By Greg Micek
Note: The opinions expressed in this editorial are not necessarily the views or opinions of Cliqist.com.
Someone recently asked me how Cliqist is different than my previous web effort, aren’t all crowdfunded games simply indie games? Why not let the big indie gaming sites like IndieStatik cover what’s worth covering? Do we really need yet another gaming site? Some of those questions are better left for another editorial, but I do know one thing, Warhorse Studios and Roberts Space Industries made a great case for the power of crowdfunding today, and it makes me more excited than ever about Cliqist and our niche of covering the world of crowdfunding games.
Warhorse, creators of the still funding Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and RSI, creators of the crowdfunding monster Star Citizen have announced that they’re going to be working together. No, they’re not connecting their games into a giant time spanning epic, that’s something we’ll have to continue fantasizing about; they’re going to be friends. While it’s entirely possible they’ll all hang out at some lavish party one day full of autograph seeking backers, the point of their friendship is to share information. I’ll let RSI icon Chris Roberts detail things:
Kingdom Come doesn’t just look like a great game, though: it looks like something we on the Star Citizen team could learn from. The characters and outfits I saw working in-engine in the trailer impressed me so much that I contacted the team to talk about what was going on under the hood. Star Citizen doesn’t need peasants and knights… but it does need a robust character creation system for the persistent universe. And that technology is exactly what Warhorse is building for the CryEngine.
Two teams creating two of the biggest crowdfunded games ever working together to share experience, expertise, and techniques. Think about that. It’s not uncommon for indie developers to do this, there’s dozens of websites devoted to them helping one another, and it’s a fantastic community. But you just don’t ever hear of studios working on multi-million dollar efforts willing to work together for the betterment of their respective products; it’s something you could only get from a crowdfunded effort. EA will never send an email to Activision sharing their experiences, hurdles, and techniques for making better games. The only time big developers and publishers do that is if someone is getting purchased.
Here we have two studios that put their heart, pride, and futures on the line to ask gamers to help them make their dream games come to life on their terms; and thanks to the faith of thousands of gamers they’re going to be able to do that. That symbiotic relationship; the developer counting on backer funds, and backers trusting developers with their money is at the heart of crowdfunding. But that relationship extending across developer borders hasn’t been explored so publicly on this sort of scale yet. If Warhorse and RSI can maintain a positive relationship then they will have brought on the next age of gaming, the AAA indie developer; less focused on competition as a way to succeed than they are on success through collaboration. An age where the best aspects of indie developers – bold design choices and freedom from studio oversight – combine with the best parts of the studio system – high end production values and larger scope games – to give gamers the best of both worlds. It’s something that could really only happen with crowdfunding.