As I mentioned in my previous news post, I joined Ed Kay-Coles (@Hoeloe) and crew to promote Song of the Firefly, our game in progress. While I did go around visiting other stalls, my main goal for the day was to talk to people about the game, its mechanics and developments, and its music.
How I became one of two soundtrack writers for the game is because of the passion with which I was filled when I saw the material available for it several months back, and wrote, half-embarrassed, to Ed, asking to write for him. There was a final shortlist of 20 musicians, apparently; only two -- Sabrielle, a composer from Orlando who is based on Soundcloud -- and myself, made the cut. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons of distance, she couldn't make the event. And I could only make one day: Saturday, the busiest of the three days of Comic Con.
Regrettably, the computers in our booth didn't have sound -- the ambient sound around us was drowning everything, and no-one thought of putting headphones. However, thanks to Seán providing me with earbuds, I used those and my tablet to share fragments of the music with people who came by, garnering enthusiasm for it. One of these tracks is Nightfall, a fragment of which figures in my audio submissions on NG.
I didn't take many pictures, but the few that I took, I cherish them a lot, and I'd like to share them with all of you. I'll describe them as I go along.
This is when I played the demo of Song of the Firefly. I believe I was the first, if not one of the first, to give it a go for the day. This is an alpha build; a public demo should be available within a few months.
It's a 2.5D game (some sections are 2D, some are 3D) focusing on the dynamics of light, shadow and survival with the bare minimum in a post-apocalyptic world. That's the core mechanic. I will cover the story in a bit.
People playing the game.
These photos don't seem like much, but there was quite a queue to play Song of the Firefly. The booth was quite narrow, and there were PCs for various indie games. Ours was at the edge of the booth, directly facing the flow of traffic, and so it really helped us a lot. The queues were quite long at times.
Poster duty. I was the only member of the crew who didn't have a T-shirt promoting the game, as I came within quite short notice, and it'd have taken ages to mail the shirt to Preston. We had 500 or so posters, and we had to go slow on them by the time the halfway point came...... in case we didn't have enough for today (Sunday).
Ollie, our programer, resting in his "usual spot," i.e. right in front of the door that contains all sorts of stuff for use of the exhibitors in this stand.
I was racked with chest pain quite a few times that day, and I wound up joining him sitting there.
The signpost for Song of the Firefly was not a poster like we would think... but it was actually printed into the cloth that covered the stand.
Now, in addition to giving out posters, I'd brought business cards and samples of my music, to give people a taste of what would appear in the finished game. The following two pictures should speak for themselves:
Beginning of the day (notice how many CD sleeves there are with my trademark triquetra on them),
Just a few hours later, at 11:00. (I think so, anyway. The CDs depleted in the mid-afternoon.)
With the help of a staff member, we did the sneakiest thing: we put up our posters behind other people's banners. Heheheh.
One of the people who visited our stand and played our game asked that we sign his poster for him. It was our first time ever being asked to do this, and we were overjoyed. I couldn't get a picture of any of us signing the poster, but I did get this:
The poster when it was signed by the four of us who were there. Sorry for the slightly blurry image quality. Ed's signature is above mine, which you can... barely make out, I guess...
All four of us posing for the camera. From left: Ed (the project manager), Jonny (the art director), Ollie (programmer) and myself. I swear, the camera hates me.
So if I were to describe the story of Song of the Firefly in my own words, I'll put it like this:
You control a boy named Sam -- the guy with the green hair -- in post-apocalyptic London. Broken-down buildings, complete and total darkness, a haze covering the skies blocking the view of the stars. The moon has been split in two.
You're looking for your friend, Sarah (the girl with the pinkish-red hair), who has gone missing in this darkness. In this bleak atmosphere, you have little rays of hope to guide you, in the form of fireflies.
Armed with the bare minimum -- a knife and a lantern -- you go in search of her. The fireflies light up your lantern and push away creatures of the night. The knife is your last resort...
I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday, and I hope you enjoy this post and these photos.
Ed and crew have set up a Kickstarter, which you can go to here. This game needs funding to grow into the masterpiece which I believe it truly is.
There'll be little updates about it now and then on @Hoeloe's NG page, and perhaps some from me as and when. Stay tuned.