Friday, July 6, 2012

Kickstarter and Stoic in Austin, TX

Today, I am in north Austin, behind the Pour House on Burnet road, at Stoic's game studio. They are in the process of making a game that is funded, in part, by the PEOPLE that want to buy it. The team reached out through Kickstarter and are hard at work.

I was asked by an old friend and colleague, Michael Morlan, to come in and interview them for their fans, and I really had no idea what I was getting into. They are super smart, super tight, and super focused. In fact, I'm pretty jealous.

They are a super tight, small team (right now, I'm sitting on a couch in the middle of a single room with 5 Stoics and 2 others shooting film and recording audio. Their lead artist is explaining the "look and feel" of the game on camera. The room might be 20x20. It literally is a converted goat shed. Yes, a lean-to. Super bad sheetrock and painted exterior siding as a ceiling. They have a small window unit A/C that's cranking its best against the Texas heat. Small. Indie. Driven.

I love small teams. I really love small teams.

Their group funded themselves by their savings originally, and are continuing to do that, while the funds from Kickstarter are set to only be spent on the game and prizes.

I've never interviewed a game team before; this has been really interesting! My role is essentially to move the team through a standard set of questions, but the fun part is following up interesting answers to dig deeper. Michael made a good decision when he asked me to do this, because I'm just as much of a game geek as I am a game developer. It's been GREAT using my experience to ask additional questions that I *hope* that the viewers will want to hear about. C'mon, Michael, leave those answers in! I'm not on camera or on audio; I'm just feeding questions to the team.

The release location or date of the video hasn't been decided yet, but I'm sure Stoic will get it up on their site soon after it is edited. Or their Youtube channel. Or their Kickstarter page. I'm not gonna give any details away, because that's their thunder. It has been a pleasure being part of this, not only because they are so nice, but because they are so HONEST with their fans and so open with their information. They are open kimono and I respect that greatly. Only success can come from this. Openness is the only thing that allows for complete creativity; hiding information and keeping knowledge private are the death knell of an organization, IMHO.

These guys are going to be successful. Their fans are going to be happy. This is raw game development. Like I said... I'm jealous.

Go guys. Make Austin proud.

[UPDATE: The final interview is located here:]

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