You said, "it's easy when you're small." How small is small?
NV: We're 25; we're not really small small. But I think we're 25 because Clash of Heroes is on two platforms. Even when we're at 25, we're still small, and we still operate as a small studio.
KP: We're big by indie standards, for sure; we're not big by game studio standards. But within Capy, though, there's a bunch of teams that are working on different things at the same time. We generally do maybe three to four projects at once.
NV: One of them is larger, and then we're always like, we'd love to do that. Like Kris was talking about, kind of rolling off Critter Crunch and Clash of Heroes, we'd like these larger-scale projects, but we also need to...
KP: Cleanse the palate.
NV: Yeah. Flex the creative muscle. Also, I think it's an advantage that we have in a way that we can kind of do these longer games combined with these two smaller games so that there's just constantly something percolating.
KP: Yeah. It's good not to have the entire studio locked into one project for two years because that can really drain. Even if you're on a big project and there's a little project happening beside you, it keeps things fresh and good.
NV: I totally think so; I totally think that, even just seeing it happen, the motivation that's come out of Craig's pixels and Jim's music for Sword and Sworcery, on other projects, or just listening in when Kris and Kenneth and Andrew are working on Heartbeat and the music's blaring and people are talking about it -- even though I'm not even working on that project, I'm still inspired by it, and I take stuff away from it. It's been really cool, and I can't wait to do more of that in the future.
Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP
What happened to the "bara" in Capybara?
NV: It's still there! It still exists. So we went through this whole process, and the studio got named, and blah, blah, blah. It ended up being Capybara, and we stuck with it. But we found whenever we were talking to people about it, they either didn't get it or couldn't pronounce it.
KP: It's a tough word. And always internally, almost from day one, we always called the studio "Capy". We ended up just going, "Fuck it. The 'bara' is hard to say."
NV: It was kind of an important thing for us, too, because we had gone through all this mobile stuff as Capybara Games, with this different logo that nobody really loved, but we just kind of had.
The current logo, and the "Capy", came out of us saying, "That part of the studio is over. Now, we need a quirky logo, a logo that we all genuinely love and really we feel actually represents what the studio is." Then the whole "Capy" part was like, that's how we talk about ourselves. We see ourselves as that.
KP: It was like Capybara 2.0. Like, "Okay, guys. We're releasing Critter Crunch on PSN, and we're releasing Clash of Heroes. It's a new era."
NV: We're gonna do collaborations with Superbrothers and Jim Guthrie. We're gonna make two-person games for WiiWare. The studio was something that we didn't want it to be, and we actively changed it.
KP: Yeah, it was a pretty strong course correction. (Makes creaking sound effect) Not that way; this way.
NV: And I think a lot of that came out of seeing local Toronto people like Metanet, when Mare and Raigan did N+, seeing Jon Mak. Being friends with them; having them set this really crazy bar.
We almost felt like, personally, like we'll always be friends with those guys -- they're fantastic people -- but, professionally, having people that are our friends making stuff like that was inspiring. It was like, these guys have proven that what we wish we could do you can actually do, and in most cases it's actually creatively, financially, professionally better.
KP: Yeah. I'd say definitely those guys are a huge motivating factor for us. You can't hang out with your peers when you're making crappy mobile games and they're making Everyday Shooter.
But now you can hang with them!
KP: Now we can hang with them. (Laughs)
NV: It was never a deal with them; they didn't care at all.
KP: But for us, internally, it was like, ugh. They're doing such amazing crap, and we're doing crap crap.
NV: It's just nice to always be with people who take pride in their work.
KP: Yeah, and make awesome stuff.