by Tiare Feuchtner
The excitement was great, when Schein got the offer to go to the Gamescom. Since Schein started as a student project at the FH Technikum Wien, we were generously invited to present our project in the university’s booth. We were aware, that our game was still far from actually being presentable at such a convention, and had no idea what benefit we could actually expect from going there. However we all agreed that we must seize the opportunity to start telling the world about Schein. Thus the preparations began.
In the middle of incorporating new art assets, with incomplete sound programming and still way too many unrealized ideas for awesome levels, we all got to work. Beautiful new plants sprouted in the mud, dangerous lava and reflecting water surfaces were implemented, the user interface was tweaked and sounds began to echo through our swamp. Apart from all the actual developing process, there was a lot of organizing to be done too. The matter of transport to Cologne and back, finding an affordable place to sleep and hereby dealing with the immensely overbooked city was only the first challenge. Once we had settled for a campground at the edge of Cologne, it was time to find tents, sleeping bags and of course a car that would make the journey with a team of 5 possible. With some help from our friends, this was soon achieved and we were ready to go. Almost..
To present our project to such diverse and numerous audience, we needed to make an impression somehow. So I pestered our artists to design contact cards, posters and t-shirts for our team and rushed off to get them printed. We also planned to distribute lighters with our logo on them and were hoping they would arrive in time.
The night before we left, we slept quite little – being either still at work or restless with anticipation. The next day we slowly made our way through high traffic and reached Cologne at nightfall. Last-minute coding-sessions and rain made this night a short one as well. Nevertheless we proudly marched into the business area at the Gamescom early the next morning, wearing the best unwrinkled clothes we had. As soon as we had set up our booth the talking began. At least two of us were almost constantly demonstrating the game or explaining the project. We were approached by an amazing diversity of people: Publishers, developers, journalists, marketing managers, retailers, students,… They all showed great interest in our project and most of them stayed while to play.
After a long day on our feet, we joined the crowd in the EA area to chat with newly made acquaintances and have a couple of free drinks. Four days passed quickly in this manner and we filled the rare gaps of free time with a short plunge into the unimaginable crowds surging through the entertainment area. On the second day we were reinforced by our sound producers from Leed:Audio and had lots of fun.
In hindsight, we made great experiences at the Gamescom! We got a good insight into the game-industry, made many great contacts and have been given valuable feedback to our game. It has given us many new ideas and we are more than ever determined to put all our energy into this project.