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Tino van der Kraan

Sassybot at SXSW 2016 – Part 2March 23, 2016

By Tino

In part 2 of the SXSW blog you can read about the day by day of the Sassybot adventure at SXSW in Austin. In this blog you can get tips & tricks showcasing your game at an exposition, know how Fragments of Him did in the competitions for the SXSW Single Player Gamer’s Voice Awards, and how the trip back home wasn’t as easy as we had hoped.

Day 1

The Gaming Expo that Fragments of Him was part of took place in the Austin Convention Centre. Elwin and I stayed at the Radisson hotel and getting to the convention centre took about 5 minutes. This hotel was much fancier than what we would normally stay in but we were able to make this work by saving on transportation expenses.

Pro tip: Find accommodation close to your purpose and save on time and transportation expenses.

The Gaming Expo was from Thursday (March 17th) until Saturday (March 19th) and lasted from 12:00 until 20:00. Thursday morning we could set up from 8:00 onwards and was plenty of time for us to set up. Here is what we took with us:

  • 3 showcase laptops + locks
  • 1 banner (2m x 3m)
  • 1 tabletop poster (A5)
  • 400 posters (A2)
  • business cards
  • promotional
    • napkins
    • stickers
    • cards

We are not endorsed by Logitech though we could have been. They have set us up with additional hardware for showcasing. Namely:

  • 2 Headphones
  • 2 Keyboards
  • 2 Computer mice
  • 2 Mouse pads


When showcasing, our general approach was to ask anyone if we could explain what Fragments of Him was about. In our case nearly everyone was interested in hearing more where people mentioned it was the unique visual style that caught their attention. When deciding on demo content make sure that your game or experience is curated in such a way that it grabs attention, is not too long, not too short, gives a pleasurable or interesting experience, and leaves the person wanting for more. After having played the demo you can explain the person more about the game such as when it will be released, at what price point, and where more information can be found. Finally, we gave people that played the demo a free poster.

Insight: With 2 demo laptops with a 5 to 10 minute demo and 1 laptop running trailers we think that no more than 500 people got to play the demo at 3 days of showcasing at SXSW with 8 hours of showcasing per day.

Pro tip: Before you travel, build your booth according to the booth’s specifications. This will raise issues you can deal with beforehand to be optimally prepared. Also think about how you can make your booth look unique and inviting.

Day 2

The second day had the same 12:00 to 20:00 schedule and makes it apparent that showcasing is definitely a 2 person job. Especially with a public event it is recommended to have an extra person to keep an eye on the valuable things during food or bathroom breaks. Out of the three, this day was definitely easiest considering the visitor number and that we could leave the less valuable things with the booth overnight.


Events such as SXSW and similar are a great way to build your connections and networks. If you can spare the time it’s definitely worth it to stop by the other booths to get to know the people. These people can likely help you out with information and contacts in the future if you are nice to them. Try and tag along with a group of interesting people for food and drinks in the evening and these connections can be mutually beneficial for the future.

Pro tip: Showcasing or talking at an event usually comes with certain perks and benefits such as free food and drinks which helps drive down expenses.

Day 3


The last day, Saturday, was easily the busiest of the three. The public showcase was cut short because of the SXSW Gaming Award Show that started at 20:00. It was streamed via Twitch and can be seen here:

Congratulations to all the great games and people that were nominated and especially to the people that rightly earned awards in their respective categories. Fragments of Him was nominated for a Single Player Gamer’s Voice Award. As the title implies, the winner here was determined by the people and the gamers. Votes could be cast during the Gaming Expo up to 2 hours before the show. The winner in our category was Super Hot and judging from the crowd’s response, rightly so.

Pro tip: Promote your attendance and make appointments with press weeks or even months before an event to increase the effectiveness of an event.

Day 4 & 5


With our time in Austin coming to an end we were itching to get back home. This was easier said than done. Our flight back took us from Austin to Atlanta, Paris, and finally Amsterdam. When we left on Sunday we were informed about Paris’ air control personnel holding a strike, severely hindering all flights passing that port. This caused us about a total of 6 hours in delays.


We are close to getting the game ready for release and have had to move our release window to a month later. Don’t worry, it’s still going to be in 2016. 😉 However, we are not yet ready to pinpoint an exact date considering some of the delay is subject to external approval. We are very excited about getting this story into your hands as soon as we can.

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