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Tangentlemen Interview

By Christopher Stahler in Indie Spotlight

Tangentlemen

Last month at GDC it was announced that multiple AAA developers were jumping ship and joining an indie company named Tangentlemen. I wrote an article about the interview with Cory Davis and decided to each out to the team myself. Well, they responded to my questions and overall I really enjoyed talking to them. Here is the interview:

1. To new people trying to get in the industry do you have any advice? Also skip over AAA and go
to indie or try AAA first?

Toby:

Well, obviously we all came from from a AAA background, and it definitely gives you a solid understanding of how the different pieces of game development fit together, and the importance of deadlines, but it’s tough to get into. Anyone can start developing with the tools out there now, so Indie development is a great start point.

Cory:

You’ve got to start creating, and meeting the right people (other talented game developers) as soon as you possibly can. I think getting involved with an indie project, or helping out with a mod is the best way to prove yourself. If you’re able to have any form of success with the projects you get involved with, then you have a foothold. At that point, you can use your foothold to open the door to a number of different opportunities.

Rich:

I think it depends on what kind of work you want to do, AAA tend to develop specialists, whereas in. Indie you do a little bit of everything. We’re really lucky that we have a broad range of interests, so we’re. comfortable throwing ourselves into new territory.

Jigs:

Say yes. That first job is always the hardest. Take any opportunity in so you can learn but then be careful what you are good at. While you are looking for work seek out similar people and try to start a project or help on their project they are equally valuable. Nothing resonates like working on something. All successful development requires people good at integration. Working on a group project and being able to reference that experience is key. Look at others portfolios. This IS a competition and you are compared to others. Make sure your materials look good.

2. You guys are just getting started and maybe down the road I will be able to ask this question
again, but so far, other than your Garoffice, what are you enjoying about the indie atmosphere?

 Cory:

I love being able to bring my guitar in to work. I’ve been experimenting with some sounds that I think would be really good for our project, so it’s been great to just play my ideas out and see what fits. I also have a badass view of an ancient cactus.

Rich:

Impending victory born from the fires of destiny.

Jigs:

You get to set your own culture. making a company from the ground up is a big challenge but a lot of fun.

3. How did your families react? I mean essentially you guys had reached what can be considered
the top of the gaming industry and to the normal person indie development can be seen as a downgrade.

 Toby:

Everyone’s been really supportive so far. My wife is also starting her own company at the same time, so it’s been a bit of a challenge, we’re both really understanding, but at the same time, we need to able to change plans on a dime to help take care of the kids.

Cory:

Julie has been telling me to go Indie for years, so she’s been super excited! When you’re working in AAA there’s just so many things that are outside of your control. Things like release date, marketing material, schedule, and other important factors that contribute to the overall success of the game. We’re really looking forward to having more input in those areas.

Rich:

Mostly my dad gives me his opinion on how it was ok for Activision to screw over Infinity Ward.

Jigs:

Eden was just really excited we’d be cleaning out the garage.

1. In an interview during GDC Davis talked a little bit about Kickstarter. Have you guys dived deeper to the conversation about funding? If so is Kickstarter still considered a viable option?

Jigs:

We’re looking into all possible avenues for funding right now. Kickstarter has absolutely been a viable option for a lot of game projects recently, and it’s something we’re looking at very closely, however there are a lot of other options out there as well, we don’t want to rule anything out just yet.

Rich:

There have been some really successful Kickstarters in the last several months. Having the opportunity to interact directly to the gamers and retain ownership of your game is a really exciting
prospect. We’re still trying to figure out where we fit best.

2. So, what’s with the name? Why Tangentlemen? Is there any significance behind it or is it just a cool, untaken, interesting name?

Toby:

So we were all in the car together, and Cory made this offhanded joke about Tangentlemen as a potential name for a studio. We all laughed and thought it was funny, but for the life of me I can’t remember the joke. What I do remember is that it captures some of the juxtapositions we’re trying to achieve.

Rich:

We’re not the youngest guys to go Indie. Most of us have kids, and we’re bringing decades of experience to the project. The name has a sense of refinement, an appreciation for really bad puns, and just a hint of the unknown.

Cory:

I think it helps chart out the direction we want to take with our games. we want to create meaningful, unimaginable interactive experiences. It also has a myriad of meanings most of which are entirely misleading… just like the answers to life’s important questions.

3. How have you guys been prioritizing your project(s)? Meaning are you prioritizing enjoyment,
longevity, or beauty?

Cory:

Right now we have one project, I can’t say much about it yet, but I can tell you that it’s coming from a very personal place for me. We started by kind of verbally exploring some of the themes we wanted to explore with our next project, and a lot of us were mentioning the same ideas. We don’t want to make a game that’s pure ego trip, we want to make something that challenges the way our players think. I guess you could say we’re prioritizing theme.

 

I’ve really enjoyed speaking with the team and look forward to their game’s announcements. I wish them the best of luck and really hope they are having a great time in their Garroffice. For those of you who do not know, they are currently working out of a garage. So, for fun sake I just called it their Garoffice. Anyway, I’m sure Tangentlemen has a great future ahead of them and I really wish them the best. Most of their developers made my childhood and everyone I got to speak to were very nice.

 

Tangentlemen

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