Pop culture has enjoyed a lasting affair with the Western, the oft-romanticized look into the hardscrabble American frontier where justice was meted with the business end of a six-shooter. Camilo Gomez of C2 Estudios fell in love with this world himself, and from the limitless imaginative possibilities of the Western sprang Cowboy Guns, an action-packed adventure for iPhone and iPad.
Chillingo: Where did the idea for Cowboy Guns come from? Was it always a Western-themed game?
Camilo Gomez: We had many ideas for our first iPhone game but we wanted it to be an adventure game for sure. We then saw The Warrior´s Way, we wanted to make a cowboys versus ninjas game, but then we started checking out the App Store and saw there were no cool cowboy-only games, so we ended up making a Western adventure.
Chillingo: You mentioned to me that you long loved Westerns. I do, too. The Searchers, Rio Bravo, and Vera Cruz, are big favorites. What were some of your favorites that you drew inspiration?
CG: We love Sergio Leone, the Dollars trilogy, Il Mercenario by Sergio Corbucci, and especially Once Upon a Time in the West. There’s also a very nice book I like called Incident at Twenty-Mile by Trevanian. It’s a gritty Western set in a Wyoming mining town. That was a great reference for mood and atmosphere.
Chillingo: How long was Cowboy Guns in development?
CG: Cowboy Guns took eight months from start to finish. C2 Estudio is just three guys. Sky Branding created all of the art and animations for the game. They are in the office next to us, so working together was a perfect match.
Chillingo: The soundtrack is nicely matched to the Old West theme. Who composed the soundtrack and what were the inspirations?
CG: The main inspiration for the music was Ennio Morricone. He is amazing. We listened to a lot of his scores when working on Cowboy Guns. That would really set the mood around the office. Some of our favorite Morricone themes are “L´Arena,” “The Ecstasy of Gold,” and “Death Rides a Horse.” Volta Studio here in Medellin, Colombia created the soundtrack for Cowboy Guns based on these inspirations and our suggestions.
Chillingo: Do you have any special tricks or strategies you would recommend for players trying to complete the adventure?
CG: The game is a shooter, but to succeed, you need to also pace yourself as well as use cover to avoid attacks. The Kid regenerates health when he is not being hit, so if you are about to die, retreat and recover so you can live to fight another day.
CG: Exploration is also key to getting the most out of Cowboy Guns. See all of those stars scattered across all the levels? Collect as many as you can find, because with them, you can purchase new weapons and upgrades. If you miss some stars on a level and later you need them for an upgrade, go back and replay a level from the main map. The main map always shows you how many of the possible stars in a stage you’ve recovered.
Chillingo: The game development scene in Colombia has not received much attention — but we’re all hoping Cowboy Guns changes that. What is the development community like in Colombia?
CG: There is a growing interest in pushing forward the game development industry in Colombia, especially here in Medellin. People at Ruta N, an innovation-focused department from the mayor’s office, are working hard to help this field mature. For example, a couple of weeks ago they brought Luis Gigliotti from Famous Games Manufacturing and Evan Hirsch from Engine Co. 4 to Colombia for a really cool game design seminar.
Chillingo: What do you see in the future of the game development community in Colombia?
CG: Thanks to cheaper software and digital distribution, game development has been able to spread and flourish all around the world. We believe Colombia has great potential in this industry. We are very happy to be part of the first batch of indie developers here and hope we can help to make this a thriving and healthy environment for game development.