Interview Time! Talking Barbarians & Orcs With Goya Games

September 18, 2019 by brennon

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With a Kickstarter launching on 20th September at 5pm BST we talked with Matthew Hobday from Goya Games about his history, the campaign he is currently working on and what we can look forward to in the future from his range of Fantasy figures.

Interview Time! Talking Barbarians & Orcs With Goya Games

Make sure to get involved in the comments and tell us what you think of the work being done on this project!

Ben: First off, could you tell us a bit about you and Goya Games?

Matthew Hobday: Certainly, I’ve been working in the games industry for almost twenty years now. Like many of the gaming community, I started off in a Games Workshop store, back when you were still allowed to buy by weight! Even back then I knew I wanted to start my own company eventually and so I worked my way across a lot of different roles to learn as much as I could along the way. I’ve been lucky enough to work in the Design Studio at Games Workshop for a few years before moving to Mantic Games where I got the chance to write my first game system before setting up resin casting.

Goya Miniature #1

The name Goya was a word I discovered a little under a year ago whilst I was setting the company up. It’s the suspension of disbelief that occurs when fantasy is so realistic it becomes reality. It really struck a chord with me and felt like a great goal to set myself. I am its only employee so far, but I work with a range of freelance artists that help bring the miniatures to life. I’ve managed to track down some great people with a history of excellent art and sculpting.

B: Your new Kickstarter is focused on creating a series of miniatures for use in Fantasy wargaming; what will be the main subject of that fundraiser?

MH: So this Kickstarter has one pretty simple goal, and that is to fund the start of a new range of miniatures. I already have everything you can pledge for at launch sculpted and test cast in resin. So all the photos you see are what I am selling, you won’t get the miniatures and have lost any detail over what you see in the Kickstarter.

Goya Miniature #4

That was a key point for me, I want to give people the confidence to know they will be getting great miniatures. I’ve been careful with the planning, I’ve got more concepts ready to go than are in this Kickstarter. The temptation to put everything in is there but I’ve drawn a line at what can realistically be achieved between now and the delivery date.

B: When it comes to designing miniatures could you tell us a bit about the different stages that go into that process, from concept through to finished product?

MH: Absolutely, all of the miniatures start off as a rough brief that I write down based on whatever crazy idea is in my head for them. That can vary from something quite specific, which was the case with the orcs, through to something much less detailed. I am always wary of being too strict with a brief for concept art. There is a reason I have chosen an artist to do the concept work over myself, its because they are better at it. If you limit them too much you are not making full use of their skills. All of my concept art to date has been done by Rob at Jenx Art & Illustration, he is great to work with and has really got some great concepts done. One of my favourites is the mount for the orc cavalry. That was a good example of a rough brief. I literally just said can you cross a hyena with a pangolin and see where we end up!

Orc Warboss Art

The concept art tends to go through quite a few revisions to get it where you want it to be. Then it gets handed over to the sculptors. Barruz Studio is handling the sculpting, they are probably best known for sculpting a lot of Infinity models and have a great team there.

Crafting Miniatures

Once the sculpts are done they are 3D printed and the manual work begins. They go through the mastering process, which sets all the feeds up to makes sure the resin can reach everywhere and the air can get out. They then go through the first round of moulding in a clear silicon. You then, very carefully, cut them out to give you a mould that can make an almost exact copy. Resin is still, I believe, the material that gives you the best possible copy.

Goya Miniature #2

These master moulds are then run, making one copy at a time which will allow you to make production moulds that do multiples at a time. They will still need to be cleaned up and sometimes adjusting to get the best possible cast in the production moulds. These production moulds have a fairly short lifespan, usually about twenty-five to thirty-five casts before a new mould is needed. All of the moulds and casting are done in a vacuum chamber, it just gives the best results. It’s a very time-consuming process but it is worth it.

B: What have been some of the pitfalls you've happened across whilst getting this campaign ready; anything you've learned from and adapted to?

MH: Getting to the launch has been quite a journey. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the industry, you are always picking up new skills. I’ve deliberately taken the miniatures we have all the way to production before launch to find and iron out as many of the issues as possible. I’d much prefer to delay the campaign start to give myself the best chance of delivering it on time.

Goya Miniature #7

At the start of the process, I wasn’t structured enough with how I was working. I was trying to do too many things at once, get too many ideas concepted and it became very difficult to keep everything on track. I quickly learnt to focus in on what exactly you need and set things out in a sensible order.

I think a lot of companies suffer from that, doing too much is just as problematic as doing too little.

B: The focus at the moment is on both these Human and Orc Barbarians but do your ideas to go further than that?

MH: Definitely, I already have more concept artwork than I can fit into this Kickstarter, so even if we hit every stretch goal there is already more to come. There are plenty more ideas in the queue as well for concepting. Ideally, I would like to get to at least four or five playable factions before launching a rule set.

Goya Miniature #3

I don’t think that you really get enough variety with less and the game can quickly get repetitive. I also have a couple of smaller self-contained games that are bubbling away in the background that will get developed when the time, or a really great idea, comes along.

B: What stretch goals do you have in mind for those who help successfully fund the Kickstarter?

MH: So the first stretch goals will be adding value to the existing range. Extra heads and weapons to increase the variety of miniatures you can assemble, or simply to allow you to not use a head or weapon if you don’t like it. I think we all know that everyone likes and dislikes different things, so I like to give people choice. There will also be some scatter terrain sets, including some social stretch goals to add in some for free. Then we will be getting into some bigger miniatures; the cavalry and monsters.

Goya Beast Preview #1

These will really flesh out the differences between the two factions. The Orcs are forest dwellers who use the animals around them for mounts, food and armour. The barbarians are hill folk, more technologically advanced with metalworking and alchemy. They have a strong bond with the drakes and dragons in the mountains.

Goya Cavalry Preview #2

Because of this, they descend into the forests to hunt, which brings them into conflict with the Orcs. There is an exclusive in there as well, its not something I want to do too many of, as it can be frustrating to miss out on something because you were late joining, but I want to add in something, beyond getting it first at a great price, as a thank you to the people that are helping Goya Games become a reality.

B: What games do you think would be a good fit for your miniatures range?

MH: I’ve tried to base the pledges around what would work in a number of games, whilst also keeping in mind the rulesets that I am developing. You will be able to choose what bases you want in the pledge manager. So, if you play Age of Sigmar or Frostgrave you can get round bases, the 9th Age or Vanguard – square bases, Kings of War – unit bases. Any number of games out there they will work in.

B: As well as that, you have said that you're working on creating your own set of rules further down the line; could you tell us more about that with some sneaky peeks?

MH: I’ve always enjoyed tactical games, with the large fantasy battle games topping the list. However, I understand, as a very small new company, I just don’t have the resources to compete in that market yet. With that in mind, I have two games in development. Firstly, a small warband based skirmish game.

human warlord art alt

I think that so often we are pressured for time so a game you can fit in in thirty-to-forty minutes is great. Even on a busy day, you have a chance to get some gaming in then. It is also very portable so bringing it along to a club is no problem. I think that that is where games like Shadespire really excel. But, for me, I prefer the options in the miniatures rather than in a deck of cards.

The second is a unit-based skirmish game. I am aiming to take your big rank and flank games and boil it down into a lower entry requirement system.

B: Away from the Kickstarter what kind of games do you enjoy playing and what are you playing right now?

MH: I've always loved the rank and flank fantasy games. At the moment when I do get some free time, I'm playing Kings of War. I also try and fit in a board game every now and again as well. I’m hoping to be able to spend some time during the Kickstarter painting up some units to show as well.

Goya Miniature #6

Thanks to Matthew Hobday for telling us more about his project and watch out for the Kickstarter on Friday, 20th September.

What do you make of the sculpts we've seen so far?

"The temptation to put everything in is there but I’ve drawn a line at what can realistically be achieved between now and the delivery date..."

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"...watch out for the Kickstarter on Friday, 20th September"

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