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AJLange

Our Collaborative Design/Dev Resource - GameSprout

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A month or so ago a few users on the Lounge found a project that we had been working on at Schell Games called GameSprout. At the time, we'd just entered open beta, and a few people had questions for me, but I was also doing a lot of traveling so the thread moved slowly. The site has been in beta since the end of May, and it's located here:

 

http://www.gamesprout.com/

 

Since then I've been lurking a bit on this site, and one of our artists suggested I should post a thread and mention GameSprout again. I wanted to talk about it in Design because this is the place people often come for design feedback. That is a big part of what I personally do on the GameSprout site, and a big part of the site's mission in general.

 

People are really tired of having to say "no one cares about your game idea" to people who have enthusiasm but no clue about how a game is made. On the other hand, people who have game ideas often don't know what the process is for creating a game. GameSprout is trying to solve both of those problems by having a place where people can post their games and organize them by idea. We're providing feedback to people who post their ideas and the best ideas get voted on. From there Schell Games and the community on GameSprout can add prototypes and artwork to the more popular or interesting ideas.

 

We're still working on what the ultimate goal is for the site. Originally we had a lot of plans to just take the top voted ideas and create them in-house. But we're seeing more developers coming to the site who want to work on their ideas and just use GameSprout as a way to connect with potential collaborators (or players), and we want to support them too. Right now the site is 100% free to use, though you do have to be 18 or older or have parental permission because there may in future be a profit-sharing element on the games made there.

 

Do you think this is something designers would find useful? How can we make it more useful?

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You might want to implement some system of organising how users make a group to create/choose a project (having these two guys who like to tinker with a simple game in the weekends team up with each other, and not with that professional programmer who is trying to make a living on programming) though this is mostly a case of communication between the different users of your site, how to increase the possibilities/ease-of-use/etc of communication should be based (entirely) on user-feedback

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Thanks for checking out and for the feedback!

We're planning on adding some team-creation type tools on the site that will allow people to team up. You have a good point about the different experience levels in users... a lot of people have suggested an XP system or something so savvy users or very active users are easier to identify.

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The experience-level was just an example, in the example i actually didn't say much about (previous) experience but more about time(how much & when someone is available) and how serious someone is/may be, these are all different things and i fear an XP system will be too simple.

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Yeah, that's a really good point. We'll have to come up with the best way to do this. Right now it's not totally clear if people are totally new to development or pretty experienced unless they have a staff tag or provide that info in their profile. We were thinking something like a badge system, which staff can assign to people if they successfully show that they're skilled in a particular area. But it's worth pondering!

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I made a gamesprout page for WildWright, the concept I've been posting about in my developer journal.  http://www.gamesprout.com/ideas/5212baa4e3211cd266000029/design_document  I posted my questions and suggestions about improving gamesprout in the forum there; mainly I wanted more of a "Follow this step by step procedure to fully describe and categorize your game" as well as wanting more ability to organize the information I had already entered.  But it's pretty functional as-is, except for not being able to browse game ideas filtered by genre.  Now I just have to talk myself into making some pictures so I don't have the "wall of text" thing going on. ph34r.png

Edited by sunandshadow

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