3D Game Market has been working with a company in China called KDX for over a year and entered into a joint project with them where we would supply our 3D gaming software and software support. They wanted to launch a chain of internet cafés called Deepub. Inside of these cafés you could play games with you friends, enter gaming tournaments, hang out and have fun, experience virtual reality, buy refreshments and 3D merchandise, or watch videos on their amazing smart glass. The best way I can describe this is to say that it is like a modern day arcade much like the ones that I enjoyed when I was growing up. A place to hang out and play a wide variety of video games on the newest equipment. So last month I was invited to travel over to Beijing to help iron out any last minute issues with implementing our software on their glasses free 3D gaming stations. It is very difficult doing this from here in the United states when they Speak Chinese and I speak English. Being there allowed me to see the issues they were having first hand and through my interpreter Z I was quickly able to communicate how to fix the problems.
The first thing I found out was that getting a Visa to enter China is easier said than done. You need to fill out their application, have all of the supporting documentation including where you will be staying, purpose of your visit, who you will be visiting, and how long you will be staying. I had to have a letter of invitation from KDX including their company stamp. After three trips to the Chinese Consulate in New York City I finally got my visa. On Sunday the 18th I drove to Newark International Airport in New Jersey and flew for 13 hours to Beijing. I arrived Monday at a little after two in the afternoon because of the 12-hour time difference. Getting through the airport was a little scary because I thought I was going to be met at the Airport but I could not find my contact from KDX and quickly learned that my phone would not connect to the internet in the airport. So I exchanged some money and found a travel service that knew where my hotel was. They put me up in the Aden Business Hotel which was located right next to the Olympic park and it was a beautiful hotel. I was met by Winter who I had been communicating with for several months. I later learned that he chose the American Name Winter because of the show Game of Thrones. He told me this and said that he picked this name because he loved the phrase from the show “Winter is Coming” He is in charge of the gaming department for the Deepub Project. He also brought a Chinese woman who said I could call her Z. She spoke great English and she made me feel very comfortable being able to communicate with ease. Winter can read English and he understands it pretty well, but was limited in speaking it. So if Winter did not understand what I was saying, Z quickly translated and I knew that language was not going to be a barrier on this trip as long as she was with us. We had a wonderful dinner and it is amazing how different the food is from what we get over here. For me Dinner was at six o clock in the morning and right after dinner I want to my room for some much needed sleep.
Tuesday morning after a fantastic breakfast including fresh squeezed mango juice we went to the KDX main offices in Beijing and they were beautiful. They introduced me to the Director of Deepub and showed me around the place. After some meetings and a great lunch, we headed out to the Deepub Café. It was beautiful and had everything that a video gamer could possibly want. It was way more than I expected. It is scheduled to be open in 2 months from my visit and appeared to be right on schedule. We worked there the rest of the day on some issues they were having with our software. Winter and Z took me to dinner where we had homemade dumplings from scratch and some stuff made from beans that I later learned was Tofu. I do not like the Tofu that we have here in the States but loved what I had there for dinner. After that I returned to my Hotel where I contacted my partner Todd through Skype. Luckily my hotel had Wi-Fi that my phone would connect to. My phone would not work to access my Gmail or to make phone calls but I was able to make calls through Skype. I let Todd know about the issues that I had seen during the day and he started to make the corrections.
Wednesday morning, I awoke and had some messages from Todd saying he had fixed the problems and had uploaded the updated Software. When Winter picked me up I let him know about this, so he altered our plans of going to their Laboratory and instead we headed back to Deepub. He tried out the software and was very pleased with the updates. So to celebrate he took me to KFC for lunch. The chicken tasted the same and the biggest difference I saw was no Biscuits or Coleslaw. After Lunch we headed to their software laboratory and I showed their team how to use additional features of our gaming platform. The weather started to turn and warnings of heavy rains were issued so they sent me back to my hotel early. When I arrived at my Hotel it was not raining yet so I walked over to the Olympic Park and got some photos. The sky stated to get really dark so I returned to my hotel and had some Chinese Beer and some awesome Prawns. A huge plate of them.
Thursday morning, we returned to the Laboratory and one of their engineers Kevin Zuha came up from Shanghai to have a meeting with me. The meeting went great and after that they took me and the entire Deepub development team out to dinner. We went to a place they called Hotpot. We sat at a round table with a round indentation in the middle of it with a gas burner in the indentation. They brought out this pot that was divided in the middle and it had hot spices in liquid on one side and milder spices in liquid on the other side. They turned on the burner and brought the liquids to a boil. Then they took me to a station where I constructed my sauce from a wide variety of ingredients. When I returned to the table there was a three shelved cart there loaded with raw food. We dipped the food in either the spicy or mild liquids and it minutes it was cooked. The meal was excellent and I had never experienced anything like this before. The director got himself and I a glass of beer and a bottle of Chinese wine. The wine was 45 proof and was clear. It was like drinking vodka and really packed a punch. I am glad we got the little bottle. We had so much fun. The director told me he hoped that I would return for more visits and that he would continue to take me to great restaurants. I assured him that I would come over any time that they wanted me to. After dinner I returned to my hotel and got a good night’s sleep.
Everything I had wanted to get done during this trip had been accomplished so Friday morning Winter picked me up and we went to the Beijing Zoo where we met Z. Z and I want in to see the panda house. That was amazing. After that they took me to the Forbidden City. That was also amazing. The Forbidden City was huge and was built in the 1400’s I think; this huge complex was built for one king. It was unbelievable. We finished our tour and then it was time to say goodbye to Winter who had to get back to work. Z took me to the airport and my trip was finished. They let me know that on my next trip they would take me to the Great wall and I found out they also wanted me to go to shanghai to meet with Kevin and his team. I am already looking forward to returning.