Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bards, Traders, and Commoners: Turning Gaming in to Commerce

After spending some time interacting with the community, it seems like there is this universal sentiment that making money through developing a game, role-playing system, or associated art, is inherently evil. There are the haves and the have-nots, and those in the latter category can’t imagine themselves as a money-grubbing sellout. My mission has been and continues to be one that helps to break down this misunderstanding, and show how with modern technology this doesn't have to be the case.

In a classical publishing model, large companies capable of handling demand for physical products scour the landscape of starving artists to find one that will play by their rules. There are production schedules, contracts, and obligations that must be met in order for the gears of the big publishing machine to turn. The writer or designer is just a small part of a huge value chain which has the potential to reach the entire target market.

Most gaming writers and designers I am in contact with couldn't imagine operating in this framework. They are independent, self-motivated, and will create when they are inspired instead of feeling forced by a contractual obligation to produce. Many I know wouldn't even want to write or create full time, but most share the urge to attract others to their personal game sessions or systems of choice.

What’s the solution? I want a company that has no vested interest in specific game platforms, play styles, or artists beyond a positive, open market relationship. As a neutral platform, I will incentivize my company and community to support all gaming projects and their associated art with fervor, showing no underlying bias for one game or another. Employees and owners alike would be encouraged to support their favorite projects through their votes and their dollars, but no matter your position, you have one vote. The market will decide who is popular, who is not, and for what period of time they are relevant.

The barrier to entry for even allowing someone to put up a creation on the Google Play store and other similar platforms is criminal. I want to pursue a model where anyone can put up any of their creations up for sale, while having a system in place to ensure the quality of a project and highlighting those who have submitted for approval. Although the endorsement by our company would not be required, it would definitely be worth it for designers to assure the quality to an adequate level before spending their money on a mostly unknown and untested game or piece of art.

This philosophy will also extend over to our tournament organization, management and retail platforms. We will strive to have exciting, large scale tournaments for every game possible, grouping smaller communities together if needed to still allow for efficient use of resources. There are also some amazing non-profit initiatives with gaming at their core, such as Child’s Play and the SDA (Speed Demos Archive) community and their charity marathons. These initiatives deserve to have their efforts recognized by an even larger audience, and we will drive more awareness and donations to those organizations with pride.

Gamers United!


Cavin “Pox” DeJordy


SDA Charity Marathons: http://marathon.speeddemosarchive.com/