Thursday, 8 May 2014

Spotlight: Bushido Dojo with GCT Studios

Next up in my series of interviews is with Toby and Odin from GCT Studios, creators of 'Bushido' the fantasy skirmish game set in the oriental styled Jwar Isles. It uses only a handful of models on a 2x2 board to make it quick and easy to get involved with yet exceedingly tactical in play.

Bushido has taken off massively in the last 12 months guys, locally its gone from just myself to 3 clubs with around 30 players so far. Has this come as a bit of a surprise?

We took and continue to take a long time developing the game and so we're confident that when people get the chance to play they'll enjoy it too. One of the companies guiding principles is to ensure that our products are of a high standard across the board so to speak for themselves but its really helped by Retainers helping out by putting in the hours to get the game more exposure.

The Chelmsford Bunker demoing Bushido at Diceni 2014

You all know that line about Wookies yeah...?

Getting the rulebook out after two years of testing and tweeking was a big step, was it a massive effort on your parts and was it an all consuming project?

It was a long process but that's how we planned it. We always knew we wanted to draw upon a great amount of input we would get from the players. The participation and help from the fans make this a really great hobby to be a part of. There are a lot of elements to draw together to complete a rulebook so yes it was a big effort but we know have a final product we can hold in our hands and be proud of.

The Ito were crowd funded where as the Silvermoon Syndicate were all "in house", I personally feel this shows the strength and stability of the product. Will further factions down the road continue to be released in this way?

We assess each business decision we take by weighing up the potions and then deciding on the best way in which to deliver them to the consumer. At the time of the Ito they were best released through a kickstarter style project, Silvermoons we felt not. Its hard to tell and the decision is based on lots of factors.

The regular release pattern of every two months is great for the players as they know where they stand, and not have to wait months/years for reinforcements. Has it been an easy process to maintain the releases at this rate? And will adding more factions impact on it?

Another key aspect of our model is to create confidence in our product. Constant regular releases we felt fostered that and also promotes a healthy and constantly changing meta within the game. Yes it can be and yet there are sometimes challenges but its very important to us and so that's why we've made sure we have stuck to the principle since the games release in 2011 and will continue to do so.

The Silvermoons have created a big impact on the bushido universe, their play style is quite differentfrom the other forces. Was this intentional with a lot of the faction concepted before release, and will future factions such as the Tengu keep up the variety?

In all the factions we aimed at creating a "feel" in how the faction played and hope to create different and varied game experiences in the different factions. Its definitely something we aim to carry on with the Tengu.

The tourney scene is starting to come together now with quite a few, not just in the UK, but across the world. Was this always your intention to develop bushido as a tournament system?

We are thrilled every time we see or hear about another Bushido tournament going on, both local like Smog Con, Bunkermitsu or Jwardiff, and further afield. I believe the annual Iron Dragon tournament run by our Retainer Ret_AdvanceOp in Perth, Australia takes the prize for being the furthest away. The team has a long history of participating in, organizing and hosting tournaments. It is a part of the hobby that we massively enjoy so yes, tournament play was always going to be part of bushido.

Many local players are asking if you have plans to release the Tengu this year?

I'm afraid they will have to wait and see, but they can be rest assured they are in development.

One of the big draws to the game other than the awesome model range is that its genuinely an inexpensive system to pick up. Other games can start with a small buy in but escalate rapidly. Was this an important part of the design for the game?

We wanted a game that is as accessible as possible, from free rules to true skirmish. We wanted to make a game that as many people as possible will give it a try and then believe we have done enough to reward them for doing so and more importantly keep them playing.

As I mentioned at the start, the last 12 months have been great, apart from more factions coming out what else can we expect to see over the next 12 months?

We have some amazing miniatures lined up that we think are really going to blow the players away! We are also looking at ways to supplement the gaming experience from tokens to terrain... Watch this space so to speak

The Silvermoon reward system has, if my local meta is anything to go by, helped to encourage people to run events such as the tournaments but also some progression leagues, can non-Retainers purchase these packs?

At the moment Silvermoon reward packs are only available to Retainers and store owners. We are really happy that the scheme has been well received but like everything we do, we are still looking at improving it in the future.

At Bunkermitsu and Salute you mentioned plans for a board game, how are these progressing?

The board game is progressing nicely, those that are waiting for more ninja in the Jwar Isles should be getting ready about now... We will be making a big announcement about it very soon.

Many thanks for your time guys, and for giving such open and honest responses... Fanplastic Little Men will be continuing its support of GCT and Bushido for as long as there is Bushido to support haha! One last thing, any chance of a cheeky concept spoiler to reveal?

Cheers Rid, here is a particular favourite that is in the works...


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