Three former Cryptic Studio employees have banded together to create a new crowdsourcing studio, Mob Rules Games. Rick Dakan, previously the lead designer on City of Heroes, founded the company with Johnathan Wills, who was a software engineer at Google and Cryptic and Austin McKinley, a comic artist who also worked on the Facebook game Cold War Clambake. The developer will accept donations from people and in turn will give them the ability to vote on the direction of their games. They are going to be choosing their first game from a selection of three, based on the votes of their donors. Mob Rules explained the process and its limits.
We won’t consult the voters on every little decision. We also won’t consult them on every big decision. The Mob Rules developers have a vision for our games and are responsible for making them as fun and great as we can, and design by committee seldom produces stellar results… But there are still plenty of times when there is no obvious right answer or when the opinions of our customers really are the best way to decide what to do next.
It’s certainly an interesting route to take, engaging consumers is important and having the opportunity to influence the direction a developer takes is probably something a lot of gamers would be keen to get involved in. I understand why it would have to be boiled down to votes, there’s simply not enough time in the day to trawl through every detailed suggestion that they would undoubtedly receive if they made it more open.
With games like Minecraft and Project Zomboid, gamers have shown that some of them are willing to take a gamble on a developer by supporting a game long before it’s finished, so perhaps they are ready to invest even earlier. Especially when it gives them some influence over not just one game, but the developer itself. What do you fine folks think? Would you be willing to invest in a new studio with the promise of limited influence?
Ex Cryptic staff form crowdsourcing studio… [gamesindustry.biz]