GDC 2023 Recap & Highlights

5 min readMar 29, 2023

After a whirlwind 3 days at GDC last week, we returned home with a stack of notes, hundreds of new connections, and a lot fewer stickers than we arrived with. Our presence at GDC was months in the making. In fact, our Game Director Carina started working on her presentation pitch way back in the summer. In short, we were psyched to be there.

After 20 hours of testing MixMob: Racer 1 at the booth, and more than 500 conversations about our game, it’s safe to say that all our hard work paid off. This week, we are taking all our learnings from GDC and channeling them into our Q2 planning!

Here are some of the highlights and learnings from GDC 2023:

Booth & game statistics

  • 80% of the people who came to our booth were drawn in by the “glitchy” art style and general anime-like aesthetic.
  • 95% of the people who heard our pitch, “A new card strategy racing game,” were excited by the concept.
  • 70% of the players won a PVE game. If they didn’t win, then ~15% — 20% came back to try again.
  • 99.99% of the people loved our stickers and were clawing to get them!

This is truly the first card strategy racing game we’ve ever seen — you are creating new subgenera.” — GDC attendee

Carina presents “How to Build and Validate AA Games Fast”

Our Game Director Carina Kom took to the stage on Wednesday to share her wisdom from 13+ years in gaming with the GDC crowd. Not only did she wow the audience by sharing techniques and tactics for growing innovative projects fast, but she also kicked off the presentation by sharing one of her other talents — playing the harmonica!

“I can’t wait to come back to GDC next year with a focus on card gameplay and racing — there will be a lot more coming! People seemed to love Racer 1’s fast-paced and vibrant energy, and I’m excited about the next phase. The entire team is busy working on something innovative and interesting…stay tuned.” — MixMob Game Director Carina Kom

What people had to say

We talked to hundreds of people every day at the booth and noticed that a lot of the same comments kept coming up. In particular, our storyline, “What would you do if an AI deleted our culture?” really resonated with people. Most people couldn’t believe that we came up with it before the AI hype.

Here are some other frequent comments that we heard:

  • The idea of three lanes [in the game] solves a lot of problems — easy to play, hard to master.”
  • This game is so cool on mobile.”
  • Love the idea of using the blockchain to distribute rewards and bets in a fair and transparent way.”
  • I can see how ads and partnerships play in this game.”
  • “The IP is so relevant — did you do this before AI’s hype?”

Game insights & learnings

Our booth was equipped with two laptops and a 65” TV so visitors could demo the game. After talking to hundreds of first-time players at the end of their matches, here’s what we found:

  • 30% of players noticed the Health bar in the top left corner. The same percentage noticed the map in the bottom left corner.
  • 50% of players learned to eventually recognize Speed, Hyper Wings, Wormhole, and Hammer Toss.
  • 90% of players hit at least one Obstacle in their first go.

Player Feedback

We picked up the following valuable feedback from players after testing the game:

  • The Phantom Bot’s body-blocking behaviors are frustrating and could be removed/toned down.
  • Request to add a delay between collisions with your opponent as it gets too intense and frequent.
  • Add a Rear View / Look Back.
  • Add More dynamic track layouts.
  • Players were expecting more attention to the Cards, such as more animations or VFX.
  • Players wanted the Finish Line to look more obvious. Add archways!

GDC was a blast, and we can’t wait for next year! But for now, we’re putting our heads down and getting ready to launch Closed Beta in mid-April.

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World’s 1st card strategy racing game! BETA LIVE! From the team behind FIFA, Halo & Battlefield ✊ 🔥