For today's Gamasutra feature
, we present an in-depth report of the inaugural Vancouver International Game Summit, revealing insight from developers such as Stubbs The Zombie
creator creator Alex Seropian and Propaganda Games' Josh Holmes (Turok
In this excerpt, Holmes says the industry is in need of new development models and new risks to grow its audience, warning that people could lose interest "if the industry doesn’t break down the control barrier and look for better ways to get hits":
“In the short term, Holmes offered solutions for enabling low budget development, including outsourcing, middleware engines, and third party plug-ins. In the long term, he suggests that small game companies look into higher order middleware engines, low cost development hardware, and complete content libraries and asset solutions.
“Think about changing your business model,” said Holmes. Episodic content, digital distribution, in-game advertisement, and micro-transactions are all alternate models for generating financial security.
Traditionally, Holmes explained, developers decide on a genre, research other games within that genre, and list the genre’s conventions and “must haves” to improve on the genre itself. Instead, he suggests, developers should figure out the emotional experience they want the player to have, research games across all genres that provide that experience, and then develop game mechanics to deliver that desired experience.
“Design should be collaborative, not ‘design by committee,’” Holmes argued. He emphasized having partnership across disciplines, and putting designers in the role of “shepherds,” not “autocratic visionaries.”
You can now read the complete feature
, including more from the Vancouver International Game Summit, including why Seropian thinks "internal development models just won’t work for independent developers anymore, and that development has to be under the umbrella of a big company that can afford it" (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).