Have you heard of PROJECT CARS? Recently, there’s been a bit of buzz surrounding this game, including the fact that it has been announced for the Wii U. But this project seems to be more than just a game. I didn’t realize it at first, but Slightly Mad Studios, the developers of the Need For Speed Shift games, started the WMD, the World of Mass Development. WMD, as their website puts it:
“… is a new platform for games creation from the award-winning developer Slightly Mad Studios that allows:
1. Developers to submit ideas to an active gaming community, raise the funds needed to develop them, get continual feedback from community team members that can play work-in-progress builds, use the WMD Portal to promote their project, get help from other developers, and ultimately launch their game to an eagerly-awaiting audience
2. Players to browse available projects and join any they are interested in, download and play regular builds of the game, participate in discussion & polls, speak directly to the developers, and eventually earn money back for their contribution when the game is released
WMD is therefore a unique prospect for both developers looking to raise funds for their projects and gamers that want to get involved in exciting upcoming titles.”
WMD takes a very different approach when developing a game.
“Traditional development puts developers at the mercy of publishers. Although it supplies the necessary funds to develop games with proper QA testing and development cycles, it also makes the development cycle subject to business matters such as financial quarters, company profits and marketing budgets.
The process offered by WMD therefore shifts the focus back to creating great games that your audience wants to play, whilst still offering the chance to get proper funding for development and testing.
Not only does this offer a unique opportunity for developers, but it shifts power back into the hands of the gamer. No longer will your core audience complain about features that didn’t function quite how they envisaged – now they can feed this information back to you early on so that they can be refined, balanced, and quality tested by the time of release.”
WMD is a clever way of raising funds, brainstorming ideas, beta testing, and developing a game. Through forums and an online community, your average gamer can get in on the action of developing a game. “Donate money? Man, that’s lame… they just want my cash.” Sure, asking for money is always an iffy affair. “So what would be in it for me?” you might ask. Making a donation to Project Cars allows access to developing “tools,” but donate enough and you can actually sit in on Slightly Mad’s meetings and have your opinion heard. The donations are one time fees that range from “Junior” member for 10€ ($13.15USD) to “Senior Manager” for 25,000€ ($32875.00 USD). Perks range from getting the amount you donated to the project knocked off the game’s price once it releases, to having an opponent named after you and having your face mapped onto the character model. (Man … I wish I had some extra Euros to spend!)
Slightly Mad Studios realized not everyone is a “high roller” and recently added the “Full Member” tier to the project pack. For 45€ ($59.24USD) you can become a “Full Member” of Project Cars, and as such you can:
Can CREATE NEW project-specific forum threads
Can READ meeting minutes
Can play WEEKLY builds of the game
Receive a free copy of the released game
Get an opponent named after you
Access to exclusive cars
So you mean for the price of a game I’m already thinking about buying, I can help with development, beta test, share my constructive opinions, give feedback about the game, have an opponent named after me AND get a copy of the game once its released? This sounds pretty awesome. If you want to know more about WMD, Project Cars, or the many other perks you can gain from donating, check out their website here.