Wildman - Chris Taylor Interview @ PC Games N
Chris Taylor has been interviewed by PC Games N, in the interview he describes the troubled times Gas Powered Games had in the past and is experiencing now as well as the Wildman Kickstarter Campaign. A snip about the bad times in the past:
There have been times when they had debt and no projects and no publishers. There have been times when he’s been at serious risk of not just losing his company, but the home he shares with his family. “Driving home in my car, owing 4.3 million dollars, and not knowing where payroll was going to come from on Friday, is the most horrifyingly naked, frustrating, shiver-y, feeling,” he says. “Driving into the driveway of my home in tears. I lived these things in my 15 years here!” And he survived. Paid off every cent he owed. He’s 46 years-old, working on PC games since he was a teenage amateur and a lead designer and studio head since 1998.
A quote on when the troubled timed began at GPG this time:
Heading into the fall, Gas Powered had four months' worth of "burn" in the bank, the operating costs needed to sustain the studio, and its health seemed more secure than it had in years. But it never rains. Not only did Microsoft inform Gas Powered that they had decided to suspend development on Age of Empires Online, but suddenly Gas Powered's other contracts started falling apart. Right now there's a small team at Gas Powered completing work on a project that Taylor is sure will never see the light of day, just to fulfill a contract with a publisher. Suddenly Gas Powered's cash reserves represented a life meter, a timer counting down on how long the company had to save itself. To reduce the outflow, Taylor laid off a significant portion of the company. In retrospect, he suspects he should have cut deeper. But he couldn't.
A quote on how Chris Taylor sees Kickstarter:
Only now does Taylor fully understand what will sell and will not sell on Kickstarter. On Three Moves Ahead this week, he told us, "I felt like GPG, and Wildman, and my leadership would be the right answer. And people would get behind me... That ‘s been true of the six thousand odd people that have pledged. But that's not the same turnout that we've seen in other games that are nostalgic, frankly, that are going to be remakes of old games that people understand. They can practically see the design of the game in their head."
And finally, a quote on how his father helped Chris Taylor financially:
His father called him over the weekend with an offer of help. His father has money, but he also tends to be tight-fisted. It’s habit. He’s not rich, but he’s comfortably retired after a career as a construction contractor and then a manufacturer. They were businesses that Taylor might have inherited, if life hadn’t sent him falling 14 feet from scaffolding at a work site when he was 20, crushing a vertebra in his lumbar. With a bad back, Taylor wouldn’t be able to work in construction, and so he'd been free to devote himself to programming and game design. It had been his passion since his father got him his first computer when Taylor was 14. Now, thirty years later, his father was calling because he wanted to help his son continue in that career. “Chris, I’ve got $2,000 here that I want to give you,” his father told him. “But... I can’t figure out this Kickstarter site. How do I give this to you?”