The Origin of the Vault

To celebrate our 19 years of history, we released physical limited editions of our Nintendo Switch games in August 2019. One of those is the Two Tribes 2001-2019 Mega Pack. It contains a fact sheet detailing interesting information about Two Tribes' past. When we ran out of space on the fact sheet, we decided to continue online and create the vault. We've included the fact sheet for your convenience, since the pack isn't available for purchase anymore!

A tale of a tail

In 2005 we were ready to make Nintendo DS games. We were now official developers, creative, eager and had a small team of talented designers and programmers. Through our Team17 contacts, we got in touch with an American publisher called Octagon Entertainment. They wanted to release a kart racing DS game based on Cartoon Network characters. We were immediately interested, since we always wanted to make a kart racing game a la Mario Kart. In those days there were no Unreal/Unity or similar engines available for the Nintendo DS, so we had to create a prototype from scratch. Within a week or so we had Johnny Bravo sitting in a little kart driving happily around the track. Pleased with our result we sent the pitch and demo over to Octagon, and waited... Unfortunately they returned to us with bad news: we loved the demo and you guys demonstrated to be able to create something nice quickly. But... the budget is too high. We chose someone else... Fortunately, he said, we do have another offer for you! There will be a Garfield movie and the publisher is looking for a game for it. It needs to be an action game. So we went from creating a cool kart racing game with lots of interesting characters to choose from, to making an action based game that featured an obese cat that was actually too lazy to do any action at all. Except eating lasagna of course. After a few brainstorm meetings though, we did come up with some great ideas for the game and decided to pitch. This time we got awesome news back! We want to work with you on Garfield! And in December 2005 we signed our first Nintendo deal as an official developer! Champage! There was one caveat though and our publisher mentioned it as just a small sidenote: "we want to visit your office soon. It's just a formality, but we'd like to meet your team in person!" Obviously this is good practice from the publisher's point of view. But at that time we just had a few employees and interns, a programmer in Norway and a part-time engine programmer in England. We knew that we could do it. But if they arrived at our office and they'd only see a handful of people, surely they'd cancel the deal. So we came up with a plan. We asked former interns and friends to come over. We bought a plane ticket for the Norwegian programmer as well. When the producer from Octagon arrived, we picked him up in a huge rental car from the airport. He just had a long flight, so we ensured we had a proper breakfast ready for him. We walked him around the office and he talked to a lot of people. Not knowing that most of them didn't even work for us... One situation we still remember vividly: one of our former interns was working with an audio program, but that program was too demanding for the old PC that we had there. The whole thing would freeze-crash and burn if he even moved his mouse cursor. So he was just sitting there, idly, looking at a static screen, pretending to be very busy. He talked to the producer, explaining him what he did, but not moving his mouse. After the producer talked to the team, we gave a solid presentation about our vision for the game and the future of our studio. The guy was happy with everything and flew back that very same day. Perhaps for some we just described a boiler room situation. But we knew that we could do it, and in hindsight we also proved that we could do it. But at that point we just had to be creative and a bit bold, in order for them to not get the wrong picture. I guess sometimes in business you just have to bluff your way into a good deal. *) Unfortunately for reasons out of our control, the movie was pushed to an earlier date and we had three months less dev time. Having 6 months as opposed to 9 was a big big deal. This severely affected the quality of the end product. We are still proud though on the fact that we did manage to deliver a game on a new platform in such short amount of time.

Meet Eggbert

It’s the year 1991 and two young MSX computer enthusiasts, Stephan Szarafinski (15) and Collin van Ginkel (13), start working on a puzzle game called Eggbert. If its main character looks familiar, that’s because our first game was largely based on Eggbert. The game concept, three of the four world themes (the Computer World was replaced by the Slime Cave) and most of the puzzle items made it into Toki Tori for Game Boy Color. At the end of Toki Tori’s development we were still calling it Eggbert, but Capcom, the game’s publisher, requested a name change to prevent a potential trademark conflict. The MSX-2 system is an 8-bit home computer from the 1980's and it can now be emulated in a browser, so we made Eggbert available to play. We'd also like to thank Arnaud de Klerk from for creating a spot on the internet for Eggbert MSX-2!

Martijn's Doh Moment

Back in 2009 we launched Toki Tori on the iPhone App Store. And it was a great success! At one point we even were in the Top 10 of best selling apps in the US. Our publisher at the time was Chillingo and they obviously were very happy with the success. Trying to capitalize on the success, every so often they sent us various unreleased games for us to see if it would be a nice fit for cross promotion. Cross promotion, what's that? Well, the idea was to put a character of that game into Toki Tori and vise versa. This way both games could benefit from each other, increasing sales on both ends. I remember at one point they sent us a game in which the protogonist had to shoot and kill several zombies. Needless to say, our game, that featured a cute little chicken, wasn't exactly a good match. So after having received a bunch of these incompatible games, at one point they sent me an email with yet another game for us to check out for cross promotion. Chillingo wanted to release that game under their "B-label", Clickgamer, so I wasn't entirely convinced if the game would be even a small success. I played the game for a little while. It was a physics based game that featured a bunch of feathered creatures that needed to destroy everything around them. I didn't like it and never even bothered to reply to that email. The name of that game was Angry Birds...

Stay Tuned...

We're still in the process of writing the posts here, feel free to check back later to see what we added!