What a PAX!

Hard to believe but it’s already been a couple weeks since we returned from a huge week in Boston for PAX East. The show was amazing for Moonshot and Fallen Frontier. We had a great crowd of attendees visit our booth to get hands-on with the game, and the reactions exceeded our expectations! It’s very energizing and encouraging to get this kind of “thumbs-up” from you all.

The three things we heard consistently from our visitors are:

Fallen Frontier’s approach to co-op gameplay works and is good, visceral fun.

The seamless camera splitting/merging was a big hit, as were the moment-to-moment gameplay dynamics you experience when playing with a friend. Speaking of our co-op camera, you confirmed we have a solid foundation in place, but we still have a ton of work to do to continue to tweak it and make it feel good in every situation. Watching you all play for 3 days non-stop, we learned a ton about how we can improve on what we already have.

Grappling hooks make everything better!

The three different ways to use the grappling hook – on the environment, on enemies and our your friends – make it stand out as a core gameplay mechanic that gamers raved about. From our perspective, it was incredible to see you pick it up and pull the exact moves we designed it for, and then some!! We were delighted that most attendees seemed to have at least one moment of pure awesomeness with it over the course of their time with the game.

The 2D art style works great and stands out.

We heard so many different flavors of this comment! We realized 2D could be polarizing – people love it or hate it – and it’s risky to do a true 2D game in 2011. At Moonshot, we fully embrace the idea of developing a 2D game and we believe in the visual style Mike has developed for our game and universe. Every time we heard you rave about different aspects of the art style, we felt like you were right there with us. We still have a lot of work ahead of us to make Fallen Frontier’s visuals really shine but we’re super excited about our 2D style and the reception it received at the show.

Throughout the event, we also got some invaluable feedback about what we can improve in our game. Some folks pointed out that character silhouettes aren’t as unique and differentiated as they could be – we’re going to work on that. Others were surprised by the blast radius and lethality of grenades – we’ll tweak that too. Tycho pointed out that melee didn’t feel quite right and expected a longer lunge to connect with enemies – he’s right and we’ll fix that. Watching hundreds of people play the game also sparked many ideas for possible tweaks and new features. Getting this kind of feedback from our audience is just one more reason why PAX proved to be the perfect venue to unveil Fallen Frontier.

To all of you who took time to stop by our booth, try the game and share your experience with us and your friends, thank you very much! We really appreciate it.

We also extend our thanks to the Penny Arcade crew for putting on such a great show and making it accessible to indies like Moonshot. Throughout the event, we were treated with respect by the organizers, despite being one of the smallest booths on the floor.

A big shout-out to our friends in the indie community, including many new friends we had the pleasure to meet at the show: Uber, Haunted Temple, Supergiant Games, FuelCell, Robot, Firehose, Demiurge, Trapdoor, Polytron and everyone else… you and your games rock!

Lastly, to the fine folks of the gaming media who stopped by, gave Fallen Frontier a spin and wrote, blogged, podcasted, tweeted, filmed their hands-on impressions, or otherwise helped us spread the word, thanks a ton. Here’s a summary of the awesome coverage coming out of the show:

1UP: Fallen Frontier is Every Game I Love in One
…you’re looking at my happiest surprise of the show: Moonshot’s Fallen Frontier…

1UP: Fallen Frontier Brings Halo’s Combat Into a Super Metroid Worldview
The moody aesthetics, straight-from-Halo shooting design, and liberating grappling design make Frontier into one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had from a game demo in quite some time.

Kotaku: A Side-Scroller With The Tactical Smarts of Halo
…I played a game that felt, in the best of ways, like a side-scrolling Halo. Mixed with Metroid and some Shadow Complex.

Co-optimus: Fallen Frontier Hands-On Impressions
…we got some extensive hands on time with the co-op platformer from Moonshot Games and walked away mightily impressed as well as a bit bummed we’d have to wait until 2012 to get our hands on the title.

Wired Game|Life: 8 Most Intriguing Games of PAX East
Take Bionic Commando, add some Metroidvania and maybe a dash of Contra, and you’ve got Fallen Frontier. Developed by several members of the team behind Halo, Fallen Frontier feels polished and sharp.

G4TV: Fallen Frontier PAX East Preview
With overheating weapons, the ability to grapple and pull enemies towards you and shotgun them as they flail through the air, and tons of platforming, Fallen Frontier looks like plenty of fun.

IGN PAX East Indie Game Tour video feature
Our editors can’t stop talking about this, which is why we stopped by…

IndieGames.com: Hands-on with Fallen Frontier
Speaking of the graphical presentation, I can’t help but point out that the game looks significantly more impressive in person on a big TV. The animation is fluid, almost flawlessly done – it’s one of those games that makes you feel like you’re watching an animated feature more than anything else.

ShackNews: Fallen Frontier Preview
Before playing it, I thought images and videos for Fallen Frontier looked good, but I didn’t really get how well crafted it was as a complete experience until I played it.

XBLA Fans: PAX East: Hands-on Fallen Frontier
Want a cooperative game that has a similar feel and style to Shadow Complex, but the gunplay of Halo? Well then you want to play Fallen Frontier. The game is currently in development at Moonshot Games, a new studio which houses some ex-Bungie developers, and already it’s looking impressive.

The Escapist: Halo goes 2D (sort of) with Fallen Frontier

GameSpot video interview

IGN: Halo + Bionic Commando – the 3rd dimension = Fallen Frontier.

SideQuesting: PAX East Hands-On: Fallen Frontier

Extra Guy: PAX East 2011: Fallen Frontier hands-on
Extra Guy: PAX East 2011: Top 5 Games

Game Cravings: Fallen Frontier Brings Halo’s Combat in a Super Metroid Worldview

GameHounds: PAX East 2011: Fallen Frontier Hands-On

Mash Those Buttons: PAX East: Hands-on with Fallen Frontier

Otakubutgansta: Impressions of a Fallen Frontier

Shogun Gamer: Some Hands-On Time with Fallen Frontier [PAX East 2011]

SideQuesting: PAX East Hands-On: Fallen Frontier

VGrevolution: The Fallen Frontier Hands-On Preview

If you posted impressions of your time with Fallen Frontier and we missed you, please let us know!

Thanks again for the fantastic reception at PAX.

We’ll be mostly quiet for the next few months. We’re heads-down working on the game… Be well.

3 Comments to What a PAX!

  1. ncsuDuncan  —  03.29.11 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Great read! It was nice meeting you guys at PAX, I look forward to getting my hands on that grapple hook again. Loved the tight controls!
    I know it’s still a ways off, but are there any plans for Moonshot at PAX Prime? I’d love to see another awesome booth!

  2. bushisprez  —  03.29.11 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Played it on Saturday or Sunday that weekend. SO buying this day 1 the coop was awesome plays like a combination of contra, bionic commando, and halo.

  3. Matt  —  03.29.11 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Must feel good to hear all those compliments. Best of luck. Can’t wait for 2012.