Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Gamocracy: Swedish developer wants to make your game

1:20 PM on 03.17.2011 // Nick Chester

Sure, the Trollhättan, Sweden-based development team The Bearded Ladies Consulting is a small team. Founded a mere two years ago, at least two members weren't even making games at the time -- one was a liquor store salesman, another a janitor.

But that's not to say it doesn't have its share of great game ideas, and isn't capable of producing quality content. In 2010, the developer released an original title, Landit Bandit, on the PlayStation Network. Earlier this year it reworked the classic Amiga classic Pipe Mania for PS Minis as Pipe Madness; it's currently working on an Android version of the title, as well.

For its next trick, The Bearded Ladies has something else in mind: it wants your ideas for its next title. And not just some ideas that it might implement into the title. It wants all of them.

This past February, The Bearded Ladies launched its "Gamocracy" project, a completely original take on how a game is designed: by a community of gamers. On February 18, the developer threw out the most basic of premises -- it was making a PS Mini action platformer. With that blank slate, The Bearded Ladies are leaving the direction of the game up to the community.

Spanning over the course of 12 weeks, The Bearded Ladies will pose a weekly "challenge" to the community, based on how the studio would design a game internally. Week one, for instance, challenged folks to submit a protagonist for the game, along with a supporting gameplay mechanic. From the pool of submissions, The Bearded Ladies will choose five, based on what they feel is feasible for the project. They then put their selections on Facebook, where the community will vote. When a winner is chosen, the developer begins implementing that into the game's design immediately, the winners credited within the game when it ships.

Out of the gate, The Bearded Ladies are already impressed with the submissions. Studio co-founder David Skarin says the winning concept -- by an Italian game design student -- is simple yet brilliant. It's about an android named H7 that can remove his head which can be used as a pedestal, weapon, and more. In short, it's an original idea, and perfect for a smaller PS Minis project, and that's exactly the kind of stuff they're looking for.

"Everyone was like 'Yeah, that's interesting,'" Skarin tells me, referring to people's initial reactions to the Gamocracy project. "We showed [the week one winner] to a bunch of people at GDC and I think everybody said 'Oh my god, this is fucking awesome.' This is a unique platformer, you know? This kid is probably going to have a job before he's out of his school."

Take a step back and look at the Gamocracy project, and it looks a bit like a fan and community-driven game development project. But unlike many of those, this one is actually going to see the light of day.

"We had been involved in a lot of community projects before we started out company," Skarin says, "and we know that they are never, ever finished because nobody wants to the real work."

With the "Gamocracy" project, The Bearded Ladies will assure that it gets done, doing all of the "heavy lifting," so to speak. So while Skarin is fine if you want to think they're just fishing for ideas because they don't have any, don't call 'em lazy.

"We're doing twice the work over regular production. Much more than twice to make it this way," he says, keeping in mind all of the forum and community interaction the studio is involved in for Gamocracy. "So we're not lazy, but yeah, you guys come up with the creative ideas definitely. That part is right."

"We're gonna make sure that they work," he continues, "and we know, as game developers that have produced titles, what works. There's a lot of stuff that works on paper that doesn't work in reality, and we know how to cut that away and we do that job as well."

He adds that while The Bearded Ladies have the "producer" role and final call on ideas, the ultimate goal is to leave the community ideas untouched when possible.

"We're not going to add a bunch of extra gameplay," he says. When the game does hit PlayStation Network as a downloadable title, it will truly be a game that the community has shaped and designed.

The developer is also being completely transparent about the process, updating on the PlayStation Blog regularly with updates. It's even working hard to get out images and videos of the latest builds of the game, so the community can see their work and ideas in action.

"You want to go outside the box when you're trying to design a game," Skarin says. "We didn't just go outside the box -- we expanded the box to incredible dimensions."


Have your ideas heard, help build the game: follow The Bearded Ladies Consulting and Gamocracy on the PlayStation forums, the PlayStation Blog, and Facebook.

Photo Gallery: (2 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ nick at  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
I don't normally bitch about life on the internet, but I need to vent. It's been a REALLY shitty week. Hopefully life's been treating my fellow 'toiders better.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Mandatory reading
Joe Parlock avatarJoe Parlock
Ursaring is the best pokemon, followed shortly by Meganium. Duh.
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Gotta go with Vaporeon as it is absolutely adorable and makes for a great Water-Type. I'd upload a photo, but my internet is being screwy.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Jcan avatarJcan
Cool site never heard of before
Torchman avatarTorchman
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
My new least favorite type of team mate in Heroes of the Storm: they guy that declares the game is over after the enemy succeeds on one objective completion.
Heat avatarHeat
Gengar!! Poison type FTW!
ScionVyse avatarScionVyse
Luxray is the only best Pokemon.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Quick post your favorite Pokemon!
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Hell yes. Nekro just pulled this from a Pokemon card booster pack. Don't judge me, I find the game to be fun, even if my deck is terrible.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
So I decided to tinker around with some assets in Source Filmmaker and make a still image. Kind of a Jurassic Park-inspired thing with dino assets from that Ark game. Care to offer some comments, critique, etc.?
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
I think I broke it...
Torchman avatarTorchman
I have joined the discord group! Now I can call your waifu shit in more than one place!
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
Everyone's posting about waifus and I'm just here posting a blog about why I enjoy a recent game instead. This is why I'll never be promoted.
Gundy avatarGundy
There is a Spelunker themed dungeon in Megadimension Neptunia called Neplunker. It even comes complete with Spelunker music and dying from falling off waist high ledges! 10/10 would game over again.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Reminder: We have an unofficial chat page on Discord! It's fast and easy to sign up and join, too! Just create an account and click this link to join: (Expires after 24 hours)
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
You know among all the bosses I've fought I didn't expect Vagina Tooth Dragon to go down like a bitch.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
News Tip off for anyone who wants it. Seems Binding of Issac has been banned from the Apple IOS app store.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -