Road To The IGF: Bang! Howdy's Michael Bain

Continuing Gamasutra's 'Road to the IGF' feature, which profiles and interviews Independent Games Festival 2007 entrants, today's interview is with Michael Bain, chief technical officer and co-founder of Three Rings Design, developers of tactical strategy MMO Bang! Howdy.

Three Rings worked on the game, a "multiplayer online tactical strategy game in a 3D Wild West setting", over a period of six months, with a team of nine full time developers. The title sees players competing in a "variety of gameplay scenarios using a team of units with different capabilities", and also allows them to "buy new units, gameplay affecting cards and custom avatars" using an in-game microcurrency.

The team estimate that, with the current size of the company they "anticipate spending another 54 developer months" working on expanding the game with another three towns. They add that this has the benefit of cutting the "development budget nearly in half" and allows them to "fund part of the game with revenues from the game itself".

Bang! Howdy was recently announced as one of the five finalists in the running for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Gamasutra spoke to Bain about the game, its entry into the competition, and the struggles of revenue estimation and paid and unpaid content balancing.

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