We know you are very curious about the M1 changes; as it stands, the patch won’t arrive this week, but we should be able to announce a date for the patch before the week is over. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, please enjoy a behind the scenes blog from Tau Petersson, our PR & Events Manager.
Here you’ll get to see the one part of my life where I go to a lot of events to show off Battlerite or Stunlock. This time around we got the chance to go to IEM Katowice to hang out with Razer and play Battlerite in their booth. With me I had two of our brilliant event workers: Levox (Jens Bak) and Silfver (Christoffer Silfverswärd: that last name means Silver Sword with fancy old Swedish spelling).
To start with; the journey. For this event the booth was prepared by Razer, so we got to travel quite light! We had a suitcase filled with 90% swag (4 Battlerite bags, 90 USBs, 2500 warhound mount keys, 600 Early Access keys, ~3000 stickers) and the other 10% consisting of clothes. We already had sweatbands delivered to the venue as well.
Stunlock has its office in the tiny game dev infested town of Skövde, it’s kind of in between Stockholm and Gothenburg. To catch a flight you usually have to go to either of these cities. A lot of flights take off pretty early and/or land pretty late, so it’s pretty common we have to go to Stockholm or Gothenburg the night before and/or stay an extra night because the last train has left by the time we get to the central station from the airport. This, working with events as I do, I have to say is one of the few bad things about living in Skövde. I’ve done this a bunch of times by now so I’ve found some favorite places to stay that are close to the central stations. This time around we went to the Generator Hostel which is a convenient 7 min walk to Arlanda Express. We got a room with 2 bunks beds for our lovely 5h of sleep before we had to get up.
I decided to take a picture, a fancy one! A panorama one! But apparently I’m not that smart so it took me 6 tries to get how it worked…
Anyway, we got up, got to Arlanda, flew to Düsseldorf, had a three hour wait, tasted all the desserts and flew to katowice.
When we got there we took out some local currency, I always do that at the airport in a new country. In Sweden cash is very rare, we use cards for everything, supermarkets has card only registers and the Abba museum and most busses are cash free. I have come to the realization that few other countries are as cash free, so I always try to have enough local currency on me to cover taxis, meals and what nots. In Poland, local currency is zloty and it’s about double the worth of a Swedish krona and everything is super cheap.
We were a bit unsure how to get from the airport to the venue or hotel. But we found this nice woman from ESL who had a coach taking people to the venue! So we jumped on board and got smoothly to the venue. Yay! Success! Thanks ESL!
At the EXPO!
We managed to get in and meet up with all the great Razer people at the booth. The shell of the booth was up, but all interior furniture and tech was being assembled. At this stage of booth setup, there’s stuff and trash everywhere and you just feel like you’re in the way wherever you go. You try to come up with systems on how to run the booth but when people get there on event day, none of them work in practice 😀
We distributed the swag that was to be handed out to the different areas of the booth play area; the spinning wheel, the Razer store and the stage! As mentioned earlier, we had the sweatbands delivered directly to the venue. You’d think there would be a fancy delivery system for stuff like this, but nah, it’s a tent filled with packages and some people who might have an idea where you package might be. We actually got ours pretty fast, but it took a while to find the Razer flyers. They were in A3 format and there were about 2500 of them, so me and one of the Razer people realized we had no chance to carry them. Instead a guy put them on a trolley cart and hauled them to the booth for us.
By the time we got back we started to set up the PCs with Battlerite. Unfortunately the internet was super slow, as it often is at events. For Battlerite this can be very dangerous since we play against servers, and now we already had trouble downloading the game.
We have previously done versions that support local play for events, but they require a lot of work to maintain and keep updated, and for this event we knew the booth was going to stream so we did not think internet would be an issue. We hoped the problem was due to everyone setting up their booths and downloading games and updates, so we left the downloads to the Razer guys and went for food and a good night’s sleep.
We found a small but cosy burger joint called Mad Mick. Our waiter was an amazingly funny and nice man! Levox didn’t know if we wanted a single our double burger, so he rock, paper scissored the waiter and ended up with a single. We also ordered one of every John Lemon which apparently was some local lemonade brand. We got our drinks and burgers and when Levox got his, he actually thought it looked a bit small, so our waiter said he’d double it for him, no problem! But due to the structure of the burger, they couldn’t just add another piece of meat to it, so they made a whole extra burger. So now Levox got TWO! He had SIXHUNDRED grams of mixed meat.
We also got our 5 flavours of John Lemon: lime, pear, plum, rhubarb and black currant. My favorite was: Pear. Levox’s: Rhubarb and pear. Silfver loved the lime.
Before we left the waiter told us that what we should do is try the Banana Burger next time. What? A banana burger? Sounds crazy…
We got an update from the Razer guys that the game was downloaded so we took a cab to the hotel. Finally we could get some some sleep.
Event Day 1
The event opened at 09:00 and closed at 22:00. Those are very long days. If you do events, try to plan shifts at the booth, otherwise everyone gets worn out at the same time. Unfortunately we were one man short (supposed to be 4) and got a hotel a bit too far from the venue to go back and forth. So we just went with it, the first day is always fine! “We’ll sort it tomorrow!” (Famous last words…)
The game ran fine, it works very well at expos with its quick matches and people really enjoyed it! We also did some 1v1 mini tournaments on stage where Levox shoutcasted, in English, together with the Polish stage host and streamer Dis.
During these matches Ashka soon became a favourite after some player won as him early on. Ashka is quite easy for new players to dish out damage with as long as the opponent hasn’t reached the level of skill required for dodging yet. A lot of people gathered at the booth and it was a great time!
This day we didn’t get out to the food truck area, so all we had was some hotdogs, some wrap and a baguette like thing with some mushrooms. Seemed like a Polish thing and wasn’t very tasty.
The first day of an event you get a feel for the booth and what systems work and which ones that need improvement. So we added some extra Battlerite logos over the PCs, printed at a small local printing shop. We also added a ticket line system to keep track of who of all the people in the very crammed booth were next in line to try Battlerite. At an expo, exposure is important, you want as many people as possible to see your game. So on top of that we decided to add a TV at the front of the booth for people to follow matches on and get a closer look at the game when waiting. It was a good day and a lot of fun!
When the expo closed at 22:00, we were all too exhausted to think or make decisions. So we went back to Mad Mick’s to try that Banana Burger! We all had a burger and then split a Banana Burger to try it. And damn, were we amazed! This burger, with meat, banana, honey and peanut butter did not taste horrible, it was actually a pretty fine burger and very good! The amazement of this burger was the only thing we talked about in the taxi to the hotel before we went to sleep.
Event Day 2
And then up again! Expo at 9! These were crazy hours, 13 hour expo days. I have to admit that I didn’t think about it before we got there, otherwise I would have put more energy into replacing the fourth worker so we could run two man shifts.
I got to sleep in and then went to buy a tv. It went a lot smoother than expected when I realized a new Media Markt had opened up across the street from our hotel. Great success! I then took a cab to the venue and set it up.
It turned into a great day! All systems were falling into place and stuff went pretty smooth. We started to see players coming back to play more. It’s really nice to see people enjoying the game, but at an expo you also need to reach as many people as possible. We did 2 stage shows this day; one early and one later. During the later one we saw, again, a whole lot of Ashka, and a lot of Ashka winning. So new players who got up also picked Ashka, since they’d seen him win and what kind of abilities he had. The whole audience started shouting: “Nerf Ashka!” which soon became the default reaction to anything that happened. If Ashka won or lost or if Ashka was in the game at all, it didn’t matter. “NERF ASHKA” was the solution to world hunger at this point. This lead up to a 1v1 Ashka fight with 2 rounds ending in a draw! This was quite amazing and the crowd was super confused and excited at the same time.
After this we also had a guy challenge Levox, which was something the Polish host set up in Polish, without Levox having a clue about it. Levox does however main Ashka, which might have influenced the Ashka craze we’d seen previously as well. So in this challenger match Levox played Ashka and won, 3-0. He was under heavy pressure but he pulled through. This however did not calm the NERF ASHKA craze, and instead fueled it more.
We ended the stage show with a mini tournament again. We saw a lot of Ashka once more but fortunately, a nice Jumong player won in the end! The NERF ASHKA shouting didn’t end though…
At 22:00, we were tired but happy and went to a Sky Bar to hang out with some nice people and relax. During the day, the amazement of the Banana Burger had flared up every now and again, and we had shared the story with the other booth workers. Now it happened again, with Silfver telling everyone the story of the amazing Banana Burger. People started to get both quite intrigued and hungry by the tales of this Banana Burger. So we called Mad Mick’s, 20 min before the kitchen closed and ordered 6 Bacon Cheeseburgers and a Banana Burger. For the 3rd day in a row, we were on our way to this burger joint, but now with friends to share this newly found amazement that is the Banana Burger. We got there, got our food, people tried the Banana Burger and agreed, it was actually quite good! As they were about to close up, we said our goodbyes but just before we left, one person in our company talked to the staff and found out we could order food to be delivered to the expo! So we decided to order a whole bunch of Banana Burgers for the booth for the day after to share with the guys who couldn’t come this night. We were on our way to starting a Banana Burger cult.
Event Day 3
Last day! This day we had lot of people coming back after testing the day before, so the workday was quite easy. They knew how to play, knew how the queue system worked and helped out new people. We see this tendency quite often a at expos, and it’s always fun to see new players enjoy the game so much they spend most of the day in our booth getting better and better.
When it comes to the Banana Burgers, we unfortunately were not able to get any delivered to the expo, since the place was too busy. So we’ll have to wait with spreading the knowledge of the amazing Banana Burger until next year!
All in all we were very happy with the event, the booth was always crowded and Dis and the guys kept the stage show running with great energy throughout the whole event. When we had to get up at 4 am to take the taxi to the airport we did it with tired smiles on our faces, happy with the weekend’s work.
When you do an event like this remember to bring:
- Double sized tape and/or Blu-Tack: there’s always something to put up, notes, logos etc
- If possible: a printer and proper paper, there’s always something you forget and a printed paper looks soo much better than a handwritten one, also good for printing additional giveaway keys etc
- Keep a good stock of snacks and drinks for the booth workers, make sure there’s water!
- Be enough people to take shifts at the booth, otherwise everyone will be worn out at the same time
- Also black fabric that doesn’t wrinkle, you always need to cover something up
Lots of love to Razer for letting us hang out with them in their booth! You can see some proper pictures on their facebook here.
Thanks for reading!