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Default Rampant Games - Matt Chat Interview

November 21st, 2011, 02:41
Jay Barnson sat down with Matt Barton for a two hour long interview. If you have read Jay's blogs then you know he has many a tale to tell about the gaming industry. I enjoy his behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making some of these games.
The intereview is broken up into thirty minute pieces. This first part is about Jay's background, his work on Twisted Metal and Warhawk and then discusses Frayed Knights.
Enjoy:


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November 21st, 2011, 02:41
I guess this guy is filthy rich like Notch by now.
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November 21st, 2011, 10:36
Originally Posted by hishadow View Post
I guess this guy is filthy rich like Notch by now.
Who? Matt? Jay? In either case I would be very surprised.
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November 21st, 2011, 16:10
LOL. We actually talk numbers in a later part of the interview. I can just say it may be a very good thing that I kept my hard costs (money spent out-of-pocket) pretty low, or I'd have lost money on the game. As it is, if I'd had a part-time job working minimum wage the last four years, I'd be a hell of a lot better off today.

That's not saying sales are poor, for a non-Steam indie game they are pretty well. BUT I have it on good authority it's sold about as well as a good-selling (but non-hit) RPG Maker title —- which I could have probably done in 6 months instead of 4 years. I'm still sticking with the western old-school CRPG style — I like jRPGs too but this is where my heart is — but I won't be quitting the day job anytime soon.

And if you meant Matt, I don't think he's rich either. I love his book - I think it's essential reading for the serious CRPG fan - but I don't think it was in danger of bumping off the #1 slot on the New York Times' best seller list. I seriously doubt he's making a mint off of his YouTube series either.
Last edited by RampantCoyote; November 21st, 2011 at 16:29.
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November 21st, 2011, 17:11
Just teasing You'll probably earn money off it the years to come too.
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November 21st, 2011, 17:28
That's my hope. It's a labor of love, but I sure wouldn't mind getting Notch-levels of success.
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November 21st, 2011, 17:48
I loved your comment on Twisted Metal about how cars and guns go hand and hand with America. It's so true and never really thought about it, but yeah America loves its cars and its guns. Nothing wrong with that and I support that 110% due to the fact that I loved Autoduel and Car Wars.

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November 21st, 2011, 17:52
I really wanted Twisted Metal to be more like "Car Wars," actually, but in this case my preference was dismissed. In retrospect, this was probably a Good Thing in terms of sales. The Sony designers wanted something more like Street Fighter with cars, and that was probably the winning formula, particularly considering how well TM2 did. Apparently my own tastes have always drifted towards the hardcore niche…
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November 21st, 2011, 18:18
That would have been great, but you're right the sales would not have been as huge. I'm hoping now with the success of Skyrim and other mainstream RPGs that we'll start seeing other genres pop up like a Car Wars style of game or maybe even some steampunk.

I'm not holding my breath, but still have some hope that I'll see a decent car RPG other than Darkwind. I really like that game, but being an online only game sucks big time.

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November 21st, 2011, 22:48
Notch level of success….. well, he must be the most succesfull game developer of all time. If you count by profit / development costs. I doubt any RPG will ever reach that level of success.
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November 22nd, 2011, 03:24
Have you ever considered approaching Valve about having Frayed Knights put on Steam? Personally, I like it being an independent release, but Steam has really helped some other indie titles receive a good amount of exposure, such as Dungeons of Dredmor.
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November 22nd, 2011, 05:24
He did and the response was in the negative.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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November 22nd, 2011, 06:01
Yup, what Corwin said. They turned me down, and their policy is not to comment on why. I wasn't planning on it anyway (I think it's stupid for an indie to *plan* on something that's out of their control like that), so if something happens and the game gets admitted to Steam later, it's gravy. Well, okay, probably quite a bit more than gravy, sort of a "Good Gravy!" but I'm continuing on with the assumption that I'm on my own.

I am on Desura, which I'm liking more and more (though they don't generate a ton of sales for me). It's sort of an "indie Steam." I've picked up a couple of indie titles through them (though they also have a few older games, like the older Fallout games).
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November 22nd, 2011, 08:33
Have you contacted GoG?
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November 22nd, 2011, 16:25
Would steam necessarily be a good thing financially if you're forced to sell cheap. Instead of getting by on 1.000s of sales, you'd need 10.000s of sales.
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November 22nd, 2011, 19:10
Very interesting. I'm surprised they were so quick to dismiss it. It certainly deserves to be there. Their loss. Maybe after they have a chance to see the cult following it seems to have, they will change their minds and seek you out.

I don't think Frayed Knights would fit in the GoG mold since it's technically not old at all (I guess maybe they will expand to indie games, especially after their "Good New Games" deal). In any case, I have never used Desura, so I might have to check it out.
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November 22nd, 2011, 21:28
As a huge fan of GOG.COM, I'd definitely entertain that option, if they are interested and we could come up with a deal that would make sense.
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