Archive for July, 2012

For several reasons, the velocity of Textfyre development (business, technology, and content) has been measured in spoonfuls. To say it has been a slow process is an understatement. Some of this had to do with the economy, some to family stuff (my youngest is nearly 8 years old now), and some to the business climate. Regardless of those impediments, Textfyre is moving forward at a much faster pace.

To start, I recently joined a digital start-up office in Chicago called 1871. So far this has only provided a workplace in downtown Chicago, but it has amenities that will help us grow.

I put out feelers for new team members, all on the business side. I always knew that Textfyre could not truly be successful without partners and now I’m actively seeking people to fill roles like finance, marketing, product development manager, website geek, and so on.

I still have all of my interactive fiction contacts, although some are less available than others. I’m pretty sure though that if Textfyre finds cash, we’ll be able to hire enough IF talent to do the work I envision.

I have not signed anyone to agreements yet, but I have found people who may fill finance, marketing, art direction, and investor relation roles. Once these positions are solidified, I will introduce the people to you through this blog and on the upcoming face lift to the Textfyre.Com website, which is not the website I had promised in recent months. That website will be turned into a pay-for service, which is a topic for another post. The new website will be corporate, informational, and professionally implemented (um, not by me).

I will continue to push our two flagship fictional IF games through the Kindle, iPad, Android, and soon Windows 8, but these types of products are unlikely to be our focus for an unknown period of time. We’ll get back to traditional IF at some point, but we’re going to work on something else for the near-term.

I have also been very busy networking and this has been paying off in the highest level of contacts. If we’re to succeed, we’re going to need every partner we can muster, and getting to know the bigger players will help us define and execute our goals all the more efficiently.

If you’re interested in pitching, we’re going to be meeting at 1871 regularly. Drop me a note and tell me how you think you can make Textfyre successful.

There are all kinds of people and businesses in the startup world. I know some people don’t view writers and directors as such, but I know a few and I would disagree with those people. I think people who throw down their own cash and credit, gather friends and family money, and use crowd sourcing to bring their ideas to life are just as much an entreprenuer as those of us trying to build sustainable business models.

Jack Marchetti’s is one such man. Jack is a 32 year old screenwriter from Chicago and what’s different about Jack is that he’s about to go blind. Not today or tomorrow, but in a few years. This makes for a compelling story. A young man, in the prime of his life, happy and successful as a computer technologist, but faced with a certain future of gradually losing his sight and any ability to direct a movie. It’s one thing for people to have dreams and say, “Well, I can always get back to that later in life.” In Jack’s case, that’s exactly what he cannot do. If he’s going to direct a movie, it has to be right now.

Jack has worked very hard to get one particular script on film. 4 of a Kind is a story about four friends that find themselves in an impossible situation. Motives are unclear, priorities are screwed up, and things happen. Very bad things happen. It’s a very good story with very compelling characters. The script finished in the top 100 of the third season of Project Greenlight, the brainchild of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

I worked with Jack on two projects as a computer consultant and I’d recommend his work to anyone, not just on his technical credentials, but his affable and intelligent nature. He has the right sense of communication to be an excellent leader on a movie set and I sincerely doubt he’d have any problems working with any level of talent or budget. He’s focused and ready to work.

So with all of that said, I urge you to visit the 4 of a Kind Kickstarter crowd sourcing page and pitch into an important moment in Jack’s life. You can also follow the campaign and eventually the movie-making progress on Twitter and Facebook.