The video game presentation was going perfectly. Everyone in the arena was talking about booth number 45 and its very interesting game. Of course, as many games in exhibition, it was a virtual reality game. People put on some glasses and that was enough to immerse themselves in a very big and interesting world. The people at Rakami, the company that had created the game, were very nervous about the reception of their new product but after one day, they had to be confident everything was going to be just fine with their sales.
The second day of the expo, they were named the game to be looking for, Lines formed from an early hour to try out the game and Rakami had to send another console and copy of the software in order for people to try it out. And even with two copies, it wasn’t enough to show everyone willing to try the most fascinating game ever. Or at least that’s what the people in the booth started calling it after the very warm reception.
The truth was that Rakami had been born very recently, not even five years ago. It had been a group of friends who had decided they wanted to create the game they wanted to play. In other words, they wanted to make the best video games in the market by making the players and integral part of them. Of course, the player is always the most important part of the creation process, but these guys wanted the future gamers to be very involved in their creative process.
The first thing they did once they gathered to work together, was define what everyone would do. It was a small group of four people: three men and one woman. The men were mostly fluent in programming and designing and she was very good at marketing and all the legal language they needed to know before starting to do anything. They bought legal versions of every single program needed and rented a space in order to work there, as an office.
Of course, every single penny invested into it came from their own bank account. Although one of them was fairly wealthy, the other two were not at all so one of the first moves was to ensure they had money to make the first game from beginning to end. Investors were not easy to come by, especially for such a technology and idea, which would take years to actually be a reality.
However, they managed to receive a grant given by a university who supported young creators all over the world. The money was not a lot but it was a great way to start and not worry about anything for at least two years or a bit less. At the end of that time, the university would demand results and would decide if more money would be invested.
The first year was the most difficult one as starting such a project is always something very hard. As the boys started doing sketches and different types of screenplays of what they thought the story should be about, the girl decided to ensure they would not have money issues by use of crowd funding. She designed a website with a friend where people could go and give in whatever amount they wanted to make the videogame come to life. But not only that, the particular investors could leave a comment, telling the designers what they wanted in a game, what they were looking forward.
Picking up ideas from that big pool was very hard and an extensive job that required various meetings during a long period of time and heated discussions about what the game should be about. They were all friends and really loved each other but those few months were very tense and it wasn’t uncommon that they would argue with each other every single day, fighting over every single thing.
However, after a while, they were able to make some compromises and decided to organize their work in a more organic way so everyone was able to do a part of the game. That way, no one would really feel pushed aside from the project and participation would be just in its perfect point. Their friendship was put to test that first year and they were able to show themselves how mature they had become after graduating from college.
Entering the second year of development, they had many more problems. Money was and wasn’t one them. The problem was not that they didn’t have any but rather that they couldn’t touch it unless they released some kind of sneak peek. They tried to put together some short animation and a video of the designs and thought that should be enough for the people that had invested in the game and the university that supported them
However, that wasn’t the case. The university told them they were seriously considering removing their sponsorship because of he poor advances in the design and general development of the game. And the reception in their crowd funding website was even worse. People did not get the footage and were not really digging the designs and what they had put together. That response made them get together again and think about hey needed to do.
The first thing was not to listen to every single thing people said about the game, as it was obvious that not everybody could be pleased. The other thing was that they really needed to step up their game and work twice as hard because the university was right: they had not done enough in the first year and they really needed support if they wanted to fulfill their dream of seeing their game finished.
The following months were very hard on all of them. They had to stay in the office for several hours, sometimes even sleeping there and having lunch while waiting for the images to render. They bought more computers in order to be able to do more work at the same time and had to make some adjustments to the room in order to make it a nice place to work in. They put every part of their soul and body in the game and they were sure it was going to be good and that people would like it, no matter what.
At the end of that year, they had a meeting in the university. A board made up of six people would review their results and everything they had on their computers and the amount of work they had done. They would rate every single aspect of their jobs and finally decide if what they had done was worth another investment from them with which they could be able to finish the game as such.
It was a tense few days and the final response of the university came after Christmas but before New Year’s Day. The university had decided to pass on their game and pulled off any additional funding. Needless to say, the group had the worst beginning of the year ever but once they reunited again they decided to go forward with the help of the people. They would release more of the game and people would love it and they would finish the game with their support.
However, something unexpected happened. The girl was contacted by a group of private investors looking for new companies and ideas to invest in. She organized a visit to the offices and they were mind blown when they realized it was one of the executives of Garmin Entertainment, who was visiting them. Garmin had released two of the best titles in the last year and was a leading company in the development of virtual reality technology.
Their proposal was quite simple: they would give the money to finish the game in exchange of the title to be a virtual reality game. They thought the idea they had was perfect for that kind of gaming and they even promised help achieve the level needed to have a playable game in that sort of environment.
Again, work was very intense and they did receive a lot of support, with very experienced people coming to their offices and helping them with the design of a far larger world that they had envisioned before. Everything had gotten bigger and more ambitious and it was a bit scary for them but also very exciting. They felt they were involved in something important, so the hours of sleep were the least of their worries.
The expo was just the magnificent result of their incredible work process. And people loving the game was the perfect gift for all of them. However, they were still many surprises ahead, for both the developers and the gamers. The recent born Rakami was en route to greatness.