This year we have had the opportunity to show DHMC off at local game development conferences (such as COSI – Game Masters Series, and GDX Edmonton), as well as trade shows and games events such as K Days and ReplayFX. The benefit of demoing DHMC at these events are immense. Not only does it allow us to show DHMC to new sets of eyes who might not be aware of it (after all Indie teams such as ourselves do not have much in the way of marketing budgets to promote our games), but we are also able to show off “in development” content that we haven’t put live, and most importantly we can gather feedback first hand as we witness and interact with totally new players trying it out the game for the first time.

While we totally appreciate all of the great feedback that our community does for us here on Steam, there is something uniquely special about being able to watch people play a game that you have made and see the immense smile on their faces from the enjoyment that they get from playing DHMC. Some of the best examples of this that we witness are when parents and their children sit down and play DHMC together at these shows and get to experience the game together (sometimes at the same screen if the child is very young, but often they would play at different stations at a networked setup we have had at these shows).

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Obviously having hundreds of people a day check out DHMC and potentially creating new fans is a huge boon for us, however what is most valuable towards the future development of DHMC comes through our observations and interactions with these players (either online through forums like Steam, or in person at these shows). This, combined with analytics data, allows us to get a clearer idea of where our “pain points” are and what we need to do more of to craft DHMC to be a better experience right out of the box.

Some of you might be curious what type of information a casual player shares with us. Here are some snippets of the data that we collected from the last event we were at.

 

 

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As you can guess people really want customization in DHMC with the majority wanting at bare minimum what we have now in the game, and many asking for even more levels of customization beyond that. This is something that we have talked about at internal meetings, but we feel is certainly worth more discussion from the community as a whole.

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We were a bit surprised by this level of feedback, as we would have expected players to want more unique controllers. But it looks to be that keyboard and mouse are still the dominant input controls that people want.

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Not a lot of hatred here for the 3rd person controls, although interestingly enough we didn’t get any feedback on whether the cameras were too close to the mechs (something that we have sometimes internally discussed at our meetings).

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In this question sample, we were somewhat surprised to find out that people at these shows didn’t even bother to look to see if there was a 1st person camera option, but that is likely the difference between a “casual” player who just picked up the game, and a hard core stompy bot mech fan.

 

So what does this all mean? Well it means these live events are important for us to attend (obviously) but it also tells us that we have been going the right direction with DHMC, and that we also have to go further in that direction to deliver more of the experience that players want to see in DHMC.

If you have an opportunity to see DHMC at an event near you (or really any other independently created game), please stop by and let us know what you think. If you don’t get the chance to see us live that is okay too. What is important to us is that we interact with players and learn your thoughts and feelings (both positive and negative) about the game so that we can craft better experiences. We are also appreciative of your input and thank you for being fans of DHMC.

 

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Logan “Lfoz”

Art director

Max Gaming Studios