The last time we spoke with dev team Yeti Trunk, aka Matthew Griffin and Jason Gordy, was just prior to the release of their first PC game, Wanderlust: Rebirth. Since then, they've developer a couple of successful iOS apps and are hard at work on their next tile, Wanderlust Adventures. We had a moment to speak with Matthew and got some details on the new game, as well as their partnership with Starbound developer/indie publisher, Chucklefish.
Co-Optimus: It’s been a few years since Wanderlust: Rebirth, Yeti Trunk’s first big PC release, hit the Internet, though you all have been far from idle. Aside from support for that game, you’ve also released an iOS version of the card game Gubs, and the fun, arcade-y Puckbang. Why the shift away from PC to mobile?
Matthew: I wouldn’t really categorize it as a “shift away from PC”; it was more of a “temporary diversion”. The card game Gubs: A Game of Wit and Luck was developed by Cole Medeiros who is a close, personal friend of mine. He asked if I’d be able to port his game to mobile so I pitched the idea to Jason (the other half of Yeti Trunk) and he agreed to help. While we were porting Gubs to mobile - because I had developed a PC version years before - we also worked on porting an old game of mine (Puckbang) since my computers were already set up for iPhone development.
Co-Optimus: During that same period of time, you joined up with Chucklefish, a group that is part developer and part publisher. How did that partnership come about?
Matthew: We became business contacts with Tiyuri after he reached out to us on IndieDB.com during their 2012 IndieDB awards. As expected, we didn’t believe it was really him so we directly emailed him to find out, and it was! He explained that he liked our game and wanted to help promote us, but at that time he was still with Re-Logic. That obviously didn’t pan out so we approached him again after he had left Re-Logic to form Chucklefish.
That day was the beginning of our game development careers, and we are forever grateful that Tiy believed in us and our game. We’re also very proud to have been an integral part of the process that led Chucklefish to begin publishing other indie titles like Risk of Rain (which I also worked on) and the newly launched Halfway.
Co-Optimus: How did that role come about for you, assisting in the development of other titles?
Matthew: I’m quickly learning that cross-team-assistance is not uncommon for Indie Gaming teams. With Risk of Rain, specifically, I was asked by Tiyuri to add online multiplayer to the game (if possible) after Risk of Rain was signed on as a Chucklefish-published title. I’m also on the team producing Witchmarsh, which is another game recently picked up by Chuckelfish. In the case of Witchmarsh, I had actually joined their team prior to them joining Chucklefish; they were in talks with another publisher when I reached out to them. I’m glad they decided to be published by Chucklefish instead; I am not sure if I would have joined their team otherwise.
Co-Optimus: Did the partnership with Chucklefish lead to the development of Wanderlust Adventures, or was development already underway and it just allowed for more “resources” (loosely defined) than before?
Matthew: Wanderlust Adventures is more of “the Wanderlust game we’ve always wanted to make”, and after I was able to leave my two teaching jobs (because Wanderlust: Rebirth did so well on Steam), I started tinkering with an open-world, procedurally generated “Adventure Mode” to add to Wanderlust: Rebirth. After some lengthy discussions between Tiy, Jason and I, we decided it would be best to make Wanderlust Adventures a stand-alone game.