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The year of Super Mega Baseball’s launch, the guys decided to head to San Francisco for GDC, the Game Developers Conference. The benefits of that trip weren't quite what they expected...

Liane Howill, Blogger

January 22, 2016

5 Min Read

This is the 16th post in a series about the making of our game, Super Mega Baseball. This post was copied over from our blog.

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The year of Super Mega Baseball’s launch, the guys decided to head to San Francisco for GDC, the Game Developers Conference. The benefits of that trip weren't quite what they expected.

 

Liane: Why did you guys go to GDC?

Scott: It was just for some biz dev and to talk to some of the platform folks about our upcoming launch. But it ended up being one of the least productive trips we've had, from a business development standpoint.

Christian: We couldn’t even get a hold of the group of folks who had given us our tickets. But, perhaps we should leave out the ‘least productive’ part because we did meet with our account manager at Sony, and we did meet with the Phyre team.

Scott: Oh yeah, and that was really good. Also, now that I think about it, contacts from that trip led to us getting setup with Valve as well. So GDC wasn’t as unproductive as I maybe thought. There was some stuff that was actually pretty good.

Liane: Just not in the way you thought.

Christian: Well, we were pretty thoroughly unimpressed with it at the time.

 

Liane: So, was it worth the trip?

Scott: Well, hidden beneath the surface was this huge benefit for us - we had to walk away from our day-to-day. We had been staring at what we were doing and were so completely immersed in just finishing the game that it took walking away to really stop and properly reevaluate what was left. We got into conversations where we took the list of stuff we were looking at shipping in the game and culled some stuff, and said "these are the few key things that we have to nail down." And then it was a realization, "oh s**t, we’re creeping up to blowing another deadline on this." And just from the perspective of being able to respect ourselves for the rest of our lives, we were like "holy f**k, we need to finish this."

Christian: Before this we were working a lot, a lot of hours. You just have all of these tasks, there is so much you need to get done – this is before we had QA, before we had any user testing or anything. And you can kind of get bogged down in things. You end up spending a lot of time on things that maybe you shouldn’t be spending time on.

Scott: Totally. Just getting ripped out of your day-to-day, and not for a vacation - but rather to spend several days immersed in thinking about work, but without any access to any of the day-to-day stuff. It just forces you to sit down and you have to think about things, you can’t immediately put yourself at ease and feel like you're doing the right thing by just continuing to hammer away on whatever you were doing.

Liane: You had to reflect on your work?

Scott: It was forced reflection. And I think that was the best thing about that trip.

Christian: Yep. It was the Metalhead Software executive retreat.

All: **Laughs**

Christian: At the $65 City Center Inn in Tenderloin. Anyone going to San Fran, and if you’re not squeamish, I highly recommend it if you’re on a budget. Yeah it’s not in the best neighborhood, but you can’t beat the price. Everyone else that went to GDC was talking about how they’re paying like 4-plus hundred dollars for a hotel room a night. We paid 65 bucks. Like, no joke. And it was within walking distance of GDC. It was fine.

 

MakingOfSMB_16_RedLampRoom

Not too shabby, right?

 

Liane: There was only one double bed?

Christian: Yeah, we’ve always shared beds on these trips. Usually we at least had a queen or a king, but this one was very cozy. Very cozy. **Laughing**

Scott: It only had one issue. I took a picture of what I was greeted with each night before I went to sleep.

 

Wait for it...

MakingOfSMB_16_RedLamp

 

Scott: I don’t know how or why a hotel arrives at a situation in which a bedside table has an actual red light. Like, that’s not Photoshopped, that’s an actual red light.

Liane: Oh when you said red lamp earlier, you meant the lightbulb?

Scott: The lightbulb was red.

Christian: Yes, the lightbulb was red. Oh yeah.

Scott: We were at the point where we kind of just rolled with it.

Liane: They probably ran out of white lightbulbs.

Scott: And they just happened to have a red one kicking around? 

Liane: I don’t know…

Scott: It's probably best not to think about it.

 

Moving on...

 

Christian: But the big thing of that trip was the evening at the pub, and just getting away from work. And really figuring out what we needed to do to finish this in 2014.

Liane: So many important points along the way have happened in pubs. Pubs have been great for this game.

Christian: Yeah, that’s true. A pub is how this company got started.

Scott: Dan was met in a pub, Reevan and Michelle were met in a pub.

Christian: Tobyn was met in, not a pub but…

Scott: …we were drinking at the restaurant like it was a pub.

Christian: Well, he wasn’t. We were, I’m sure.

Scott: We didn’t meet Andrew in a pub!

 

And that's a great segue, because coming up soon is a post all about Andrew joining the team and taking on QA for the project. But before that, we'll talk about the situation he walked into...a time we like to call "the grind" -- stay tuned!

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This is the 16th post in a series about the making of Super Mega Baseball.

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