Case Study

MEGAMIGS takes conferences online

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Introduction

MEGAMIGS, one of Canada’s largest gaming conferences, transformed its linear, multi-day festival in the heart of Montreal into a fully remote exhibition in just a few short months. Through hard work, ingenuity, and the right partners (including Parsec), MEGAMIGS recreated the feeling of stepping onto a conference floor even though attendees never left their homes.

The Challenge

The typical components of any gaming conference translate well to existing online infrastructure and platforms. A keynote can be broadcast and streamed, booth merchandise sold through ecommerce platforms, and invaluable business meetings can take place via the usual teleconferencing suspects. But one key component is a little tougher: game demos.

AAA games recoup tremendous value from the media attention directed toward conference floor game demos. And for an indie studio, good conference attention could be a deciding factor in future sales and overall success. MEGAMIGS partnered with Parsec to bring exhibition demos into people’s homes, extending the exhibition hall across the globe.

Evaluating Criteria

Coordinating an exhibition demo from a distance is no small feat: exhibitors need to showcase their games in the best possible light, answer questions, and contextualize their projects without getting lost in the tech. MEGAMIGS chose Parsec because it won on:

  • Latency: Silky smooth, 60FPS game streams were accessible anywhere in North America.

  • Precise, Flexible Controls:

    With diverse support for gamepads and keyboard & mouse, along with perfect absolute/relative mouse handling, Parsec could handle just about any game at MEGAMIGS.

  • Ease of Use:

    Once set-up, jumping into a game was as simple as sharing a link or sending an invite. And exhibitors could manage gameplay sessions on their own.

  • Queue Management:

    One of the more complicated aspects of an online exhibition is managing online ‘lines’. Using Parsec’s Guest Access feature, exhibitors could schedule demos in dedicated time slots.

The Solution

Once Parsec was put in place, the final step was architecting a system that could work for all 120+ game exhibitors showing their games at MEGAMIGS. Here’s how it worked:

1. Cloud Machine Creation
MEGAMIGS created a host machine in the public cloud for every exhibitor as part of the overall exhibition package.

2. Parsec for Teams Installation
Every cloud machine was put under a single MEGAMIGS Parsec for Teams account. This configuration allowed production staff and volunteers to troubleshoot and manage the exhibitors’ computers from anywhere.

3. Exhibitor Invitations
Exhibitors were invited to their cloud machine via Guest Access for the duration of the event. As long as the host computer was online, an exhibitor could access it to install their game or check-in on gameplay sessions.

4. Queue Management
Each game exhibition had a simple sign-up form that let attendees select the slot when they would play. Exhibitors distributed their queue signups using MEGAMIGS’ Discord and social media channels.

5. Guest Invitation Distribution
Once signed up, MEGAMIGS used Guest Access credits to invite players into the games’ cloud machines for their slot. Once their time ended, they were removed from the game, and it was the next player’s turn.

The Results

MEGAMIGS managed an amazing show, with activity and engagement that rivaled its physical conference.

  • 1,280+
    attendees around the world
  • 80
    game exhibitors, spanning indie and AAA
  • 100+
    Parsec-driven demos given over two days
  • 25,000,000
    estimated media impressions

A MEGA Success!

With the help of Parsec, MEGAMIGS proved that all of the excitement, energy, and atmosphere of a physical conference could be recreated online, playable games and all. What was a first for the conference in 2020 most certainly won’t be the last.

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