Recommend
91 
 Thumb up
 Hide
122 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: BGG Wargame Designer of the Month: Gene Billingsley rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Hunga Dunga
Canada
Oakville
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This month's BGG War-game Designer of the Month is Mr. Gene Billingsley. Better known as the founder of GMT Games, he has designed over a dozen wargames.

He started playing wargames when he was 12 years old, finding them through his local chess club ("Those AH “As Challenging as Chess…” ads worked!") Mr. Billingsley's first game was D-Day, followed quickly by most of the Avalon Hill Classics. He was addicted to Third Reich for most of his late teenage years. That phase lasted until he discovered a “new” company called SPI. In his own words, "I would have never imagined back then that I would one day work with some of the designers of those games I enjoyed so much - Mark Herman, Jim Dunnigan, Richard Berg, Vance von Borries, John Prados, and more! That’s still a really cool thing for me, as I still work with several of those guys these many years later!"

He was a huge fan of Victory Games - his favorite game company ever. He spent much of his free time in his 20s with many of their games, plus Frank Chadwick’s Third World War series from GDW.

In the late 80’s, Avalon Hill had pretty much stopped making games he liked, SPI was finished, and VG and GDW seemed to be “winding down.” Mr. Billingsley was running a local computer company at the time, but not having all that much fun at it, so he had this crazy idea that he could design some games. A year later, he’d put his entire savings into starting GMT, and released their first three designs: Silver Bayonet, Air Bridge to Victory, and Operation Shoestring, with help from two more well-known hobby names, Steve Peek and Rodger MacGowan. A few people liked the games and they won some awards, so he got to keep designing!

Mr. Billingsley loves team-building, so he did his best to build solid design teams for GMT that would allow them to create a bunch of different series and types of games to hopefully provide a very eclectic mix of (mostly) wargames for gamers who liked the same kinds of games that he did. That team approach has worked out pretty well: 200+ games and 25 years later, they’re still making games that gamers like!



As GMT has grown, Mr. Billingsley had to devote most of his time to the business side and just making sure GMT stays solid, so he doesn’t get to design much anymore, although he does spend some time helping other designers with their games. He got a chance to do a bunch of design work earlier this year on the 25th anniversary edition of Silver Bayonet (along with Mitch Land) and his summer project this year is to finish the solitaire game he's always wanted to design - "Mr. President", a resource management game about governing as the President of the United States. He's loving the process and getting to spend a summer doing what he really loves - designing a cool game.

Mr. Billingsley has agreed to sit down with us at the Superior Dairy in Hanford for a root beer milkshake, and a chance to chat about wargames.

Please give Mr. Billingsley a warm, BGG Wargame Sub-domain welcome!
70 
 Thumb up
3.28
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good choice, Hunga!

Gene, I've always considered GMT to be the "spiritual successor" to Avalon Hill, so to speak. Given your bio as posted here, is it fair to say that you agree with that sentiment? Have you consciously worked to emulate AH in how you've developed GMT into what has to be considered the leading wargaming company in the market today?
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Barry Kendall
United States
Lebanon
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Gene, congratulations on achieving DotM status! Like you, I started with the "old classics" and have continued. I was very glad to see GMT start up back when it seemed most of the serious wargame publishing companies were fading; it's hard to believe it's been 25 years for your firm. Here's hoping we're all still around for another 25.

I jumped on "Silver Bayonet" and "Operation Shoestring" in the early going, and though neither I nor available shelf space have been able to keep up with everything coming down the pike since (200+ is a LOT of game), there are GMT games on shelves all over the house and more are planned.

Looking forward to following this thread as it develops. Thanks for your efforts, innovations and commitment to keeping the tradition thriving.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander Künzle
Germany
Rotenburg (Wümme)
Niedersachsen
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great choice, here is one of your warm, BGG Wargame Sub-domain welcomes Gene !

GMT is in effect the Company that brought me into wargaming and although I never played a design from I'm very much looking forward to Mr. President. I have yet to see a game that gets politics right (I didn't play Churchill yet though) and I haven't played a solo game yet that was fun enough to stay. Mr. President looks promising to nail both things.

By the way I think GMT is a role model for excellent service. I once had problems with cards from Labyrinth that were glued together. Your company reacted quick and friendly without even charging extra costs fro shipping to Germany. So hats off to you and your friendly employees.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joseph Youst
United States
Emeryville
California
flag msg tools
designer
Good Choice! Gene has done a lot for the hobby.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GMT Games
United States
Hanford
California
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
desertfox2004 wrote:
Good choice, Hunga!

Gene, I've always considered GMT to be the "spiritual successor" to Avalon Hill, so to speak. Given your bio as posted here, is it fair to say that you agree with that sentiment? Have you consciously worked to emulate AH in how you've developed GMT into what has to be considered the leading wargaming company in the market today?
Hi Leo!

Thanks for the kind words. I always appreciate encouragement!

Those are good questions. I hear from players occasionally who talk about that "spiritual successor" idea, though it's sometimes "SPI" or "Victory Games" instead of AH. I always feel like it's a big compliment when people say that, because I loved so many of the games that all three of those companies published. And I guess when you think about the mix of designers and artists who are involved with us and also considering our product lines, I can see why gamers might think or say that.

That said, personally I don't really think about us in those terms and I definitely haven't (at least consciously) tried to emulate any of the three. But there is definitely a LOT of DNA- if you will - from those companies that is part of who we are at GMT, just because of the history and experience and "lessons learned" from several of our designers and artists who worked with and for those companies. And remember, I really didn't know much about how to run a game company when I had that crazy idea to start GMT, and I definitely believe in being humble and asking questions and trying to learn from people who know more than I do. So I HAVE - especially in the early years - purposely asked those guys to share their experiences so that I could try to utilize their experience to make us better and avoid pitfalls they'd run into when they were at AH/SPI/VG. Even today, it's not unusual for me to call Mark Herman (a good friend who also ran Victory Games, and did it well.) and ask "Hey, Mark, what would you have done with this situation at VG" or something like that. Having access to that kind of experience and industry expertise has been very helpful to me over the years. So I definitely do feel "connected" to those companies through the people who worked with both them and us, and for experience, perspectives, and creativity that they have brought with them to GMT.


I hope that answers your question. Thanks again!
47 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sim Guy
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I always felt that GMT, at least in my case, picked up the torch for the SPI, AH, VG, GDW fans. There is a similar feel to the games, and the fact that not a few of the old vets from those dear departed publishers now reside or associate with GMT, is probably why. There's a little bit of Roberts, Dunnigan, Chadwick, and that Herman guy in the games that come out of GMT and I appreciate it. I've been a fan of GMT games for a while...

This is about half of my GMT collection, on the second shelf, in amongst their cousins in arms.

Thanks to Gene, Roger, and a cast of hundreds, I'll never lack for something to play. And, as much as I try to resist they always seem to come up with ways to pull more money out of my wallet.


My only question for Gene is, "How's business?"
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GMT Games
United States
Hanford
California
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Barry Kendall wrote:
Hi Gene, congratulations on achieving DotM status! Like you, I started with the "old classics" and have continued. I was very glad to see GMT start up back when it seemed most of the serious wargame publishing companies were fading; it's hard to believe it's been 25 years for your firm. Here's hoping we're all still around for another 25.

I jumped on "Silver Bayonet" and "Operation Shoestring" in the early going, and though neither I nor available shelf space have been able to keep up with everything coming down the pike since (200+ is a LOT of game), there are GMT games on shelves all over the house and more are planned.

Looking forward to following this thread as it develops. Thanks for your efforts, innovations and commitment to keeping the tradition thriving.
Hi Barry!

You are most welcome. Glad we've been able to help you fill up your game shelves over the years. I appreciate your support.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GMT Games
United States
Hanford
California
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
derblaueClaus wrote:
Great choice, here is one of your warm, BGG Wargame Sub-domain welcomes Gene !

GMT is in effect the Company that brought me into wargaming and although I never played a design from I'm very much looking forward to Mr. President. I have yet to see a game that gets politics right (I didn't play Churchill yet though) and I haven't played a solo game yet that was fun enough to stay. Mr. President looks promising to nail both things.

By the way I think GMT is a role model for excellent service. I once had problems with cards from Labyrinth that were glued together. Your company reacted quick and friendly without even charging extra costs fro shipping to Germany. So hats off to you and your friendly employees.
Hi Alexander, and thanks for the welcome and the kind words.

I hope you get a chance to play Churchill. Mark Herman is one of my favorite designers, and just about every time he creates a new design, his creation causes me to think about a conflict or a dynamic in a way I didn't before, in addition to all the gaming pleasure I get from the new game. Churchill is another one of Mark's gems in my view, and on top of that it's easy to get into, so it's popular with my son, Luke - who's not big on games with tons of rules and length but loves good strategy games.

And I'll do my best to bring you something fun, challenging, and highly replayable with Mr. President!
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GMT Games
United States
Hanford
California
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
joeyoust wrote:
Good Choice! Gene has done a lot for the hobby.
Hi Joe!

Thanks! Hope to see you again in Hanford at our Weekend at the Warehouse in October!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GMT Games
United States
Hanford
California
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SimGuy wrote:
I always felt that GMT, at least in my case, picked up the torch for the SPI, AH, VG, GDW fans. There is a similar feel to the games, and the fact that not a few of the old vets from those dear departed publishers now reside or associate with GMT, is probably why. There's a little bit of Roberts, Dunnigan, Chadwick, and that Herman guy in the games that come out of GMT and I appreciate it. I've been a fan of GMT games for a while...

This is about half of my GMT collection, on the second shelf, in amongst their cousins in arms.

Thanks to Gene, Roger, and a cast of hundreds, I'll never lack for something to play. And, as much as I try to resist they always seem to come up with ways to pull more money out of my wallet.


My only question for Gene is, "How's business?"
Hi SimGuy!

Thanks for the peek at your collection. I think you and I share similar tastes in games.

I like your "cast of hundreds" phrasing. There really are a ton of people that help us get these games ready for your game tables, and they are all important. We currently have 41 design teams working on the next couple years' games, and although there is some overlap, most of those teams involve different designer/developer pairings along with our art support teams and dozens of testers. So it's not hard at all to get into the "hundreds" of people involved in putting out 15-20 games a year.

"Business" is going pretty well, thanks to all of you guys who continue to buy and enjoy our games. We've definitely had a few production challenges this past year, but we're paying attention and learning and dealing with the causes of those issues to make sure they don't become a trend. On the flip side of that, though, we've also released over the past year what I think are some of our best games ever. Given the strength of our design and art teams and the fact that we're all getting smarter and better at our craft and that we're still having fun and are very much engaged in the process of creating the next batches of games, I think our best days still lie ahead.
24 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congratulations Gene, and thank-you. I believe that you are one of no more than about a half-dozen people who can take credit for the wargaming hobby being as vital as it is today. Like many who will be posting here, about 2/3 of my games (at least the ones that still get table time) are GMT games. In particular, I appreciate that GMT publishes great games that are playable without a ping-pong table and a month of free weekends.

I'd like to ask about the role of developer in your games and your view on developers' role in the hobby at large. Does GMT have "staff" developers? Do the designers find their own developers? Do most games even have developers? As a designer, how do you view the contribution of a developer?
16 
 Thumb up
0.06
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sim Guy
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GMT Games wrote:
...I think our best days still lie ahead.
Of this I have no doubt, the games are better than ever, and so much more mechanically diverse than they were back in the "Golden Age". What can be done with graphics these days is nothing short of amazing, from the view of a guy that thought the original PanzerBlitz counters were groundbreaking. Best of luck going forward. thumbsup
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Oberly
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Gene, although I started in the hobby as a very young kid in the early '70s, it was definitely through GMT that I got back in the hobby in the '90s, I believe, via Paths of Glory, and Typhoon, both games I still enjoy. So thank you for that. And most recently just received Churchill, which is as nice graphically as GMT has done.

Do you have a favorite period or scale as a designer or player? Sounds like you may prefer strategic over tactical as a player. Do you see any common problems as a designer at either end of the spectrum?
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GMT Games
United States
Hanford
California
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mcszarka wrote:
Congratulations Gene, and thank-you. I believe that you are one of no more than about a half-dozen people who can take credit for the wargaming hobby being as vital as it is today. Like many who will be posting here, about 2/3 of my games (at least the ones that still get table time) are GMT games. In particular, I appreciate that GMT publishes great games that are playable without a ping-pong table and a month of free weekends.

I'd like to ask about the role of developer in your games and your view on developers' role in the hobby at large. Does GMT have "staff" developers? Do the designers find their own developers? Do most games even have developers? As a designer, how do you view the contribution of a developer?
Wow, Mike, that's a really nice thing to say. Thanks! I'll just say that whatever we've accomplished at GMT, we've done over the years as a team, so I'll pass whatever credit is due to the whole gang of designers/artists/testers/developers/and office/warehouse staff. We have a good group!

Those are good questions about the developer. So first off, we don't really have any staff developers. In terms of our creative teams, we are mostly a virtual company, with the various team members almost always communicating from distance (Chad and Kai are the couple who break the rule! :-) ) So we don't have in-house developers like some other companies past and present.

However, we DO believe that developers are a very important part of our process, so with the exception of occasional games from a few veteran designers who are very disciplined in their approach (Mark Herman and Lee Brimmicome-Wood, for example), we generally work with each designer to find a developer who is a good fit for his project. (And even in the case of Mark and Lee, those two are skilled at working with veteran members of their test teams to help them get the same functional benefits that they'd get from a developer).

So most of our games have developers and the designer always approves them. Usually we find them for them, from a group of guys who have developed a lot of games for us who are open to doing more. Occasionally a designer has someone who hasn't done the specific developer job before but whose judgement they trust and we'll work with them to help the new developer understand and fulfill his role.

I guess the last thing is how I see that role. I think it's incredibly important role. It's so valuable to have another set of eyes to look at all the aspects of the game during testing and development, even more so when you have a series developer (like Mike Bertucelli for COIN or Alan Ray for GBoH) who has all that experience of the previous games in the series. I think the process works best as a team approach with designer/developer roles well-defined. Andy Lewis and I tell the designers that the developers are in charge of testing and getting them clear feedback on what does and doesn't work. We tell the developers that their job is not to change the designer's game or even modify it. It's to give him clear feedback and let the designer make updates/corrections before a new version goes back to the testers. So the developer running the test process frees the designer to observe, listen, and then work on addressing any issues without the time sink of having to worry about all the interactions of the testing process. During final pre-production, the developers are really useful in helping the designer catch any errors that creep in during the final art/layout process. All in all, developers just make our products better. We can always use more good ones.

I hope that's a decent overview of the developer role. Thanks again for your comments and questions.
31 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GMT Games
United States
Hanford
California
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MikeOberly wrote:
Hi Gene, although I started in the hobby as a very young kid in the early '70s, it was definitely through GMT that I got back in the hobby in the '90s, I believe, via Paths of Glory, and Typhoon, both games I still enjoy. So thank you for that. And most recently just received Churchill, which is as nice graphically as GMT has done.

Do you have a favorite period or scale as a designer or player? Sounds like you may prefer strategic over tactical as a player. Do you see any common problems as a designer at either end of the spectrum?
Hi Mike!

I'm a fan of both Typhoon and PoG. I was deeply involved in the East Front Series with Vance and Tony in our early years, but just had to give up developing so many games once we started to grow as a company. Still love that series, though. (PoG, too, but EFS partially answers your question).

So my favorite scale varies with period. My favorite periods are ACW, WWII, and Contemporary/Modern.

With ACW, I really like Tactical and Strategic. I like GBACW, Dean and Dave's series of tactical ACW games, and this new system from Hermann Luttmann, seen in Revolution's recent Stonewall's Sword and our upcoming Hammerin' Sickles. Each of those systems uses various mechanics to try to put friction and fog of war into the game, and I like that in tactical 19th Century and before games. I also like strategic ACW games, my favorites being Eric Lee Smith's Civil War game for VG and Mark Herman's For the People, although I think I'm also going to be a big fan of Mark Simonitch's new ACW strategic game.

For WWII games, I just LOVE operational level games. There's something about that scale that just feels right to me. So Mark Simonitch's Operational games like Normandy '44, Ardennes '44, Ukraine '43, etc are all favorites of mine. And I love Vance's East Front series - massive but still manageable and fun. I still like Strategic, too, like the original Third Reich and Sal's Unconditional Surrender (how innovative that game is came as a big surprise to me - definitely a "new" approach, to me at least). And I have to say that I used to play Squad Leader and a little bit of ASL, and I absolutely love Combat Commander. But those games are the exception to the rule for me - as operational WWII games just really grab me, in general.

For Modern/Contemporary, I like Theatre-level games, however you want to define that scale. So I designed Crisis:Korea 1995, love to play Frank's Third World War series, and played Nick Karp's Vietnam game to death. I've found a new friend with the COIN series of theatre level games - and one of those (Fire in the Lake) has finally gotten me to set aside my VG Vietnam game as now my "2nd favorite." Mark and Volko probably don't know this, but that's about the highest praise I could give to a game - to supplant one of my old VG favorites.

Now all that is just me as a player, not a designer. I just design games on topics that I find really intriguing, and I try to create systems that are interesting that depict the period or situation well. So I've designed WWII Operational games, a Vietnam Operational game, theater-level modern games, and done the base design and research for a pretty successful modern solo fighter squadron management game. Now I'm working on a couple of solitaire games - Mr. President, where the "Theater" is the world, and a solo Vietnam series that focuses on you being a battalion commander and managing the operations of the squads and platoons in your battalion.

Game systems are mostly just applied math. That part of design isn't difficult, in the main. It's the "art" part of the design that's tough for me. Choosing your scales and systems to integrate well, streamlining those systems so you get history and playability, evoking the "feel" you want when players play your game, getting that correlation of systems and sequence of play and scale and unit ratings to reasonably recreate history while offering the player lots of interesting choices and high replayability. Not putting everything you know into the game; learning how to cut extraneous systems/information. Those are the things that I find challenging. Now that I'm getting a little extra time to design again, working on improving in these areas is what gets my time and attention.

I hope this answers your questions, Mike. Thanks again!
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
flag msg tools
2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan
badge
24th Michigan Monument Gettysburg Pa
Avatar
Microbadge: I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that...Microbadge: Jack in the Box fanMicrobadge: JugglerMicrobadge: This is a mooseover.Microbadge: Panda Express lover
My mortgage company is just about the only company that has gotten more money out of me than GMT has.
34 
 Thumb up
0.26
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GMT Games
United States
Hanford
California
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mrbeankc wrote:
My mortgage company is just about the only company that has gotten more money out of me than GMT has.
Lol Brian! I guess we're just going to have to try harder!
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim F
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Midlands
flag msg tools
You know with Hitler? the more I learn about that guy, the more I don't care for him
badge
contrarian
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I think the biggest effect of GMT on me has been to bring me back into a hobby I had abandoned for nearly a decade. The last decent game before the hiatus being Mark Herman's 'For the People', (Avalon Hill edition). I feel a genuine sense of gratitude for that.

I was wondering what makes GMT decide to go with a particular design. Is it originality, mechanics, topic, etc... or just a vibe?
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean McNeely
United States
Hilo
Hawaii
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

GMT was also one of the reasons I came back to the hobby. I only had a copy of Russian Front from my teen years. I have no idea where my other games went. I saw SPQR in Berkeley Games and was intrigued.

Didn't pick it up that day but I bought a couple of magazine games and the bug was rekindled. A month later I got it and then found BGG since it was a bit more complicated then most games I had played.

A small fortune later and I would have to say GMT is one of my favorite companies. Great games and exemplary customer service. Even the games I haven't liked I can see the merit in them and I like that they take chances on new designs.

Thanks Gene for all your hard work on this hobby.

Oh and is C&C Epic ever going to see the light of day?
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gregory Bay
United States
Kernersville
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Great Choice!

I am a newer wargamer in large part to the Commands and Colors series. Over the last year I have picked up Combat Commander and enjoyed it as well. I tried Navajo War, as I love the topic, but I think it's a bit outside my league right now.

What I appreciate about GMT is the mixture of the easier to dive into games with some of the more traditional war games, as well as Euro/Family games like Dominant Species. Games that play in 90 minutes to a few hours, or have scenarios which are good and allow this, are great for my wife and I who have time constraints like many others. Thank you for being open to change and flexible with the type of games you develop.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DominiGeek
Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo
D.N.
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm a recent gamer. GMT helped me find my wargamer nature. Before playing their games I viewed myself more like an "ameritrasher". When the curiosity arose, I bought a couple of VPG small and affordable wargames. Then I took the plunge with GMT games.

Thanks for that.

Another question, what's your take on Twilight Struggle:
Did you see this massive success coming back then?
How its success has impacted your company?
Do you think is a wargame?
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Clasing
msg tools
mbmb
Gene, I just want to say thank you for all the many hours of pleasure you've given me and my family playing your games.

As great as GMT games are (and I've been playing them since they started), what's even better is their customer service. I have a dozen examples, but I'll give one.

I purchased A Distant Plain, which is a fantastic game, and after I got it out the first time, I noticed that on on corner of the board, the paper map had rolled up in a spiral about one inch. Because I take pristine care of my games, I wanted to inquire about whether an Elmer's type glue would be the best to fix it. It really was a rather minimal problem.

I emailed the company about it, and within a couple days, when I expected an answering email saying what the best way of handling would be, I got a replacement board in the mail. That is the kind of thing that embodies how GMT cares about its customers. Thanks for that.

I do want to ask about the one major problem GMT recently had--Won by the Sword. Is it too early to ask whether that was a Designer problem, Developer problem, QA problem, or something else? My opinion is that it was one problem cascading off another, and a failure in the timely resolution of same. Is it safe to assume that a) that problem is about to reach a resolution, and b) this kind of thing is unlikely to recur?

Again, thanks for all your hard work in the hobby.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeb
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gene, thank you for taking the business risk to start a wargame company during the darkest days of the industry. I am a huge fan of GMT as you can tell when looking at the games I own. It is very clear to me that it was GMT that revitalized a dying industry and that any wargamer today owes a great deal of debt to you and your company.

My questions are:

1) Looking forward to the release of Silver Bayonet (which I have pre-ordered ... folks should jump on the pre-order bandwagon NOW). Is GMT planning to give a similar treatment to Operation Shoestring and Air bridge to Victory? I would especially be interested in an updated Operation Shoestring.
2) What was the biggest surprise/challenge for you, business wise or other, when you launched GMT?
3) How do you see the industry evolving? Where would you like to see GMT go in the future?
4) How do you see GMT's physical board game and electronic games evolving? I've always speculated that the advantage of board games are that they are less expensive/easier to release products and are therefore easier to build innovative games with but that a software release of a games are more likely to reach a wider audience.
5) As someone who plays wargames, is there a period of history that you feel deserves more attention but not financially viable to serve?
6) What games are you currently playing or plan to play in the near future?
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congratulations, Mr. Billingley !

I started playing wargames when I was 12 years old with Waterloo (AH) in 1965.

GMT embodies the best values of the wargame companies that preceded, coexisted, and still coexists with it.

The whole wargame ecological system benefits from the goodwill that (mostly) flows between the key players.

cool
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »   |