COMBINING CRAZY GAME IDEAS AND HARD WORK – ONEEYEANT FROM ARGENTINA
Now let´s take a mental trip over the ocean and visit Argentina for a moment. This is where our next team – OneEyeAnt – is coming from. Even though the team is actually a lot bigger in size, there are just 2 people currently residing in Tallinn – Federico Puopolo (game designer) and Gonzalo Ruggieri (2D artist). However, they are communicating daily with Melina Teruz (art director), Rodrigo Puopolo (software engineer) and Fabian Bracca (software engineer), so everybody is well-informed what´s going on here in Tallinn.
This bunch of people started their work as an advertisement company. Fede´s brother has a software company and they worked together in some digital campaigns. After a while they finally decided to emerge both companies. Since they had all the necessary people: programmers, artists, musicians, designers – why not put them to work together for making games!?
Fede and Gonza say that the funny name of the company comes partly from the Ant as a symbol of hard workers. But why is the ant with one eye? „We are freaks in some ways, we wanted to make something funny with the „ant“ and we brainstormed some names like Burning Ant, but then we thought it was a bit too aggressive and somebody came up with the OneEyeAnt. The logo where the ant is offering the eye followed.
Estonian life is a flower for them. They are staying at FeelGood Hostel that is very close to the Old Town that both guys like very much. “It is so different from all the architecture from Argentina. We have great nature and attractions, but our country has been independent only for 200 years and the buildings are newer and doesn´t have this old vibe in them”.
For Gonza the 3 words that describe Estonia the most are “soup”, “blond people” and “cold”. Fede loves Estonian language which sounds like singing or Japanese to him. Adapting with the cold of Estonia was sometimes pretty difficult since it was still frosty (around -10) when they arrived to Tallinn. “We come from Rosario, Argentina and for us the coldest time in winter is 0…+5 degrees,” explains Fede.
Another difference between Argentinians and Estonians is that the Argentinians are used to eat a lot of meat, but in Estonia it appears to have the price of gold. Therefore the guys have been eating a lot of soup (both have lost weight because of that) here instead and have cooked at the hostel only once during a month and a half! They still promise to prepare some meat if they would have all the necessary barbeque stuff for making the traditional meat dish called asado which means you have to cook the meat on a low temperature for about 2 hours to keep the meat nice and soft. Fede says that they have even visited one Argentinian restaurant in Tallinn just to get the taste of the homey food, but unfortunately the food was not what they had expected. Also both guys agree that the drinking culture here is very different: “We are used to drink a bit of wine with the food or take a beer now and then, here you have the gigantic beer glasses and it seems that the locals are competing with each other who can drink more.“
Fede and Gonza were surprised and relieved to find Estonia so safe that you can even walk on the streets with your laptop, cell phone, passport and money in your bag. Apparently, where they come from, it would be a bad idea. Someone might just rob you very easily. “When I have my computer in the bag, I just take a taxi when I need to go somewhere,” says Fede.
OneEyeAnt is the only team in GameFounders that lives in a hostel this time and they actually really like it there. “Weekdays it is very quiet, everybody is out of the hostel. At weekends we have dinner together with other people from the hostel or discuss startup stuff, because many people staying at the hostel are working in a startup as we do, so we can share ideas. One guy is from Barcelona and often we can talk about football with him. It´s nice,” says Fede.
Living together in the same room works very well for both Gonza and Fede. Even though they are spending most of the time together – at work and after work as well, going out to eat etc, they haven´t had any fights (just yet). Gonza just mentions that sometimes he would like to hit Fede because he is snoring too loud. The joy of a shared room 😉 They also are getting along with the other teams very well: “It is cool to share the information with the developers whether it is Unity experience, helping out with design issues or discuss about how to best use the mentors.”
Talking about GameFounders program, in Fede´s opinion it is good to have design people here to meet the mentors, show the new features, get their feedback and quickly change stuff. “They will tell you what needs to be changed or what is great already. But it is also that some mentors tell you one thing, others saying the opposite, so our job is to decide, how to use the feedback we get from them and send it to the team back in Argentina who will apply this to the game.”
They believe that the journey to Estonia was their chosen destiny. “I remember one day reading like 30 fortune cookie messages and I chose one that said something that big changes are coming my way, that my life will be changed etc. Then I published my fortune cookie on Twitter and one hour later, I received a letter from Andrew saying GameFounders wants us to participate in the program,” says Fede about the strange coincidence. “The cookie I chose wasn´t random, I chose the future for us!”
The oneeyeanters believe their future will be bright: “The whole program has already changed the way we think. Even if we don´t find a publisher or investment during the program, we are sure that great stuff is going to happen with us in the future”. They already have a few new crazy game ideas and hopefully we will hear more about them very soon.
In the meanwhile you can already play two of their games. If you feel intrigued by the idea of alien clowns who come to the earth to steal our babies and make candy of their saliva, here is a treat for you: a tower defense game with a cool story and characters “Kill the Clowns” (Circus Heroes):https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kill-the-clowns/id589061521?mt=8. For those who would like to test their ability to recognize your Facebook friends from the strangers, try out this action shooter “Followers Attack” (FaceOff) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/followers-attack/id534300723?mt=8
Video: OneEyeAnt in Tallinn- Fede (on the left) and Gonza