March 20, 2015 richie

GDC or Bust : Part 5

Below is the fifth in a series of posts documenting the final development of Deluxe Turbo Racing 360 for GDC. Due to a crazy schedule we did not roll out posts during GDC, but over the next few weeks we will post up blogs from the trip.

Part 5: Move over duct tape, glue sticks in the house

This week on Super Soul at GDC…


drama in the hotel room!!!



We landed in San Fran late and grabbed a cab to our hotel. We crashed pretty quickly that night and awoke the next morning to plan for the day. John and Amanda left early to go pick up passes and check things out. Shea and I were headed out to meet up with them when the front desk notified us our package had arrived!




We took our awkwardly heavy package back to the room and began to unpack. A few layers of cardboard in, I noticed some damage to the corners. “Well” I thought, “if this is the worst damage, we are pretty fortunate!” We kept tearing off the cardboard, and with a final tear, part of the playing surface was exposed.


My heart sank.


The playing surface was a mess. The paper print had bubbled up and was only adhered in a few places. The foam core itself had completely separated from the wood in the middle. To top it off, the foam core had bowed/warped outward like a convex lens of sadness.



I was already nervous about showing. Now I was nervous about how we could even get things working, let alone presentable, by Wednesday!


I knew that thinking about it right then would not help, so I took out stress on the rest of the cardboard, left a mess in the room, and walked to the Moscone center with Shea.


Shea and I joined John and Amanda as they were straightening out the badge situation with some nice GDC folks. While we walked away I broke the bad news about the game board.


We only had to passes to attend talks anyway, so John and Shea stayed for the presentations while Amanda and I walked back to the hotel to figure out a solution. On the way we popped into Walgreens to look for spray adhesive. While I walked around the aisles in a haze, Amanda researched and found solid ratings for glue sticks when used with foam core and other surfaces. Perhaps auspiciously, there was not spray adhesive at the store. We were forced to select an alternative and par Amanda’s suggestion went with glue sticks. The only choice left was the type of glue stick. White? or purple? We decided on purple, which turned out to be an invaluable decision.


Arriving back at the room we made what space we could, and began.


The first step was to remove the foam core from the wood and the paper from the foam core. Removing the foam core was pretty easy, we went slow as to not bend it, but it came off pretty nicely. The paper was more difficult, and we had a couple of scrapes and bruises to the surface along the way. Once everything was separated, Amanda began to glue stick the wood while I applied a glue stick to the foam core. Thank goodness we got the purple glue sticks, as we saw how quickly the glue was drying! I was not even a quarter of the way across the surface before the first strokes were drying up!



We quickly decided to change course. Both of us would apply glue to the wood, try to get it all covered, and then put down the foam core.


So there we were, on all fours, frantically applying glue in a race against ourselves. As we would almost finish we would have to quickly jump back to prviously glued places that had dried, watching our purple slowly fade as we flailed our arms about the 40”x40” piece of wood.


At some point in all this I thought if it were good or bad decisions in my life that led to me in a tiny hotel room in San Francisco frantically gluing foam core to wood…


Alas, covered! We threw the foam core on top and pressed down. We held it their for a few minutes, but knew we couldn’t wait as we had the paper as well.


Since the paper could be rolled on, Amanda applied glue as I slowly rolled the paper across the surface, pressing out any wrinkles. We got the paper on with only a small crease in a corner at the end.  But now, what to do for weight?


We threw the blankets from the beds over the top of the surface to protect it, as well as disperse some weight. Then we piled all of our luggage we brought with us on top of the blankets, applying downward pressure to our surface.


I hope this works.



With all of the stress and action of the morning, combined with the flight, we took a nap in the room as the surface dried.


We awoke and met back up with John and Shea. We headed to the Ludum Dare party, met some cool folks, played some pool, and checked out some interesting jam games.



Arriving back at the room that night, we checked the surface and sure enough it had worked! Everything was in place and ready for set up the next day. I still wasn’t sure how people would respond to DTR 360, but damnit we got the thing there. With a bit more relaxation than the night before, I drifted off to sleep, visions of Bouncin’ Bobby and Rumblin’ Rita shaking in my head.


Stay tuned next time as I FINALLY finish this series with a post mortem on showing DTR 360 at GDC.




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