Does the idea of creating your own video game appeal to you? As a gamer this would likely sound like a dream come true, just to be given the opportunity to turn an idea into reality. It’s with this in mind that GameSprout has entered open beta, and given gamers around the world the chance to do just that. GameSprout is a community that enables gamers to pitch an idea for a game, and then gives the community the capability to vote on the ideas that they like the most. GameSprout also other users to contribute concept art to projects, connect project leads with programmers, and in some cases, even funding.
The concept of crowd creation may be new in the ecology of gaming, but it’s probably a concept users are ready to accept, and GameSprout’s own internal dialogue seems to reflect a consciousness of the sociology of the average gamer involved in the process.
“Getting feedback on your idea can be a scary process sometimes! Feedback on GameSprout is designed to be collaborative and constructive. The comment voting system should help the best comments rise to the top. If you feel another user is leaving harassing feedback, you can report that user. But keep in mind that negative but polite feedback is okay and can be part of the process. “ – Game Sprout
With this type of structure in place, it’s probably best for anyone thinking of participating in the system to be prepared for a long run of iteration and tinkering before something becomes prominent enough to actually be the framework for a great game. Still it’s exciting to think that we’re now beginning to enter an age where the average consumer has just as much creative control and capability as any other major developer out there with tools like this. Coupled with Kickstarter, there is a very real framework for micro publishing as the next prominent sustainable model for revenue within the world of making games.
Is this writing on the walls for systems like Steam Greenlight, or Desura or other methods of indie distribution that have given leverage to the little guy in those respects? Doubtful. Particularly in the case of Steam Greenlight, this is more of a system for the budding developer with nary but a thought in his head of what his game could be. Greenlight and Desura are definitely more crafted with the adept, or accomplished developer as a target. GameSprout also requires no money as participation fees given that it’s system is built almost entirely on incomplete premises. So it’s not time for other indie systems of distribution to start sweating bullets over GameSprout. However, this would be a very terrifying time to be in the business of building Triple A monsters of software, or behemoth monsters made of hardware cash. Still, it might be a while before we see something truly jawdropping bred out of this new sea, accepting that when we finally do, GameSprout just might change everything.
For now it sounds kinda neat.