John Telly is the founder and CEO of Telemetry Games, a game development company that creates and develops casual PC and mobile games. The company was started in March 2015 and is based in Los Angeles, CA. Telemetry Games specializes in innovative and cooperative gameplay experiences.
John, great to have you here with us today; we are super excited! What inspired you to start Telemetry Games?
My pleasure, and thank you for having me! I started Telemetry Games because I wanted to create new types of casual games that would be more engaging and immersive to “non-traditional” gamers. I also wanted to create a gaming experience that would be more social and cooperative; the gamification of the game, so to speak!
I’d say you’ve found a unique solution to that problem! The cooperation factor in games is not seen as often, as I’ve noticed most games have a more competitive aspect. What were the most significant challenges you faced when starting?
My greatest challenge when starting was raising enough capital to get my business off the ground. I had to be very creative in finding ways to bring in revenue early on, and it was challenging to make a name for myself in such a competitive industry. Another big challenge was building a team of talented and dedicated employees. It’s essential to have the right people on board to grow and succeed, and finding those people in the early stages of a company can be challenging.
It looks like you handled that gracefully! Do you feel there are fundamental differences between different generations when playing your suite of games?
There are some generational differences regarding how people use our apps. For example, older generations are more likely to prefer face-to-face interactions. In comparison, younger generations are more likely to prefer online interactions, so getting that cooperative factor in there really boosted the generational market share. However, I think that most people, regardless of their generation, appreciate the convenience and flexibility of our games. They are casual by design, a no-stress gaming experience!
I think that is a fantastic solution to capturing Gen X and Boomers since they aren’t as big on playing games, relatively speaking! How do you differentiate yourself from competitors?
There are a few things that set us apart from our competition. We have a much more extensive selection of mini-games, offer a much more comprehensive range of cooperative play, and strongly focus on customer service and gaming experience. We take care of our customers and work diligently to ensure they are happy with their unique gaming experience, as it differs for everyone. We also have a firm commitment to quality, and we only offer products that meet the highest standards, so none of the microtransactions or plethora of ads you see these days. Our super low-cost subscription service ($2.99/mo) works best for our customers, and they have repeatedly told us they love that model.
Usually subscription gaming services for something so casual are negatively received, but I feel the subscription costs are practically negligible to most. I paid more for my latte this morning! Do you guys have any plans to extend to other countries or markets?
We are exploring other countries currently, specifically India and China. We think there is a lot of potential for our games in other parts of the world, and we want to be sure to capitalize on that. We’re still in the early stages of exploring these other opportunities, so we don’t have any specific plans or timelines to share yet. But stay tuned; we should have more news soon!
Certainly has that potential! Getting out of the US market should be a breeze for your team. What would you say was the most memorable experience in the entire process?
A few memorable experiences come to mind when thinking about our business. One of the most memorable was when we completed our first large project, a Tetris-style cooperative game, and white labeled it for a client. The client was pleased with the final product, and we blew their expectations out of the water. This gave us the confidence to continue pursuing more ambitious projects and grow our business. Another memorable experience was when we hired our first employee. We were nervous about finding the right person, but we found the perfect candidate after a lengthy interview process, and at that point, we felt like a “real” company. It was a massive milestone for our business and allowed us to take on more work.
How awesome! I feel every startup gets that eerie feeling when they go from a founder/co-founder operation to hiring their first employee. It’s a plunge they have to take, but the butterflies don’t stop coming! What strategies do you use to overcome stress and the inevitable roadblocks from delays, bugs, and other factors hindering the game development process?
I use a variety of strategies. First, I take some time for myself to clear my head and relax. I might go for a walk, read, or listen to music. I also try to stay optimistic, even in difficult situations. I know a solution exists; it just takes some time to come to me. I also rely heavily on my team to help me through tough times; they really are a dream team. We work together to come up with solutions and overcome challenges.
A good team gets you in the door, but it seems a great team takes you to new heights! What has the overall feedback been regarding your games from customers?
The feedback from customers and vendors has been overwhelmingly positive. Our games are designed to be fun and addictive. They may not be the most action intense or immersive, but the cooperative and social play keeps customers coming back. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve, so we’re grateful for any constructive feedback we receive.
It’s great that you implement the feedback received from customers, as I feel many companies just brush it under the rug. In all of the development experience at Telemetry, who has been your greatest source of inspiration?
There have been a few sources of inspiration in my career as CEO, but one, in particular, has been instrumental in my development as a business leader: my father. My father was a successful entrepreneur, and I have always admired his wisdom and guidance. He has always offered advice and support, no matter my challenges. His experience and insight are valuable resources as I navigate my business ventures.
A true inspiration, and clearly, you have navigated that path well! John, thank you so much again for your time today. Where can readers learn more about Telemetry Games?
The pleasure is all mine! Readers can visit our website, telemetrygames.com, to read about our company and products. They can also watch our product videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest Telemetry news!