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Roadtrip to DualCon

Last weekend was exciting for the studio! It was our first in-person event as a vendor at a regional convention. Our only other in-person event until now was at the annual Bit Bridge Halloween Showcase, which we've loved each time. DualCon was held in Charleston, West Virginia at the Charleston Convention Center. It took place on Saturday, February 11, and lasted practically all day. There were panels every half hour to hour, many fun geeky vendors, other studios, an auction, and even lightsaber battles!

Two cartoon moths are driving a van. There is a map under the van.
On the road

Several of our members were able to attend, so I asked them what they liked most. There was Maddy, our lead game artist:

"I loved being able to talk to people who have been working on their own projects for a while. It helped give my a huge boost of confidence and also showed me what skills people are looking for."

Two women sit at a table with digital games they made.
Heather Cole and Madison Roy

David, our assistant director that leads our programming team:

"Going to DualCon was the first time I ever went to a convention of that style and I have to say it was really fun. The people there were incredibly kind and did not hesitate to have a conversation about why they were there and what they enjoyed. I hope that they continue to have events like that in West Virginia so more people get to experience the same thing I was able to."
A man sits at a table with digital games he helped create.
David Wolfe

Also joining us was Ryan, our community director, and a new member, Mike Morris. We'll be updating our members section soon to show our active participants for this session.

Two men and two woman show the digital game they made.
Mike and Ryan (front); Heather and Maddy (back)

Then there was me. Y'all know me as the Director of our studio and a professor for the Game Design and Interactive Media program at West Virginia University. It was a treat to meet the different vendors and studios. I enjoyed getting to know and start meaningful conversations with everyone -- so much so that it took me until lunchtime to do so! The week is always busy, but no worries, I'll be following up with each of you at my next best opportunity.

a sketch of a female dinosaur waving. She has glasses and a bandanna on.
$1 quick sketch of me as a dinosaur aka Professaurus Cole, by Lex Hunter//Huntress Studios.

Beyond that, being part of a panel on digital games was also fun. The banter between us all was lively and interesting. Our hot takes were great and the audience asked excellent questions. The other participants of the panel were Connor from Fyre Games, Jack from Lasso Games, and Derek Croston.

I especially enjoyed the opportunity to promote my university's game- related programs, as well as hear user feedback for polishing our top two studio games. Our programs and studio are young, but we've accomplished a lot in a very short time because of the passion our students, faculty, and members bring to each area. I'm very thankful for everyone. It was nice to have a moment there to reflect on that. Thank you to everyone that organized this conference, in particular, Nicholas Anderson, for inviting us to participate.

Do you want to hear more about the programs we have at WVU? Send me a message! We're about 1.5 months to our own showcase, hosted at the Media Innovation Center on the 4th floor of Evansdale Crossing on April 1. We're accepting more studios, as well as vendors, until the middle of March. Interested in attending? We'll be delivering updates regularly on who is coming for the next several weeks. RSVP to get updates delivered directly to your email and to let us know you will be there.

There is still one week left until the names are decided for our new mascots. It looks like "Spark" and "Berry" are leading the way so far. Have you voted yet?

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