Recent VentureFizz Posts – Proletariat, Indie Game Collective, and more!

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Throughout 2013, I’ve contributed blog content to VentureFizz.com to highlight the Boston video game development community. It has been a fun side project, as I’ve had the opportunity to learn even more about a community that I love. I’ve highlighted contributed content on my blog in the past, but realized recently that I hadn’t linked over to some of my more recent contributions. Below are a few favorites!

A Few Minutes with Seth Sivak, CEO of ‘World Zombination’ Creator, Proletariat

Game Devs Join Forces in Cambridge with “Indie Game Collective” 

Indie Games Shine at Boston FIG

Moving to Mobile Games: A Q&A with Demiurge Studios’ CEO Albert Reed

Demiurge Brings Marvel to Mobile with Puzzle Quest

Marvel Puzzle QuestThis is a project that has been hard to keep a lid on, to say the least! Demiurge Studios (my client), in partnership with D3publisher and Marvel Entertainment, recently released Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign on iOS and Android. It truly was a collaborative effort on all fronts, marketing and PR included. The launch of the game involved many moving pieces that, in the end, worked out quite well…

So, after keeping quiet about the game for months, its reveal was rolled out gradually over the course of its launch week in October, all leading up to New York ComicCon. The game was first announced via a tweet from Marvel’s Agent M (@AgentM). This was followed by an interview podcast with the Demiurge team and hosted on Marvel.com, as well as an inclusion in the official Marvel newsletter. Then, finally, the game launched later that week and was announced to media around the world via a press release and launch trailer. At New York Comic Con, Demiurge participated in a panel about the game and the game was also demoed on the show floor. To say that we blanked Marvel fans at launch is an understatement.

Coverage of the game has been spectacular, with most reviews turning out positive, including an amazing 9.1 rating from IGN!!! The studio itself has also received some great exposure, including a feature with GamesIndustry.biz shortly following the launch. And, this is just the beginning and the Demiurge team continues to add new content to the game, expanding the player experience.

To augment all of the above activities, two additional videos have been released surrounding the game that I wanted to share. Both of these were shot in the Demiurge offices and it was a blast to help coordinate these with the Marvel and D3 teams. Check them out!

Demiurge Developer Diary Video – Marvel Puzzle Quest: 

Marvel’s Agent M Visits Demiurge: 

A Match Made in Highgarden: Disruptor Beam and King Richard’s Faire

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In the godswood (ahem). I mean, in the woods of Carver, Massachusetts, the Disruptor Beam team hosted a “Game of Game of Thrones” trivia and costume contest for thousands of people in attendance at King Richard’s Faire, the largest renaissance faire on the east coast. I helped to coordinate the event in conjunction with the Disruptor Beam team and Faire staff, with all parties walking away with a positive experience.

The event was an interesting way to promote Game of Thrones Ascent, but also a venue for Disruptor Beam to host the company outing of all company outings! We had 1 or 2 people shy of the entire Disruptor Beam team attend. We handed out free in-game turkey legs for general attendees to consume within the game. Rich Gallup, the game’s Executive Producer, hosted the contest in full renaissance garb. And, Game of Thrones themed prizes were awarded to our costume and trivia contest winners. In true Game of Thrones style, lots of people were killed off in the Game of Game of Thrones, but one fair maiden from Highgarden – a Margaery Tyrell look-alike – won, taking home her very own miniature Iron Throne.

It was a blast for all – the Disruptor Beam staff, King Richard’s Faire, contest participants, and even me, who actually dressed up as a wench for the day. The event was a highlight of 2013 in my book – a memorable and very fun experience. Tons of photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/manthatwhispers/sets/72157636050828776/ And, more pictures follow!

Photos courtesy of Tim Rice for King Richard’s Faire. 

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Boston FIGnites!

IMG_6202 Elicia at Boston FIG
For the second year in a row I managed PR efforts for the Boston Festival of Indie Games (aka Boston FIG). When thinking back about this year’s event, the word ‘ignite’ jumps to mind. It was a day *ignited* by the amazing energy of not just the independent game developers who showcased digital and tabletop games, but the compelling speakers, and over 5,000 people in attendance.  I know firsthand how difficult it can be to garner attention for an unknown game, but Boston FIG provides a platform for these developers to promote their games. And the dedicated effort of an all-volunteer staff (myself included) seems to be paying off for the game developers, as well as attendees and sponsors each year – a trend I hope to see continue into 2014!

I’d like to thank all of the staff, volunteers, attendees, participants, sponsors, and partners that made this year’s event possible, but also send a special thank you to the media who covered BostonFIG, both before and after the festival! Below are just a few of the many great stories that appeared surrounding the 2013 Fest. And, for more detail about the developers that were at the festival, check out my recap post on VentureFizz.

MetroWest Daily News / Cambridge Chronicle

Polygon.com

BostInno.com

Boston.com

Boston Globe

DIGBoston.com

GamePolitics.com

GameZone.com

Indie Game Magazine

Joystiq.com

VG247.com

 

 

Hammer-Time with EQHammer.com at SOE Live 2013!

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After many years of  working with TenTonHammer.com through a traditional PR / editorial relationship, I’ve recently been given the opportunity to assist with increasing the brand recognition of the company’s suite of game news & feature websites.  I jumped at the chance to pitch in!

Ten Ton Hammer launched a new fansite this summer – EQHammer.com – dedicated to coverage of EverQuest Next, the upcoming MMO from Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). We knew that SOE Live, the annual fan-fest dedicated to SOE’s games, was our opportunity to make a splash (literally)! At SOE’s annual Pool Party, which attracted about a thousand  EverQuest fans, we filled the pools at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas with hundreds of inflatable hammers all branded with the EQHammer URL. We also handed out EQHammer t-shirts to our biggest fans, giving them access to our “Pool Party Recovery Breakfast”, which took place the morning following the pool party.

For a relatively low investment (the cost of the hammers, t-shirts, posters and some breakfast sandwiches), we were able to increase awareness of EQHammer.com among the hardest core EverQuest fans. Everyone LOVED the hammers and people were smacking each other throughout the pool party – a fun sight to see. And, fans proudly wore the EQHammer / Ten Ton Hammer shirts even after the breakfast, blanketing the site’s branding across the rest of the event.

Some more pictures and a video from the event, for your viewing pleasure…

Fans having fun with hammers: http://youtu.be/QrWgyyUpUwk
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Game of Thrones Ascent Ascends @ Comic-Con San Diego!

I’ve been working with Disruptor Beam to promote their hit social game – Game of Thrones Ascent – since early 2012. Aside from the game itself, which has been very well received by players, another part of its success is the widespread popularity of HBO’s hit TV series and George R.R. Martin’s series of books. The studio’s relationship with HBO and HBO’s willingness to support the game however it can, has also opened many doors for us in terms of PR and promotions.

For example, through the studio’s partnership with HBO we were able to promote the game via an on-site and very well-attended “Join the Realm” exhibition at San Diego Comic-Con this past week.  Not only did the Disruptor Beam team meet with and demo the game for thousands of hardcore Game of Thrones fans, they were able to schmooze with some stars from the show and even some impressive cosplayers.

I just had to share these pictures of Khalessi and her Unsullied playing the game. Priceless.

Khalessi at Comic-Con

 

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