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Old 01-27-2013, 09:34 PM   #1
randir14
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Chris Taylor Interview


In this (very long) interview, Chris Taylor talks about the future of Gas Powered Games and his Wildman Kickstarter.

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In this exclusive interview, Chris Taylor and I chat about the fall of Gas Powered Games, the studio responsible for Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander. Chris has staked the future of his company on Wildman, a Kickstarter-funded fusion of Civilization and action RPGs, but the lack of media buzz (and more importantly, pledges) has left Chris with little choice but to layoff employees and contemplate an increasingly stark future...
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:52 PM   #2
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Update TA's graphics. I'd pay for that..
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:58 PM   #3
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He can be a blast at parties, but if he can't manage a studio he's just another Bill Roper.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:35 PM   #4
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He can be a blast at parties, but if he can't manage a studio he's just another Bill Roper.
He managed to keep a studio afloat for over a decade, that ain't too shabby.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:58 PM   #5
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He managed to keep a studio afloat for over a decade, that ain't too shabby.
With how little they've accomplished I'll raise a glass to that. It does seem like quite the miracle.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:44 AM   #6
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Had opportunity to sell studio for 20 mil, now he's looking at shutting down the company.

Good details of Kings n Castles vs Age of Empires at 32mins.

45mins, talks about hand to mouth deals to sustain company.

47min Wildman was originally going to be a webbrowser game. "MOBA ARPG"

50 min Describes wildman. But in 10+ minutes, I still don't get a firm sense of how teching up really works other than the first enemy kill.

58min Interesting footnote. CTaylor doesn't like to design games where you kill humans.

Overall a lot of emotion in the interview. CT really spilled his guts.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:58 AM   #7
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Overall a lot of emotion in the interview. CT really spilled his guts.
Agreed and it makes me want to see him working under someone rather than running the show. That wouldn't save his staff tho.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:23 AM   #8
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He should have took the 20 million. Could have use money to start a new company.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:16 AM   #9
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Come on you bozos! Pledge like I did! Wildman is going to be awesome if it ever gets the funding.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:27 AM   #10
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Gas Powered Games should be the poster boy for the independent developer. They made hit games as a work for hire developer when it was difficult and maintained independence during a time of aggressive acquisitions from publishers. For many that would be considered a huge success.

Yet look where they are, this is just an example of how the work for hire model with publishers is severely broken. When successful independent developers end up broke. Not to say that they didn't make mistakes, because it sounds like for the size of developer GPG are they over invest in prototypes.

Yet I'd rather work Chris Taylor than most other bosses. He cares about his staff he and cares about the games. Just look at the numerous studios that have treated their staff like sh*t and given them nothing when making them redundant. He has been a responsible employer.

Making the transition from the traditional work-for-hire model to looking at other business models is really hard. I can vouch for that with first hand experience because we've been going through that the last two years, only we're fortunate to be smaller than GPG.

If I had the money, I'd back him to the hilt.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:52 AM   #11
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Come on you bozos! Pledge like I did! Wildman is going to be awesome if it ever gets the funding.
This is like throwing your $$$ away. Sorry, can't trust what he is trying to do, and there is no way the sum they are shooting for is enough to fully support this game. If they actually had most of it done, then it would be a different issue, but AFAICT, this is still in prototype stage.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:56 AM   #12
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I skipped through the vid and came upon him talking about cancer and food we eat... I feel bad for this guy. He is right though and I feel bad for the future of people who regularly eat fast food and the like.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:54 AM   #13
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This is like throwing your $$$ away. Sorry, can't trust what he is trying to do, and there is no way the sum they are shooting for is enough to fully support this game. If they actually had most of it done, then it would be a different issue, but AFAICT, this is still in prototype stage.
Wow, you are clueless about how Kickstarter works. For one thing, if it doesn't fund, you get all your money back. Second, of course its in the prototype stage. Most Kickstarter projects are. Third, this guy has been designing AAA titles as a studio head for 15 years, I think he friggin knows how much money he needs!!
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:48 PM   #14
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only kickstarter i ever funded, so far. while there's been plenty of worthy games on kickstarter, there are very few worthy developers. loved the dungeon siege games, love how down to earth and non-egotistical he is, he's not trying to make anyone his bitch or spit out another copy/paste POS (the cornerstone of the gaming industry these days).
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:42 PM   #15
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Wow, you are clueless about how Kickstarter works. For one thing, if it doesn't fund, you get all your money back. Second, of course its in the prototype stage. Most Kickstarter projects are. Third, this guy has been designing AAA titles as a studio head for 15 years, I think he friggin knows how much money he needs!!
I know how kickstarter works, but you seem to fail to understand how a normal business works. It doesn't matter if he designed 1000 AAA games, his studio is BUST, no funds, that is why he is trying to get a cash injection. His business model has failed. Let's say they reach the goal, and they burn through that amount of cash they are requesting. There are no refunds to anyone. So, until they can show they are solvent by getting more funds from other sources, then I just don't see this going anyplace except a big black hole.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:45 PM   #16
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Had opportunity to sell studio for 20 mil, now he's looking at shutting down the company.

Good details of Kings n Castles vs Age of Empires at 32mins.

45mins, talks about hand to mouth deals to sustain company.

47min Wildman was originally going to be a webbrowser game. "MOBA ARPG"

50 min Describes wildman. But in 10+ minutes, I still don't get a firm sense of how teching up really works other than the first enemy kill.

58min Interesting footnote. CTaylor doesn't like to design games where you kill humans.

Overall a lot of emotion in the interview. CT really spilled his guts.
Thanks for the timestamps - very helpful.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:48 PM   #17
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BTW I just need to add that at 36 minutes in, Taylor sums up my entire view on the industry as an adult.

Games come and go, good and bad. You don't invest to support the next game, you invest to support the people and creativity behind it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:22 AM   #18
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I know how kickstarter works, but you seem to fail to understand how a normal business works. It doesn't matter if he designed 1000 AAA games, his studio is BUST, no funds, that is why he is trying to get a cash injection. His business model has failed. Let's say they reach the goal, and they burn through that amount of cash they are requesting. There are no refunds to anyone. So, until they can show they are solvent by getting more funds from other sources, then I just don't see this going anyplace except a big black hole.
Once it's shown that there is interest in a title via a successful Kickstarter, publishers have often taken notice.

Problem is that Wildman just doesn't look that good so it's going to be a tough fight to get fully funded.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:27 AM   #19
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Fuck it. I just threw in $45. It is unlikely GPG will make their funding goal, and the game doesn't really appeal to me, and even if it gets funded I don't think it's going to make GPG enough money to stay solvent post-release.

But... Dungeon Siege and stuff. CT is a nice guy, I ran into a few times when I worked at Microsoft and he seemed really down to earth. I've wasted more money on worse things.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:56 AM   #20
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I'd rather throw money at project mercury but if I get a cool game out of it, even better!
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