At the conclusion of his GDC 2013 panel, Still Kicking: The Viability of Paid Apps in the Era of F2P, Capybara Games co-founder and president Nathan Vella offered unique insight into the trials endured by the company. The developers were pushing for creativity and originality in their games, but were beset by problem after problem."It's getting there" quickly became the company mantra, a mission statement of sorts and catchphrase that succinctly sums up the Toronto development house's endeavors.
"I don't know if I can summarize what our mission statement is, but we have this catchphrase that we use all the time: it's getting there," Vella said during the talk. "The idea behind that is it calms us down when we're freaking out, but the other thing is if you think you're there and you think, 'Aw yeah, we made it,' you're fucked – too late." He added that complacency is one of the worst things to creep up on developers.
After the panel, Vella shared more about the company's catchphrase and where it came from. "We have a long history. We've been shoveling shit for a while, we shoveled shit for a long time to get to the point we're at now, which I feel is one where we can make the content and projects we want to make – to make them our way rather than try to confirm to some kind of idea, milestone or whatever and we can put them out when we're finished. That's super important.
"There was a time not so long ago when we knew we wanted to do that and we knew we had the talent to do that, but we didn't have the means by which – or to be brutally honest, in some cases the experience – to do that. I don't even know who coined it, probably our creative director Kris but every time something terrible would happen, we'd follow it by something good. We'd get a project cancelled and then saw a cool project would come out really well."
Eventually, Capy started to turn that corner, where the success started to eclipse the bad stuff. "We started getting to the point where we were picking up steam – it's getting there, it'll get there. We never stopped believing that. When Sworcery
came out and sold a ton and things got a little more comfortable, we were never like, 'we're there.'"
Ultimately, Vella credits the success to his "amazing team" in Toronto, a group he doesn't want to forget in the developer's rise to prominence. "I'm so happy with the studio we have and the people – it's all this kind of synthesis of great ideas – but we need to do more, for them."
Capybara Games is currently working on Super Time Force
, and IGF 2012 entrant and recipient of the XBLA award
, which guarantees a publishing contract with Microsoft Studios.