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Sakura-Con Recap!

Written collaboratively by Krissy, James, Alondra, and Andy

Photo of Forage Friends team in their booth at Salura-Con
The team! James, Chris, Pri, Alondra, and Krissy

Last weekend we tabled at Sakura-Con, Seattle’s biggest anime convention! Coming from other cons like GeekGirlCon and Grit City, we knew this would be our busiest one yet. So we flew a bunch of the team out to Seattle to help.

We’re a 100% remote team so this trip was about meeting each other as much as it was about marketing the game.

Alondra (Artist) and James (Programmer) arrived on Wednesday, several hours before Krissy (Writer) did. They were able to get some sightseeing done and hang out with Pri (Creative Director) and Chris (CSO). 

Thursday was a little more sightseeing, working out in the hotel gym (STRONG!), seeing

Pike Place market and taking pictures of the sound and the light rail.

Later that day was booth set up! This was the first time some of us had put it together so we needed a lot of instructions. Thankfully it was all pretty intuitive. 

Day 1

Friday morning was the first day of the con! We woke up bright and early, put on our aprons, and finished last minute detailing on the booth.

Our very first customer was an extremely enthusiastic woman who got excited about our ally pins. She told us she’s proud to be an ally to the queer community and that she’d frequently been the first person people came out to. We heard a lot of stories like that this weekend – a personal favorite was the young lady who came out as a lesbian right there at the booth, surprising her (very supportive!) father.

Krissy was a force to be reckoned with, roping people into our booth from across the hall by inviting them to try our tea samples and smell the loose leaf smell testers. We would kinda take turns when the traffic was slower and we were all taking notes on her techniques! Alondra was so personable and once people learned she was responsible for some of the in-game art and merch, they’d often rush over to tell her what a good job she’d done. James even got to have some good convos with other programmers or curious gamers who wanted to know how the systems worked in Forage Friends!

We also made friends with our neighbors – some were selling cat prints, some were selling mystery boxes, and right across the way from us was a booth selling the most explicit stickers you could imagine. They actually apologized to us several times since our booth was so cute and cozy and theirs was so dark and sensual…but none of us minded at all! We’re all artists here at the end of the day and freedom of expression is important for everyone. We ended up becoming really good buddies and at the end of the con we all hugged (and some of us bought the seductive stickers). 

Friday ended with a few stragglers still trying to buy merch, then we all went to our hotel rooms to relax and have dinner.

Day 2

Saturday was much busier but we were all more confident about our pitches and wares. People were super receptive to the game and often would yell “THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I’VE BEEN WANTING” or something of that nature. At first we were surprised by these reactions because we were prepared to try our hardest to convince somebody our game was worth their time, but often folks required no convincing and asked if they could download it immediately!! (Beta coming soon, don’t worry!)

We even got some repeat customers. If it was a thrill to be able to interact with fans in the first place, it was humbling and electric to know they loved us enough to come back for more! 

Krissy’s favorite phenom was the moment new guests realized what our deal was. We weren’t actually tea sellers but indie game devs! Every single time they got so excited, it was incredibly charming and rewarding. Some of them figured it out before we could tell them. Sure we could have put up a sign saying THIS IS A GAME or something, but letting them unravel a mystery helped cement the experience and made it totally unique. 

The other best thing was when people came back, but this time brought a friend or a spouse! Soooo cute. So humbling!

After a long day, we all had dinner together and reflected on how cool the day was. 

Day 3

Sunday was more chill. We had a routine and a favorite coffee order. Krissy brought half and half for the tea, but everyone loved the tea so much on its own, nobody added milk. (She just thought she’d offer!) That just speaks to the quality of Friday’s tea!

We got a few tea aficionados that came through as well. One guy figured out all the ingredients before we could list them (!!!) and one person gave tasting notes so unique and specific we joked about hiring her.

Because we had a good crew together we were able to take turns strolling around and looking at other booths, and occasionally had a chat with vendors that later came by to say hi at ours! Alondra was invested in the artist alley and got some cool prints and stickers.

Sunday teardown was much easier than setup. We were all in such high spirits after a successful convention, we got one last dinner together and settled in for the night with some board games.

Sakura-Con was an incredible experience for all of us. It was awesome to see that a number of people had already heard about the game online (great work, Andy!!) and were so excited to meet us in person. Having members of the team representing seemed to make the personal connection to the game way more real for a lot of the fans.

Although it was a whirlwind few days, we always love meeting people IRL and getting the chance to chat about Forage Friends. There’s so much exciting stuff coming this year, so stay tuned – join our Discord and follow us on social for updates!

Bonus Pics of Sakura Con Weekend!

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