by M. Joshua
God seems to line things up sometimes. This past weekend was like that. And today is like that. I’m taking today to rest, play Fallout 4, and reflect on what God’s done lately. Plus my Steam Hardware arrives. It’s a win-win-win-win. But before I rush headlong into Post-Boston, I feel compelled to share things that God (and awesome people) did over the weekend.
I got to Columbus Ohio at about 4pm on Friday. I was a lot earlier than Justin and Lauren Fox, who I was exhibiting with at the Ohio Game Dev Expo, but fortunately I could set up our booth before they arrived. Meanwhile, I met Evan Todd who made Lemma. We seemed to connect right away. He talked about hanging out for dinner before the Kickoff party and hanging out with a bunch of other game dev friends. While I was a little awkward about it, grace was all over it and he connected us with Jesse Kooner and the team working on his game, Luckless Seven. Around that time, Justin and Lauren showed up and it turned into a real and proper party. Plus, they got to make a dramatic entrance on the freight elevator.
Justin had a prophetic word for Jonathan, one of the guys on Jesse’s team. And then we all unanimously agreed to just go to the Kickoff party and get the food that’s there. The food wasn’t being served there because somebody dropped the ball. So we all talked and had brilliant, enriched conversation before Justin said, “Let’s go be black!” He got us all to go get in the catered food line and just start serving ourselves. We looked around conspicuously like, “we know we shouldn’t be doing this, but we paid for this food so you better let us eat it!” The caterer lady eventually got flagged down and gave us the Okay. We started the food train! Everybody felt like we saved the day. And most of it was Justin’s boldness and his being “black.” We continued to have amazing conversation with our new friends and our table multiplied in size a few times. Unfortunately we had to leave because we needed to get some sleep for the next day and Justin and Lauren live three hours away in Lexington.
You would have thought that three hour drives to-and-fro between Lexington and Columbus would have sucked. But it turned into key and momentous times of spiritually enriched conversation, mutual spiritual healing, and the ability to catch up with an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time. But since Justin and I never saw one another and have just been online friends for years, it turned into a rich and ongoing conversation. Lauren was quiet a lot. But her input was always full of clarifying insight and connection.
Meanwhile, back at home in Red Lion, GameCell was happening without me. Vince led the crew on Old School NES Night. He added to the material I gave him for what I called “Memory Night.” There was a full house of guys who had an amazing night. They even had a new guy. I showed a picture to Justin and said, “I don’t even know who that guys is, but I’m so happy he’s there!” The crew took the material I gave them and added so much more of their own. Then they played Tetris and a variety of other NES classics. And even the most modern players absolutely loved the throwback.
The next day was the main show floor event of the Ohio Game Dev Expo. I showed my work alongside Justin’s game for ReElise. Since I made the trailer, it was a perfect opportunity to cross-inform each other’s work. But I can’t thank Justin enough for buying the booth space and making it into this insane win-win scenario that it was. In addition to this, we shared the abundance of food that my wonderful wife provided and we had no lack between us. Everywhere I went, I was able to point people back to his game and direct other folks back to ReElise. Meanwhile, Justin was doing the same with pimping-out my trailer work to anybody who seemed remotely interested in that kind of work.
Evan let me be the first to play Lemma on his Oculus Rift. It was my first time in VR and I gotta say, jumping through the air and landing thirty feet below in VR made my legs weak in the knees. And tilting my head down to look at my body and seeing a female body was super strange. But I loved it and so many of the other games there.
I soon realized that being behind the booth wasn’t going to capture my main audience, which wasn’t the community and guests on the show floor. So I spent most of the expo checking out the other exhibitors. So many wonderful people with amazing stories and unique games. The convention seemed to be the perfect size for this foray as I felt like I got to meet everybody I needed to meet over the two days of the event. And that included the leaders of a few game dev communities who might easily have need for a trailer producer like myself.
I made the seven hour trek home on Sunday night, cutting my time at the expo short. All in all, food and community and joy and shared experiences all came together in a wonderful pot. I loved so much about this experience. And then I discovered that I got to park in a major American city for free for the whole weekend thanks to the host location, CoSi, providing a validated parking pass. All in all, I think I spent $22 on the event thanks to extreme generosity on the Foxes’ part, my wife’s amazing planning, and the conveniences of the event’s host. For my first major convention and stepping out into a state I never visit, this was an amazing weekend. God’s grace was all over this one.
Now I’m settling down and enjoying my day off with Fallout 4 and new Steam Hardware, extremely thankful for developments.