is a computer game designer and entrepreneur most famous for developing Total Annihilation and the Dungeon Siege series and for founding Gas Powered Games.
Proof that it is me! pic.twitter.com/4xg4DJnT
Proof that it is me! pic.twitter.com/4xg4DJnT
Comments: 379 • Responses: 69 • Date: 2013-01-21 22:02:18 UTCsource
TotalBiscuit75 karma2013-01-21 22:34:52 UTC
Hi Chris, firstly what is happening to GPG right now sucks and I hope you're able to pull through.
I'd like to know, after having several years to reflect, if you believe that you made the right choices when it came to the mechanical and ideological differences between Supreme Commander 1 and 2. If you had the opportunity and a theoretically infinite budget and staff, what exactly would you do for a hypothetic Supreme Commander 3?
View HistoryShare Link
ctaylorGPG49 karma2013-01-21 22:59:05 UTC
I think we'd absolutely make the maps huge, and go back to our roots in the way the tech tree works. I know some people really like SC2's tree, but it's like anything that is established, you had better make it much better if you change it... and we were trying to solve for console and PC at the same time, and that was tough.
Sethlans34 karma2013-01-21 22:12:43 UTC
Was Supreme Commander 2 the game you wanted it to be?
If you could make it again, would you do it differently, and if so how?
Hallo from Myth from GPGnet (Remmy's brother zzzzz). All my support to you and your company going forward. I haven't had as much enjoyment out of anything ever produced in any kind of entertainment media than I did FA and I am eternally grateful to you for making such a truly epic game.
Also, in all the interaction we've had directly and in everything I've ever seen of you online in any capacity, you seem like a thoroughly, genuinely great guy. You deserve for things to go right and I wish you the very, very best of luck.
ctaylorGPG66 karma2013-01-21 22:38:43 UTC
Dang... I can't tell you how much I appreciate you saying that. It's been a rough week, and it feels great to get your support.
I wished we had pushed harder to optimize memory on the PC so we could have bigger maps... and we made the units bigger, and between the two, we basically f'd up the game.
ctaylorGPG32 karma2013-01-21 22:05:34 UTC
Hey everyone! fire away!
TenTron25 karma2013-01-21 22:08:41 UTC
Thanks for taking the time to do this. I'm a big fan and have a couple questions for your AMA.
1) Kickstarter is generally for small start-ups. Why do you feel GPG, a 15 year old company of 40 people, needs help from kickstarter? Wouldn't a bank loan or investors be a better choice?
2) With the current game market already flooded with action/RPGs (Diablo, Torchlight, Path of Exile) what sets yours apart? Will you be able to compete with triple A titles?
3) The textures, color scheme, and cartoony feel of Wildman is much like the Torchlight franchise. What can you tell critics about the differences in the art styles between the two games?
4) I own every game in the GPG catalog. My main complaint is they are left unsupported. Many of the games have not been updated in years despite having major bugs and gameplay issues. After launch, will you support Wildman with regular patches and balances for 5+ years or will you move to the next game and ignore Wildman?
5) Your kickstarter amount is 1.1 million dollars. What will this money be used for? Will it be for paying back bills and prior engagements or will 100% of this money be used for Wildman? Could you give a more detailed itemized list of exactly how the money will be used?
ctaylorGPG38 karma2013-01-21 22:16:48 UTC
1) Very hard to get investment, to the point of impossibility, as there's virtually no appetite to do PC games like the game we make. It was my hope that Kickstarter would be a whole new chapter in PC Game development... somewhat naive looking at this past week, but perhaps one day that will change.
2) It's very difficult to imagine a game made for 1 million to compete with 50+ million dollar games like Diablo 3, but we felt we could focus more on the gameplay mechanics and leverage our tools. It will be a grinder/deathmarch, but we thought it was worth it if we could make the games we wanted.
ctaylorGPG24 karma2013-01-21 22:19:39 UTC
3) We're still working on the art style, and really wanted to collect feedback. We did a little of that yesterday on KS, and it was a positive responses, but I would still like to collect more opinions if the project funds.
4) The challenge we have as a developer, and it might as well be said, is that we can't deliver patches and updates, that is the decision of each respective publishing partner, as they own the license on that version of the game. You can imagine how painful this can be for us.
5) We have no debt, and we have already invested many months into the game, and will still have to raise money besides the 1.1 (which is only 1 when you take out the commission for Amazon and KS). Most of the money would go towards game assets and design.
thekindred18 karma2013-01-21 22:43:15 UTC
Nothing to ask, just here to show support. Keep on rocking and keep the hope alive brother! I have been a fan of your work since the early days of TA and have enjoyed every GPG release to date. I am behind you! As I have said to you before the wife and I are doing everything and anything we can to get the word out and support GPG and the team with all we have!
ctaylorGPG21 karma2013-01-21 23:32:29 UTC
You know, I can't tell you how this kind of support makes me feel... I really hope I can return the favor one day.
Idoiocracy17 karma2013-01-21 22:03:32 UTC
Many years ago, I read an interview with Alex Garden, Relic founder, where he told the story of how you gave him seminal advice that guided him to be a programmer. Your advice was in a form of a daily schedule to follow -- "get up, go to class, come home, program. Eat, program some more. Do your homework, program, then go to bed. Rinse and repeat. Do that for a few years and you'll become a skilled programmer."
Do you recall giving this advice? If so, does that monkish devotion reflect your own development as you became a programmer?
What other words of advice would you give today to an aspiring game programmer?
Thank you for your time in answering these questions. I'm a longtime fan of you and your company.
ctaylorGPG20 karma2013-01-21 22:11:55 UTC
I think it's awesome that Alex shared that story, and surprisingly, it's accurate! I would love to tell you guys the whole story, because it's one of the most interesting stories in my 25 years in game development.
ctaylorGPG18 karma2013-01-21 22:12:45 UTC
As for building a career as a game programmer, my best advice is to get a job on the ground floor in a company where you can learn from sr. guys who have been around a long time. No matter what they pay, it's a good deal!
Hrothen15 karma2013-01-21 22:21:30 UTC
You mentioned in a recent interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun that you don't think RTS games work very well with multiple concurrent battlefields like Planetary Annihilation is trying. At the same time, with Supcom you actually managed to create a UI that handles multiple fronts, albeit on the same map, very well. I'm wondering if you tried anything with multiple battlefields internally and it didn't turn out well, or is it just sort of a gut feeling that people can't handle it?
ctaylorGPG26 karma2013-01-21 23:02:02 UTC
I think there was an RTS that allowed you to fight above the ground and below the ground, can't remember the name, and it just confirmed what I felt I always knew about RTS games... multiple theaters is just damn hard to pull off.... best of luck to the PA guys!
Digimortal18711 karma2013-01-21 22:49:38 UTC
Lastly just want to say a big thank you for making TA and SupCom, 2 games that really came into their own with tough AI and mods, I can't think of any other RTS games that promotes coop and replayability on the RTS scene.
ctaylorGPG9 karma2013-01-21 23:35:30 UTC
I'm very happy to hear that... Crazy as it sounds, I really want Wildman to be the third game in that list...
Sindalax11 karma2013-01-21 22:07:28 UTC
Any future plans or maybe some updates regarding supreme commander 3?
EDIT: Will you work together with Square Enix?
EDIT2: I love Supreme Commander 2 and still play some casual games with my friends (resulting in mass nuclear warfare and some friendly fire here and there)
ctaylorGPG21 karma2013-01-21 22:13:18 UTC
Square is a great publisher, and we've really enjoyed working with them. No current plans, but we'd jump at the chance to do SC3
brownb24 karma2013-01-21 22:14:05 UTC
Logged on just to say this too. Any news about Supreme Commander 3? - Thread needs more upvotes :)
Edit: Also, I liked Supreme Commander 2 (despite the hardcore SupCom fans berating it compared to 1) so any chance of another expansion pack?
ctaylorGPG14 karma2013-01-21 23:06:45 UTC
I really can't answer that, as it's 100 percent Square's call right now... of course we'd be thrilled if they asked us to!
Qasaur10 karma2013-01-21 22:29:39 UTC
How did GPG take the criticism of SC2? I personally thought it was a fun game but others thought it didn't live up to SC1.
ctaylorGPG14 karma2013-01-21 22:56:24 UTC
Ya, it was tough because we also thought we did a miracle job to get it out on time, but like you can probably imagine, people didn't give us much credit for that... I mean, Blizzard slips its games for ever, and we made ours, and delivered on budget, because that's the way the world works... but still, we f'd up some stuff that had nothing to do with time or money.
Zolyx10 karma2013-01-21 22:15:36 UTC
Hi Chris - is it a fairly safe thing to say that Wildman will not include a real money auction house? ;)
Good luck with the Kickstarter and I hope the year ends better for you than it started!
ctaylorGPG8 karma2013-01-21 22:40:45 UTC
hahaha... yes, very safe!
MajorPD10 karma2013-01-21 22:09:08 UTC
Out of all the games that you have worked on, which had the hardest development process?
ctaylorGPG11 karma2013-01-21 22:23:19 UTC
I think it's a toss up between Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander
dooover9 karma2013-01-21 22:09:57 UTC
Having read about the recent situation at GPG - laying off many staff - could you give some idea as to how the company ended up in that situation? I'm interested in how the industry works and would like to know... were costs too high, income too low...what was it that put the company in a bad financial position? What can you do to remedy the base problem?
Best of luck with the Kickstarter.
ctaylorGPG19 karma2013-01-21 22:31:59 UTC
Costs in the our business are high, no doubt about it, that's why game engine's like Unity are becoming so popular. I think you'll see a ton of game engine's hitting the market in the next few years, and licensing will cost very little, 5-10K, compared to the days of Unreal which was 7 figures.
I chose to lay folks off instead of gamble with their severance. Today some folks have come in, and completed paperwork, and have said they don't want to stay and gamble it, so they are gone now. It's an eyes wide open situation now... it's their choice, and I feel good about that decision.
ctaylorGPG17 karma2013-01-21 22:28:47 UTC
GPG is in a very interesting situation, as we had enough money to get us through to the end of the campaign. What became obvious by day 4, is that the campaign was going so poorly, there was no way it was going to happen. People argued this with me in the media a bit, saying it was too early to judge, but consider this, even with this weekends surge, we're still not doing very well... can you imagine what it would have looked like without the big push from the media covering the layoff?
lextoc9 karma2013-01-21 22:08:48 UTC
Can you tell us a lil bit more about GPG, are you rehiring?
ctaylorGPG15 karma2013-01-21 22:20:34 UTC
Yes, today we brought back a number of key people. They have a very clear picture of the risks, and had the weekend to think clearly about what they wanted. Some people have chosen to move on, and those who stay know that the future is uncertain.
Anton2759 karma2013-01-21 23:04:17 UTC
Hello, i wonder what do you think about FAF? (Forged Alliance Forever)
ctaylorGPG19 karma2013-01-21 23:58:29 UTC
You must already know that I love FAF. I will never, ever stop loving the community that supports TA, SC and SC:FA... never!!!
orktastic9 karma2013-01-21 22:15:15 UTC
I went to visit GPG back in July but you were away. Despite that, I had a blast with the team and I got to try out the Babylonian civ before anyone else :D
Anyway, what features were to come to AoEO if MS didn't decide to halt development?
ctaylorGPG12 karma2013-01-21 22:52:06 UTC
MS will shoot my balls off if I talk... (I'll tell you later)...
flashmanandy9 karma2013-01-21 22:22:33 UTC
My question is, how many people have volunteered their time to help make Wildman a success, despite no longer being employed by GPG
ctaylorGPG15 karma2013-01-21 23:13:55 UTC
Technically (legally) we weren't allowed to take on volunteers, so what folks have done this week, is go back on payroll, and then forego their severance. It's a good compromise because it's their decision.
IndecisiveBadger8 karma2013-01-21 22:24:58 UTC
Hey Chris, it's Remmy, you're probably fed up of talking to me, but I've got a few questions anyway! :P.
1.Are GPG working on anything else, for example like Age of Empires online? (working to 'finish' another companies game)
2.Do you feel like if this kickstarter doesn't work, then that's it for Gas Powered Games?
I hope you guys get the money, the game looks super fun, and considering i'm still playing Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance now, I know you guys can make amazing games.
Good luck, I'm rooting for you.
ctaylorGPG14 karma2013-01-21 23:05:05 UTC
Hey Remmy!! nice to hear from you.
We do have a small project that we're wrapping up, but other than that, it's all Wildman!
What's interesting, is that after the announcement on Friday, it's actually been the best thing to happen in terms of business development. We're getting lots of calls, and there's lots of exciting conversations that we're going to have in the weeks ahead to explore ideas. I have no idea where any of this will go, but it's going to be interesting to find out!
Falling-With-Style7 karma2013-01-21 22:06:38 UTC
Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played a girl bunny?
ctaylorGPG18 karma2013-01-21 22:51:24 UTC
I love these kinds of questions, BTW.
Does it matter to any of you, that I'm not wearing panties right now?
Dynimix7 karma2013-01-21 22:18:54 UTC
Here are the rest of my questions. Sorry there are so many but I am a huge fan and very excited about Wildman!!
2) Is this the dawning of time or have humans existed for some time?
3) Will the focus of the game be on a storyline or a sequence of battles?
4) Who is writing the novella and will it be based on the game itself or will it serve as a supplement to the lore?
5) Will you have specific control of each of your troops individually while doing battle, or will it be more of a "follow" feature?
6) What sort of world progression is planned. Will it be broken down in eras and levels such as, Paleolithic is a level, then Mesolithic is a level, etc. or will you just begin to notice the advancement of society such as newer buildings, inventions such as...wait for it...the wheel, metal smithing, rudimentary irrigation systems, etc?
7) What is the name of the tribe in the beginning?
8) In your video you mentioned that there were many characters on the screen, but you also mentioned that this was just the start. How many different characters do you hope to achieve on the screen at one time?
9) Stepping back from the ARPG elements of the game (which are my personal favorite being a huge ARPG fan myself) when in the middle of a large battle, will you be able to assign your main avatar (Wildman or Wildwoman) to continue the onslaught while you check on the rest of the war?
10) What kind of character progression is planned? Leveling? Spell system? Skill system? Will the members of your tribe/army also have the ability to level?
11) In regards to death? Will death have a consequence such as a temporary decrease in stats? Will battles end if you die (in SP of course)? Are their resurrection points?
12) World travel: I know this was discussed on the comments @ Kickstarter, but are you still thinking about doing mounts? That sabertooth looks pretty badass and I would love to see what mount combat would be like in an ARPG setting. Also, will their be a portal system?
13) Will there be a shared stash among multiple characters? Will you be able to share items with your friends?
14) Is there any type of a class system or will it simply be skill based?
15) Any thoughts on doing a semi-public alpha such as a tier in Kickstarter?
I have many more, but I will stop there and see what others have for questions.
ctaylorGPG4 karma2013-01-22 02:21:10 UTC
Excellent questions, will try and answer these, this week in the next video update.
limeyfather6 karma2013-01-21 23:04:57 UTC
What's your criteria for hiring composers and sound designers?
I see you have Jeremy Soule up for composing the score for Wildman, how would you like to work with him to make sure production goes as smoothly as possible?
ctaylorGPG9 karma2013-01-22 00:00:02 UTC
I've worked with Jeremy for so long, he was my first choice. I don't try and manage Jeremy, he does whatever he wants... talk about wild, he's a wild child, and he's brilliant. He'll deliver the music at 3am... that's how he works, and that's what I expect him to do for Wildman.
Ze_PilOt6 karma2013-01-22 00:05:51 UTC
Just to say, again, a big thanks on the behalf of the FAF community, we are all hoping that you will make us addicted to another kind of game with Wildman !
I maybe have a question : Are you planning to make some speed-run options ? (a timer, some reward, a leaderboard for each level :) I remember having ton of fun doing that in coop in "alien swarm".
ctaylorGPG7 karma2013-01-22 02:28:32 UTC
Hey, this is addicting, I just can't stop answering... I think that this is the exact kind of idea that will help create replayability. It sounds like a mode, rather than part of the regular SP campaign. With our modding tools available on Mercury, this could also be the kind of thing the mod community could prototype and then we can incorporate it into the main game...
MKHusker6 karma2013-01-21 22:48:59 UTC
Hey Chris, I hear you like to do things like build actual CPU's in your spare time. Is that true? What are your hobbies you enjoy? Thanks!
ctaylorGPG13 karma2013-01-21 22:54:36 UTC
Well, not exactly... I like build kits... but one thing I am working on is a computer with a Z80 CPU... I'll twitter out a pic I took a few months back later today.
I'm also really into pottery... my wife sells it on her site. Here's a link... http://tiggygrace.bigcartel.com/
The ones in the lower left are my bowls... no joking please. We always talk about how people love to fondle my bowls.
Mnimic5 karma2013-01-21 22:27:12 UTC
1.Do you consider yourself creative? An artist? Any cool skills you teach or learn with your children?
2.What makes you enjoy computer games the most? What makes it fun for you?
3.Any advice for a person who considers himself very skilled, but creatively challenged on starting or not starting the gaming industry career?
ctaylorGPG10 karma2013-01-22 00:49:59 UTC
I sorta do, ya. But if you saw the stuff I made in Minecraft, you'd disagree. I want to teach my kids how to code and work with electronics.
I miss computer games from the 90's, so game's today are far and few between that totally grab me, but I just loved BF1942. Man that game rocked... and might have been because I was good at it. that helps.
I say you jump in with both feet! Start coding, creating art, whatever... just do it. If it doesn't come out of your mind, then it's not the right thing for you.
mightyman455 karma2013-01-21 23:31:05 UTC
Hey Chris, I just wanted to say that you gave a couple guest lectures at DigiPen and what you said really resounded with me and there were lessons in there that I take to heart today. So thank you! Also, Total Annihilation is still one of my all time favorite RTS games :)
ctaylorGPG12 karma2013-01-22 00:27:08 UTC
Thanks... and I know I get really wild in those talks. Were you there when I was talking about families with 2.5 kids? That one half a kid who's screaming... because his guts are hanging out? That was really weird.
kamil23105 karma2013-01-21 22:19:26 UTC
I wish to ask you about Kings and Castles.
From your blogs it looked really like a nice mix of a steampunk version of Stronghold with the scale of Supreme Commander.
Any chance of the project being completed ?
Will you continue making blogs ? - i really enjoyed your blogs because of the interaction with the gaming community.
Also i wish to thank you and the team for the countless hours of fun i spent in supreme commander :) best game ever made
ctaylorGPG14 karma2013-01-21 23:10:54 UTC
The whole K&C thing makes me sad... to put it lightly. We loved the whole idea, and the blogs, and everything, but couldn't lock in a publisher. Imagine if you will that SC1 cost about 11M, and I was simply looking for about half that for K&C, and along came AOEO to save our ass. And now, here we are, and I just couldn't do a Kickstarter for 5 or 6M... even though people chewed out my ass and told me I should.
endtv5 karma2013-01-21 23:53:14 UTC
I don't have a question - just want to say that I've enjoyed countless hours of fun playing Total Annihilation, SupCom FA, and SupCom2. Thank you for your work!
ctaylorGPG7 karma2013-01-22 00:43:33 UTC
Awesome. Thank you for your support... I like you!! (was that too much?)
_exterm4 karma2013-01-21 22:43:46 UTC
first off, I'm a fan. I love TA, SupCom, SupCom:FA and Dungeon Siege.
Also backed Wildman of course!
But I'd really like to know what went on with SupCom 2. It just doesn't feel like a Chris Taylor game. Has someone else had a big influence on that game's design?
ctaylorGPG13 karma2013-01-21 23:33:46 UTC
I hit this point a few times, but in short... we made some big high level errors, like maps that were too small, and units that were too big. I'm pretty confident that if we did SC3 we'd get it right... but alas, hindsight is always 20/20.
lextoc4 karma2013-01-21 23:02:26 UTC
What do you think about Planetary Annihilation?
ctaylorGPG17 karma2013-01-21 23:55:30 UTC
I like the video a lot, but beyond that, I'm pretty skeptical... I know what it takes to make an RTS game. TA took 20 months, and I (and the team) worked 7 days a week. SupCom 1 took 3.5 years and cost over 10 million. I don't think they stand a snowballs chance in hell to make that game for 2M.
But now that I've said that, they're really going to have to work extra hard to prove me wrong... good luck!!
rehrmn4 karma2013-01-21 22:15:35 UTC
Are there any plans for crafting in Wildman?
ctaylorGPG6 karma2013-01-21 22:41:18 UTC
We want to... but we're getting a little worried about the scope. I think crafting can be done cost effectively, so I'd like to keep it on the table.
Moxy2214 karma2013-01-21 22:11:49 UTC
Hi chris i was just wondering what is your plan for wildman multiplayer?
ctaylorGPG7 karma2013-01-21 22:35:05 UTC
We want to move from a single player game to a COOP MP game, and then do PvP last. As potentially controversial as this was thought to have been, we're seeing more and more people get behind us on that. It's important to have the MP in the plan though.
Moxy2214 karma2013-01-21 22:43:58 UTC
Hi Chris what game do you think came out better gameplay wise supcom 1 or supcom 2?
ctaylorGPG17 karma2013-01-21 22:54:59 UTC
I think you know the answer!! It hurts...
micmea6684 karma2013-01-22 00:01:51 UTC
Hey Chris! Just like to say that Dungeon Siege is one of the best games I have ever played (including Legends of Aranna) and it will ALWAYS be on my top 10 of all time list.
Quick question: Are there any funny stories you can tell us from when you were still making DS?
ctaylorGPG12 karma2013-01-22 00:45:04 UTC
Ya, one time i locked my keys in my office and I asked James if I could hang him by his feet through the ceiling tile. The desk I was on collapsed from the weight and James was dangling, and Bart's desk snapped in half and his computer and all his shit was completely mangled. That was awesome.
flaminius20124 karma2013-01-22 01:26:02 UTC
Firstly I want to say thank you for the brilliance that was forged alliance. I have been gaming for over 20 years and it is without doubt the finest RTS i have ever played.
I was quite sceptical about the authenticity of your video on KS claiming to have laid off all your staff, but now i see it is in fact genuine, I couldnt be more dissapointed.
I understand Sqaure Enix owns the rights for Sup Com and any moves to create the next installment would need to be initiated by them. Have you at GPG approached Square about the possibility of them funding this? This needs to be pursued vigorously.
Sup com 3 would undoubtedly prove very profitable for both GPG and square if it were made in the vein of forged alliance.
There are thousand of people requesting this on all the forums.
1)Would a petition presented to square by us the fans help in getting this made?
2)Would you consider a pre-order scheme for a new RTS where we the fans buy the game before it is made?
100,000 fans to pay $40 up front for this game before it is made.
That would raise you $4m as a minimum to begin development.
I am sure there are many many more fans who would pay this amount if there was a guarantee that a new rts would be similar to sup com forged alliance.
You are right in embracing the changing business model in gaming. Perhaps you can be the man who shapes it?
Chris whether wildman funds or not please try this - It will work. Total annihilation..sup com whatever. It doesnt matter if its a new instalment or a new series. You are the man with the midas touch.
Please give this a shot. Dont underestimate your fan base.
Whatever happens. All the best matey
ctaylorGPG5 karma2013-01-22 01:43:48 UTC
I think it's not a bad idea to have people send Square a petition, not in any way but a positive one. i bet if they did have 100K people, they'd definitely take notice of that... at least they'd probably give you an answer!
and thanks for all the kind words... from everyone on here today. I was told that doing an AMA was going to be really hard, and instead I'm greeted by so many kind and big hearted people that have supported me for the past 15 years, if not 25. I'm just happy to be able to make games, and I hope I can make a few more before I'm thrown out of the business!
I've got to get cracking on some other things... but loved doing this, and I hope we can do it again sometime soon!
Dourel3 karma2013-01-21 23:12:15 UTC
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 01:53:47 UTC
I'm reading it!
and I'm finished reading it.
Thanks for writing all of this, I appreciate it.
Moxy2213 karma2013-01-21 23:41:11 UTC
This isnt a question But Chris you in my oppinion have made the best RTS games to date so thank you countless hours of fun through my life :)
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 00:27:56 UTC
I love these non-questions!
polluxuk3 karma2013-01-21 22:11:29 UTC
Where do you see gaming going in the next five years?
ctaylorGPG10 karma2013-01-21 22:34:00 UTC
I think it's going into the browser more and more. But the good news, in case your just punched the screen, is that the browsers are becoming more and more capable of running games that we expect from standalone compiled C. The points might not cross on the graph for 5 or 10 years, but it will happen. This whole crazy business of writing an application for Windows, or OSX or Linux, and then having it install and need updates will be a thing of the past.
andypierce3 karma2013-01-21 23:07:00 UTC
Hi Chris. Thanks for taking the time to open up like this. I hadn't heard of you or your company until you began working on Age of Empires Online. I am very pleased to be your backer.
GPG had a great team working with the AOEO community, and I cannot stress our appreciation. Thanks so much for all of that hard work.
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 00:05:36 UTC
Thanks for the support of Wildman!!
lthawkeyeBOU3 karma2013-01-21 23:11:55 UTC
Hey Chris, for one, i just have to thank you for making TA, and Supcom/FA, some of the best times i've ever had with a game. I'll thank you for Supcom 2 even though i personally found it disappointing as a sequel, but fun if i thought of it as it's own game.
Now i have to ask, what was the reasoning for pretty much breaking/disabling modding with the release of SupCom 2? i mean it WORKED in the beta/Demo!!! and we at BlackOps had major plans for it!(i know that now there is some level of modding now but personally it is to late)
anyway, best of luck with the current situation, know that you and GPG have my support all the way, if i could i would fund GPG on my own!
ctaylorGPG6 karma2013-01-22 00:10:23 UTC
I wished I had a good answer, and I don't. I think we were just rushed. from a technical standpoint, I do know that making a game modable does take time and money, and in the interest of getting the game out on time, it probably fell off the bottom of the list. It's hard to make a business case to the publisher's these days to support modding.
MOLDY_QUEEF_BARF3 karma2013-01-21 22:51:18 UTC
Good afternoon Mr. Taylor. I want to first thank you for doing this AMA; we at Reddit really appreciate you taking the time, so thank you.
For my question, can you go into more detail about the layoffs that have been done and how this will affect the future of Gas Powered Games?
Thanks in advance for any response.
ctaylorGPG12 karma2013-01-21 23:38:56 UTC
I didn't want folks to go without PTO and severance so I made a tough call to let them go. But in my heart, I knew that many would take the weekend to think about what they really wanted. We're much smaller now, but we're still here, and we're going to see the KS campaign through. What's weird, is that I think GPG would have truly been dead if I hadn't laid off the team, but of course there was no way for me to know what would happen. some have said that it was an elaborate scheme to manipulate people... I'm like, wow, you've got to be kidding me... anyone who could pull that off has much bigger balls than me. I am still shocked that anyone could even think that, especially people who know me... and I've been in the business 25 years, I've got a reputation, and I've never, ever, been known to pull that kind of shit.
ctaylorGPG9 karma2013-01-21 23:41:18 UTC
OH, and the part I forgot to add... the entire industry has been alerted to what happened, and we've never received more attention from companies that are recruiting people... in other words, by getting media attention, we have the best chance to find jobs for those who are moving on. It's really a win-win situation.
Moxy2212 karma2013-01-21 23:09:16 UTC
In wildman what do you think will be the resources for upgrading yourself/army and how far do you think the tech tree will go?
ctaylorGPG2 karma2013-01-22 00:08:11 UTC
I like gold, others want to beat me, and come up with something else. I'm a very pragmatic designer, and think gold is fine, but I'm open to all ideas.
I think the tech can easily reach the medieval era.
Dynimix2 karma2013-01-21 22:08:52 UTC
1) What is the name of the world Wildman is set in?
ctaylorGPG6 karma2013-01-21 22:22:54 UTC
I don't have a name for it. I love the idea of getting community involvement to explore creative with the backers. I've never done that before, and some I've told this to think I'm crazy, and they are skeptical, but I want to at least try it.
arpelayre2 karma2013-01-21 23:45:02 UTC
Hi Chris, I had the opportunity to work at GPG for 6 months last year alongside the art team, working on AoEO. I enjoyed my time there, and felt right at home with everyone, which makes it even harder knowing that everyone's jobs are ate stake. You've built a great company full of hard working and talented people, whom of which I learned a lot from during my stay. Hopefully things will work out and you guys will pull through. I'm doing what I can to get as many eyes as possible on Wildman. Good luck!
ctaylorGPG6 karma2013-01-22 00:30:44 UTC
Very much appreciated... I think everything helps!
amxn2 karma2013-01-21 22:30:18 UTC
Thanks for doing this, Chris.
ctaylorGPG2 karma2013-01-22 00:51:46 UTC
Yes, after we do SP, we want to move next to COOP MP, and then PvP.
I would say Torchlight 2, but I'm only taking a flier here, as I'm not super familiar with it... but Wildman is an ARPG, so that's the main thing.
SiLeNt_Ph0eNiX2 karma2013-01-21 22:33:41 UTC
ctaylorGPG2 karma2013-01-22 01:05:28 UTC
Moertel2 karma2013-01-21 22:38:15 UTC
As a fan and games journo, I just want to say thank you for being so open. It's rare that you see company CEOs speak that freely about stuff. Very unfortunate to hear about your troubles, I hope it'll work out fine.
My questions: Do you think it is a good idea to rely on "niche" markets like RTS games? Is it worth risking the creative freedom and potentially the team's passion to make a game that's suited for a wider audience?
I kinda dislike the iOS trend right now. Lots of small developers making small games - that is awesome, but most of them aren't any good, groundbreaking or innovative. Do you think those small iOS apps are a waste of creativity and talent?
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 00:55:40 UTC
Sure, I love telling it like it is...
It's highly risky to go after the niche, but hey, I thought Kickstarter was going to be a good solution for it. If folks like it, they'd fund it, otherwise, you'd have to find another game... but I'm unsure if that's true now. And it's looking like KS is just for nostalgic games (when they are on the higher end of the cost scale).
ya, i know what you mean about iOS, but there are some really whacky creative games, but you have to sort through the gigantic mountain of them. I would love to just launch my Project Mercury platform and see if we could do something in the browser, and push the WebGL thing to the limits. I'm going to release a video on Mercury this week sometime just for fun.
hamburgersandwiches2 karma2013-01-21 23:42:08 UTC
Chris, if the game gets funded, how can you be sure that it's because fans wanted the game and not that gamers felt bad about dozens of people losing their jobs?
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 00:29:50 UTC
This is a good question!!!
I really don't want anyone pledging out of sympathy for GPG... though I really appreciated it on Friday, because we were all so down about the numbers. However, we really need to stay focused on the game, and if people think the idea is bad, then they need to say so, and not pledge.
lextoc2 karma2013-01-21 22:47:45 UTC
Is Kevin still working at GPG? :)
ctaylorGPG9 karma2013-01-21 23:34:33 UTC
The Punisher? Oh ya... I told him last week, you can never leave me Kevin!!! And I broke down into tears, he slapped me, and it all seemed to start getting better.
Diomeneus2 karma2013-01-22 00:25:46 UTC
What are your thoughts on Planetary Annihilation?
While watching the video advertising the game and the dev team all I could think of was "This game/team needs Chris Taylor"!
I know people who STILL go back and play TA by the way ... why nobody has managed to build a queue system that even compares to TA (let alone SC) I have no idea.
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 01:09:07 UTC
I don't know what to tell you about Planetary Annihilation... For all the people who have pledged in support of that game, I sure hope Uber doesn't F it up... and from the video, I'm looking forward to playing too!!
Dynimix2 karma2013-01-21 23:21:00 UTC
Can you tell us a little bit about the Wildman Novella?
ctaylorGPG2 karma2013-01-22 00:25:40 UTC
I've asked Neal Hallford to write it, as he created the great fiction for Dungeon Siege.
RadecSupreme2 karma2013-01-21 22:53:53 UTC
Hey Chris ,
If your company manages to survive this unstable stage(Which I know it will, all of us fans are here to help in any way possible), to go on and complete Wildman for the fans, would you guys continue on a different path for game development, or is there a chance you guys would make maybe more large scale RTS games? which is a very dead genre and many RTS fans such as I and millions more thirst for more new large scale RTS games. Would you return to making Kings and Castles?
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-21 23:42:44 UTC
I would love to finish it one day. We just need a much bigger development budget. From what I've learned of KS in the past week, we'll never raise that money from crowdfunding, at least not anytime soon. But I'm open to all ideas! :)
MuerteDiablo2 karma2013-01-21 23:49:02 UTC
Hello, i've only got a small question.
Are you satisfied with Dungeon Siege 3?
Given the fact that it is (gameplay wise) completely different from DS2.
Personally i really enjoyed DS2 and DS1 but DS3 is just (to say it bluntly) bad. I know GPG did not develope it but you did start the series..
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 00:35:08 UTC
Well, I thought they did a LOT right, the characters and story are awesome. However, I would have preferred they stuck with the same camera view... that's the true heart and soul of the game, but that wouldn't have worked on a console... whatcha gonna do?
KazMx91 karma2013-01-21 23:15:08 UTC
Hey Chris I have to ask what happens if GPG doesn't reach the goal. What is next? How are you going to fund the project? I did fund wildman through KS and I do everything I can to get the word out there
ctaylorGPG2 karma2013-01-22 00:17:55 UTC
We don't have the money to fund anything right now, and I spent a huge chunk paying out the severances. I think we'll have to explore the Web technology thing, or something that has a very low financial barrier of entry.
Dynimix1 karma2013-01-21 23:46:11 UTC
Can you give us a hint of the lore behind Wildman?
ctaylorGPG2 karma2013-01-22 00:31:18 UTC
Not much lore at this point, but I would love to have the backers help to create it. And Neal's also going to play a key role in that as well.
mejogid1 karma2013-01-21 23:47:51 UTC
Thanks for the AMA!
Age of Empires Online was very nearly brilliant, and made me lust for a true sequel to the original series. It did a lot of things right, but the F2P/persistent element was extremely controversial to say the least - and marred the original release to the point where I don't think people gave it the attention it was due when you subsequently improved it. It also seems to have prevented any sort of competitive scene developing as occurred with previous instalments.
In light of Blizzard's success with Starcraft 2, do you think there's any chance of taking that series back to its roots? The huge popularity of Age of Empires 3 since its release on Steam paints a similar picture. I don't know how much influence Gas Powered Games has over the IP - and I appreciate you did not develop it in the first place - but it would be interesting to hear your opinion having handled it recently. It also seems like you're one of a handful of studios who "gets" the RTS genre who could be in a position to resurrect it...
ctaylorGPG2 karma2013-01-22 00:34:07 UTC
Since MS owns the IP, they control it, and are the only ones who will be deciding what happens next. I have no idea what they'll do!
dudelewis1 karma2013-01-21 23:52:29 UTC
Hi I have Supcom 1 on a disk should I play it?
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 00:43:11 UTC
lol... that's funny. PLAY IT!!!!
Akryum1 karma2013-01-21 23:14:50 UTC
1) May you make a KaC Kickstarter after Wildman future success? :D
2) Do you have plans to make a new game based on TA & SupCom, but with a different name since you don't own the licence anymore, or do you think that Planetary Annihilation is that game?
I hope GPG will remain forever!
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 00:16:54 UTC
Yes, love to do K&C at some future point.
I like the idea of doing another RTS like TA, kinda going back to the roots, and creating a brand new IP.
Digimortal1871 karma2013-01-21 22:41:42 UTC
You seem quite negative about the Kickstarter chances, although it is following similar trends of other successful projects. Is this a case of personal expectations being set to high? Or do you have marketing info that suggests GPG fans should have boosted your funds further towards the target by now?
ctaylorGPG9 karma2013-01-21 23:21:47 UTC
I know it came across as negative to believe that the project would not be funded, when instead I wanted folks to know, I was trying to be realistic. If you compare Wildman against Project Eternity, Star Citizen, Wasteland 2, etc, we weren't even in the same ballpark. And I really want to explain some things... first off, the Kicktraq.com graphs are completely misleading, instead you have to look at the actual values. Second, I'm really not happy that too many people are pledging not because they like the game, but because they feel sorry for us. That's not what making games is about!! I feel terrible about that. I want people to support it because they like the idea. Otherwise it's not a true process. If it's the wrong game at the wrong time, then we need to be sent packing.
lextoc1 karma2013-01-21 23:20:34 UTC
When will the interview with Matt (youtube) take place?
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 00:25:09 UTC
I believe that's this Friday!
boscoist1 karma2013-01-21 23:00:38 UTC
I have one question that my degree is leading me to ask more and more often. I'm currently looking into systems engineering (aerospace perspective) for my senior project. I'm curious as to where does Wildman stand on a system/architectural level? The kickstarter and update videos cover many features you would like to bring to the table dependent on time and difficulty to implement.
Is there any way that we will be able to see a specifications/requirements document that the game will be designed to meet or will we hear more general claims and vague objectives that build hype but may not be fully realized?
last one, how much planning goes into concept development before anyone sits down at a keyboard to start writing code?
ctaylorGPG5 karma2013-01-21 23:53:40 UTC
Wildman uses existing technology, so the risks are much smaller than creating a game from scratch. Our goal was to run the project in a very open way, perhaps more open that anyone has ever seen. However, I'm also trying to be realistic about it, because one of the ways we save money is by cutting down on management overhead, but if we spend all our time communicating with our backers, we might be right back where we started. I just don't have a good sense of... how much detail is too much, or too little?
FalkonSwiftblade1 karma2013-01-21 22:29:45 UTC
HI Chris, sorry if this is a double post. I must have asked on the wrong board but I wanted to ask ya if war zones will be pretty much on a fixed plane box like the video we saw, or will we be traversing bridges, ledges, castle walls, or cliffs, etc. where we can knock swarms of baddies off ledges?
Also can ya include environmental damage, so that maybe we can cause avalanches or break dams to flood camps, etc? I'm still confused how this game will span 200,000 years. How does wildman evolve over time? We've seen concept art which hints he will be in fantasy settings too. I'm confused as to how the evolution occurs and how technology will be introduced, or if we even have the same wildman for the whole campaign?
ctaylorGPG7 karma2013-01-21 23:27:29 UTC
First of all, our engine technology allows for a completely arbitrary 3D world, and we can do bridges, ledges, etc, just as you describe, no problem at all... and in fact, just imagining some of those scenarios makes me kick myself for not mentioning that anywhere.
Second, the whole prehistoric man thing is a fresh idea where we can take a character, start him with nothing, not only just a bone... which I know seems ridiculous, but it's kinda fun, but also starts him with no technology. So when he explores the world, he finds not only a sword, but now has sword technology, and his troops can now use swords when they spawn from their barracks in the Warzone game. The compression of 200,000 years into a 20-40 hour game is a fun challenge, but at the end of the game, we might only be up to medieval Europe. We talked about laser guns, but as the idea evolves, I think that's another chapter after the first game is out.
TrustmeIknowaguy1 karma2013-01-21 23:28:30 UTC
Need a QA tester? I am an out of work tester in the Redmond area. May have even sold you some games if you happened to shop at the Bear Creek Gamestop from 2005-2009.
ctaylorGPG3 karma2013-01-22 00:26:07 UTC
Send us your resume... but as you can imagine, it's a bit of a longshot. :)
Copyright © 2014 BestofAMA.com, All rights reserved.
reddit has not approved or endorsed BestofAMA, reddit design elements are trademarks of reddit inc.