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4th part of 'Skydive: Proximity Flight' story.

Kirill Yudintsev, Blogger

May 11, 2011

3 Min Read

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Part 4 - E3 and KRI 2004, the Initiation

KRI started.

All we could afford was an empty booth and a plasma panel. We also printed a colorful sign with the name of the project.

We were surrounded by beautiful booths. Technological shooters, strategies, RPGs – all things we loved as well. But we were unable to predict whether our game would be interesting or not.

We duct-taped a web-camera to a plasma TV and held our breath.

 

KRI 2004

 

The result exceeded our expectations. Although the exhibition was a side-event at the conference, and most of the guests were game developers, not teenagers – people lined up in front of our booth just like kids.

Everyone wanted to fly without any equipment. The dream of mankind had come true!

Everyone was playing, waving their arms in front of the screen. It might have looked rather silly, but the magic was working: the booth was always crowded by people willing to try it.

We won first prize in both categories in which we submitted our game: “Best Game Without a Publisher” and “Most Innovative Game.” We could hardly believe it when the winners were announced.

During the award ceremony we were told that the “Best Game Without a Publisher” prize was the key to finding a publisher.

However, this prediction never came true.

KRI-2004 took place in February. We decided to go to E3 in May, to look for recognition – and for a publisher.

We understood that a game requiring a web-camera and a large TV should be released for PS2 and EyeToy. PC gamers might not have a web-cam, or a large screen, or even enough room to wave their arms. However, back in those days, finding a way to develop games for PS2 without a publisher was extremely difficult.

Our booth at E3 was a little more sophisticated. We hired an attractive girl (waving your arms for several hours straight is really hard!) and designed an exhibition booth.

 

E3 2004

 

Plenty of people made comments like “nice game,” “awesome,” and “wow!” This and the crowds flocking to our booth, combined with press acclaim (the Japanese press was especially favorable), established contacts with several publishers, giving us lots of hope.

Here’s a quote from one of the many reviews

“The second game that drew me in was Flight of Fancy by Gaijin Entertainment, a Russian developer. This game is based on new motion detection technology and allows the player to be a dragon flying around the world accomplishing various tasks. Though it appeared to be a little hard on the arms – the player looks similar to a little kid playing airplane – the idea of flying around as a dragon is just as irresistible as making buildings cave in, at least to me. Unfortunately, Flight of Fancy has not published an estimated release date.”

Several months later, we realized the vicious circle we were stuck in. For the publishers to take our game (many of them gave prior consent), we needed a PS2 version. To make a PS2 version, we needed a publisher.

Besides, we were able to see the initial flaw of our game’s design: flying was great. Fighting and completing game tasks wasn’t great at all.

Time and money were slipping away, and we had to leave this project behind. No matter how much I loved this idea, no matter how eager I was to develop it – we had to move on.

 

to be continued...


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