^_^ ]

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Where Shadows Slumber is now available for purchase on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store!

Find out more about our game at WhereShadowsSlumber.com, ask us on Twitter (@GameRevenant), Facebookitch.io, and feel free to email us directly at contact@GameRevenant.com.

Frank DiCola is the founder of Game Revenant and the artist for Where Shadows Slumber.

Heading to RetroWorld Expo

Where Shadows Slumber will be returning to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT this September for the RetroWorld Expo!

Here’s their description of the event:

RetroWorld Expo (RWX) is an annual convention that encompasses all things video games, music and tabletop gaming. The event will be held on September 28 & 29 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT.

Returning for it’s 5th year, RWX is known for its massive marketplace, expansive gaming tournaments, free play arcade and gaming area, live video game music and Youtube and industry guests and panels. Our marketplace has over 80 vendors selling video games, crafts, artwork and much more!

Children ages 10 and under free with a paid ticket purchase

(Paid parking available at the garage attached to the Connecticut Convention Center)

All tickets are non-refundable. If you have any questions please email questions@retroworldexpo.com

www.retroworldexpo.com

You can purchase tickets here and RSVP on Facebook here.

I had a blast at ConnectiCon last weekend, so I’m excited to return to Hartford with Where Shadows Slumber! If you live in the area or you’re attending RetroWorld Expo, let me know ahead of time. Spaces haven’t been assigned just yet, but I’m sure we’ll be in some kind of indie games section.

See you in Hartford!

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Where Shadows Slumber is now available for purchase on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store!

Find out more about our game at WhereShadowsSlumber.com, ask us on Twitter (@GameRevenant), Facebookitch.io, and feel free to email us directly at contact@GameRevenant.com.

Frank DiCola is the founder of Game Revenant and the artist for Where Shadows Slumber.

Where Shadows Slumber Wins “Most Innovative Game” at CT FIG 2019!

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve returned from my triumphant conquest of Hartford, Connecticut:

1.) Without a flat tire

2.) With a glistening, majestic trophy!

Feast your eyes upon it and cower in fear, plebians!

“Feast, I said!”

In all seriousness, the entire Where Shadows Slumber team would like to extend warm thanks toward the CT FIG team for this wonderful prize. Thank you for selecting us to show off at CT FIG, and thanks to the judges for recognizing our work!

Where Shadows Slumber, available now on iOS and Android, is certainly innovative. It may be similar to other games in style and tone, but it’s impossible to find another game that uses shadows the way we do. (We dare you to try! Helsing’s Fire doesn’t count.) If you know of another game that uses our mechanics and was published to the market prior to our 2016 demo, let me know in the comments!

Below you’ll find my scattered thoughts on the show, and some photos of the event. Thanks for reading! [^_^ ]

Shots and Thoughts

This show was less busy than last month’s TooManyGames. I suspect it’s because the Hartford Convention Center was divided into two Halls, A and B: A was for Connecticon, and B was for CT FIG. The divide is a bit strange, and I kept wishing more people would come over from that side during the weekend. But I understand CT FIG is still growing – the last time I went to this show, it was held in a board game shop in Newington!

I conducted 100 demos with people during the weekend, which led to 11 confirmed downloads, mainly on Android. I also think I’m going to switch from giving cards away free to giving pins away for free. People REALLY love those cards (obviously, because they have screenshots from the game on them!).

The setup, above. This is the first time I’ve shown off Where Shadows Slumber using a round table. (CT FIG began as a tabletop show and I was only 1 of 8 digital titles at the show!) I actually really liked that. It made way more sense than having an awkward rectangle table. Keep note, showrunners!

Everyone loved the game! That one guy on the right was at the table for nearly four hours on Saturday [o_o ] He beat EVERY puzzle! (And found a few issues… they’ll be fixed once the big July patch launches later this month.)

An intimate award ceremony, held after the show ended on Sunday.

Last but not least, shout-out to my boothmate Promote Pluto who has an adorable card game / webcomic about restoring Pluto to it’s former glory as a planet. So cute!

We can’t wait to see how CT FIG grows over the next year!

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Where Shadows Slumber is now available for purchase on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store!

Find out more about our game at WhereShadowsSlumber.com, ask us on Twitter (@GameRevenant), Facebookitch.io, and feel free to email us directly at contact@GameRevenant.com.

Frank DiCola is the founder of Game Revenant and the artist for Where Shadows Slumber.