Introducing our Directors

Hi everyone, today it is with great enthusiasm that I unveil our Board of Directors. We are very fortunate to have such great people guiding our new company! Not everyone on this list has started yet on the board, but all things remaining equal, by April our board should be fully operational with the following members:

Skaff Elias

Skaff-EliasOwner of Three Donkeys and Computer Game Consultant.

(George) Skaff Elias was one of the original playtesters for Magic: The Gathering and helped edit the early Magic sets. Richard Garfield got him to start working for Wizards of the Coast around 1993. He has held such positions as Magic Brand Manager and Senior Vice President of Magic R&D.

He was one of the designers for various Magic sets, including Antiquities (March 1994), Fallen Empires (November 1994), and Ice Age (June 1995). Skaff also worked on the development team of numerous sets including the first core set of Magic (for which he also designed some cards), and others like Legends (June 1994). Skaff was the primary architect of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour which distributes millions of dollars in prize and scholarship money.

Skaff has consulted on various computer games and other projects for Microsoft and Electronic Arts. He received a bachelor of arts in physics from Princeton University and was studying for a PhD in mathematics at University of Pennsylvania before leaving to help start Wizards of the Coast. He is an adjunct professor of game design at the University of Washington.

Please note that GalaCollider is in no way associated with Three Donkeys or Wizards of the Coast, nor do the views of Skaff in any way represent Three Donkeys or Wizards of the Coast.

Nick Peck

Senior Manager of Audio Operations at Disney Publishing Worldwide

Nick Peck is an Audio Director/Sound Designer/Composer with a long list of apps, films and video games under his belt. His previous positions include Audio Director of Underground Development, an Activision company, Sound Supervisor at Lucasarts Entertainment Company, and Game Sound Supervisor at Skywalker Sound. He has also ran his own freelance audio production business, Perceptive Sound Design, for many years.

Nick has experience sound crafting on motion pictures and video games, including among many others: Star Wars: Battlefront and Being John Malkovich.

Nick is currently the senior manager of audio operations for Disney Publishing, where he runs an audio department that handles sound design, music composition, and dialog casting/recording/editing. They have released a plethora of award-winning iOS apps, for franchises including Wreck-It Ralph, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, Brave, Up, Toy Story, Cars, Cinderella, Tangled, and many more. Nick consistently has had one or more apps in the top ten in the entertainment and education categories simultaneously.

Nick lectures on the audio arts in California, Japan, and Canada, and has taught courses in audio production at Diablo Valley College. He has contributed to audio magazines and websites for the last decade, including Electronic Musician and Gearwire.

Please note that GalaCollider is in no way associated with Disney, nor do the views of Nick in any way represent the Walt Disney Company.

Stephan Brissaud

Stephan-BrissaudChief Operation Officer at IELLO.

Stephan created and opened the US Branch of IELLO, a fast growing publisher, possibly best known for releasing King of Tokyo from Richard Garfield.

Stephan heads the manufacturing and distribution of their games and selects which new games they will distribute in the USA and connected territories.

Prior to opening IELLO’s US branch, Stephan worked a total of 24 years in the game industry. Including sales manager / partner for WorldWise imports, VP of sales and marketing for Asmodee US, and Event manager / senior buyer for Wizards of the Coast.

Please note that GalaCollider is in no way associated with IELLO, nor do the views of Stephan in any way represent the IELLO Company.

Terry Coleman

Terry-ColemanTerry Coleman has nearly two decades of experience in creating and publishing digital games. During that time, he has designed, produced or developed on nearly every platform imaginable, from PC and Mac to handheld, online and next-generation consoles – in fact, Terry’s been around so long that he even has a Dreamcast game to his credit.

Over the years, he has worked at a variety of companies, including giants such as EA Sports, Mattel and Sierra Online, as well as smaller indie publishers like Lolapps, VPG, and Daring Play.

Some of the best-known titles he has worked on include MVP Baseball, FIFA World Cup, and several versions of the best-selling Chessmaster franchise. Terry’s latest project, Traveller Ascension: Imperial Warrant, was successfully funded on Kickstarter, and is scheduled to ship later in 2015.

 

 

Photo credit: Laurence Simon

Tempo heating

Wow it’s been quite the last few weeks.

Creative writing

We hired a new creative writer / production assistant, Amy Ballinger, who I’m sure you will read more from in the weeks/months to come, is going to be handling everything that has to do with the lore of our game. Right now she is reviewing the existing giant creative soup and turning into a coherent back-story with far better defined alien factions.

In addition to working out the world and factions, Amy is also going to provide creative guidance for our future illustrators. If all goes well this week with the core lore writing, we should be in a good position to begin the hiring process the following one.

Coding continues

On the programming front, Chris continues to slam out feature revisions at an accelerating pace. Our game will be ready for our first “test party” later this month where we will gather investors and close friends to try our first build and give us some live feedback.

The “minimum” game should be “functionally” done by the end of this month which means that Chris can then switch his focus to coding all the main game menus (the first screens you see before you create and join a game). I put quotes around these things because the “minimum” game is the smallest feature set I can see us going live with and still having a playable game, and I say “functional” because the game is still coded right now without all the beautiful graphics that our designers are making. Integrating the design into the formless code will come later in a second-pass iteration.

Board of Directors

On the company front, 3 people whom we approached to be on our board have accepted. Our board is not yet finalized (we may still add another name or two) but we already have such a great group of people now working with us, it is really a privilege to have their wisdom on our side.

Next steps

Workload for me has been getting quite high already, Rob’s working hard and I’ve hit over 20 hours of work spinning our various plates. Among other solutions we are working to add testing and production assistance as soon as possible to help reduce our increasing loads.

Here is a total list of everyone we are looking to add to our team either immediately, or within the next 3 months. Let us know if you or someone you know might be interested!

  • Producer
  • Assistant producer
  • Test manager
  • Alpha Tester / QA Tester
  • Character Illustrators
  • 3D modeler for ships and planets
  • 3D Animations and UI effects specialist
  • Sound designer / composer
  • Graphic Designer for icons and asset production
  • Unity3D C# Developer (senior or mid-level)

Till next time, space-out.

 

 

 

Fundraising scales up ambitions

Happy holidays everyone! In today’s dev-blog post I’ll talk a bit more about the fundraising side of things. Not sure if that’s the best topic for the holidays, but maybe it is if you imagine the funding helps to create presents under a tree!

With Rob, Chris and myself on board we now moved in earnest to creating a presentation and an overall plan. We did budgetary planning when we decided to code GalaCollider and we knew that we would need funds to get our product developed enough to reach a kicksarter. In our experience and observation, a successful game kickstarter will show you finished artwork for a part of the game, but not necessarily all of it. We also felt that we needed to go into a kickstarter with a game that could be Beta-ready within 3 months of a successful campaign.

Planning for success.
Planning for success.

This meant that we needed to hit a kickstarter with a game that would be fairly close to done, mechanically, but could still have a lot of artwork missing. What artwork it did have though, needed to reflect the quality of the finished product.

We evaluated that the game-play needed to be done iteratively. We should be building from a “minimum viable product” and then iterate feature sets on top of this until we had something that we could release. It is critical that we code the game in such an order that we can go live even if the kickstarter isn’t successful or raises less funds than we would like it to. Additional features can always be added on after release or as time goes on.

In terms of quality, we really want to hit the ball out of the park. Top visual artists, top coders, top game play. There is no reason to not aim for the best game here we can possibly produce.

When we put this all together we came up with our pre-funding goal. We needed immediate cash to hire the quality players we required to present a solid product in the kickstarter.

We had several talks about how to attract and reward early investors. Rob put together some great slides, we created an FAQ document and the necessary paperwork.

A slide from our current presentation.

Several friends and family members adopted early and we not only met but exceeded our initial funding goals. Go back a month or two to October/November 2014 and we already had a tree “bursting with presents”, so to speak. Hopefully this time next year we will be talking about a whole new kind of holiday special. With funds in place Rob and I could now start expanding the team with all the bright-star visual artists we so desired!

It’s been so awesome to get such great support and a high vote of confidence from a good dozen+ group of people. We wouldn’t be here building the best game we can, if it wasn’t for the stellar support of our friends and family members. Thank you and happy holidays!