Fenix Fire At GDC 2015

Disaster Strikes On Our 2015 Pilgrimage to San Francisco

On a Sunday afternoon I arrive at Ontario airport 4 hours early for my non stop to SF. My carry on bags filled to the seems with every cutting edge device available: Oculus DK2, a couple iPads, a few Android tablets (some not consumer available yet), a bucketful of Xbox and Playstation controllers, a handful of flash sticks with quadruple redundancy back ups off all demo executables, and a Sony Viao and Microsoft Surface Pro 2 for demoing. Oh yeah, clothes and stuff too.

We just had a great weekend at the Long Beach Comic Expo showing off three demos: Source, Gates of Osiris, and Smash Derby. Confidence was high and I had a huge sense of accomplishment.  Not only did we manage to make all three demos function in time for both a Comic Expo and a major industry expo in GDC, but we also successfully finished and delivered a special version of Source for Oculus in record time using their new Crescent Bay headset. Needless to say, I treated myself to a beer at the airport.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

While catching up on the latest season of “House of Cards” in the terminal, an announcement came through that our flight was now delayed an hour. No big deal. Just gives me more time to watch Kevin Spacey be awesome. Then another announcement, two hours delayed. Concern flags shot up, my week was completely jam packed starting with an Apple meeting at 8am and various other equally important meetings going non stop throughout the day. Way too much riding on this to be late. I got up and starting asking around what was up with our flight.

As I gathered my two carry on bags of rocks a third delay was announced. This time, I knew there was no chance this flight was ever coming, so I started making Plan B – drive to San Francisco.

The Long Drive To SF

The drive from OC to SF is about 7 hours and now it was 8pm meaning I wouldn’t arrive until about 3 in the morning.  I was staying with a friend to save some dev funds so I made sure he was OK with my inconvenient arrive time.  Then I hit the road, thinking of how to pitch each game and other game biz strategy.

I made good time.  I pulled in at about 2:30 and my friend was still out partying at some pre GDC festivities.  We then went inside and watched “House of Cards” until my 8am with Apple.  Needles to say, it was a long day but I made every meeting and each demo and pitch went perfectly.

GDC 2015

Being CEO, most of my time was spent talking to first party publishers, emerging hardware manufacturers, a stop at the Oculus and Qualcomm booths, and meeting with investors. I managed to go to the Nvidia Shield console unveil along with VIP parties at Untiy, Sony and Microsoft. I also bumped into a few friends, my average sightings down significantly from previous years (maybe having something to do with so many studios closing since 2010).

There was an awesome Atari museum exhibit, which I found just as fascinating as the Nintendo exhibit last year. It definitely seemed that this year was “War of the Game Engine” which had me thinking about Unreal4 all the way home.

Disaster Successfully Averted

No car trouble, no hidden costs, saved a bundle by staying with my friend, and every meeting a complete success.  Sometimes you have to just take matters into your own hands and just get ‘ur done!

About Brian

Brian is the Founder and CEO of Fenix Fire, Co host of The Game Design Dojo, and industry veteran of over 15 years with over 70 projects under his belt such as Mortal Kombat Deception, Psi Ops, Hunter The Reckoning, Starcraft Ghost, and the Oculus Tuscany World Demo.