Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Queen By Midnight: How Critical Role & Yu-Gi-Oh! Helped Kyle Shire Build A Gaming Hit – Exclusive Interview

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Going off that, a lot of people, I’m sure, deal with being on funemployment, or if they have a job, doing their day job while having whatever creative passion project they want to do, whether it’s designing a game, working on music, writing a screenplay, whatever. Would you have any advice for those people on maintaining the motivation to see the passion projects through? As you said, there’s no guarantee of success, but you have to do it even if it’s during those times when it’s a little more difficult.

The most important thing is, first of all, making sure that you are making something that you would want to buy or read or watch — making sure that you are the target audience first, to a degree, and then figuring out what other audience members you can bring in a reasonable manner, and being realistic about that, because you absolutely can make something that you are not enthusiastic about. There are writers and directors and performers that do that in this town every single day. They are also probably writers, actors, and performers who are getting paid pretty well and consistently to do that. When you are making something that you do not have a guarantee of success or even a guarantee of a paycheck with, it is so important that you make sure that you love it first, because you are going to be the first person to love this thing, and it’s important that you do what you can to nurture it, like how you would a loved one.

I very well could have been like, “I don’t know about having Darrington Press publish this. I’m going to self-publish it, or I’m going to do X, Y, and Z.” I had to check myself in that moment, because this game had done so much for me emotionally as a concept. It shepherded me out of a bad place in my life, and I could have had it sit in Google Drive for another three years. Nothing would’ve happened with it, and I would not have been doing right by this game for doing that. By giving it to these people who were able to bring in some of the most talented, kindhearted, hardworking artists and game designers and producers out there, I did right by the game, and that’s because I loved it. Make sure that you love it, because if you don’t, you’re probably not going to be able to maintain the steam when you’re sitting there chain-smoking on your North Hollywood balcony, looking over spreadsheets going, “How do I make the wind conditions of this character feel more epic?”

For anyone who might be on the fence about buying “Queen by Midnight,” what would be your pitch to convince them to pick it up and give it a shot with their friends?

If you are on the fence about purchasing “Queen by Midnight,” odds are you probably have never played a deck-building game before, because if you have played a deck-building game before, then you’re probably already super on board. If you haven’t played a deck-building game before, “Queen by Midnight” has an exceptionally low barrier of entry for new deck-building players. I have seen a great deal of people, who have never played a deck-building game before, pick this game up, and by round three they’re like, “Oh my God, I need to play this again.” As we all know with deck builders, those first couple rounds can set the tone for how well you’re going to do. I have seen people pick it up very easily with this game. If you’re able to get this, then you can get a lot of other deck builders out there, and you might open yourself up to a whole new genre of game that you never knew was that lovely.

“Queen By Midnight” is available now at the Critical Role online store and at Darrington Press Guild Stores.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

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