Local game creator Max Holliday is the genius behind the Mayday Games hit Eaten By Zombies!, which has been doing really well on the indie game circuit, as interviewed this week by our good friend Gavin Sheehan at City Weekly. In the piece the two talk about the game’s origins and development, as well as getting funding and being picked up by Mayday. An interesting read for indie gamers looking to make the next best card game.
Gavin: What was it like for you developing the game and making sure the mechanics worked to make it fair and easy to play for anyone who started?
Max: Oh, that sucked! I played the game for six – seven months with one set of rules that people loved, and then I showed it to my friend Travis. I explained how to play, he said okay, and broke the rules into a braining mash for toothless geriatric zombies. I had to go back and rework everything, trying to keep the things that people were loving while fixing the things Travis exploited. I worked for two more months to tweak everything. Before I could start play-testing again, this happened a couple of times in the first year and a half. The biggest help came when I started asking the online community at BoardGameGeek.com to help with play-testing. They gave me a lot of great feedback and helped a lot to make sure everything was ready.
Gavin: You sought out funding on Kickstarter and received over $47k for the project. What made you turn to Kickstarter, and what did you think of the support you received?
Max: Well, the support was mind-blowing! The game was just something I made for myself, and then to see that kind of interest was unbelievable! The Kickstarter was more of the publishers doing than mine. I had never heard much about it at that point. At the time, we were the third-highest-funded game of our kind; now we’re not even close. Kickstarter is a very different beast nowadays. It has become more of a pre-order system for big(ish) companies and a way for small companies to get some press for their products, although it is still making it possible for individuals to make things that would never get founded otherwise, I think of it as the reverse of the show The Shark Tank: Instead of having to convince three people to give you a huge chunk of cash, you have to convince a lot of people to give a reasonable chunk of their cash, and you hope you can get that huge chunk to get your product made. For us, it was more just trying to feel things out and see if we could sell the game; it turns out we could! Yay!