Runemaster - Developer diary 23 - GamesCom and GenCon: The Aftermath

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Boel and I, together with Mr.Nibbles, AndrewT and many other Paradoxians were sent to GamesCom to talk about Runemaster, our Tactical RPG. Runemaster was also present at GenCon, with Troy Goodfellow and Tomas Härenstam teaming up with Alexandra Marie Travis who cosplayed as a Gydja from the game.

This Monday we thought we would share with you what we did and saw at GamesCom and GenCon.

Aaron Pierce ( and took some great pictures of the Gydja (Alexandra Marie Travis) and cosplayers at GenCon, I wish we could add all pictures to this dev diary. Instead you can go to Runemaster's Facebook page or directly to the album: to see them all.

I have selected a few and we start off with some pictures of the Gydja, the Runemaster team and the Pillars of Eternity team at GenCon:

Photo by Aaron Pierce. Link to Facebook

Photo by Aaron Pierce. Link to Facebook

Here she is with some great cosplayers:

Photo by Aaron Pierce. Link to Facebook

Photo by Aaron Pierce. Link to Facebook

Photo by Aaron Pierce. Link to Facebook

Photo by Aaron Pierce. Link to Facebook

Troy Goodfellow was there and shares with us his experience of GenCon and the players' reactions to Runemaster:

GenCon is what we in the biz call a "consumer facing" show. Though there are media there, the real attention is on the convention attendees who are a large and diverse group -- they would get the first public hands-on time with Runemaster. GenCon is also a show that is heavily focused on tabletop RPGs and boardgames; it's almost unheard of for a PC game to be there. So I walked into Indianapolis with rather modest expectations. At least I would get to see some friends.

We had four stations with Runemaster PC alpha builds using the PS4 controller (since we'd just announced our partnership with Sony). The builds were a limited time demo, and with human characters only (much to my disappointment). Still, this meant we could keep people coming and going quite quickly, allowing us to show the game to a lot of people.

It turned out, of course, to be a huge success, and I suppose I should stop being surprised when things go well at this job. Some attendees were familiar with Paradox games, but most were not. It didn't seem to matter anyway. People of all ages and experience levels found something to love about Runemaster.

Some people loved the rich color of our artwork. Experienced strategy gamers immediately saw the potential in our hex-grid turn-based combat. The promised race and quest variety coupled with the Norse setting proved to be popular with almost everyone. There were a few glitches here and there, but most people played the demo with no issues whatsoever.

We may even have converted some die-hard mouse/keyboard gamers to the controller, though that certainly wasn't part of the plan.

We had a great team at GenCon and our gydja did amazing work bringing people to our booth and selling the game alongside us, even helping with the pitches (which she knew cold by the end of day one.)

Maybe next year I will go as a tourist and actually play more games made by others. Seeing the long lines for new Fantasy Flight and Mayfair boardgames reminded me how much I miss not just going to conventions to explore. But if I can't roam the floors the way I used to, I can at least show off a game that I am increasingly excited to be working on.

Boel and I traveled to Cologne, Germany early Tuesday morning. The flight went well, and after we checked into the hotel Dorint an der Messe we grabbed Johan Andersson, AndrewT, Mr.Nibbles, podcat and Nusia for some food. Then we went to GamesCom and made sure all our gear worked, installed the game and practiced our presentation. Lastly, we ate dinner at Früh on the other side of the river from the Koelnmesse.

Photo by Boel Bermann. Our booths at GamesCom 2014. I am standing by Runemaster's door, then from left to right Cities: Skylines, Magica 2, Hearts of Iron IV and Pillars of Eternity.

Boel and I talked to journalists all week, started at 09.00 on Wednesday morning and ended 12.30 on Saturday. Between the presentations, we managed to sneak to our GamesCom booth where visitors could play Runemaster for about ten to fifteen minutes. On Wednesday and Thursday, we live-streamed Runemaster at Twitch's booth at GamesCom; Boel answered the interviewer's questions while I played. Here's the one from 13/8: (starts at 01:29:20).
Here you can find the one from 14/8: (starts at 01:42:20).

Photo by Boel Bermann. Boel is challenging our Troll Runemaster to a fight!

Photo by Boel Bermann. ...and so am I!

We also had a fabulous Fan Gathering on Thursday evening - night, with some great food, even better desserts (that chocolate mousse…) and among other things a very fun press conference where we showed our new trailer for Runemaster: We all had a blast, and it was so much fun talking to everyone. I forgot most of the names of the people I talked to (sorry!) but I remember talking to RedRalphWiggum, Safferli, Svip and many others. When the event was over, some of us retreated to the hotel bar where we drank and talked some more.

Photo by Boel Bermann. If we ever start a band, this will be our cover. From left to right: Boel (Regina), Veronica, Sara (SolSara) and Dan (podcat).

Friday and Saturday we talked to more journalists, and I also managed to find the merchandise area of GamesCom. I don't think my two sisters really read these dev diaries, but to be safe, I will only reveal that I found the perfect Christmas presents for both of them! I really hope they will like them. I got some things for myself and found a Totoro-hat for Veronica, PR & Event Assistant at Paradox Interactive. She looks very cute in it, as you can see:

Photo taken by Boel Bermann. Veronica Gunlycke, PR & Event Assistant at Paradox Interactive wearing her awesome Totoro-hat.

Now I will let Mr. Nibbles talk about the booth at GamesCom:

Thank you Sara (SolSara)!

Gamescom for me, was really exciting as it was not only the first trip for me with Paradox, it was also the first time I would get to meet all you Paradoxians outside the forums.

As this was the first time we would allow the public to try out the game, the nervousness and anticipation to see how the game would be received by you, as well as being the buffer for all your feedback gave me a small lump in the stomach to start with.

Luckily, that was quickly replaced with a fuzzy feeling when I saw many of your faces smile and laugh with joy while playing the game.

Most enjoyable of all though, was talking to all of you that had questions about the game, and who kept me company during all those hours at the booth making the trip more fun than I thought possible. Not to mention all of you during the Fan Gathering, thank you all for a wonderful
evening and some very... interesting conversations.

As a final note, I hope that seeing the game, even at its early state, gave you an insight of what kind of game we are aiming for, and that you are just as excited as me for its future release.

Photo by Mario Lasan. A booth filled with eager players, what more can a developer wish for?

After talking to at least 30 journalist at GamesCom, we expect to see some previews of Runemaster in the foreseeable future. Here's a couple early ones:

Hooked Gamers
"Paradox Development Studio seems to be making all the right choices for creating the perfect blend between RPG, adventure and strategy game and I can't wait to see more of it."

"Runemaster is an RPG split between exploratory questing and a tactical battle map, set in a fantasy world that draws on Ragnarok and the rest. Paradox say Norse mythology is "at once tragic and comic", and that's steered the tone of the game."

Game Informer
"If you're familiar with the Heroes of Might and Magic series and its turn-based grid combat, that's a solid starting point to understand how Runemaster combat works. Terrain and positioning play a big role, and holding the high ground can make a huge difference. Each battle may have additional requirements for victory, such as not letting a crucial NPC die or to take out a specific enemy."

A developer walkthrough, Boel Bermann is talking and I am playing:

Runemaster at GamesCom and GenCon was very well received, and I hope we get to do more things like this in the future. Next week we'll talk more about developing Runemaster, and I hope you will tune in then!
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