The team just got back from the Game Developers Conference (GDC) on Saturday, and we are back at work this week finishing up and releasing the patch for the Transformidable Update.
GDC was, as always, a great time. It’s a week full of inspiration, conversations with developers, interesting conference talks, team bonding, partying, and of course GAMES! Our goals this time around were simply to keep up our relationships with important partners: Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Valve, etc. as well as meeting more developers and enjoying our time learning and socializing with some of the best minds in the industry.
Apart from the meetings, I (Rich) gave a talk called “Tough Questions to Improve Your Leadership”, despite having slept only about a half-hour the night before due to a crazy migraine. According to the team members who were there, I didn’t appear to be falling asleep while talking, and it was generally very well received. Earlier that day, Gen had to step in for me on a panel about being indies in Montréal. It was her first time giving a session at GDC and she had approximately no time to prepare for it, but all signs point to it having gone well! If you have access to the GDC Vault, you’ll be able to find both of our sessions there whenever the talks go up and tell us what you think.
Then there were the parties! We started the week with the Pixelles’ cozy gathering, where we had tea and heavenly cupcakes. It’s one of the best ways to kick off GDC and a nice opportunity for us to meet the year’s cohort for their GDC Ensemble, which we are proud to sponsor. Later in the week, Discord had a big party in a nightclub that had arcade games set up, and the ID@Xbox (Indie games team) had a nice mixer as well. A few of us also snuck off to something called Dumpling Fest which had dancing lions, an ice sculpture through which Ben took a shot of vodka, and an entire roast pig that was both fascinating and unsettling. Oh and there were also dumplings, and they were definitely worth the 40 minute wait outside before the event.
Of course, a lot of GDC is about the games. We saw and watched and played so many of them, but we’ll only mention a few here for brevity’s sake.
Twincop touts itself as “the most cooperative game EVER” and that might literally be true: in this game, two players are one cop. Each controls one arm. Hilarity ensues.
Shadow Brawlers caught Gen’s eye because it seems to take on the same aesthetic inspirations as our beloved (ahem) Dance Party level, and executes on it beautifully to create a fun-looking local multiplayer experience. Very importantly, it features a Dance button.
Last but not least, Sloppy Forgeries is a simple yet ingenious game where two players have 90 seconds to recreate a famous painting with a mouse and a five-colour palette. The most accurate sloppy forgery wins. For example, Alex’s programmer art (below) defeated our artist Fabio’s attempt at imitating The Scream, but his Mona Lisa’s lack of a background was a dealbreaker.
In Ultimate Chicken Horse news, we put out a patch this week to the Transformidable Update which we released a couple of weeks ago. In case you missed it, here’s the trailer! After the update, there were some bugs that popped up that we didn’t catch in testing. Even though we try to test as extensively as possible, there are always strange things that happen when the game gets into the hands of the masses, with different computers and connection speeds and controllers and ways to break the game. This patch should fix all of the major problems and some of the minor ones as well, and you can see the full patch notes here.
As we move on from this patch, we’re starting to prototype new things and brainstorm new ideas. This next period is an exciting one, as it’s the first time we’ll be coming up with brand new stuff since a few years ago. This doesn’t mean we’re giving up on Ultimate Chicken Horse, but for the near future we’re going to work on new things unless any major bugs come up and need fixing. Sometime later, we plan to revisit and add some more content to UCH, but there’s no schedule for that now. Nevertheless, as you can tell if you’ve hopped into the Discord, the community is still very alive and there are tons of active players across all platforms, and we’ll make sure that stays true by remaining as engaged as you all are!
See you out there on the Chicken Horse field!
Clever Endeavour Games