Interview with Ray Wehrs of Calliope Games About Titan Series
In Ravage Magazine Issue 18, there’s an interview with Rey Wehrs, CEO of Calliope Games about the upcoming Titan Series of games. We’ve got some excerpts from the interview here on TGN (because Ravage and TGN are tight like that, yo!).
Ravage: It looks like you’re forming the Avengers of game designers. How did you pull off getting all of these talented people to work on the Titan series?
Ray Wehrs: We asked nicely. Just like Black Widow. (Well, maybe not exactly like Black Widow. We didn’t bat our eyelashes.)
Seriously though, most of the Titans haven’t had the opportunity to work on a lighter, gateway game, and they’re excited about the challenge this type of design presents. The hardest part of building the team was selecting which designers we wanted. There are so many talented designers out there. In the end, we went with folks we feel have an outstanding track record and who really connect with the gaming community.
Ravage: Do you feel gateway games still offer something for the experienced board gamer?
RW: Absolutely. In addition to serving as a recruitment tool, good gateway games fill multiple needs for gamers. Still waiting for your friends to show up? Get voted off the island in a player elimination game? Brain fried after a two-hour fight against an Elder God? Try a gateway game! They’re the palette cleansers, appetizers, and desserts of the gaming world. We recommend three servings a week.
Ravage: Do you think the people gateway games are targeting will be a large part of backing the games on Kickstarter? Or do you think core gamers will carry the project?
RW: Core gamers will absolutely be the majority of our backers, and we love them for it. The gamer community on Kickstarter is comprised of game evangelists, without whom the board game industry would not exist. They’re the folks who recognize value in all games and who strive to further their hobby. That’s the best part of the Titan Series—gamers will be able to use gateway games crafted by their favorite designers to introduce their friends and family to their hobby.
Ravage: Did you have input into the style of the games the designers are to be working on, or was it more a “make whatever you want” format? Or, with the different personalities involved, was it “a little from column A, a little from column B?”
RW: Beyond fulfilling the requirements for a light, fun, and affordable Calliope-style game that plays at least six people, we didn’t give the designers specific assignments. This is their chance to put their personal brand of design into a lighter game. This project is as much about them fulfilling a dream as us fulfilling ours.
Ravage: How have you worked to keep the complexity of a Kickstarter that’s looking to fund nine games manageable? Are you worried such a thing might be intimidating to potential backers?
RW: Only if they’re intimidated by fun!
We’re not worried. It’s a lot of work, but we have a plan in place and we’ve run successful Kickstarters before—both Tsuro of the Seas and Roll For It! were Kickstarter projects. The Titan designers are also successful and established. We believe Calliope’s experience combined with the Titans’ skills and track records will put backers at ease, and that they’ll be excited about rather than intimidated by the scale of the project.
Ravage: Do you have a tentative date for the release of the first game?
RW: Assuming all goes as planned, the first game(s) will be released in the third quarter of 2015.
Ravage: Do you think Eric Lang would win in a fight with a panda?
RW: It depends. Are we talking a Takenoko panda or a Kaosball panda? We feel like we have to give Eric the benefit of the doubt with any creature that lives exclusively on bamboo. But a Kaosball panda? No way. You can’t touch that.
Either way, unless Eric is going up against a panda that can match his considerable game design skills and replace him as one of the Titans, we’d prefer he just steer clear of them altogether.
Ravage: A big thank you to Ray Wehrs, president of Calliope Games. I’m really excited to see the Titans’ games later this year.
So there you have it. Be sure to check out Ravage US Issue 18 for the complete interview and keep an eye out for the launch of the Titan Series on Kickstarter (I’m sure we’ll let you know about it here 😉 ).