By now everyone has heard the phrase Web 2.0 to describe the new phenomenon of user generated content on the Internet. Web 2.0 has brought us diverse new sites like Wikipedia and YouTube which are now mainstays of everyone’s internet experience. Yet most would be surprised to hear that the same principle is now being used in game development.
Users have always had a large effect on how a game shapes up. Most MMO games go through several stages of beta tests where players offer their feedback and thoughts. This information is then used by the developers to add or alter content in time for the next phase of the beta testing. But this is a very passive form of input. Could users one day actually participate in the direct development of a game? Could fans actually help run the game?
Today there is an ambitious new project by UFABET Acclaim, the folks that brought us Bots, Dance Online, 2Moons, and 9Dragons. Styled “Project TopSecret ” this new Acclaim project is intended to be a racing MMO but the direction the game takes beyond that is to be dictated by the community. Over 34,000 people have signed up already to contribute design concepts and other material. Web 2.0 has shown that hundreds of thousands of people are willing to contribute to a project like Wikipedia for no compensation what so ever, but the people at Acclaim have upped the ante by offering the most amazing prize ever conceived in gaming history, here’s a short blurb from Project TopSecret’s FAQ:
One VERY LUCKY individual, a person who stands out significantly, will be chosen by David Perry to become the Director of a fully funded massively multiplayer online game, to be published by Acclaim. The winner will work from their home office, will be required to respond to email and IMs every day, and will be testing builds. The winner will likely need to travel to meet the development team. Acclaim will cover the cost of that travel. You can be any age, any gender and from any country. However speaking & writing good English will be important. The new director will get royalties from their game, and despite being thrown in at the deep end, they will still be given David Perry’s cellphone number and so will have an experienced game developer able to help with any issues 24/7