History

It all started in a local mamak restaurant, somewhere near some ERL station. A few friends and me were having some serious discussion on some serious global issue. One of them start to stray off and read the newspaper. I got a glimpse of the newspaper and my eyes got stuck on one small advertisement. They (my eyes) suddenly pop to the size of plates (maybe saucers). If not for my lap, my jaw would have dropped to the floor.

STUDIO GHIBLI IS COMING TO TOWN!!!

For your info, I’m a big fan of Ghibli Studio, although I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I haven’t seen all of her movies yet. My all time favorite Ghibli movie is Kaze no Tani no Naushika.

So what does Studio Ghibli coming to town got to do with Studio Caterpillar? Read on…

I immediately asked that friend of mine if he mind if I cut out that piece of advertisement. He said no. I said YESS!!

Since QrioCT was not working then, I asked him to go. Imagine the stupidity of my idea asking him to go alone. What a thing I would be missing!! A good thing he talked me into going too. So I sacrificed whatever left of my annual leave to attend the conference.

After two weeks of waiting, finally it’s time for the conference. We went, and what a life altering and paradigm shifting event it was!.. You see I’ve always been a sceptic and always look down on the quality of malaysian movies, animations, and games. What I saw in the conference was really shocking and mind boggling. My years of view and opinion on this is actually wrong.

I thought the conference was solely focused on Ghibli Studio. I was wrong. There are some other guest speakers from various companies in the computer related arts industry. This include animation both 3D and 2D, sound effects and music, even some talks about funding. All of them showcased some international quality products that I never thought possible from Malaysian companies. It’s a very humbling experience and makes me realized that I’ve always been like a frog under a coconut shell. Malaysia are very much capable in technology and expertise, the only issue is content.

So what does a conference about computer arts technology got to do with Studio Caterpillar? Read on…

During the break, we went exploring the mini exibition booths around the conference theatre. There are booths on some 3D animation series, 2D animations, editing and mixing equipments, digitizing tablets, and the like. On one of the booths, there were phamplets, and one of them was about a computer game design competition. Hello.. what’s this?… I took a copy without thinking much. Late after a not so careful study of the thing, I thought like hey.. we can do this…

During that time I was full of game ideas (like all all other gamers out there) and was actually playing around with the devkit for Nintendo GBA. I tugged QrioCT’s sleeve and told him to check it out. I told him my game idea and he was interested to join forces with me to give it a try. After somewhat more careful study of the competition requirements, we found out that we have to do two things that we abhor doing.. report writing (documentation), and pitching (public speaking!!!)… what horror!!!

After a more detailed critical thinking, thinking outside the box, brainstorming, cost benefit study and all sort of things we learn from team building and self-improvement classes (NOT!!!), we decided to give it a go anyway. Let’s figure out on the game first and deal with the documentation and public speaking deal later, says we.

And that’s how we came up with the idea for Mystic Order. Code named Project Caterpillar for some apparent reason. We went through the pain and suffering of completing the game design proposal with endless sleepless nights. When short listed for the pitching, we were mistakenly listed under the company named Project Caterpillar. That would be a cool company name anyway. We have thought of establishing a company to manage the development of Mystic Order, and we thought of the name Studio MainGame. The name was rejected when we went to register the company, so we end up with Studio Caterpillar instead.

And so… that’s how Studio Caterpillar came to be… The end…

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