Having just had time to recover from the grueling but immensely rewarding showing of Forgotton Anne at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, I was back on the plane and off to Seattle for PAX West. I had only been to the US once before, back in 2014, and I didn’t remember jet lag being much of a problem. This time, it proved to be my twelve foot lead cross to bear.
Microsoft’s id@xbox Pre-PAX open house event started bright and early with setup at 08:00, Thursday 31st, but at 13:00 began what turned out to be a very special VIP session with teens who are dealing with chronic life threatening conditions and are patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Needless to say, many of them were drawn to the colorful fantasy world of Forgotton Anne. Watching them play was a real joy, but seeing the smiles on their faces afterwards and talking to them and their parents about the game was better still. I was reminded of how important video games were to me when I broke bones as a kid (that happened quite often) or fell ill. I can only imagine their need for escape and how vital video games are to their morale and to improving the quality of life of anyone facing serious illness. Every time I meet a new group of people and talk to them about what we do, my sense of pride increases and takes on a new form. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to meet them and talk about my favorite thing in the world with them.
The next day, the Indie MIX event took place in downtown Seattle where a bunch of indie game developers, press, and fans got to hang out in a more intimate setting than a massive consumer convention. I prefer this setting as it seems to elicit from people interesting comments, thoughts, and questions about the object of discussion and Forgotton Anne was no exception. Being able to converse with other developers and learn about their journeys can also yield valuable insights into one’s own process.
The journey to PAX was a great success in both feedback and connections made, and I am already looking forward to travelling to Birmingham later this month to show Forgotton Anne at EGX. If you, dear reader, happen to be attending the show, come find me in the Square Enix Collective booth. I’d love to show you around the Forgotten Lands and introduce you to Anne and the forgotlings.
See you there! :)
Associate Producer, ThroughLine Games