As an exhibitor, the most important part of Alpha Fest is watching people play your game and talking with them about the experience. This year, however, it is very unsafe to have face-to-face interactions – so instead, we will be running Alpha Fest on Discord!
This guide will step you through the components of the event (from an exhibitor’s standpoint), as well as some points you should follow to keep it running smoothly. If you have not already, please take a moment to read the watching and streaming guides before continuing.
Take a moment to find and download your own project (if applicable) from the Projects page. Make sure your installation instructions are clear and concise, so that people can download and run any necessary files without much hassle.
Also, keep in mind that many of the people playing games today are trying to fill their playtesting requirement – so have some way to collect their email addresses, so you can send them a message after the event (which they can then show their professor)!
On Discord, every game or project will be assigned two or more “channels” for discussion. One of these will be a “text channel”, where visitors can send text and images like on other platforms. The remaining channel(s) will be “voice channels” – virtual meeting rooms where people can freely talk, video chat, and share their screen in real time. Most projects will have one voice channel by default, but more can be added by an Administrator (let us know by typing @admin in your text channel and describing the situation).
After joining a voice channel for a given game, visitors have a few options for participating:
- Share their screen with the whole channel, while playing the corresponding game
- Playing the game on their own and popping in for questions
- Just watching other people play/hanging around to chat
The first option is recommended, since that will be the most helpful to you – but if someone would rather not share their screen and just tell you about it later, that’s OK too! This is a very different format for everyone, so please try to accommodate different playing preferences as much as possible.
While you should check out other projects on display, be sure to spend a good amount of time in your own voice channel as well! Alpha Fest is all about rough prototypes, so people are bound to have questions and comments as they play… but if no one’s on call to answer them, you may lose some valuable feedback. If you are presenting with other people, coordinate with them to make sure everyone takes a turn monitoring your voice channel(s).