20 Apr The People Who Make Making a Game Possible
– Mark Rivett
I will diverge from my normal Thursday blog posts that discuss game design philosophy, and instead focus on some of the people who helped us get to where we are in the creation of Glory.
As a group Tommy, Barney, and I began work on Glory in September 2015. We got the game to what we thought was 100% complete, and then shifted gears into another game: Space Truckin’ in Space™. In the weeks leading up to GenCon 2016, we put the finishing touches on Space Truckin’, and then headed off to GenCon. Driving out to Indianapolis we discussed launching the Space Truckin’ Kickstarter on the day we got home. We would hand out hundreds of business cards, and ride the wave of GenCon into Kickstarter success after a long weekend of seminars.
And then we started attending game making seminars and Kickstarter seminars and copyrighting seminars. It became clear that the imminent goal of launching a Space Truckin’ Kickstarter was wildly out of reach. It was an eye opening experience. GenCon 2016 was very educational, and gave us what we needed to course-correct. On the ride home, we discussed the next move for Slightly Twisted Games, and decided to shift our focus back to Glory.
We at Slightly Twisted Games want to extend a whole-hearted “thank you” to all the panelists at GenCon. It’s one thing to read about game-making and Kickstarter. It’s an entirely different thing to sit in a panel and have the opportunity to ask questions and observe case studies in copyright mishaps.
With our attention focused back on Glory – which was actually nowhere near finished – we confronted the realities of actually producing a cardboard and plastic game for mass consumption. Sites like The Game Crafter gave us what we needed to prototype, but in order to move toward an aesthetically pleasing game we needed art.
Art is expensive and time consuming, and a single illustration can cost $200 or more. We’re a startup that can’t afford anywhere near that, so we reached out to a good friend of mine from Pittsburgh; Don Bumgardner:
A proud West Virgina native, fan of film, video games, comics, D&D, and all things nerd-ish, Don Bumgarner began his journey on the road to becoming an artist in the entertainment industry nearly two decades ago. After being exposed (at the impressionable age of 8 ) at his uncle’s house to classics such as Evil Dead 2, Cujo, Predator, The Terminator, The Thing, the Star Wars saga, and the amazing work done by Jim Henson in the 1980s, he knew his chosen profession immediately. He attended the WV Governors School for the Arts and then earned an associate’s degree in Industrial Design Technology (specializing in make-up FX) from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. During the last twenty years he’s worked in theater, TV, film, and haunted-attractions as a designer, fabricator, sculptor, carpenter, set decorator, illustrator, and SPFX artist. As a long-time friend of one of the founders of STG, he recognized the same nerd passion regarding the subject matter and style of the game and was honored to participate in its creation.
We soon brought a second artist into the project; Nicole Lapointe:
Nicole Lapointe is a Detroit freelance artist and resident geek. She’s passionate about Detroit’s weird folklores, bike life, art, nerdery, travel, dogs, and general tom foolery. When she’s not working on “art” and commissions in her little shop of horrors (a spooky room in the basement of an 1800’s Queen Anne) she can be found volunteering around town, dressing up as a Ghostbuster, biking, roller skating, and eating donuts.
And finally, we contacted a third; Dan Fernie-Harper:
Dan Fernie-Harper is an Illustrator, Videographer, and Virtual reality specialist. Originally from New Zealand, Dan is now based in Portland, OR, with his wife and their Kelpie.
Together, these three artists were able to deliver some 41 pieces of artwork, and we are extremely grateful for their efforts.
With a game finished and inked. Our next move was to approach the world of Kickstarter. We’d also like to thank Megan Finnern for providing an invaluable insight into our marketing strategy. Megan gave us a window into social networking that would have otherwise been lost to us.
Lastly, we want to thank the friends and family too numerous to name who gave us business insight, helped us playtest, and provided support and whiskey that was often the lubrication for our many nights of game development.
Thank you all.