Thinking Big: A No-nonsense Interview with Travis Chance of Kolossal Games | Casual Game Revolution

Thinking Big: A No-nonsense Interview with Travis Chance of Kolossal Games

Kolossal Games Logo

Kolossal Games is a relatively new publisher in the gaming scene who has gained traction recently with Kickstarter hits like Western Legends and Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy. The founder, Travis R. Chance, previously worked with Indie Boards & Cards and Action Phase Games, and decided to form his own company in 2017.

Travis and I have a lot in common. Though I don't have the awesome tattoos or big personality, we both own board game publishing companies and grew up in the same area (Orlando, FL). It's a small world. Travis and I had met a few times in passing when my dad hired a contractor, who turned out to be Travis' uncle, Rex. I got to speaking with Rex while he fixed my dad's garage and realized that Travis had some awesome experiences and shared similarities with myself. I knew we'd hit it off if we spent more time together and was able to speak with him more at Essen, where I found out we even went to the same high school (at different times)!

I recently had the opportunity to interview Travis, and he stayed very brief and to the point — consistent with his no-nonsense personality.

Andrew Birkett: Hey Travis, when I met your uncle Rex and he mentioned that some of your family might not entirely understand your career. Do you feel like that made things more difficult early on?

Travis Chance: I have been away from home since I was 15. I have always been a bit of an outcast — I was a career drummer living in New York City for a decade and have always found a way to make a living doing what I love, one way or another. 

AB: What was the impetus for starting in the tabletop games industry? 

TC: I blew out my shoulder playing drums so had to find a new path forward. Games were the only other constant in my life, so I decided to give it a shot. I worked hard as hell, was a little lucky, and just stuck with it.  

AB: Is there anything that you’ve learned from Action Phase and have done differently at Kolossal?  

TC: Publishing is a constant learning process. Every time I think I have it figured out, I learn something new. Action Phase was awhile back for me, but I definitely learned a lot then and since. I would say the main thing I learned is to not to cut corners on things like art — which can be hard when you're a smaller company. Presentation is so important in making your game stand out these days.

AB: What led you to your business strategy of launching so many Kickstarters in such a short period of time? 

TC: It's the only way to grow into a more substantial business: getting to scale. If you have the right people, and enough of them, anything is possible. 

AB: What do you think Kolossal’s competitive advantage is? 

TC: Our team is diverse and experienced. Mix of publishing, some people with impressive professional backgrounds, creatives, etc. 

AB: What do you think set Western Legends apart from other games on Kickstarter? 

TC: Sandbox games are rare. And the Western genre often feels like "poker cards that do something else." I feel Western Legends lets you tour the Wild West in a way no other game has tried.

Western Legends

AB: What factors led you to the decision to relaunch Mezo rather than let the campaign ride?

TC: The campaign wasn't what it could be. I was too busy defending decisions instead of listening to what could be done. We needed to take feedback and not try and force our vision out into the market when there were people making great suggestions on how we could improve the campaign. 

AB: I understand you utilize a model that eliminates deep discounters from selling your products online, what were the factors that played a role in your decision to limit those sorts of sales? 

TC: It hurts us as a publisher. It hurts retailers. We feel we should be allowed to determine the value of the games we make.  

AB: What do you think is the most important thing necessary for being successful on Kickstarter? 

TC: Communication and honesty. 

AB: What are the next games in the pipeline? 

TC: Tune in in January and you will see a nice surprise coming from us. We have lots of games on the horizon: a 3 game Clowdus collection, Papillon, Hunt the Ravager, Consumption, an all new Omen game, and many, many more!

[End of Interview]

There you have it — sharp, focused, and brief. A man who knows what he wants and works to achieve it, without a lot of extra fluff — and already making a colossal impact on the gaming hobby.