Eloquence at the Leftfield Collection (EGX 2019)

Eloquence was given the opportunity to exhibit at the EGX 2019’s Leftfield Collection. In this post, I want to share a few of the lessons we learned from letting EGX attendees play our prototype of Eloquence!

First, let’s start with some pictures!

So what have we learned from this experience? Good question!

  • Players love saying ‘hello’ to every and any Non-Player Character. They’ll say hello even before paying attention to what the NPC is actually trying to say to them.
  • Parents and children have a unique dynamic when playing Eloquence together. We believe this is due to the fact that both parent and child are at the same language level at the start of the game, so they are equal partners. At least, for a while.
  • In fact, some kids found the answers before their parents did! We suspect that kids are open to a wider range of possible symbol interpretations, whereas their parents may be limited by a lifetime of semantic assumptions and cultural patterns.  
  • Reinforcing what we already knew: people who think out loud and those who voice their theories or hypotheses can crack symbols at a much faster rate that those who remain silent throughout the play session.
  • We found it remarkable how many players were able to complete the demo on their own, without any instruction from either Thomas or Gerben, your friendly booth attendants. Some of these tenacious players requested to be given no introduction or guidance. Others were let loose on the demo without any support intentionally, just to see what happened. Even with our broken User Interface, we’re amazed that quite a large percentage of players found their way to the end screen. Well done to you!
  • Our custom wall art drew very little attention. But that’s fine! We’ll recycle the phrases we composed for the booth wall and will feed them to our audience in other forms further down the road – for your entertainment!

We think these insights are pretty cool, and we’ll design the proper game keeping these findings in mind.

Ready for more pictures?

Thomas and I had a blast connecting to the excellent attendees at EGX 2019. We were very surprised by the incredibly positive response from those who tried the game. Our current version of the game was originally built to be presented, not to be played hands-on – but we’re quite satisfied with its playability (after several tweaks).

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a couple of tweets that got us excited!

And that concludes our little wrap-up!

This was likely the last time we’re using the GDC Experimental Gameplay Workshop demo to showcase. The demo has served us well, in diverse ways. It’s been built and rebuilt to be fit for GDC, Casual Connect, Gamescom, and now EGX. But it’s time to look forward and anticipate the improved vertical slice we are currently building.

More on our progress in that regard will be shared soon!