It’s been an eventful month on the marketing front. Over the past couple weeks, we represented Bible X at two IRL events in Indiana and Ohio, meeting communities and conducting playtests.
The first, LTN Con, was a convention of about 150 attendees organized by Love Thy Nerd (LTN) to bring their community together while providing tools to help them love and serve their nerdy neighbors better. The second was Forge Gaming’s LAN19, where over 100 participants gathered for a weekend of games and God’s word.
Both LTN and Forge Gaming were kind enough to let us show our latest demo at their events where we could get real-time feedback, spread the word about our game, make connections and get to know our target audience better – in particular 13- to 17-year-olds.
“Can you slide like in Fortnite?”
It was very interesting for us to witness how our target audience interacted with our game. We’ve suspected for a while now that teens today spend a good amount of time in game worlds without playing the main game. Features like character customization, parkour and open-world elements that provide endless alternatives to experiencing a game are important to them.
Despite the limitations of our early demo, this was precisely what we saw the teens engage in – for hours on end! They had lots of fun goofing around with the player character, teasing the guards, trying to ride animals, exploring, climbing ledges and jumping from high heights, among other things.
Finding a way to break our game
At LTN Con, we challenged a couple boys to get past the restricted demo area, something we weren’t even certain was possible. Sure enough, they found a “loophole” after many attempts and were rewarded with the experience of seeing areas of Jerusalem, which had been blocked off in the demo, in all their detail.
Several teen testers also tried in every way to break our game – missing all the markers, finding a way to get past the guards unseen, checking out unfinished areas and looking for bugs. It was very amusing for us as devs to see “secret” spots being explored, not to mention a huge help identifying issues that needed fixing!
In contrast, the adults who tested our game played the demo exactly how it was designed – following the story in a linear fashion and not missing any checkpoints.
All in all, this was probably the biggest takeaway from our travels and playtesting sessions this month – the difference between how teens and adults engaged with our game – which further confirms our target audience research thus far.