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Shoot 1UP Developer: The Challenges Of Exhibiting At PAX

In Gamasutra's latest feature, Indie Exhibitor Lessons Learned, Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games (Weapon of Choice, Shoot 1UP) discusses the true costs
In Gamasutra's latest feature, Indie Exhibitor Lessons Learned, Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games (Weapon of Choice, Shoot 1UP) discusses the true costs and complications of exhibiting at PAX East. The experienced developer, who most recently worked for Insomniac Games before going indie, has been releasing his games for the Xbox Indie Games program, hoping to connect with a hardcore audience. While he managed to do so at Penny Arcade Expo East, he also had major complications, which he breaks down in an article that serves as a postmortem of his show experiences. "Given the rising popularity of this and other events, I thought there may be some other independent developers that would like to see, in detail, our successes, trials, and tribulations," writes Fouts. "We displayed a playable demo of Grapple Buggy on a rented 50-inch plasma TV, since the game looks great in motion and easily attracts attention," he explains. "We had two computers and 20-inch monitors running Shoot 1UP and hosted an hourly high score contest. A final monitor looped a trailer highlighting games for our PC publisher, Blitz Game Studios (Weapon of Choice was announced for the PC during PAX, published by the Blitz 1UP program)." After detailing all of the associated costs and the effects of all of the efforts, Fouts offers a top 10 lessons learned, including bits such as "Get registered with the show as early as you possibly can," "There may be lots of charges associated with rentals and hauling," and "When setting up, remember that everything about your booth and the space you create is dynamic." Fouts also has hints for dealing with the press and the sad truth about indie merchandising. "Overall exhibiting at the show was incredible and we will definitely work to improve our approach and exhibit again in the future," he says. "Particular to PAX, it was an amazing experience getting to talk to gamers not involved in the industry who were enjoying our currently released games and wanted Grapple Buggy!" The full feature, Indie Exhibitor Lessons Learned: Mommy's Best Games PAX Story, is live today on Gamasutra.

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