The Showdown Experiment

The year was 2012 and we were innocent little children trying to make indie games… okay, maybe that’s a tiny overstatement, but we had (and still have) a lot to learn.  One thing we knew was that we wanted players to be more involved in the development process. We tried a few things to make that happen, but none of our slick ideas panned out quite as we’d hoped. We’ve learned a lot since that time, but the goal of involving players has never changed. To that end, we are trying another crazy experiment – we are letting players pick our next game.

The Prototype Showdown is a tournament of game prototypes. For each round of the tournament we are presenting two prototypes which can be downloaded for free. Anyone can vote for the prototype they like, and the winner will proceed to the next round. The winner of the tournament will be made into a full game. This video explains things best:

Making this happen has been a pretty huge undertaking for our little team. Aaron and James worked on the back-end website code while I reworked the front-end and Drew made the awesome video above. The work will continue as we prepare prototypes for each new round of the tournament. While this is a lot of work – and we’re not making any money off of it – we really believe it’s worth it! Here are a few reasons:

  1. We will be sure to make a game people love to play (see About Us)
  2. Lots of people will get involved with development and help shape our future
  3. Players can get pumped about our next game before it’s released
  4. We will learn what works (and doesn’t work) for us as a studio
  5. We will get better at making games

The first round of voting is underway and you can download the prototypes here:  Also, we want to let you know that we are still working on Hexarden! The winner of the Prototype Showdown will be our next game after Hexarden 🙂

If you have thoughts or feedback we are around on Twitter, Facebook and Steam. We’d love to hear from you!

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