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GameSprout, a community game development site


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#1 Casey Hardman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2176

Posted 02 June 2013 - 12:45 AM

I recently got linked to a site called GameSprout, and read through the 'About' page and the FAQ a good bit, and now I'm interested in seeing what you all think about the concept.

 

Here's the About page that explains the concept.

 

The thing that most caught my attention was this bit in the FAQ:

 

Why crowd-driven game design? 
We believe that: 
1. Anyone can design a great game.
2. All of us, working together, are better game designers than any of us working alone.
3. The more game ideas we all share, the better game designers we all become.
There’s already evidence to suggest that rapidly iterating on multiple designs in an open, collaborative environment leads to better designs and better designers. GameSprout puts theory into practice to help all of us create awesome games while becoming the best game designers we can be!

 

I'm not really sure I agree with these points...
Aren't people on GameDev always saying that a good game designer is much more valuable than a bunch of 'idea guys'?  That a lot of people who think they're good at game design actually aren't?  That just playing a lot of games doesn't specifically mean you're good at game design?
 
However, if a lot of actual game designers, who've done more than just played games, are on the site (not just the 'idea guys'), then perhaps it could be a good way to prototype games?
 
What are your thoughts on the site and the way it works?


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#2 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 28464

Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:44 AM

Aren't people on GameDev always saying that a good game designer is much more valuable than a bunch of 'idea guys'?  That a lot of people who think they're good at game design actually aren't?  That just playing a lot of games doesn't specifically mean you're good at game design?

Yeah, but people usually also encourage these "idea guys" to openly share and discuss their ideas in order to become better designers.

i.e. the idea guy who protects his super-secret awesome game idea, is probably just wasting his own time. His idea probably isn't that great, and even if it is, he's not going to obtain any value from it by keeping it a secret. By discussing his idea with other 'idea guys', he can have it's flaws exposed and refine it into something better, while learning more about design through collaboration with his peers.



#3 Shippou   Members   -  Reputation: 1467

Posted 02 June 2013 - 08:32 AM

From personal experience, I can say that the "idea guy" is usually the least productive on the team, and is the most likely to over complicate just about everything.

 

 It's nice to have ideas, but ....

"Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. Accordingly, a  'genius' is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework."   ~ THOMAS EDISON


 Reactions To Technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

- Douglas Adams 2002


 


#4 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2061

Posted 03 June 2013 - 03:54 AM

The website is great for collaborating about game ideas, but who's going to do the job making it?

 

Do you think any skilled programmers or artists will take the job voluntarily?  Unless there's payment involved, the chance of anyone helping you build the game is very very slim.  Some might get excited, and might help build it, but it is usually up to a certain point before they get distracted and move on to other things in life.

 

There's a big gaping hole in between the "Call for Help" and "Play Test".



#5 Buster2000   Members   -  Reputation: 1580

Posted 03 June 2013 - 05:40 AM

Cannot access the site from work as the filtering software reports it as "suspicious".  Not sure why.



#6 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 28464

Posted 03 June 2013 - 06:06 AM

There's some programmers that don't like to refine their own game ideas. They might like that kind of site as a place to trawl through lists of ideas that have been mostly worked out already. *shrugs*



#7 cowsarenotevil   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1971

Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:05 AM

The website is great for collaborating about game ideas, but who's going to do the job making it?

 

Do you think any skilled programmers or artists will take the job voluntarily?  Unless there's payment involved, the chance of anyone helping you build the game is very very slim.  Some might get excited, and might help build it, but it is usually up to a certain point before they get distracted and move on to other things in life.

 

There's a big gaping hole in between the "Call for Help" and "Play Test".

 

"Once the community and Gamesprout agree the game is ready, the prototype gets handed off.

Gamesprout will work to find funding for the game. If the game gets funded, they'll put together a professional development team to make it.

Once the game is released, the idea owner and everyone who contributed to the game will get a share of the profits!"


Edited by cowsarenotevil, 03 June 2013 - 07:06 AM.

-~-The Cow of Darkness-~-

#8 AJLange   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:10 AM

Hi all! I know this thread has been quiet since yesterday, but someone brought it to my attention. I'm actually the Community Manager at GameSprout and I'll be happy to answer any questions you actually have about it if you're interested. (Just a warning that I'm out of the country and not at my usual office desk, so I might be a touch slow in doing so compared to my normal response time.)

 

To address the concept: it's totally true that most people say "the game idea by itself is worthless." But there's a lot of reasons why we're trying a different approach. For one thing, the people who have "that great game idea," but just aren't sure how to get started making it, aren't really going to stop existing just because their idea is impractical. I'm sure people who develop have all heard "I have a great idea for a game..." at some point. A lot of times people just aren't sure where to get started, so one of the biggest roles that GameSprout serves is that of education - helping people to refine their ideas, and letting them see just how much it takes to actually get a game made from a small idea. Even people whose ideas aren't getting voted up get the chance to see games made in real-time and the discussion that goes on openly about those concepts - discussion that might frequently occur behind the scenes in a more closed project.

 

As for other questions, skilled programmers or artists can volunteer their time, but we also have full-time game devs working for the site providing content to the top-voted ideas. This doesn't mean we'll work on every idea on the site or that every idea we work on will become a full-fledged game, but it does mean that people can see what ideas get traction, what ideas aren't fleshed out well enough to actually make, and what ideas turn out to be fun or not-fun after being prototyped.

 

On a personal level, I find this project really exciting!



#9 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1171

Posted 04 June 2013 - 10:19 AM

I have something to ask after I had a quick read through your Terms of Use.

 

Take heed: I'm not a lawyer - I'm just a layman interpreting the terms. From what I read it seems that once you put a game idea, any assets, documents or other work you've created on the site, GameSprout has a "perpetual, irrevocable" license to use those materials to developer and publish more or less whatever they want. I understand this is not an exclusive license - meaning the creator also retains the right to use his work, but once someone puts something on that site, they've already given a license to GameSprout to freely use it..

 

Am I correct about my understanding, and what effects does this license have on a creator's publishing rights?



#10 AJLange   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:44 AM

Gosh, sorry it took me so long to get back to this - international travel and I lost track.

 

I'm not the company's lawyer, and he was the one who drafted those terms. My understanding here is that it was necessary to word them this way just to give us the freedom we need to work on games. Our intentions are good ones but we also want to avoid getting burned by someone who put their idea up but then wants to say later that we stole it when in fact they gave it freely with the hopes of collaborating with us.

 

At most, the kind of thing that something would turn up in is for example I am making a YouTube video to showcase GameSprout and during that we may show elements of the site, which might include user-created art, but I am being as careful about that as I can.






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