Seed and The Golden City: A GDC 17 Retrospective with Mundi Vondi

GDC is kind of a big deal, to say the least. What's more of a big deal is that this was Klang's first ever trip to GDC. What's even more of a bigger deal is that we were there to premiere our latest project, Seed! Cue the air horn sound effects.

Now that the jet lag and euphoric haze has finally worn off, I caught up with Klang's CEO, Mundi Vondi, to find out what went down in The Golden City.

Wow, you've been to San Francisco twice in the space of 10 months. Was is good to be back?

“Totally! Even though we had fun last time, it was nice to be there for an extended period rather than a few days feeling jet-lagged. No offence, though. We had a blast last time!”

(Mundi and I went to San Francisco last June for a ReRunners trip; he's trying his best not to offend me.)

“This time around, it was so good to stay longer, especially with GDC taking place. Let's just say that we took FULL ADVANTAGE of all the parties going on. It was good to be back!”

So, tell our readers why you Klangers were there.

“We were in SF for GDC and to announce Seed, our brand-spanking new project in partnership with Improbable. It was borderline overwhelming to get so much great feedback.

Side note, Seed is the reason we started Klang in the first place.”

How does it feel to finally show off Seed to the world?

“It's like lifting a heavy, yet-rewarding, boulder off from my shoulders. We've been working on this project for so long that it's great to be pushing this amazing boulder forward.”

How many years in the making?

“Hmm...probably around 10 years or so now. We started planning this project when I was still at art school, when I was about 19. Nothing really materialised until a couple of years later. Seed has been a long time coming.”

Maybe you could say it's like being in a simulation? Sorry, terrible Seed-related joke.

“Yeah, that was a terrible joke.”

Moving on. How did Klang end up working with Improbable?

“Roughly a year ago, Improbable had just landed a big funding round and were doing some hot things. While at Slush, I met up with them and introduced them to the blueprints of Seed. Now, we've started a partnership...and the rest is history.”

What does joining the Games Innovation Program mean to you?

“It's awesome! We basically get a bunch of free services from Google, which will make development a lot easier.”

On the scale of 1 to holy moly, how excited are you right now?

“Is there something above holy moly?”

Back to the topic of GDC. How was your first time?

“It was super nice. To be honest, I wish I would have had more time to have been able to attend some of the talks. Instead, I was running from meeting-to-meeting. But, at least I got to work on my cardio.

But, all in all, it was a really nice event, with lots of nice people. In fact, this was probably my favourite gaming event so far. It has a great vibe, plus, I met so many familiar faces there. GDC is more industry/B2B-focused, with various niche studios showcasing their unique ideas, which makes a nice change from AAA studios blasting our their trailers.”

What else did you see at GDC that gave you a nerdgasm?

“Like I mentioned, there was a lot of running between meetings. But, I did see a lot of interesting VR stuff. Personally, I think that VR is still in its early stages, but there's a lot of very exciting projects going on at the moment.

Oh, the Star Citizen flight demo at the Unity booth was really exciting...but, I wonder what kind of multiplayer it's supposed to be.”

What other cool stuff did you and Klang get up to in SF?

“There's too much to recall at this exact moment. We did check out a bunch of the city and ate some really great, uber American food. One thing that sticks in my mind was exploring the Castro District; we found a manicure salon called Hand Job. I wonder how I remember that.

We did have the opportunity to visit (and have a bunch of cocktails at) the very, very impressive Supercell office located at the top of the 555 California Street skyscraper. The view there, overlooking the city, was mind-blowing. Give it a Google.”

Anyone you'd like to give a shout out to?

“Yeah, to all of my friends that I didn't have time to meet up with. I'll make it up to you, I promise.

Shout out to Improbable for making the booth at GDC look amazing and for inviting us over!”