Heads up: this is a cop out post. Cool Your Jets has been keeping me crazy busy. This has left me with zero time to write about all the magic I’m dying to blog about. However, I realised that I’d already written a bunch of words about some of this magic. I’ll be recycling those words now.
Last year, my friends from Another Day sent me a set of questions. They sent the same set to another 29 people across South Africa, and over the course of a few weeks, released all the replies as a series called “30 people on 2014”. Each participant looked back on the year, commenting on movies and songs that had stood out to them, what they looked forward to in the year to come and what their favourite moments of the year had been.
My reflections on the year were (predictably) way, way, way more lengthy than anyone else’s. When asked about my favourite moment of the year, I got especially carried away and had to try really hard to reduce my enthusiasm down to a few paragraphs worth. Here’s what I had to say on the subject:
Your Best Moment of 2014:
While this fact is largely secret to much of South Africa, our country is home to this pretty phenomenal community of independent game developers. I discovered this in the most fantastic way possible on the 21st of February. Heading through to The Pit for an event called “Super Friendship Arcade – The Prototype”, I was unknowingly setting off to have my universe turned inside out. In the aftermath, this night would land up shifting the trajectory of my 2014.
The arcade was focused on local multiplayer games, presented with an aggressively all-inclusive attitude. That night the SFA transformed The Pit from a cold, indoor skatepark into some kind of flashing, bleeping, high-fiving utopia. In my 30 years on this planet, I’d not seen anything like it. I danced around a skatebowl, jousting with strangers. I stood alongside four other people as we worked together on piloting a rocket around with our feet. I got my first taste of the SA indie-sensation known as Broforce. I had the time of my life.
That night I got home and dropped by the event page and must have said something along the lines of “this was the best night ever” and one of the organisers was like “thanks man, this is our gang and we make awesome stuff and you should hang out with us and make awesome stuff.” And that was that. The last nudge I needed into diving headfirst into game development, an adventure that, in a matter of months, has been one of the greatest of my life. And one that’s only starting.
For me, it’s not every year that a night like that first Super Friendship Arcade comes along. I’d mark my first exposure to The Secret Party in early 2005 as the last time I had that feeling of “I can’t believe this is happening and I’m here in this moment and nothing is going to be the same after this”. The knock-on effect of that night was that I’d start DJing, creating visuals, designing posters and throwing parties before the year was up.
Since that first SFA, I’ve worked with friends, completing five weird little games. Along with my new friends I combined this game world with the band scene I’ve been in for so many years. I’ve stood and watched as strangers have high-fived in reaction to something that’s come into this world from out of my head. It’s been righteous. It’s just the beginning and I owe it all to one Friday night in February 2014.
– You can read my entire 2014 article over at Another Day.