Hey everyone! It turns out we turn 2 years old today! (: Happy birthday to us! And well, birthdays actually make us nostalgic, so why not a post with a bit of our origins?
By Feb. 10th, 2012, Midio, Camis and Noia were working together at a game studio, and we received the news that we’d start working at a new crappy project. Again. We had lost the count of the numbers of terrible projects we worked on, but that made us quite sad. We started a gtalk conversation to discuss the possibility of working together: we called two other friends and started arranging a weekly meeting at Midio’s place. By that time, Midio was doing art, Noia was a lead QA and Camis was still working with deployment, but wanted to start coding.
These meetings were usually very loose, not too much commitment, we were just checking the possibility of working together outside the bounds of the studio. You know, professional relationships not always go well when you don’t need to commit to a certain rigid structure as that of our workplace. These reunions were usually during the evening, with Coke and crappy snacks and lots of laughters. They were a relief from the stiffness of the studio we worked at.
We decided to call ourselves Runaway Alpacas. And then Alpaca Team. We felt like we were running away from the whole crazy situation of the studio and we knew that alpacas are herd animals that tend to stick together as a big team. That’s exactly what we wanted and needed!
Midio had just returned from the Global Game Jam in January, in which he collaborated with Miniboss in Trapped! In The Chamber of the Eternal Darkness and that experience shaped a lot the way he started seeing game development from that point on. The process at the studio was rigid, stiff, we couldn’t collaborate freely or let the idea evolve freely to make a better game: we wanted and needed that. Plus, Camis and Noia weren’t seeing any new outcome from their current positions and that was making everyone frustrated.
After a couple of meetings, those two other friends abandoned the team. They had a hard time understanding that we couldn’t just rush and start doing things if our work depends on the whole team’s decision. That hurted us a little bit. We were three now and we thought we weren’t going to make it. Camis was still learning a bunch of code things, Midio was very insecure with his art. That shaked us a little bit.
Our first idea was called Nitbone’s Maze. It was a circular maze in which you lead some creatures along the way all to way to the center.
(Characters by Arthur Mask)
We started prototyping the whole thing but we had lots of problems with the circular rotation on the Android devices. We started having terrible and deep personal issues. We couldn’t keep up with the project nor with Alpaca itself. We were frustrated. We stopped.
Until October came. And then Camis was fired. And Noia and Midio asked to be fired too. And we applied to Blackberry’s Jam Sessions while developing Luke at the Stars and we won the best game prize! That was the day we actually thought together:
"Hey, maybe we’re not that stupid at game making at all, and Nitbone’s was just… maybe we took the wrong decisions only, we all have projects like that".
And Luke was our real starting point. We decided we were going to be just the three of us, but that we would call friends to collaborate with us, so we wouldn’t have to face the situation of being abandoned once again. We realized we worked well together, and that we were friends who understood our personal needs. We understood we had to make money to pay our bills and that we would make games on our free time and that was okay! We understood that pressure sometimes is good to get things done, but most of the times, just make things worse. We found out that we can count on and talk to each other about our insecurities and rely on each other opinion’s when making a game. We feel like a band ourselves.
Finding game making partners is pretty much like finding a love partner. There must be honesty, fun and reliability. And I guess we found all that during these two years of game making. We deeply hope that we continue to make the things we love for the years to come, and that we enhance and strenghten the bonds that keep us together. (:
Thanks for reading this big post, we really appreciate it!!
A warm hug,
Camis, Midio & Noia.