Our Trip to Cologne and Seattle

Our studio was invited to participate in the Games from Quebec initiative at Gamescom and it was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Hence, on August 18, our co-founders, Malik and Atul, flew across the Atlantic Ocean to beautiful Cologne, Germany to showcase Project Witchstone. A big thank you to Lina Jivkova of Export Quebec for making this possible.

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Being that this was their first time there, our co-founders were shocked to see how massive and packed Gamescom is. With an estimate attendance of 373,000 this year, there is nothing even remotely comparable in North America. Imagine E3 if it got merged with all the PAX’s.

Luckily, even with their super busy schedule, they found the time to visit the historic city, to marvel at the beautiful architecture and sample the local cuisine (and booze). It was also a great opportunity to connect and reconnect with fellow game developers from Quebec and around the world!

Cologne Old Town

Cologne Old Town

Atul’s recommendations for Cologne:

  • I had some of the best pastas ever at Ristorante Etrusca. Hand-made and then prepared right in front of you, it is quite an experience. Don’t get fooled by the small portions - it will fill you up!

  • Be sure you are in good physical condition before attempting to walk the stairs to the top of the Cologne Cathedral! The view will be spectacular but that spiral staircase is tight and never-ending.

  • Do not expect one-liter beer boots like at Oktoberfest. Instead, most of the beers we had in Cologne came in stange glasses, a thin cylindrical tube. The beer was delicious though!

Then as soon as Atul and Malik came back to Montreal from Gamescom, they hopped on a plane with Phil and headed out to Seattle for PAX West! This really didn’t help for their jet lag.

Booth 6314 before the storm.

Booth 6314 before the storm.

The booth for Project Witchstone was packed all 4 days of the convention! There were 6 stations with the game and rarely was one unoccupied. Thank you to everyone who were willing to wait 30-40 mins to play our sandbox RPG. PAX attendees and enforcers are the truly the most patient people ever!

Only on the last day of PAX West did the crew had time to explore the show floor. Besides seeing the same massive AAA booths that were present at E3 and Gamescom, it was nice to discover new titles at the Indie Megabooth and on the 6th floor of the Convention Center.

Shout-out to Creature in the Well, Fit for a King, Spiritfarer, Falcon Age, and Solasta: Crown of the Magister!

But before we headed back home after 2 massive back-to-back shows, it was important to take a day just to relax and visit Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market.

Phil’s tips for food and drinks around the Washington State Convention Center:

  • I don’t know if this was only for this PAX West, but there was a Voodoo Ranger Beer Garden and a Chargrille BBQ on-site. The lines were short and the prices very reasonable. It was way better than the $10 pizzas and $3.75 sodas.

  • The Cheesecake Factory is right across the street but try not to go there more than once (we went twice!). Almost everything on the menu is over 1500 calories. Do try their assorted cheesecakes though!

  • The Tap House Grill is one of my favorite spots in Seattle for some quick bar food and a wide selection of beers.

  • Go to Din Tai Fung in Pacific Place for some great XiaoLongBao and dumplings! Make sure to reserve in advance.

  • Speaking of dumplings, I do not recommend eating (and especially waiting in line) at Dough Zone.

  • Surprisingly enough, there is a good Indian (Punjabi) buffet a block away from the Center. It’s called Daawat Indian Bar & Grill. Unless you really like your food spicy, give it a try!

Phil at the “first” Starbucks. When in Rome…

Phil at the “first” Starbucks. When in Rome…

A massive thank you to all the people who were interested in Project Witchstone! Your kind words and support really reinvigorated us as we work towards an Early Access of the game.

Also, an uber thank you to our friends Chris and Martin for their help and enthusiasm when the booth got really busy.

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