Archive for December, 2011

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RuneStorm’s new way to develop games!

Greetings mortals and all others who have come!

It is on this auspicious day (well it is now) that we announce that we are planning to operate with a whole, crazy new development/business model!

Rather than using the traditional model of “Develop, Test, Release”, we’ll be using something I think I’ll call “Release During Development”.

Basically it works like this: Instead of making a full big game that takes 1 – 2 years then releasing that and hoping everyone likes it, we make our game in several parts or episodes, starting with a pilot or prototype, and release each one as it’s finished.
I think there are many great things about this, but some of the main points are: games get released quicker, developers get some revenue during development and players can give feedback to affect the main development cycle of the game.
As development advances, more installments are released and all together, they make up a full game, only it’s been thoroughly tested and improved according to actual player input. The final design of the game is not fixed at the beginning, but it develops as the game goes and as we see what players want, what they don’t want and how they play.
I’d sound like a marketing stereotype if I said this was a ‘dynamic’ way to make a game, so lets call it ‘fluidy’.

The other awesome thing about this is that it means we can actually develop and try out experimental games and release them. Games that are good, we can continue to work on while lousy ideas don’t have to waste years of time! You might be walking on ceilings while firing a giant golden minigun at radioactive banana troopers sooner than you think!

Here’s a comparison of the new model vs the traditional method with pros and cons:

Release During Development

1: Game is developed and released in smaller pieces or episodes
2: Repeated design, develop, test, release cycles
3: + Releasable game is ready much quicker
4: + A smaller time and resource investment is needed to get to release
5: + Feedback from players can be factored into the main design and development
6: + Experimental games are much more possible
7: + Developers get funding during development
8: + Greater community involvment as players have an effect on game development
9: + Games are better as they get more testing and get tested in release situations
10: + Good games are expanded and improved, lousy games don’t waste lots of time
11: – Initial game release has less content and is much smaller
12: Initial release and subsequent parts have a much lower price point
13: + Players can try out the game for a much smaller investment
14: + Better marketing as game stays live and active for a longer period of time
15: – Harder to release a demo for the first release
16: + Big, high production games can still be made
17: – Can affect game design. Won’t work well with some types of games
18: – Subsequent parts would need the first and may depend on other previous ones

Traditional Method

1: A full game is developed and has one big release with possible addons later
2: One big design, develop, test, release cycle
3: – It takes a long time before game release is ready
4: – Huge time and resource investemnt is needed before there is any return
5: – Design and development is finished by the time most players can provide feedback
6: – Experimental games are much more risky and unlikely
7: – Developer gets no funding until final release (if they’re still alive by then)
8: – Little community involvement. Players can have some effect on patches and DLC
9: – Games get limited beta testing and alpha testing
10: – Lousy games waste lots of time
11: + Game starts off big with lots of content
12: Full release has a much higher price point
13: – If there is no demo, players can’t really try out the game
14: – Marketing is all hype around a brief release period
15: + Full game has enough content to make a demo
16: – Safer to make small games. Big games are much more risky
17: + Long linear, story and exploration games are better kept in one big release

Other Notes:

Initial game is released as a polished prototype rather than an early beta.
At a later stage, all parts can be packaged and sold as a single unit like a normal game.
Game does not need to rely on microtransactions.
This is not pre-order, subscription, “free to play”, “pay to win” or “sucks until you pay”.
Pre-orders can be offered where players buy the initial game and get the later episodes as they come out.
Initial release can be made free later on.

Well, there it all is. I think it could be better for everyone and looks like it might be a great way for small indies to make games, especially the bigger kind with HD production values!

But first, we want to get your thoughts and feedback on the idea. Are you interested in buying games as they are made and being able to have your say while the game is in development? Do you want to see experimental projects and be involved in their advancement?

P.S. Speaking of experimental games, we’ll soon be revealing the project we’re intending to develop and release this way.