Welcome to another episode of…
Journey to Game Design – Part 3
Part 2 consisted of me talking about my experiences with developing Tower of Infinum.
Now, I’ll begin talking about my 3rd attempt:
3rd Game Attempt – Fate of The Chosen
This project launched a couple of months ago (around October of 2013), this was to be a new game within the world set in Tower of Infinum (ToI). Also, the story takes place further in the time period presented in ToI so this includes various cultures, continents, characters and more!
I have attempted to get this project running by approaching a different method which I named crowd-developing. I assume this has been approached before so I’m not going to claim that I created this… unless I did? Haha, anyways, rather than relying on a group of people to develop the game from start to finish, I wanted to make it so people can develop and leave the project whenever they wanted. What this meant is that any content not completed by a member would be completed by another member, although they’ll still receive credit for their work. Also, the game would be developed in stages which meant that the first stage was level design.
I would continue to use RPG Maker VX Ace and had planned to use the provided assets as placeholders until original content can be created. This was because I wanted my game to be as original as possible. I’m thinking that it would be best to use the art provided as official art because of the costs associated with creating original art. Anyways, the development of this mobile game reached a standstill, unfortunately. As I think about the reasons why, I wonder if it’s something I’m doing wrong or this is something that’s out of my control…
Terms and Conditions
With this game project, I decided to take a new approach and established Terms and Conditions (or to be exact, Terms of Development). This meant that anyone who wanted to be involved with the project would need to read and sign the document before they can contribute towards the project. The document basically states that anything they contribute will be credited by them and if they leave their work unfinished, it may be completed by another user in which case both users will be credited for the work in question.
Also, each user who agrees to the document would need to be placed under a 30 Day Probation Period. This meant that I would need to be provided a Daily Update Report so I can track their progress. It’ll inform me that they are actively contributing to the project. Last but not least, it’ll determine who gets official credit for the development of the game upon it’s release. I created this document so people can understand how serious I am and how I’m taking the schedules of users into consideration. Because I know that users come and go, I wanted to be clear that whatever they created is credited to them. Also, I wanted to attempt to weed out the slackers from the serious developers.
When I first posted the launch of the project (as seen here), I didn’t get much response. Part of this was because I didn’t post much of the story (because I wanted to surprise people, but reconsidered at the request of a user’s reply). After I added more to the post and supplied a game doc (excluding some important plot points), I still didn’t get any responses from potential contributors. I wondered if I pushed people away by being too demanding? I honestly don’t think I did, rather, I tried my best to be fair for both sides (me and the user). I wanted users to know that I was thinking of them each step of the development process. After a few weeks of no response, I finally received a reply from a user who wanted to contribute to the project. I was very excited because I had finally recruited someone for the project. This person was to design the levels that I outlined in an accompanying document. For 2 days, this user effectively contributed and provided their talents to the project, but I lost contact after the 3rd day. I literally haven’t received any kind of word from the user. I don’t know if the user has no internet connection and therefore, can’t reply or they simply moved on. Because of this, the development of the project has stopped. This is one of the reasons why the document exists so works not finished would be finished by another user.
Now that the development has stopped, I’m unsure of what to effectively do. I mean, I could attempt to design the levels myself, but I firmly believe that my designs would be unappealing compared to what I’ve seen on various websites. Also, I would more than likely ask for my designs to be redone by more talented and artistic individuals. I’m leaning towards the idea of just designing the levels myself and putting up with my quality of work…
It has been over a month since the game hasn’t progressed so I’m wondering if I did something wrong in regards to acquiring users.
I should mention that no one was getting paid for it’s development because I have no funds to pay them. I am a struggling entrepreneur after all. Please don’t think that I’m trying to use people because in reality, I’m not getting paid for this project either. I’m developing this on my free time in the hopes that I can release this project as a commercial game and receive some sort of financial return. Don’t worry though, I would’ve paid users who met the required conditions for financial profits so it’s not like I would be the only person benefiting from this project!
So what now? Well, the game is currently on hold either until I design the levels myself or someone who is more talented offers to create them, thus being a member of the development team! I’ll let you know what action I take because if I decide to make this a solo project, I’m not sure I will let others be involved (unless it’s some sort of paid work) because I don’t want to lead the game into another standstill…
With that said, I’m:
- Deciding on what should happen with this game…
- Currently developing the literary novel (as stated in Journey of Game Design – Part 1)
- Currently in talks with a former teammate to redevelop ToI!
I’ll let you know soon!