Founded in 2008, Guacamelee developers Drinkbox Studios can easily be classed as a veterans now. That’s why we attended the GDC talk about their biggest mistakes. Surely seasoned developers like this will have the odd cautionary tale we can all learn from. Well, they do, and the moral is this: dogs can sometimes be dicks.
Some of the titles in our list of PC’s best sandbox games have dogs in. Do not trust them.
Like most things in life, this canine-based learning experience came at a time when the studio was still green. They were doing a bunch of tours, flying all over and showing off their game. But, being games developers, any time spent not working felt completely wasted. This made them approach shows like a military operation, wasting as little time traveling as possible and arriving just before they were required.
Being based in Canada, they often had to fly to the US, and this fateful trip to PAX, Seattle, was no different, founder Chris McQuinn explained: “The plan was to get us to Seattle the day before, early afternoon – plenty of time to set up a booth, get ready, [etc].”
But they didn’t feel like they had to rush. They could always catch another plane of they missed that flight, right? No, mate.
They ended up missing their connection. “The next flight wouldn’t get us in until two days later,” recounted McQuinn, “so that would be two days into the show – completely unacceptable.”
So they headed outside, crossed the street and popped over to a car rental place, settling in for a long road trip. It wasn’t like the movies, though, and their driver had to pull into a car park when he began almost falling asleep at the wheel.
They pulled in for some respite… and, suddenly: dogageddon. The car was assaulted by a pack of dogs – now that’s emergent gameplay.
Following this incident, another founder, Graham Smith, had an interview with a big games website first thing and he wasn’t feeling so chirpy.
The studio’s big takeway from this unfortunate series of events? “It’s important to show up,” said McQuinn, “but it’s also important to show up fresh.” And presumably not smelling like the breath of evil dogs.
As well as the great advice, I guess we can also all take away an excellent excuse for if you’re ever running late to work. Thanks, Drinkbox.