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.