Pura Vida

Tap Dancing Horse! a video by apes_abroad on Flickr.

Out at Gabe’s bar again, where we ended up for drinks after dinner. We finish our last beer on the beach under the new moon sky so filled with unnamable constillations. Colin’s been bugging Jose to have a game of pool since Thursday, but there are always too many dishes. Finally they’re into their second game, so I leave them to it. Wander back tipsy through the sand and baby palms, ducking under the clothesline and stepping carefully over the ageing barbed wire fence into our yard. Our beachfront yard in Pochote, Costa Rica. Taking the secret backup key from its hiding place and penetrating the hexagonal wooden capsule, our little shiplike home. Nuking some leftover Gallo Pinto, setting the aircon to stun and settling down to my laptop on the dining table.

</wierd present tense>

I was just saying to Colin today: Colin, life is good. We were floating out in the water near the little stream where the skimboarding is usually good. Today we went out at high tide and the waves were good instead, so Colin left his board to go bodysurfing instead. He’s quite good at it, and when he gets it just right you will see him coming towards the shore like a disembodied head in the middle of a rolling white wave, grinning ear to ear. We collected shells and looked for Mary’s beans on the walk back.

It was our usual break to a day spent hard at work, as we have been for the last month. A writer’s retreat, Colin likes to call it. There’s not much to do here and we are both so excited about our games that we’d rather work on them than do just about anything (though we make time for swimming!). Tomorrow I’m sending Word Dog off to FGL for strangers to poke and prod and give me their first impressions. Today Colin sent Flora & Fauna (short for Flora & Fauna on the Isle of Ajav, his new working title) to a few people for personal review. He weighs those reviews so highly! If I had done that for Rebuild I never would have finished it, and it just won the Kongregate monthly contest and is their #3 ranked game – hah!

Colin spent the last 2 days doing art for Flora, which has taken the style of a mid-1800s botanical text. It’s really quite beautiful what he’s done with it and his artistic strength seems to lie in his willingness to try crazy things, like bending the entire play screen as if it was folding into the center of a book. It really looks great and the gameplay is super fun, kind of like Contraption but with more organic kinds of creations.

I whussed out again and did the art for Word Dog myself rather than getting an artist, but it was much less work than Rebuild and I did most of the character stuff in one afternoon. The gui and tiles are… well they’re good enough for now. I actually spent forever on the logo trying to get it to look like the spraypaint title to Wild Style, but I am just not that cool. I picked music for it yesterday which consisted of me listening to every song in shockwave-sound‘s “hip hop” category and eventually picking the cutest, least hip-hoppy song in there. I got some excellent feedback from friends and family this week and I think the tutorial is pretty solid. Today I fiddled with dog barking sfx and drew a pretty halfassed dynamite explosion. Totally nearing completion!

Next up for me is a tossup between doing the iOS version of Word Dog myself (I’ve been meaning to learn) or jumping in to Rebuild 2. I haven’t decided if I want to make that sequel 1) a straight flash game, 2) a multiplayer facebook game, or 3) some flash demo/content pack thing. I guess I could add 4) full downloadable game in there because so many people have suggested it but the scale of such things is intimidating. Just hiring an artist to do some animations has me fretting but I’m going to have to bite the bullet this time. I just don’t trust other people to work hard and come through on things and I don’t want to end up in a relationship I regret.

But anyway, it looks like I’m going to make my deadline of getting Word Dog done by the end of Costa Rica. The Mishkins are coming to visit about a week from now and we’ll have a nice break from our writers retreat to do some of the fun local things we’ve been planning. I’m determined to see monkies in one of the parks nearby and go snorkeling at the popular Isla Tortuga.

Oh I nearly forgot to mention, one fun local thing we did do already was go to the annual Rodeo in Cobano. The bull riding was pretty wild, because they let spectators down into the ring where they run around drunk trying to get the bulls to chase them. This is after the riders dismount of course, when they send out guys on horseback to lasso the bulls. I was a bit disappointed nobody got gored (Colin was horrified at this remark, to which I replied, “just a little gored!”) but some of the rides were pretty amazing and looked scary as hell. Those bulls really can jump. The pupusas and churros were yum and we got to practice bad Spanish (and at the same time, bad English) in a bar playing salsa music and spanish rap. A Good Time Was Had By All, or as they say here, Pura Vida.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.