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ORGANIZER'S NOTE: Rescheduled, MONDAY NIGHT event. YouTube streaming options should be available for this event, but please check back here for details.
Here’s an impossible question that every game developer has to answer at some point: How do you handle a live audience when they outnumber you and your staff, sometimes 10,000 to 1? It’s a problem that always comes up at some point in the process. You and your team, struggling to either identify the size of your target audience, or worrying about what they’ll think of your next content release, or finding yourself concerned with how badly they’re about to datamine all of your secrets and ruin your surprise?
What do you do when your service is 24 hours and you and your staff need time to sleep, eat, and be humans? How can you entertain all of them? Even worse… how could you ever do it live, in real-time? That’s impossible, right?!
Would you be surprised to learn that you can, and you can do it affordably, and perhaps improve your company structure in the process? And you can learn it all from one single game… or at least one single game genre?
Lead Producer Astra Ebonwing of Threshold Games joins us not as a developer and not as a player, but as someone who stands at the crossroads between the two, in this case. As a developer, Astra was one of the first independent Alternate Reality Game developers in the United States and a massively multiplayer video game producer but, as a player, Astra has been spending her time in another, secret Alternate Reality Game that bills itself as a boxed product “4v1 co-op horror experience” -- Question Games’ The Blackout Club, developed by yet another former Austinite, Jordan “Nullspeak” Thomas. What the team neglects to tell you is that The Blackout Club isn’t a 4 player vs 1 player experience, though it’s designed to look like a 4v1. It’s more like 15v30v100v300v67v...
So how does a small staff entertain hundreds, if not thousands, of customers every week, without a subscription fee attached? You’ll find out as Astra details the secretly non-secret methods of running a complicated, evolving game at scale, and all you have to do is just close your eyes and believe… just like the good little Blackout Club kid you are.
THE SPEAKER: Mistress Astra Ebonwing is a professional video game producer, community manager, gaming journalist, and game theorist with over 16 years of experience making memorable experiences for hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, at times for less than $2,000 of budget. Mistress Ebonwing is also a professionally practicing stage illusionist, ordained Pagan priestess and Dominatrix, lending her knowledge of the adult industry, sexual health research, and technology to SizeCon, where she acts as the convention’s Technical Director. When she’s not making games, Astra throws herself at acting and roleplaying opportunities, LARPing and DMing across the United States.