The Fall of Gyes is an in-development graphic novel set in the universe of Black Cloud Studios RPG After Reset. A collaboration between producer Richard Nixon, writer Jeremy Wilfinger, and artist Adam Burn, the novel is a stand-alone story which sheds some light on the background of the game’s starting location. We caught up with Jeremy Wilfinger to find out a bit more about the project…
A Place To Hang Your Cape: Just to start us off, can you give us a bit of an insight into The Fall of Gyes?
Jeremy Wilfinger: Well, the graphic novel is first and foremost an exploration into the development of smaller projects that have a faster turnaround than the long-term game project we’re working on. It’s something that’s attainable for us and less expensive than a full blown transmedia campaign that we just don’t have the resources to pull off. A successful launch of the graphic novel will show the (primarily gaming) community that we can be taken seriously, we can publish material and make good on our promises, and continue growing our audience.
We’re also hoping to establish a franchise series of some kind depending on the level of success we achieve with this Kickstarter. Obviously, a large number of the people interested in the graphic novel are coming from a gaming background, but we don’t want anyone to feel like they have to play the game to enjoy this story. It’s very important to us that The Fall of Gyes is a successful standalone product.
AP2HYC: What has been the most challenging aspect of the project so far? How about the most fun?
Jeremy: The hardest part always boils down to finding the funding. Launching a new IP is never an easy task, but it’s even more difficult when you’re a small studio with a low budget. Everyone has to work extra hard, and often ends up doing jobs outside their usual scope. But it’s worth it. Finishing a project is of course very rewarding in itself, but I think most of us really enjoy our interactions with fans the most. I think every creator faces that moment differently, where they are feeling a little self-conscious about their work or worrying about something, and then a fan leaves a comment on our forum or Kickstarter about how awesome something is—and you get to say ‘Hey, I worked on that!’ It’s very cool and fulfilling. Of course the reverse can also happen when you get criticized, but that doesn’t take away anything from the journey. If anything, it motivates you to try harder next time.
AP2HYC: The artwork for this project is stunningly beautiful. Can you tell about the process of working with artist Adam Burn, and how he came to be on-board?
Jeremy: We’re all very excited to work with Adam, he’s very talented and approachable. He was first introduced as a candidate for our project when we saw his work on the Telicos Protocol campaign for Kickstarter. Considering that we were also about to launch our own campaign, it seemed like a really good idea to capitalize on his momentum with a successful launch. When we contacted him, we found that he liked what we wanted to do with The Fall of Gyes, his schedule would work with ours, and everything just fell into place. We certainly considered other options, but Adam was always our first pick.
AP2HYC: On your Kickstarter, you recommend the novel to fans of Ridley Scott and John Carpenter. How have they influenced your work? Who else has inspired you?
Jeremy: We really want to raise the bar with this project in terms of quality, by showing just how cinematic a graphic novel can be when you go the extra mile for it. In this day and age there is precious little that can be objectively termed ‘original,’ so we feel that if you’re going to get inspired by or borrow from something—go with a classic. This is how we feel when we watch those films, both in terms of the quality narratives and concepts, as well as the fantastic direction and technical execution of their movies. It’s something that we find lacking in a lot of products out there that are very stylized and have crazy/unbelievable storylines (for the sake of trying to be original) and are often not in full color.
While there are some objective reasons (aside from the expense) involved with grey tones and line art, we want to show what the ‘high end’ of the spectrum can be in this medium. Naturally, this makes the whole process a lot more expensive, but we think the end product will really be worth it. We’ve also been inspired by The Last of Us, Deadspace, Fallout, Planescape: Torment, and tons of other quality role playing experiences. Perhaps especially The Last of Us, which I think is hands down one of the most engaging and thoroughly well-crafted gaming experiences out there in apocalyptic science fiction.
AP2HYC: Can you tell us about your working process and how you’ve collaborated with Richard (creator of the original idea and producer)?
Jeremy: I tend to be very thorough in my writing, always taking the time to really layer characters and plot, and it’s easy to get mired in that process. I don’t mean to imply that I miss deadlines, but something that’s cool about collaborating with a producer is that they have a very prevalent ‘get it done’ attitude that’s always about moving on to the next big thing. In this regard I think we complement each other well, where Richard’s always motivating me to push myself, and I’m acting as something of a quality control to achieve the best result. It’s been challenging at times, especially since there’s a language barrier too, but that’s one of the reasons why I think I’m such a good fit for the studio. I help translate and polish their ideas into a refined concept.
AP2HYC: Can you give us one reason we should all just go ahead and buy The Fall of Gyes?
Jeremy: The most relevant reason is that it’s going to be an awesome graphic novel, even though we know that the Kickstarter pledges are a bit hefty. It’s the price of trying to raise the bar, but we’ve also given away tons of content in our updates (both on our main website, and the Kickstarter), including soundtracks, art, wallpapers, and more. There’s value there, and we’re going to continue that tradition as we move forward. If we do at any point lower the price for our products post-launch, we’ll make sure to compensate the Kickstarter fans somehow for their early pledges. So, if you like apocalyptic fiction, if you like dramatic encounters with dangerous and strange creatures—you pretty much can’t go wrong with The Fall of Gyes.