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GDX 2023 Recap

We just wrapped up our first convention appearance for Ctrl Alt Deal! To paraphrase another intelligent AI in video game history, it was a triumph (huge success).

The week started off with our attendance at the GDX convention, where we participated in panels hosted by luminaries including Trent Oster of Beamdog, Cristina Amaya of Latinx in Gaming, and Christopher Chancey of ManaVoid Entertainment.

It’s always so inspiring to be around other devs and creators who have accomplished great things in the indie sphere. The highlight of the con was definitely the Town Hall, where Chris Chancey discussed how developers in Québec organized to create a strong and healthy industry. We came away with a fistful of business cards and a notebook full of great ideas.

A staff dinner on Thursday night brought (almost) the whole team together for the first time. With the exception of our international Unity programmer, our team was able to gather and meet in person for dinner, board games, and great conversation. Remote work comes with a lot of benefits, but it’s still great to get together in person. NPC “Laura” was even able to join us at the table via a holographic photo frame.

Friday was the first day of the exhibition at K-Days, and we were ready to go with our incredible booth. Our Art Director put together an eye-catching banner that drew people in, ready to try a demo of Ctrl Alt Deal. We created a custom demo for the con featuring some of the K-Days fairground food (like the Kool-Aid glazed chicken burger and Pickle Cheese Fries), which got some chuckles. The three days flew by as we had over 100 people try the game—and the feedback we got was phenomenal.

It was so exciting to hear all the positive comments from players and see just how much Ctrl Alt Deal resonated with people. We’re making a quirky game that doesn’t fit neatly in a box, and worried it might not be suitable for a convention demo. But our players really “got” the game and loved our dramatic art style and emergent mechanics. It was overwhelming and wonderful.

We’d like to give a big thank-you to Interactive Arts Alberta and all the volunteers, organizers, and sponsors that made GDX 2023 possible. See you next year!