I know there's been no news from me for a few weeks, but I've got a good excuse: E3. The Atlanta fair mobilized all our energies over the last three weeks. Rarely in my life have I worked so much and slept so little. Eidos decided to give us as many exhibition machines as Tomb Raider 3 and Final Fantasy VII, so the pressure was really on. We had to make the grade.
Our team had been working to meet that challenge presented by Atlanta for more than three months, but the last few weeks were particularly tough. We didn't sleep at all in the last three days, the demo CDs still being burned while the taxi was waiting to take us to the airport. The stuff of legendsЕ
I had decided to take some team members to E3 with me, as I did for ECTS. I think it's essential for everyone to see the competition and to speak with their opposite numbers in other companies. On this occasion I chose our all-night-marathon winners: Antoine (Programmer), Tony (Animations Manager) and our Artistic Director, Loic (nicknamed Chausette). Mission: to spend eight hours a day doing demos in a deafening din and report back to the team with any useful information. Secondly, to party every evening.
Overall, the mission was a success.
No sooner landed than, hotel to dump our bags, then the Georgia Dome to set up the demos. Looking at the ballet of fenwicks and the disorder of the stands being set up, it was hard to believe that the fair would open its doors in just a few hours' time.
But open it did. The next day everything was perfect when the voracious hordes flooded through the aisles of the fair.
From the very first day Antoine, Loic, Tony and myself felt that we would get a good reception. Omikron's strong visual impact - the city with hundreds of passers by and sliders in the streets - immediately attracted the attention of the crowds. From a Game Play point of view, our demo showed adventure sequences (with dialogs in Motion Capture), shifting to Shoot scenes and the Feet/Fists Combat. We got very positive feedback from players, as well as from journalists and buyers. The general press was particularly interested in the "Virtual World" aspect of things and we got write-ups in the Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
We now have confirmation that Omikron will attract not only hard-core gamers but also a much broader public.
The feedback was so good that a lot of people congratulated us on having one of the best demos in the show.
Of course we were delighted by this reception, after all the efforts of the team over several months in anticipation of the fair. But we didn't lose sight of the fact that we still have an enormous amount of work to do and lots of problems to solve before the game is released.
The three days were all spent in the same way and we met some very interesting people. One of the visitors to our stand was none other than Jordan Mechner, creator of Prince of Persia, a living legend in the world of video games. His talent is equaled only by his simplicity and total absence of pretentiousness. We also had the opportunity to speak with people from Namco (working on Tekken 3), Core Design, Square Soft, and Blizzard, to mention but a few.
Once the show shut down, the party circuit began. The first devastating evening was spent at the Eidos party (always one of the most successful), the second at the Sony party and the third in the trendy nightclubs of Buckhead.
In a word, we had a ball.
Once back in France we reported to the team and distributed T shirts, badges, photos and various other gadgets. And we took advantage of the post-E3 calm to reorganize the team and schedule the rest of the development as well as possible. I also availed of this occasion to pass on my position as project manager to Olivier (ex graphics manager), in order to be able to devote myself full-time to the Game Play, as well as preparing Quantic Dream's future projects.
The good feedback we got at E3 will enable us to work more calmly in the months to come and allow us to finish Omikron under optimum conditions. The contacts we made at the fair helped us to realize that Omikron and Quantic Dream are beginning to be known in the industry, and a lot of people are interested in the technology and know-how we are developing.
Lots of promises that will be fulfilled only if we do the necessary work.
For more info on our impressions of E3, have a look at the Editorial.
A new item on our site: we have posted up some of your e-mail for on-line consultation. Come HERE to view it and most of all, continue to mail us. It helps boost team morale.
Be here next week.
Herve and Philip for their work and moral support,
John, Mike, Charles, Ian for their confidence,
Tom, Mike, Antoine, Loic, Tony for their excellent work on the stand,
The full Eidos team present at Atlanta, for their work and welcome.