San Francisco. Known for it’s crazy hills. Home to Sky Tyrannosaur, the brains behind Blowfish Meets Meteor. The first leg of our longest trip, a tour of the west coast with stops including LA, Eugene, Seattle, and Vancouver. It was also the most personal location for me, Chad.
San Francisco is 1,757 miles of driving from Austin, TX, which we knew would take us about three days. We set out to make it across Texas and into New Mexico on day one. It was smooth sailing. We had a great idea for a game, and it was finally one that was simple! Not only that, but we decided that we could get two of our backers from our Indie Van Game Jam crowdfunding website into it. Things were going smooth as butter and I was able to get a lot of good work done on it.
Once we started to clear Texas, however, we started to hear… the sound. Everyone described it differently. Screeching. Grinding. Demonic. Either way, it was a noise that we should not hear and we did not want to push it. We suspected a transmission issue or something since it only happened above 60 miles per hour. The would extend the length of our trip considerably. We, unfortunately, only made it to Las Cruces.
The second day of our trip was meant to end up in Los Angeles to meet with our friend and gracious host, Ricky Cambier! Ricky is an industry vet who now is a lead at Naughty Dog. He was also one of our two select-able characters, so our reputation was on the line! As one of Zeb’s oldest friends, he was incredible nervous about showing something great.
Worried that we had serious problems, we had to start the day early and get the van inspected. That grinding sound would restrict our speed and, more importantly, sounded like the devil playing nails on a chalkboard as if it was an instrument. Of course, when Zach took a look at it there was no sound to be heard. The van rolled smoothly and so we set sail.
Until about three or four hours later when the horrible sound came back. We drove with a fair share of caution. We still had to go through the rest of New Mexico, Arizona, and a chunk of California. The van rolled as fast as possible with but a brief stop for sandwiches and ice cream at HUB in downtown Tuscon.
As we made highway headway, we were constantly letting our LA friends know we were set to arrive later and later. 6:00 PM turned into 8:00 PM which then hoped to be 10:00 PM. We arrived at midnight to a tired, but inviting Venice.
“Late to bed. Early to rise,” as they don’t say. That was our motto. We wanted to show Ricky everything, but we had to do it all before he went to work in the morning. I was tired and it was a bit of a blur, but this story can easily be told through pictures.
We went to Whole Foods and came across a van that had run out of gas.
We drove around Venice.
Took a few glamour shots.
Alas, our fun came to an end. Some people don’t drive around in a van for a living. Those people go to offices and work with people on games. There was about six hours of driving before we got to San Francisco to stay at our place in “The Haight,” as Zeb kept saying. (Only after we arrived did I learn he didn’t mean, “The Hate.”) We made great haste and, for once, great time! We arrived in San Francisco with plenty of time to spare.
We prepared to meet Muir and Sean of Sky Tyrannosaur. Like Zeb was with Ricky, I too was with them. I have known them for several years, but I had never actually met them in person. For me, this wasn’t just about showing them a great game, this was also about discovering what someone is like without the safety of a username. It was about having a discussion without the buffer of a send button. It was showing them our product and not being able to hide from the instantaneous reaction, good or bad.
It was amazing.
See you, Space Cowboy.