Saturday, February 1, 2014

February 2014: Co-Designing with Players

This month's topic was suggested by John Krajewski.

With the emergence of crowdfunding as a viable publishing avenue, players are not only consumers but also lately, becoming stakeholders as well as participants in game development.  Companies are embracing these direct-to-consumer business models and in tandem, the more active role of players.

Another funding model, early access or alphafunding, allows players to play through games-in-progress (for a price) and offer up suggestions for improvement.  Minecraft is an example of a game funded through early access.

Of course, we have already seen how player involvement can make a difference in game design via metrics in social games, but this is more personal and more community-based.  Fans are now part of the process.

How has co-designing with players changed your design perspective?  Do you think that this will become the standard in the future?

As always, submission guidelines along with submission procedure can be found on the right hand side of the blog.  Topic suggestions and articles are welcome! 

John Krajewski is studio head of Strange Loop Games, creator of the liquid physics puzzle game Vessel. He is currently leading development of a suite of commercial and educational games: a social/mobile game called Picture This, a cell biology exploration game called Sim Cell and H3i5T, a social algebra game. Prior to founding Strange Loop, he was Lead AI Programmer at Electronic Arts Australia, designing and developing AI systems for open world games. His portfolio of games includes Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, The Suffering, and Destroy All Humans.


Vb Wyrde said...

I've been co-designing with my play-testers quite a bit. They've been very supportive and tremendously helpful in shaping the design of the game interface, as well as helping to iron out the rules system. The deal I offer them is very simple. We play using the game system and they provide feedback. It has worked for me fabulously.

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