Kings' Games Interview

In 2024 becoming a successful DIY creator has become more and more common but that doesn’t mean there aren't hardships. We got the chance to speak with the founder and head developer of SEIZE: Guilded Treasures trading card game and what the journey has been like for an independent creator in the underground TCG scene.


Zomb: Let’s start off light, who are you and where are you from? 

Alex: I'm Alexander King from Northern California, I currently work at Fire and Ice Games and also Owner of my own business Kings’ Games 

Zomb: Happy to have you sit down with us, so before we get into the nitty gritty let’s talk about the early days. What was it like growing up in Northern California and what are some of your favorite memories of early years? 

Alex: Growing up in Northern California in my area was nice, still it gets a bad rep for being boring but there’s realistically plenty to do. Most of my fondest memories are just hanging with the bois doing whatever we want without being controlled or monitored heavily, still hanging with these dudes and it rocks in my opinion. 

Zomb: Sometimes that hometown feel is irreplaceable, love to hear that. What were some of your favorite forms of media growing up? Games, Movies and TV Shows that struck a cord with you at a young age. 

Alex: Video games played a big part in my younger life, Final Fantasy, Banjo Kazooie, Smash Bros. So many tbh. Shows and tv shows are not as memorable. I definitely liked toonami and Cartoon Network big fan of courage and the gundam series.

Zomb: The 90s era was really something special. So to get a perspective, how old are you at the time of this interview and what were your high school years like looking back on them? 

Alex: I’m currently 33 going on 34 this month. I absolutely hated high school. It seemed like the biggest waste of time, only fond things were developing friendships, everything seemed forced and fake. I don't look fondly on those days but it’s part of the development to where I am now. 

Zomb: Totally some character development for sure. Following highschool what was your main goal? Where did you find yourself in the years following high school.

Alex: I had no idea other than I liked doing art. It was the only thing I cared about along with whatever girl I was interested in at the time. I was lost to figure out life right from the get go and learned pretty quickly how the world really works. Spent time doing cosplay, going to card game tournaments, and partying really. I didn’t really have a focus or drive other than just vibing. 

Zomb: I feel like those years following high school are so crucial, definitely know what you mean. So moving on to current times, you’re an independent developer and heavily involved in the indie trading card game scene. Where did this interest come from? Obviously TCG was something always prevalent in your life but when did you realize this was something you were doing for years as a major part of your life? 

Alex: Came from a place of hatred at first. I was pissed off about games in general. I always was very critical of things I enjoyed. I always felt things could be better. Deciding if I’m gonna complain so much I’ll just put money where my mouth is and just make something. So I did, and now I have a dedicated team and a slow forming cult like following. I’m excited to keep pushing this experiment further cause I believe I’ve developed the next evolution in card games. Exciting work really. 

Zomb: Yeah that’s an absolutely deep realization for sure. So eventually you created a concept for your own competitive trading card game called SEIZE: Guilded Treasures, what year did you initially found SEIZE: Guilded Treasures and what were some of your early plans for the project?

Alex: Yeah it’s been about almost 4 years into development, it took about three iterations and many play throughs to get down what we have today. It’s laughable that at first there wasn’t a grid and it only had 3 slots where you would switch out and rotate your characters, but I didn’t like the restriction so I looked at a chess board and got the inspiration to combine card game mechanics with basic chess piece movement. What we have now feels very sound and we are tightening the final screws for our official release by the end of 2024. 

Zomb: SGT definitely has an intense come up one hundred percent. For those that are unfamiliar with SGT, what is the basic layout of the game and how would a new player easily get the most familiar?

Alex: Well generally most people that play SGT have had experience in a tcg before, but SGT is unique in the sense that you can control of your characters completely rather than stationary and you have to consider each character like a chess piece on a board that you are trying to gain the most value out of what they can do to complete the players goal. In a way it’s a hybrid, that’s why I call it a ‘cardboard game’. So if someone has basic experience with card games and basic knowledge of chess or a board game they can easily see the smooth synthesis that SGT provides as an interactive tabletop experience.

Zomb: Extremely well said, so you’re really developing a groundbreaking experience for new and veteran players alike. SEIZE has been in the making for almost 4 years but not officially released as of yet, what are some of your plans for the summer and the rest of 2024 for SGT? 

Alex: We have our first planned tournament happening at the end of April, super excited to see the game in a serious tournament scenario. As for summer we are planning to expand our reach into other local game stores to spread the games awareness and continue our monthly play tests locally. It’s inspiring to see such a vast expansion of development and interest from makes me want to keep going and hopefully the longevity of SGT continues for years to come. 

Zomb: Most definitely, SGT has made such an impact for the short time it’s been around. Speaking of local support, for a game that isn’t officially released SGT has garnered a ton of local support. Outside of development you are currently working at Fire & Ice Games in North California, tell us a little bit about how F&I has helped SGT’s local success. 

Alex: So early 2023 there was an opportunity to work at the new store F&I was opening, at the time I only had a part time job cause I was trying to ease myself back into working. I was offered the opportunity, and since then have accumulated many connections and friendships. Ryan, the owner of F&I has given me a store front to help push the games awareness, he’s been extremely supportive in giving me a physical place and it’s definitely paying off, can’t thank them enough. 

Zomb: Massive shoutout to Fire & Ice, that’s such a great foundation for local engagement. While we’re on the topic you mentioned earlier that you’ll be hosting a tournament this month in April. Tell us a bit about your upcoming tournament and how people can get involved? 

Alex: Yeah so we are hosting our very first SGT tournament at the end of April, this is exciting for us because we get to see what the game will be like in a serious tournament scenario. It was always my goal to have a competitive level to the game originally so I want to see how this fairs. People can get involved by calling F&I directly to reserve their spot or message us on discord or check our website for any updated information. We are hoping for a solid turn out! 

Zomb: That’s such an important step, can’t wait to see how that turns out. Obviously make sure you stop by if you’re in the Northern California area at the end of the month. Moving forward you’ve been a DIY creator for most of your career, what are some obstacles you’ve faced to get where you are today and what would you like to see changed in the Indie TCG scene that SGT might be aiming to do in the long term?

Alex: The biggest struggle is just man power honestly, it’s hard being a small business with not a lot of capital. I’m just thankful I have a passionate group of people eager to help me get to where this game should be. I have about 10+ years of content ready to be worked on and pushed out into the world, along with a team creating lore for those interested on that level along with various other versions of this game to keep people involved and having real interactive fun. My future goal is to have my business turn into a game studio so we can potentially turn this game into a massive mmo, but that’s a dream that’s gonna be on a back burner for a while but it’s a worthwhile aim.

Zomb: The roadmap you have planned out is amazing and SGT is absolutely on the right path to get in front of the proper audience. One of the last questions I have for you is outside of SGT and content, what are you usually doing? What keeps your mind sane when you aren’t working on SGT related projects? 

Alex: I'm always thinking about my game, I'm trying to learn healthy separation and relaxation right now. Ive burnt time, energy, in the past on the wrong things and I’ve been trying to be able to tell myself it’s okay to take breaks. In my spare time I’m usually hanging with my friends and engaging in various games ranging from video to tabletop or messing around making lyrics for songs I want to make in the future but that’s for another time! 

Zomb: Love to hear that, it’s so crucial to have an escape outside of more serious projects 100%. My last question for you is what are your top 5 favorite trading card games of all time? No specific order. 

Alex: My top 5? My heart belongs to the first WoW tcg game, sadly it didn’t survive, but my next game would be Magic and then Pokemon. My game is top 4, and I’m gonna throw Flesh & Blood some recognition as my 5th. 

Zomb: Such a stacked 5 if we’re being honest, love those picks. Do you have any shoutouts or words of motivation before we sign off? The floor is yours my friend. 

Alex: Shout out to the development team! We are getting so far with all their energy and support! Shout out to the homies Zomb, and Heretic! Big motivators for me, and shout out to my fiancé! She keeps me focused and going! Love you guys.

Zomb: Massive shoutout to the crew! Thank you for taking time out of your day to speak with us, we’ll be keeping an eye on future SGT updates.

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Written By Zomb Slays: