Death Valley Joust – Teaser Photos

Mathew Kumar and I face off in the desert. Mathew sure has an intense gaze.


This past October, right before IndieCade 2011, I went on a short camping trip around California. I was joined by fellow game developers Mathew Kumar, Ed Key, and David Kanaga, and my friends Rolf and Matt Broach.

Starting from San Francisco, our original plan was to climb Clouds Rest in Yosemite National Park – one of my very favorite hikes. Actually, I had planned a whole film shoot, such that we would film ourselves playing J.S. Joust at the top!

Early October is usually a prime time to camp in the Sierras. But as our (bad) luck would have it, a giant storm system descended upon California, shredding our carefully laid plans to pieces. Undeterred, we realized one place we could go to escape the rain: the desert. So we headed southeast and ended up playing J.S. Joust right in the middle of Death Valley.


That’s where we played. It’s all still pretty surreal to me.


Yup, it was pretty epic.

Matt is putting together the final video. It will be done soon! Meanwhile, I wanted to “tease” some delectable stills from the footage.

Huge thanks to Matt for bringing the camera and taking all the footage. Matt has joined me on a number of my game-related escapades, so it was only fitting that he’d be there for this adventure too.

Now, onto the teaser photos…


Mathew and Ed face off against each other. Ed is the designer behind Proteus, so he was totally in his element out in nature.


These shots don’t convey how goddamn windy it was. Sand was blowing everywhere around our feet. Actually, the sand even got behind the buttons, into the controllers themselves! The next day we had to open up all the controllers to empty out the sand.


Rolf and Ed try to diagnosis an unstable Bluetooth connection.


At first, we ran into some issues with the Bluetooth connectivity. Given all the sand that kept blowing into my computer and into my face, it was a little difficult to address the problem. Eventually, we just had one person hold the computer and the speakers, above the sand blowing at our feet. That seemed to do the trick!


To begin the round, we raise our controllers up to the desert sky!


The sun is the biggest Move controller of them all! (bad joke)


Me, trying to keep Rolf away


Ed, channeling a little bit of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, really rocked those shades!


David tries a new grip… or is he praying?!


J.S. Joust, by desert starlight!


Ed, creeping around by the green glow of his controller.


Some of these grainy, out-of-focus stills are simply gorgeous. Here’s one of Mathew.


And here’s another grainy shot of me.




A final, abstract shot of the Move controllers. Boy those things are pretty at night!


And stay tuned for the full video…

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