Actor Nathan Fillion is known to mainstream fans for his portrayal of Rick Castle in over eight seasons of the ABC series, Castle. But sci-fi fans will forever remember him as Captain Mal Reynolds from Joss Whedon’s short-lived Fox series, Firefly and its big-screen follow-up, Serenity. To date, fans continue to flock to meet Fillion and the cast of the shows.

That inspired Fillion and Firefly co-star Alan Tudyk to create Con Man, a digital series that follows the lives of a pair of actors who starred in a fictional sci-fi TV show, Spectrum, that was canceled too early. The comedy raised over $3 million on Indiegogo and has spawned both a comic book and Con Man: The Game from Monkey Strength Productions. With new content expanding the mobile game world, Fillion talks to [a]listdaily about the power of crowdfunding and the importance of social media and community interaction in building an IP in this exclusive interview.

What did the Con Man video game open up for you guys creatively as an expansion of the series?

When we started this whole thing, we were really hoping we could do three episodes of Con Man and just show people this great idea Alan (Tudyk) had. We had no idea how the crowdfunding was going to go. Imagine three guys sitting in a room and starting to dream: We could do the whole series and at the end of it, we can build a spaceship; we can do a comic book. A game was brought up and we thought that was a great idea, never really considering what if it happens. The following day, it became apparent that it was going to happen. So that’s the order it happened in, and then we had to sit down and think what would be a great way to honor this Con Man world in a game.

How has all of the work you’ve personally done in games like Jade Empire, Destiny, Saints Row and the Halo franchise over the years impacted you in helping to bring ideas to this Con Man game?

As a game creator, I wouldn’t hire Nathan Fillion. I really wouldn’t. My strength lies in playing the game and saying, “You know what would be great is if this cut scene was a little shorter because it pops up and it’s right in the middle of when I’m actually doing something important, so if I could fast forward through that cut scene, I’d be a lot happier as a gamer.” That’s where my two cents comes in. And that’s actually my asking price for my opinion: two cents.

The great thing about mobile games is that they’re constantly evolving as a platform. How is the real world inspiring new content like the nerdy collectibles and Jack Moore’s Bottled Sweat that you guys have just added to the game?

What’s wonderful about mobile app gaming is you create a game and then you can monitor exactly how people play. What parts of the games are moving fast, whats parts are moving slow. Tons and tons of data come in and you can glean an understanding of where your game could improve. We also have the added benefit of it’s our fans. The people we built it for are actually the people playing. They’re on social media and they comment and they talk about it and they have excellent ideas. So we have so much information coming in, it’s kind of down to what’s the best of all these wonderful and amazing ideas.

It’s pretty amazing to be able to update a game. This is all very new territory for me. I’ve played games, but I’ve just never thought of anything other than the user perspective.

How did you get the idea to include Nolan North in his mo-cap suit in the game as a character?

Yeah, Nolan North really comes alive when you put a suit on him. It’s such a dichotomy and Nolan North is really wonderful at this. He puts on that suit and you can’t help but laugh looking at him. I mean it’s a ridiculous suit, but he becomes empowered. This is his tool. This is how he communicates, this is his work. He makes it so majestic that it really juxtaposes quite nicely the idiot suit he’s wearing. He’s really proud of that suit. We’re all very, very proud of it. We couldn’t not have it in the game. It’s kind of a no-brainer.

Do you see bigger potential in the gaming space for Con Man as a franchise when you look at consoles or the virtual reality systems that are out there today?

That’s something that really interests me—the virtual reality aspect. I would love to be able to bring a portion of Con Man into the virtual reality world. That would be quite interesting. And this is just me talking, but it’s probably not that hard to do. I’m sure there’s some programmer somewhere going, “That son of a bitch!”

What about the wave of new 360-degree storytelling in both virtual and live-action formats being explored in VR?

Yes, I read an article about that. There are startup companies where their entire purpose is trying to make sure people are looking at the right place at the right time to continue the story. We can continue the story without the missing part because they’re paying attention to something in the corner. That’s the danger of 360 movie telling. You can’t direct someone’s attention.

Do you think it increases the importance of audio, so you have 360 audio in VR and they are using that to guide people in certain ways?

Great idea. Problem solved. Go Hollywood!