Two announcements in the past few days have both indicated that player participation in games may not always be limited to playing them. Two studios, Slightly Mad Studios of Need for Speed: Shift fame and indie dev Lunar Giant, have both announced plans to involve players more on the development (and funding, in one case) side of things.
According to a report from Gamesindustry.biz Slightly Mad Studios will be crowdsourcing the development of C.A.R.S., a racing title (thanks Captain Obvious). The developers hope that the overall project, called World of Mass Development (WMD), will be used to create future titles in other genres. The game’s development will be assisted and funded by participating members of the community, who will help to fund the title by purchasing shares in the game. Those community members will be able to play the game extensively during development.
Slightly Mad will be taking 30% of the profits from C.A.R.S. with the remainder of the profits being divided amongst the community shareholders. Slightly Mad is reportedly targeting a profit of $52 million from the free-to-play, micro-transaction based title.
Traditional development puts developers at the mercy of publishers. Although it supplies the necessary funds to develop games with proper QA testing and development cycles, it also makes the development cycle subject to business matters such as financial quarters, company profits and marketing budgets. The development process offered by WMD shifts the focus back to creating great games that your target audience wants to play, whilst still offering the chance to get proper funding for development and testing”
Meanwhile, indie developer Lunar Giant is offering players and fans of the game the chance to develop DLC for their turn-based title Delve Deeper. They are offering several incentive for community participation and resources for the creation of custom maps and in-game relics.
Lunar Giant is looking to put out a fan-created installation of Delve Deeper downloadable content (DLC) for free. That means you, the player, gets to create maps and/or relics that everyone will see!
Fan-made content being supported by official devs is nothing new (the first Witcher title had community-created DLC, among others) but Slightly Mad Studios’ plan is just so crazy that it might just work.
Lunar Giant : http://dlc.delve-deeper.com/