After a short delay, here is the second part of my interview with Stephen Boyagjian of TCN Games. If you want to check out the first part, here it is. I’d like to thank Stephen for taking the time to answer my questions. I think they will be very helpful for new developers trying to break into the industry.
Why did you go the crowdfunding route? Have you done it before?
I’ve always been intrigued with crowdfunding. To me it’s the best of both worlds, I get to put out a product I created and people get to try something new that otherwise would never exist. I’ve backed 8 projects in the past, all of which (except a couple that recently finished) have come through. To me it’s exciting to be a part of the creation of something new, even if it’s only my money that is helping.
We had launched an earlier project for a game that mocked traditional zombie culture. We reversed the roles and made our zombies nice and the human the aggressor. Unfortunately another zombie game that had raised over a million dollars previously released a sequel to their game at the same time. We did not get much attention and it just kind of fell to the wayside.
Regarding your other games, what kind of legal agreements do you have in place with artists, designers and playtesters?
All art and design for our games come [from] in house, with the exception of the occasionally purchased stock image, fonts or otherwise. We do use some free license vectors and fonts from time to time.
We are working on a prototype of a party game for Bill Engvall (Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Bill Engvall Show, Dancing With the Stars) and will soon be submitting it to his management team for review, however that agreement is a simple one in that we do not take claim of his material and he does not take ownership of our product.
We do not generally have an agreement for playtesters in regards to payments. It’s typically a mutual agreement that we give them the game and they send us some feedback.
What’s the plan going forward? What can we expect to see from TCN Games in the near future?
We have a lot planned for 2014. We’re hoping to relaunch the campaign for “The Grind” in mid to late April and hopefully Island Conquest in the tail end of the year. We’ve opened our preview page for “The Grind” up early at http://www.tcngames.com/thegrind so everyone can see the new art and mechanics. We’re very happy with how it came out.
We’re currently developing a website called INDIEspiel for indie game developers to promote and manage their games in a way that is not currently available to them. They’ll be able to manage crowdfunding efforts, open playtest projects that users can apply to and submit feedback directly through the site and promote their games in a level field of other indie games and not get lost in the mix of large scale or heavily sold games.
We’re hoping this becomes a popular place for people to go and find new upcoming games, for designers and publishers to be able to market new ideas, and for larger publishers to get a read on what people are saying about what unpublished indie games are appealing to the current market. We’re expecting a beta launch of that in the next couple months.
Thanks again, Stephen, for the great info. Best of luck with those new projects – it looks like 2014 is going to be a big year!
I should have more interviews coming up in the next few weeks with some other game designers. Stay tuned by signing up either above or below to have the articles sent directly to your inbox!
In the meantime, if you are a developer looking to start a game design project, contact me for a free consultation. We can go over the potential legal moves that you can make throughout the process.