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Gas Powered Games Layoffs

Gas Powered Games has laid of some staff shortly after the launch of their Wildman Kickstarter seeking $1.1 million for a new action/RPG. This is reported by Kotaku, who confirmed that the company has cut some staff with honcho Chris Taylor after getting wind of them through the grapevine. Taylor did not confirm the extent of the layoffs, however, so there are dramatic elements to the Kotaku report which remain speculative, as one source told them these were due to the Kickstarter underperforming, while other sources have told them that almost everyone who worked for the company was let go. There's a follow up to this on Gamasutra. "The studio is still operating, but we had to slim WAY down to conserve cash reserves," Chris Taylor confirmed for them, confirming some earlier comments that they are all in on Wildman: "We spent all the last dough that we've had, and the last several months working on it. So we're betting the company on it."

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51. Re: Gas Powered Games Layoffs Jan 19, 2013, 17:42 WaltC
$1M today to do a full-featured, full-length game is peanuts. If people want to see developing going back to "the garage" then they need to get in behind every effort they see like this that engages their interest. The $45 KS tier still available for this game is absurdly great for the amount of stuff you get for the money. I want to see games reduced in development costs and reduced in price, and supporting this kind of effort is the way to do that. Cutting out the game publisher is a great way to eliminate lots of unnecessary costs.

However, for me, Wildman may not be my first choice--or even in my top ten Kick Starters, regrettably. I was a huge fan of Dungeon Siege (1)--must've played the game through at least three times. Loved it, and especially loved its length--thought it was *right.* (I refuse to spend $40-$50 on a 10-20 hour SP game--I want *at least* 50 hours, and I want an immersive game, too. I'm not easy to please. Can't recall how much time, precisely, I spent playing DS1 through, but it was long enough to satisfy.) Indeed, I still have a modded version of DS1 installed which I fire up from time to time under Win8x64.

Next thing I know Chris Taylor is out there telling the world that their biggest mistake with DS1 was that the game was "too long." "Oh, no", I can remember thinking at the time--"I'm reading GPG's obituary!" Still, when DS2 was released, I bought it anyway--and was disappointed at how far the game design had shrunk back in the other direction--it was short & shallow, and I found it nowhere near as intriguing as DS1. Worse, the game seemed to make no effort to distinguish itself. I was disappointed. I was disappointed with Total Annihilation--such great potential, such poor execution--such an overall disappointment. Same for several other Chris Taylor/GPG game titles I've bought since DS1--well, all of them really. The "less is more" advertising mantra has never worked for me, and probably never will.

I'd like to see GPG and Chris make it. But Wildman honestly looks to me like an idea sketched on the back of a napkin sometime between Christmas 2012 and New Year's day 2013. I wish 'em the best and if and when Wildman ships I might even buy it so long as it isn't another cookie-cutter "half-way" cell-phone game of the kind that seems so popular today. If I never see another such game it will be too soon for me.

Chris: remember what you did *right* with DS1 and strive for that again--"too short" is a far more egregious sin than "too long."
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