Joe Russ is part of one of those utterly amazing teams that pump out incredibly polished games. He is very skilled in his craft(and fluent in after effects puppet animation, a favorite program of ours too) and so is his partner in crime. Speaking of crime I want to introduce you to Jenny LeClue, an ace detective born from the likes of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys we have puzzle/adventure game decorated like a mystery, with perhaps a little murder involved. I’ve been following this game for ages, and lucky me when it comes out I can buy it on… basically every modern console out today; sorry Ouya.
Exhibiting is hard, it’s grueling and the hours are long. Most teams elect several members to go to any given con, but for a two-man team like Mografi Joe went and Ben stayed home to keep working on the game. Scarecrow Arts is really just myself, Malcolm and Anton with various artists that we commission and work alongside. In a situation with a small team like this, take advantage of the extra Exhibitors Badges and bring a friend along, someone you can set by the game station and give you a break while delivering the spiel to attendees.
First hot tip down, now time to gush once again at the gorgeous mystery game Jenny LeClue. The whole genre is under-tapped, and although this game has more of a linear adventure based around puzzle-solving and not deduction, I thoroughly enjoyed the demo and what the team has in store for their 2019 release(delayed). The game was always planned for mobile so the build was always pretty lightweight. I was a bit concerned when Joe told me that his team wanted to release all platforms simultaneously with different prices(even though logistically the desktop builds will be ready much sooner than mobile). Easily only an hour before our interview my cameraman, Matt, and I attended a panel where a seasoned dev berated the idea of under-valuing your game on a different market and instead roll out the cheaper options later in the game life to keep buzz going and milking the most money(not really as evil as it sounds when your game selling is livelihood-dependent). It’s easy then to rationalize that a phone user wouldn’t pay 20 dollars for a mobile, but if a Steam user saw the game was undervalued on a different market(e.g. 2 dollars on IOS) they would flock to the cheaper option instead. Joe, however, seems pretty comfortable with his decision and has confidence that the player will always gravitate towards their usual platform of preference and after some thought I tend to agree.
One final note to discuss is Mografi’s attendance at PAX East. Joe actually registered to be a part of their official Indie Showcase, similar to PAX West’s “PAX 10”. After paying the registration fee and getting selected, Mographi earned a free booth at the con, and, almost as good, free press! Visibility is crucial in an expo of 200+ booths. Always submit to these programs first if you can, but the final selection comes down to what PAX assumes attendees want to see. This time it was Jenny LeClue: Detectivu.