Kick The Box
Interview with Alexander Argyropoulos
I had the honor of sitting down and swapping some questions and answers with Alexander, from MAGE Company, who is getting ready to launch their tenth Kickstarter campaign for a game called Höyük originally released as a Print And Play in 2006.
Kick The Box: There have been a numerous amount of tabletop publishing companies that have been started up because of successful Kickstarter campaigns including Mage Company. What does MC have that makes it stand out among the rest?
Alexander Argyropoulos: Basically we started design game in 2001 and we created MAGE in 2011 by publishing two games without using Kickstarter. We chose this platform cause more people can see our work and we can build a relationship based on trust with the backers. I think that our communication and the ability to fix any possible errors may come up are from our stronger points and many people have admitted that and keep supporting us. We do not abandon our backers but we always be there checking if everything is ok.
KTB: Your last six out of seven games have been successful Kickstarter Campaigns(Can’t wait for Machina Arcana!) What lessons from your previous Kickstarter campaigns (successful or not) have you learned and will be applying to the Höyük Kickstarter Campaign?
AA: It needs a lot of energy and patience in order to succeed.
- Be creative, work with people, get more ideas on the table during the campaign, is never late to fix some things.
- Do not let people down after a campaign. Anything happens inform them, they appreciate when you tell the truth.
- If you make a mistake and you fix they feel sure about your product, so move on… everyone make mistakes but fix them!
- Competition is big, you must make a huge preparation for the campaign, before and after. Keep their eyes on your project, offer more things, better and useful
However.. if you do all these there is a case to fail but hey… you can try again.
KTB: Speaking of Machina Arcana, How is the post Kickstarter campaign for it coming along?
AA: We keep the backers updated since rules and several graphic parts have now been completed and soon the production will begin.
KTB: Has Höyük always been only a Print N Play up to this point?
AA: Yes and that was option by the game’s author back in 2006.
KTB: Who designed Höyük?
AA: Pierre Canuel is the designer a really nice guy from France.
KTB: Is he playing a part in regards to this reprinting?
AA: No. We just asked all the info we needed and we started working the game. His job requires his presence many hours daily so no time to help us as much as we would want.
KTB: Höyük’s Kickstarter campaign starts on Feb. 25th. Why did you decide to reprint or make a physical copy of Hoyuk via Kickstarter?
AA: We were looking a game having as a theme the prehistoric age, to be simple, to be known and of course a game where a lot of people could enjoy it. The pnp has helped a lot since a lot of people have played the game and was something that help us simplify or improve few things. I think this game comes at the right time. I know more companies had checked it but they did not work on it. So it was what we were looking for.
KTB: Who did the artwork for Höyük?
AA: A Canadian artist called Anthony Cournoyer and my also my partner Michael Andresakis. They work on the game few months now and design, cut, paint and fix this, fix that. It takes a long time but they enjoy their work.
KTB: In the ruleset that you sent me, the clans are just labeled by colors. Are these just placeholder names?
AA: These names are not the final ones. We will make known the final names during the campaign and since the rules will be completed with graphics etc.
KTB: What are some of the changes that you’ve made between the original PnP and the newly revised edition slated for Kickstarter on Feb 25th?
AA: Following the feedback of the playtesters we fixed few things and we added some new cool stuff too. For example the Catastrophe cards were limited in number and specific on what they do so we decided to expand them a little and creating more in order to add to the game a variety. The most common question was: Why to start a new Block or make bigger and already existed Block since my houses will be destroyed? With few changes and a lot playtesting we changed that without losing the sense of those cards which seem to play a significant role in the game.
We also focused on the number of the players. Therefore we added a 5th player in the game in order to make it more interesting. Now Höyük is a game for 2-5 players and as we noticed the playing time remains on the same levels as with 4 players, meaning about 60 minutes which is a good time.
However we hope through our campaign to upgrade the game several times with new components and in that case we will upgrade the components of the game here in order to be known to everyone what the final game will include. We have made some new cool wooden components of our own design which fit perfectly with the game. We have found what we would like to add to the game to make it as good as possible.
More stuff will be announced via our campaign.
KTB: Thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule Alexander and good luck with the new Kickstarter campaign!(Which you can find the link to here.)
AA: Thank you for your time.