Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New year! An interview with Eloy Lasanta

Happy New Year one and all.  I am hoping I find you all well and that your new year is turning out like mine has so far!  I am back to playing Airsoft and I am starting a new diet that will hopefully drop me a few pounds!  

Today is the start of my new year of blogging and I have a special treat for you all!  Today I got the chance to chat with my friend Eloy Lasanta from Third Eye Games.

Gobbo: Who are you and what is your gamer cred?

Eloy:  I'm Eloy Lasanta and I'm the owner of Third Eye Games, but I have also freelanced with Vajra Enterprises and Paradigm Concepts as well. I've been playing games from the age of 13, so almost 20 years, and I'm a bit of a system whore. I love to try out as many new games as possible, just gobbling them all up as I come across them. I am known as the RPG motivator, because i'm behind the idea that anyone with the right diligence can create a game and get it out to the masses. I field tons of e-mails from prospective publishers/writers looking for advice and I love to help them out. 

Gobbo: How long have you been making games?

Eloy:  I launched Third Eye Games officially just over 3 years ago, but I have been writing for games since i began playing. My groups used to write up all kinds of additions to our games to enhance our play, where i wrote up adventures, amazing NPCs, new mechanics and other such gaming tools. That made it easy to roll into co-authoring a game called KidWorld and then also working on some supplemental material for Witch-Hunter: The Invisible World. 

Gobbo: What is Third Eye Games and what inspired you to make titles like Apocalypse Prevention Inc., Wu Xing and Part Time Gods?

Eloy: Third Eye Games is my brainchild. It came partly from my frustration with some of the things that came along with freelancing (i.e. long waits for feedback - if you got any at all, the uncertainty of landing jobs, having to deal with getting paid, etc.), but ultimately was because I wanted an unfettered and unaltered vision for my own worlds. 

To talk about the inspirations behind my 3 current gamelines would be quite the mouthful. All three games were concocted around the same time, but were at different stages of development (some were just more complete ideas than the others). Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. was the first gameline, taking my love of the supernatural quirkiness of Buffy and Hellboy and mixing it with a cool, detective Men In Black vibe to it. It deserved to be the flagship game for Third Eye Games. Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade came out of my love for ninja anime like Ninja Scroll and Naruto and how over-the-top is all is. It took a long time to get it just right due to the complex setting that I wanted to create for it, one that I hoped would be unmatched by other games in the same genre. Part-Time Gods, my game of modern day divinity, was born for my fandom to Neil Gaiman, but i drew from a lot of other sources as well - like comics and the TV show Dead Like Me. All three have done quite well in the market. :-)

Gobbo: So what is Sinister?

Eloy: What is Sinister? Well, it's my take on the monster hunting/capture/collecting genre, turning this well-known idea into full-fledged tabletop RPG. While I have seen other attempts at this, none of them have really hit the mark as far as I'm concerned... so i'm giving it my own shot. Instead of developing it in private, however, i've invited the fans to coming along for the ride. Posting my thoughts, concepts and mechanics to my blog for everyone to see and comment on is giving me an even closer connection with the fans and will (hopefully) churn out the best game possible. 

Gobbo: What can you tell us about Sinister that the Fans do not yet know?

Eloy: Something that the fans don't already know? Hard to say, really. Whenever i come up with a new concept I put it up on the blog for everyone to see. I will say that the combat is being specifically tailored for Sinister and is currently a nice mixture of elements from the Classic DGS an the new DGS-Lite. I hope to be able to unveil this new combat system to the fans soon, but I obviously need to make sure it actually works. lol. 

Gobbo: Is there anything you can tell gamer fans that can help us break into the industry?

Eloy:  I will say that Open Calls are uber-important, but the ability to communicate is crucial. If you respond to an open call with enthusiasm and a knowledge of the gamelines that are in question, then you'll no doubt at least be considered. With a good follow-up email, you may be able to land a job. Meeting with the developers at cons for lunch or even just a chat can cement you in their minds and make it almost impossible for them to say no. Of course, this all has to be backed up by talent as well, so you must practice, practice, practice your writing skills. Just when you think you are good enough, you need to find new ways to advance. Get opinions on your work from people that aren't your friends... that one is a big eye-opener for me. But like i said before, i'm always open to discuss publishing/freelancing with fans and those interested in getting into publishing. 

Gobbo: Thank you so much Eloy for allowing me to interview you for my blog.  I really loved when you let me give away a copy of Wu Xing on the site last year!  You games are great and we love them here.

Eloy: Thanks for the having me for the interview, Lee

Eloy will be here in Denver CO at Genghis Con XXXIIFebruary 17th - 20th.  If you are in the area, sign up and try one of his great games!  You can get more information on Sinister at Eloy's blog: