Jake Kazdal did not go to work on Thursday expecting a water main to break over his head — or whatever it was that sent water cascading into his offices while his team was working on their video game.
Video game development and floods don't mix. Not very well.
But lucky for Jake Kazdal, he and his crew at Haunted Temple Studios were able to save a lot of precious stuff. And their game, the very cool Advance Wars-esque Skulls of the Shogun — is intact.
The flooding could have been at least semi-disastrous.
"The source code and art in-game is all safely backed up offsite," Kazdal told me over e-mail today, "But all my sketchbooks, source (HD) assets and all the media that isn't in game yet would have been screwed, to say nothing of having to buy all new computers, etc. for everyone. [The] new trailer we're working hard to complete as well as all the concept art would have been ruined. The night before, at the exact same time, we were all out to dinner with our producer. It would have been devastating..."
How did this happen? Here's Kazdal again: "I was Skyping with my best friend in Tokyo when I noticed my sweater was wet for no apparent reason. I looked up at the ceiling and noticed it was dripping from a small hole in our claustrophobic, strange little office. Suddenly someone was knocking on our door and all I could hear was a bunch of loud excited voices downstairs and then everything went to hell, the ceiling started dripping from everywhere! I told my friend 'I GOTTA GO' and threw my laptop underneath a shelf and started grabbing my priceless collection of old anime art reference books and rare DVDs and just started scooping everything outside the office onto the ground by the outside loading dock."
His colleague ran upstairs to unplug and rescue computers. Kazdal rushed out to get garbage bags and says he "just kept grabbing handfuls of wet electronics and shuttling it all outside.
"In the end I think we saved everything except our signed copy of Nate Simpsons's Nonplayer comic but he is a good friend of ours and promised us another copy. My sticky notes with my to-do lists on them all got totally waterlogged but I'm in the process of transferring them into a google doc anyways."
A lucky escape, indeed.
Fittingly, he adds: "Indie dev is nothing if not exciting!!"
Check out the images in the gallery for a look at Haunted Temple Studios post-flood, with captions by Kazdal explaining the damage and the lucky escape. (And you can follow Kazdal's continued post-flood escapades on Twitter.)
"Kitchen totally was like raining inside. Crazy."
"Waterlogged to-do lists"
"Those shelves were moments earlier full of rare anime art books, bank statements, laptops, hard drives, DVD's, checkbooks, Wacom tablet, 3DS.. saved everything (I think)"
"The newest Haunted Templar Colin Williamson, 10 year Square-Enix Japan veteran joined us in January and was working on an amazing new trailer until an indoor typhoon threatened everything. He went home to back everything up!!"
"We ripped all our E3 and PAX awards off the wall immediately, no replacing things like that! Lost a bunch of other random old schwag but there are a few extras of those!"