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4 Tips for Demoing VR Content

Recently I wrote about demoing TangramsVR for MAGWest. I wanted to share a couple of tips that really helped me during my demo or things that made me say “Oh, I wish I thought of that.”

Make a demo video.

I had made a couple of demo videos for TangramsVR prior to the event. I brought two computers with me the day of the event. One to run the demo on. This computer would show what the person wearing the headset was seeing when they were playing the game. When no one was playing the game, this computer played the game’s demo videos.

The second computer was dedicated to playing a loop of the game play video. Having the second computer playing the video with the explanation about the game was very helpful for those that would walk by as someone was playing. They’d want to know what was happening. Instead of me needing to explain it to every single person that walked by, they’d stop and watch the video. They’d then ask question or wait around to play next.

Don’t count on WiFi.

The WiFi at the location was less than ideal. On day one, all of us in the indie showcase used one person’s phone as a mobile hot spot. That worked perfectly to play the video playlist I had prepared in advance on YouTube.

Day 2, however, was a different story. We were told at the beginning of the day that the internet was ready for us to use. When I switched, I found that it really didn’t work at all. No internet. I had no back up plan. I ended up using my phone as a hot spot and played the videos that way. Had I thought about this in advance, I would have saved the data and downloaded the videos in advance to each computer to play throughout the day.

Take something to help you take notes.

This was probably among the most brilliant of my ideas. I had talked with so many people about TangramsVR that there was no way I could remember everything. I got lots of valuable feedback from play testers and from watching them. I’d use my notebook to jot down notes as they came up. At the end of the three days, I had several pages of feedback. If someone mentioned something didn’t work the way they expected it to, I’d make a note. I’d do this even if I’d already heard it.

After the event, I’d go through the notes. I prioritized the ones that came up repeatedly as items that needed to be done first. These would have the most impact and likely be the most noticeable for more players.

Talk with others at nearby tables.

While it was great getting to talk with people interested in playing my game, I had a great time talking with people at the nearby tables. It was pretty amazing to see the work of others and talk about how they came up with their ideas and created their games. I even talked with someone about potentially demoing my game at another indie game event. My point here is that you won’t know what kinds of connections you’ll make until you actually start talking to people. As an introvert, this is something that I certainly need to remind myself of on a regular basis.

Consider your curb appeal.

Here’s one of the “I wish I had thought of that” moments. I had considered the networking possibilities of the event, so I was ready with business cards, and even laptop stickers.

Laptop stickers and business cards

What I didn’t really think about what what else my table could be used for. For example, one game had a kitchen theme, so the presenter wore an apron with the games logo. In addition to a couple of tablets for people to play his game, his table had a couple of salad trays and other kitchen items. A few of the tables had large promotional signs to hang up behind their tables.

One of the other games was a mobile VR game. The presenter running the table had setup a VR device on a mannequin display. I thought this was a great way to show off the fact that it’s a VR game. It was something like this…

In case you’re interested you can find this mannequin here: https://www.amazon.com/Tall-Mannequin-Durable-Plastic-50013/dp/B00CB05TXU/ref=pd_sim_194_7?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=0BZJ5J7XQF5H6J6NPRTP

When I mentioned it to my husband, he said “that’s pretty creepy.” Sure, it could be. Maybe if the VR headset was on something a little less display appropriate. Like this cosmetology mannequin…

https://www.amazon.com/Mannequin-Human-Cosmetology-Training-Holder/dp/B06XPXHKH8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504711776&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=cosmetology+mannequin+head&psc=1

Honestly, I think something like this would be pretty hilarious… (Sorry, husband. This may have to happen next time.)

Oehlbach Scream Black

I think the biggest take away is to really just have fun with your booth. 🙂

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