Interview – Kurtis Evans (Terminal Studios)

Terminal Studios is a group of freelance writers known mostly for their work for Kenzer & Company.

First off, let me thank you for taking the time to be interviewed for the ENnies. I truly appreciate you taking the time to talk about the ENnies.

Starting off with a more personal question, Terminal Studios is a group of freelance game writers. What keeps you going? What keeps you enthusiastic about working in the RPG industry?

We’ve adapted a very pragmatic outlook about the gaming industry. This industry is a boneyard of failed businesses – and so, realistically, it makes way more sense to do stuff that’s fun than it is to dump a lot of capital into doing stuff that MIGHT be profitable. So, basically, we’ve focused a lot of our time and effort making products and games that – above all else – we enjoy. This is why, to this point, we’ve sort of attached ourselves to KenzerCo. We enjoy both their products and the people who make it. So long as they keep putting out books that excite us, we’re going to keep writing adventures and supplements for their games.

Earlier this year, Aces & Eights: The Running Death was nominated for both Best Electronic Book and Best Free Product. What did you think of the ENnies when you found out that you were nominated?

Mostly I stalked the ENnie website until the announcement was made. I knew we were up for consideration and was very hopeful that we’d actually get nominated … mostly because it was a terrific reason to go to GenCon.

Did your nominations affect product downloads and visits to site visits?

That’s a question that KenzerCo could probably answer, as Running Death is free to download at their Aces & Eights webstore. I will confirm that my game was recognized by random people at the Con and people have EMailed us to rave about how much they enjoyed it.

What projects do you have on the schedule; anything you can talk about?

We are actually putting the finishing touches on a HackMaster adventure that you’ll possibly see sometime next year (around when the HackMaster Player’s Handbook should be released). Beyond that we are working on a HackMaster location supplement that might be unlike anything that’s ever been released before (think: the ultimate sandbox setting) and we’re working on some QuickStart Rules for the Advanced HackMaster game that, hopefully, will be up for nomination as Best Free and Digital Products next year.

Now that we’ve been around for over a decade, what do the ENnies mean to you both personally and professionally?

The ENnies serve as a great reference point. If I have some extra cash in my pocket and am curious about some of the other games out there, I’ll check out the past lists of ENnie winners and nominees. Odds are good that those games are compelling to read and play and are worth my time and money.

Last question; if someone who had never heard of the ENnie Awards walked up to you today and asked, “So what are these ‘ENnies’ you keep talking about,” how would you answer them?
In fact, I’ve had to describe the ENnies a lot to the non-gamer teachers I work with. I basically describe them as an industry award that is given at a Convention which serves 30,000 plus people. Getting nominated may actually be harder than winning, considering the dozen-or-so judges who have to sift through thousands upon thousands of pages of product.

For more information on Terminal Studios, you can visit their website at www.terminal-studios.com.

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