The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods

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– Karolina Firman

Hipsters are literally everywhere, you have to beat them off with a stick (Editor’s note: don’t google that phrase). Or a series of sticks connected to other sticks, in some level of complicated Transformer like hipster-stick tron.

Where was I? Oh yeah hipsters in games.

Kickstarter is one of many crowd-funding websites used by developers to make new and innovative video games. This game is based around the idea of “wizards” (cash collectors), collecting cans to make money and build your home, all while avoiding the hipsters that frequent the park. Check out the video below if you don’t believe me!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH8xi8kMDT4]

I was fortunate enough to speak to Christopher de Castro, the creator of The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods.

What inspired you to make such a game?

I used to hang around Trinity Bellwoods and would hang out there during the summer with friends. During that time the can collectors started to show up and we thought they were pretty cool and nicknamed them the Wizards because they had these big bags and walking sticks that looked like wands.

WOTB_GDCbuild_02

Pictured: Gandalf apparently.

The park now has gotten so popular and the number of Wizards has increased as well as gotten really organised that they’re an important part of the park.

Friends who could speak Mandarin started talking to them and found out that they were helping their families with the money and saw how I grew up and my grandmother taking care of our family in them.

So part of it is just observing all the interesting relationships that happen in a big urban park and the immigrant story that is also mine.

Why hipsters?

Trinity Bellwoods is totally the hipster park of Toronto. Lots of bicycles and beards in the summer. I have a nice bike, not really a beard. I’m also using the term jokingly, because really I guess I’m kinda a hipster. (Not sure if I count as one if I call myself a hipster, really doesn’t mean anything…)

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That facial hair is pretty stylized.


How hard is it to get support to make this game and how have you found Kickstarter?

Community wise I’ve been getting a lot of support from indie dev’s in Toronto as well as all the devs I meet at festivals and conferences. Everybody I’ve met has been very generous with advice and support. Monetarily wise I don’t qualify for any grants because this is my first game and I only started a year ago. I’m also lucky in that I’ve have a good career in film and a loving wife.

I’ve been part of a bunch of successful crowd-funding campaigns and know that Kickstarter itself isn’t going to help get funded. Lots of work is put into getting the word out before the launch and building a community. There’s also all the work during the campaign trying to keep momentum and looking for press to reach possible supporters. I went with Kickstarter mostly for it’s name recognition and it’s solid support.

Would you use crowd-funding again, why/why not?

I’m really using crowd-funding as a way to let people be part of the game and build up support for the project.

Literally become a part...

Literally be a part of the game.

The main reward is that I design you and put you in the park which lets people really be part of the game. The rewards are priced at barely what the designs would cost for me to do so I’m not really going to make any money doing the campaign. So for community building and testing out ideas I would use crowd-funding.

Have you ever used any other crowd-funding websites?

I’ve used Indiegogo and have friends on Patreon as well have supported campaigns on Go fund Me. Patreon I find really interesting in that I know of a few people making a living on that platform.

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve only started developing for a year and really looking forward to making more games. The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods is probably going to take another year to deliver as a full game and in the meantime I’m going to experiment with some smaller game ideas that I can finish quickly and build more experience. Want to focus on games about real life experiences and ideas and I’m really excited to be making games.

You can find The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods Kickstarter page right here. To keep in the loop on more awesome gaming articles be sure to follow LoadScreen on Twitter @load_screen, and like us on Facebook.

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