I had the pleasure of attending the game ‘Developer Conference’ 24th of November 2011 in Liverpool. A great event that I can recommend to anyone out there. You get access to a a lot of influential people from the major developers\ publishers as well as some great Indie developers too. This year speakers included ‘Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide/Europe’, ‘Electronic Arts’, ‘Blitz Games’ and ‘Slightly Mad Studios’ to name just a few, and of course MuslimGamer.com was there to bring back the news for you. Over the next week, Ill be writing articles on the sessions I got to attend and hopefully show you how great these kind of events are for those interested in not only gaming, but what goes on behind the scenes too .
While the event was very educational, fun and generally an amazing experience, its also a great resource for those interested in getting into the industry or for those already in the industry to see where the future is headed. Here is a sneak peak of the articles ahead.
- Article 1: World Of Mass Development
- Article 2: Ethics and Designing Addiction in Games
- Article 3: Whales, True Fans and the Ethics of Free-to-Play
- Article 4: Where is the Fun: Measuring Social Interaction, Production
- Article 5: Convergence is Change and Change is Good!
- Article 6: Strategies for survival in the Games industry
- Article 7: Developer’s Question Time
So I arrived at the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool where the conference was taking place in the nick of time. I was pointed in the right direction by the receptionist and was greeted by some student developers that were handing out the Programme for the day. It was great to see that they were getting “The Community” involved by having the students involved in the conference too. After getting my Press Pass on I quickly ran off to the main room where the Opening keynote was taking place.
The opening keynote was by Sony who were speaking about the PS Vita and the ease of programming for it. Interesting enough as Sony has always had a reputation of being one of the more difficult platforms to make games for. Soon after the opening keynote I had the choice of going to 1 of 3 rooms as they were all being presented at the same time. At that point, I wished that I could have cloned myself and attended each of those rooms, but unfortunately I had to make a choice. So this time round we will start the series with the new project by ‘Slightly Mad Studios’.
WMD: A New Way to AAA
Slightly Mad studios started off in 2002 as a group of modders for simulation race games. In 2003 they formed SIMBIN Studios, but the core team then went on to form BlimeyGames and then Slightly Mad Studios. To date they have published hugely successful games such as GT Legends, GTR2, BMW 3 Challenge, Need For Speed Shift 1 and Need For Speed Shift 2. Like most devs these days, they are gamers, so it was great to see gamers creating content for other gamers. What makes the team different is that they arent all in one studio somewhere in the world, the unique thing about this team is that they are spread all over the world. So through the use of forums, Skype and MSN they communicate with each other and further the development of their games. As they say , necessity is the mother of all invention, so their particular need, lead them to their latest project “World of Mass Development”. A brilliant idea where their platform allows for games projects to be funded by the gaming community itself.
Have you ever wanted to be part of the development of a game? I don’t just mean becoming a tester; I’m talking about being much more than that. Actually having a say about which way it progresses by giving ideas, tips and hints directly to the developers? Asking for things that you think would make the game better and passing that feedback directly back to the game devs. Or for the flip side of this and asking for things to be removed from the game because you think it would make the game less enjoyable?
Well with World of Mass Development you can now directly be a part of that process. The best thing about it is, you can do it from the comfort of your own home and do it as an investor. Let me give you an example of how it works.
Slightly Mad Studios are currently working on a game called Project Cars. One community team member of WMD (World of Mass Development) spotted a black line on the screen on a specific track that he was racing on. The developers asked him to record it and post it on YouTube. After they watched the video they asked him to give them more information about the system he was running such as his graphics card and what he was doing at the time etc… They are not concerned about hiding from the world all the problems that the game may currently have, for them its about knowing and fixing those problems as early as possible. Every week your given a new build of the game that they are working on to play with (in this case ‘Project Cars’). As the game develops they keep you updated on the progress of their work and what the new build has fixed. Think of it as a kind of Dev diary about what they are working on but with an added personal touch and a lot more frequent. What I really loved about World of Mass Development was the fact that you could see they want to be completely open about the process and they make sure that nothing is hidden from the gamers. So for once, you can know that your opinion and feedback as not only a member contribute’s to the development of the game, but as an investor you have something to gain too.
But wait, there is more! When you become a community team member by choosing one of the 5 packages which starts from as little as €10 (one off payment), not only will you receive weekly/monthly builds up until the actual release of the game, but you will also get the full game when it’s released, at no extra charge. So regardless of what you invest and what the price of the game is at launch, you get a copy of the game you helped develop and publish. The kicker is that depending on how much they sell when the game is released, you can not only get your free game but you could make money too!! How much? Just have a look at the image below:
What I have talked about so far is from the Player’s point of view. The developers obviously benefit from this site as well. So let’s say you have an idea about a game and you want to turn it into a reality, but don’t have the money to do so. You can create and post a proposal on the WMD site and get the following int he process:
- The funding that you need
- The community funding your project
- A dedicated page
- A dedicated forum
- Community managers
- Expertise from other developers
- Community feedback
All you have to do promise is that you give the players regular builds to play. You (The developer) get 30% profit the rest of the team (the community) getting the 70%. Compared to Apple and similar companies it’s actually whole lot better than anything else that has been proposed in recent history.
If you are worried about the site not kicking off, I wouldn’t worry about that too much. Its still early days but already in a single month, the community has grown to 30 000 and so far they have made €750,000\ $998,617.30 USD\ 644,438.06 GBP. In addition to that, they are apparently getting a new member every 2 minutes.
I don’t know about you, but I am very excited about this platform and I can’t wait to see what kind of projects will show up on there. I have already signed up on the website and if you want to do the same or if you just want more information about the project, just go to: www.wmdportal.com or if you would like more information about the Develop Conference check out the “Develop Conference” site.
I will leave you with this community member trailer for Project Cars.