Hi everyone! I’ve missed you this week! I have been super busy this week, (once again, as I told you about my busy life last week as well) but I have given myself some time tonight to put something together just for you guys!
This week is another interview. I’d like to start this week with a quick story. I have actually read a couple of things online about how “unoriginal” and “lazy” Kickstarter interviews are. I was kind of taken back by this when I saw this. I want to take a minute to give my opinion of it, from my perspective. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel when I do these. I have a good time taking time talking to these game creators. They give me insights on how they have developed their games, and every person I’ve talked to has had a different story and hurdles in developing their game. I wouldn’t change or drop these interviews for anything. As far as laziness, I can’t say I spend any more or less time doing interviews from anything else I do. It seems completely unfounded to me, however I understand why someone could think that. Maybe it isn’t as taxing all at one time, however, during the course of the week (or weeks, months even) getting questions together can be quite a bit of work.
Anyway, that was a pretty big amount of venting, and I’m sorry for that, but interviews are something I have fun with and am quite proud of and it hit me a little sideways this week. Maybe because I’m still super tired, who knows. Anyways, on with the show!
This week, I will be talking to Jason Buxenstien about the first game from Buxx Game Studio, Make Me A God. With the longer than usual introduction this week, we’ll just get into the game introduction from Jason himself.
characters learn all six powerful abilities from the ancient temples of the Greek Gods, granting them immortality. In order to win, a character has to learn Super Strength, Fire, Water, Earth, Lightning and Poison. Each of the six temples represent a Major God from Greek Mythology and each has an ability associated with it. During the game play each player can have up to 3 characters in play which move from temple to temple attempting to learn each power. The longer a character stays on a temple, the greater the chance that their character will learn the ability associated with that temple. When two characters arrive at the same temple, they have the opportunity to battle each other to the death. As a character gains more abilities, they become stronger and harder to kill, so there has to be strategy when moving your characters and attacking. The battle system is dice based, so while a super strong character has the odds in their favor battling a weaker opponent, the underdog still has a chance to win. And honestly, there is no great joy than knocking out a powerful Demigod character who is about to win with your wimpy shrimpy average human warrior. So you decide; try playing a defensive game and play it safe, or attack with reckless abandon and play your odds with the dice!
And, with that, we will get right into the meat and potatoes of the post!
What can you tell me about yourselves, as well as Buxx Game Studios?
Buxx Game Studio is run by myself(Jason) and my designer Melanie and we are based out of Scottsdale Arizona. We got started about 18 months ago on our first game, Make Me a God and we have come a long way since then! I will start by telling a little bit about myself, then I will tell you about my very talented designer Mel.
I went to school at Eastern Michigan University for Electrical Engineering and I moved out to work in Arizona to work at a Satellite Operations company in Arizona in 2008. It did not take long for me to realize that although engineering pays very well, it is not the most enjoyable job in the world. After 5 years of working in the engineering field, I found myself doing a lot of career analyzing because I was not happy doing what I was doing. As a child, I used to spend days making my own board games, and months playing them. I was actually pretty good at designing them, creating games that all of my friends couldn’t wait to come play. With that in mind, I decided to save up and start my own board game company. This choice was one of the best I have ever made. I am doing something I love, and its great seeing people I know genuinely enjoying a game that I created.
Melanie was born in Texas and move to Arizona to study graphic design and video game design. She was one of my prime motivators when I decided to start my own company. When I was toying with the idea, she was very optimistic and convinced me to do it. Once we started creating our first game, she showed me how talented she really was by turning my ideas into fantastic looking card and game boards. This was great because I would have had more luck creating a game with a box of crayons versus using Photoshop.
Together we were able to create a game that looks great and is a blast to play. We couldn’t be happier doing what we love, and we can’t wait to launch our first game on November 11!
Hi Jason, wonderful to speak with you! Where did you come up with the concept for Make Me a God?
I came up with the idea for Make Me a God while brainstorming at work. It was a slow week during the holidays with a lot of down time, so I opened up an excel spreadsheet and just threw every idea I had into it. This was before making a game even seemed possible to me. The spreadsheet had everything from Greek Mythology, to Pirates, to Mafia in it. By the end of the week I had the game concept narrowed down with a solid set of rules.
What is your favourite part of developing a new game?
My favorite part of developing a new game was creating the characters and their biographies on paper, and watching them come to life as the artists drew them. Each character in the game has a unique story and we let the artist be as creative as he wanted while drawing them. Each character was a surprise and they turned out great!
What are some of the hurdles you encountered while developing this game if any?
We encountered quite a few hurdles, mostly because this was our first game and we had to do a lot of trial and error. The biggest hurdle in my opinion was money. I had no idea how much money was required to create a game. We had to plan for software licenses, design computers, hiring an artist for the drawings, business licenses, printing prototypes, and advertising. When it was all said and done, the project cost about 4 times as much as I had expected.
What other hurdles (if any) did you run into?
The next biggest hurdle was time. It took a lot of discipline to keep working on the game after working a full day at our regular full time job. We spent an average of 2-3 nights a week working on the game after work, and it still took us well over a year to get the final product.
Another big hurdle was play testing with the rule book. It was very easy for me to teach someone to play the game, but it was a whole different story writing it all on paper. We ended up setting up play session with friends who had never played the game before, and silently watching as they tried to play the game using only the rulebook we had given them. I’d say it took a good 3-4 months of revisions before people could play solely using the rule book.
Do you have anything in the works as a follow up from Buxx Game Studio?
We do! We actually have an expansion pack planned call “Make Me a God – Death and Seduction”. This expansion will add two more playing boards; one for the Temple of Death and one for the Temple of Seduction. With these new temples will come two additional powers in the game, and about 15-20 new characters. It will add a whole new layer of strategy and gameplay.
Where can people go to find out more about Make Me a God and Buxx Game Studio?
If people want to know more about Make Me a God, we do have a website at www.buxxgamestudio.com . On the site we have game info, pictures, recent news, and a place where they can purchase the game if they want to.
At what point in coming up with the game, did you stop to take a look at it and realize you were really onto a great game?
We were always happy with the game concept, but I think the first ‘wow’ moment we had was when we received our first printed prototype from TheGameCrafter. It was amazing to see all of our hard work and designs finally printed out on real cards and real boards. This was the moment when people we knew actually started taking the game seriously as well. It was one thing to hear us talk about it, but another to see it printed.
What do you believe will make your Kickstarter Campaign a successful one?
I think our supporters will be the biggest contribution to a successful kickstarter. We have received so much support from our family, friends and anyone who has seen the game. So many people have helped or offered to help just to see us succeed because they loved playing the game. I have no doubt that our kickstarter will be a success with their support.
That’s just about it for this week! I also want to give a quick update on what’s to come between now and about Christmas time. So far, I have a couple of reviews to accomplish (Pick the Lock,and Escape the Nightmare), as well as at least one new “Community Voice”, or whatever I decide to call it. No one has suggested any new names, so that seems to be it so far! Besides that, it appears that I will be doing some posts that I have been saving for some free weeks, such as my Munchkin House Rules, and possibly another Smallworld Race Strategy! Anyway, That’s another post for another day. Hope you all have a wonderful evening and always remember, I love you all!