Crowd Sharing SXSW 2015


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Crowd funding is often now hailed as a potential savior to our industry, a way to free developers from the shackles of publishers, a way to make very specific products for very specific audiences, etc. What seems to be missing though is ongoing dialogue about building this into a self-sustaining ecosystem of development where the crowd is sharing, not just funding and sourcing. Making this happen requires taking crowd funding and crowd sourcing to new places. Crowd sharing starts with crowd funding where you find an audience willing to pre-purchase your product. It then adds the layer of crowd sourcing where the community can contribute content to the game. The final step is an attempt to turn the entire process into a loop. This loop requires at least two things:

1) Compensation for effort: Pay the community for making content. The payment can be in real dollars, pledge dollars (i.e. pledge upgrades), and/or virtual currency
2) Sharing of assets: make the delivery of content go two ways

Using my experience on Shroud of the Avatar (3rd highest crowd funded game ever) I will talk about the various ways we are trying to make this loop work using specific examples like below. Will supplement with funding statistics that show correlation between these activities and fundraising.

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Crowd Sharing SXSW 2015

  1. 1. Starr Long
 Executive Producer, Portalarium Crowd Sharing: Crowd Sourcing + Crowd Funding
  2. 2. • Develop in the Open: Full transparency! • Developer Plus Levels: Asset Sharing • Crowd Sourcing: Multiple Compensation Options • Improvement Cycle: Purchase, Improve, Return, Promote • UGC Contests: Competition to Create • Development Training for Backers: How To Videos • Personal Touch: Real World Events • Feedback Loop: Regular Evidence of Reaction How to Build a Self Sustaining Loop
  3. 3. Develop in the Open: Full Transparency! • Hosting Public & Private Forums & IRC • Posting our daily standup notes to the forums • Posting public schedules by quarter • Posting details about funding, hiring, and finances • Weekly Q&A with backers • Weekly video hangouts with backers • Weekly Email / Website Updates on progress
  4. 4. Developer Plus Levels: Asset Sharing • Developer Pledge Tier • Includes regular delivery of game assets • For building their own games • Or for building content for Shroud • Includes buildings, props, vfx, avatars, creatures, etc.
  5. 5. Crowd Sourcing: Multiple Compensation Options • Bounty lists of needed assets • Art, music, sfx, etc. • Dollar values for each • Payment Options: • Real dollars • Double that amount in pledge dollars to increase pledge level
  6. 6. Improvement Cycle: Purchase, Improve, Return, Promote • Buy assets from Unity Asset Store, Turbosquid, etc. • Improve the assets for our purposes (re-skin, re-rig, increase resolution on texture, etc.) • Give the improved assets back to the original creators to sell for free • Request to mention “as seen in…”
  7. 7. • Regular contest to build levels, write stories, etc. • How to videos where we teach the players how to build content in Unity, 3DS Max, etc. UGC Contests + Dev Training
  8. 8. Personal Touch • Rewards for high level backers • Studio tours, design roundtables, etc. • Make them feel a part of the team
  9. 9. Feedback Loop: Regular Evidence of Reaction • Constantly visible feedback loop • Monthly release showing direct response to community
  10. 10. Q & A