Gameluster's J.J. Evangelista had the opportunity to talk to David Galindo about his work with Vertigo Gaming, and Cook, Serve, Delicious.
J.J. Evangelista: Hello, my name's J.J. Evangelista, and I represent Gameluster.com. Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview. Can I please have your name, and what you do at Vertigo Gaming?
David Galindo: My name is David Galindo, and I design and make games. Vertigo Gaming is mainly the name for my "company" which consists of several very talented freelancers, some of which I've been working with over several games now, like Jonathan Geer (composer) and Sara Gross (artist).
J.J. Evangelista: What made you decide to get into this industry?
David Galindo: I can't really pinpoint what got me to be in this industry. For the longest time I've been making games as a hobby, and at one point wanted to be an animator for TV shows, or a games journalist...in the end, I just came back to game making and tried to give it my all in making it a career. I failed several times, with most of my games not making much money. The Oil Blue, a game I made back in 2010, was a success in game design, but less so for income. But that success inspired me to keep going, because I knew eventually I had to get it right. Cook, Serve, Delicious was my last game before I was potentially going to give up and look for a new career, and thankfully that wasn't necessary. CSD just kind of kept growing, in terms of sales and exposure, over the last year.
What inspires you, and your team, to create video games?
David Galindo: As far as creating games go, I've played a ton of them. I love all kinds of genres, and what I mostly do is take a look at the market, see what interests me that a lot of devs aren't doing, and go for it if I can find a unique angle that no one has seen before. I was inspired by Ore no Ryouri, and was stumped at how no one was trying to do a hardcore cooking sim, so I made one myself. At the time I didn't consider the potential lack of an audience, and I think if I did it wouldn't have gotten made. It's the most hardcore casual sim ever.
Are there any other types of games that you'd like to create?
David Galindo: There are certain games I'd love to tackle, like a rouge-like type game, but I can't think of anything unique I'd bring to the table, so I wouldn't ever make one. There are people making those types of games better than I could ever hope to.
J.J. Evangelista: I've had the pleasure of playing Cook, Serve, Delicious. I'm excited to have controller support on Steam. I just wanted to say thank you! Anyways, I've read that Cook, Serve, Delicious is going to be playable on PS4! What can you tell us about that?
David Galindo: Cook, Serve, Delicious was indeed playable on the PS4 at GDC with YoYo Games, who were showing off their new Export to Consoles functionality with Game Maker, the program that CSD was made in. It was a blast to do but at this time there's no formal plans for CSD to be on PS4. I am indeed signing up with Sony to be a Playstation developer, but there's still a lot of hurdles I have to go through before CSD would appear on consoles, so it's still very much a maybe at this point. But I'd love for it to happen. As far as other consoles, I'm limited to what Game Maker can export to, but they're always expanding every year so who knows what's in the future.
J.J. Evangelista: Do you have any advice for anyone trying to break into the game industry, or create their own game?
David Galindo: As far as advice for making it in the game industry, just know this: you will fail many, many times. Success is not guaranteed, and it is hard, sometimes grueling work. Don't spend more than a year on your first couple of projects, and enter as many game jams as possible. Don't collaborate with people over the internet unless you're paying them money- a lot of money. It is a recipe for frustration if you're relying on someone who's giving you their free time.
If someone has to ask, "hey, should I get in the game industry?" then the answer is no. I kind of stumbled into the industry not because I wanted to make it as a career, but because I wanted to make games. You have got to be passionate about your work. This next game I'm making has the potential to kill my career, as I'm spending nearly $100k on it, and betting on a lot of things to go right in the next couple of months. The reason I'm making the game isn't because I feel it's the right marketing move, or the right investment to make. It's because I want to make that game; I want that game to exist so I can play it and hopefully others will want to play it too. We'll just have to wait and see... success is never guaranteed.
Thank you very much! I appreciate you taking the time for this interview. I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!