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You Came, You Saw, You Critiqued

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Last week I mentioned that Kotaku readers in New York City would have the opportunity to go to a local game development studio, play a new game and tell the developers what you thought. Some of you did that.


I didn't give you all enough time. Only a couple of hours' notice. And it was the night the Yankees would win the World Series, a feat that tends to distract New Yorkers. But I did mention free pizza and free beer.

I spoke to Muse Games creative director Austin Lane today to find out how it went, and to discover if he'd recovered from whatever you may have done to him a week earlier.


As a refresher. the event was one of Muse Games' monthly game nights, and the company's new browser game, Guns of Icarus, was available for people to play — as were Wii games, Street Fighter IV and some tabletop games.

Lane told me that about 100 people showed up, including a young guy who showed up with the 45-year-old man he was teaching English (the man would tell Lane the game was funny; the teacher would correct him and say he meant "fun"). Also attending was a woman who Lane said made sexual moans whenever she threw punches in Wii Sports boxing. Most gratifying for him, a group of girls showed up early, and one of them became hooked on the game. She'd never played a shooter before, she said, but stayed on Guns long after her friends wandered away.

Ah, but none of those fine people was from Kotaku.

"A few Kotaku people came and they were pretty normal and enjoyed the game," Lane said. But not all, it seems. "This one kid came over and said, 'Oh, I saw the Kotaku post. Yeah, so I'm here to give you my feedback."


Lane grabbed a pen and jotted a few things down, a little sheepishly, it sounds, because the game is complete and he isn't sure he can incorporate the feedback.

"The two things i wrote down is he wanted to see my more motion in our sky effects," Lane said. "Our sky box doesn't change enough, and he's right about that.... And he said our rain effect is not particularly believable."


Lane said he'd love to make those changes but time constraints prevent him and his small team. That said, he was able to show some other attendees the results of some of their feedback, including an option to let players move with the WASD keys instead of just the arrow keys.

The game has been played about 8000 times online in the last week — it's free here — and the full version is selling "better than expected," according to Lane.


Game Nights at Muse happen the first Wednesday of the month. Thanks, for not wrecking the place, Kotaku.