Before the exhibition my brain was bouncing around in my skull. I hadn’t done a presentation to pitch something for years and I hadn't a clue what the average pitch looks like today or what publishers are used to. It could even turn out that everyone would think we were shitting them: “That’s all you’ve got after a year’s work with a licensed engine? Have you lost the plot?” I guess there’s no need to tell you what our investor would think of us after that. I was seriously bricking it.
Our first meeting was with the guys from Crytek. We wanted to go over some technical details with them and show them our game so they’d have a better idea about what we were doing and exactly what we need. Since we weren’t trying to sell them anything, I took it as a kind of dry run.
Our meeting began very formally, as these things go at exhibitions where you meet ten new people every hour. But that only continued up to the precise moment when I put on the first video. Our partner on the other side of the table watched it, then asked to see it again and called in someone else, who turned out to be another Very Important Person. He started questioning us enthusiastically about how we’d done this and that: “You did those puddles using parallaxes? And how did you do those walls? What? You implemented the secondary UV maps? ...” The investor’s representative smiled contentedly behind us. An informal meeting turned into a very friendly conversation with the promise of much closer collaboration and a weight fell from my shoulders. It seemed what we had was evidently good enough for people to give us the time of day and take us seriously. The feeling was all the more gratifying for the fact that we were conversing with someone who knew well how much work had gone into our demonstration. The Crytek dudes gladdened my heart and calmed me down considerably, especially when one of them came to me next day wanting to see the video again and said he’d been thinking about our game all night.