The Rise of Open Game Development

controllerI was a huge Gears of War fan when it first came out for the Xbox. I remember staying up for 24 hours for a 4v4 tournament during the first official day of launch, or “Emergence Day”. Before Emergeny Day, I loved to watch Arena on G4 and Tech TV because of the amazing Unreal Tournament matches they’d aired. What does all this lead to? My following of Cliff Bleszinski, that’s what!

In 2014, Cliff tweeted that he was coming out of retirement to start his own game development studio to develop a brand new arena shooter. This perked my immediate interest and I kept tabs on the startup and their development plans. Then I read that CliffyB’s new studio, Boss Key Productions, will have open development.

For those of you who don’t know, open game development is a new trend hitting the game development world. Think crowdsourcing. Building community, while getting video game development just right creates advocacy and excitement straight out of the gate. At times, development is aired live from developers’ Twitch channels with updates and community interactions getting posted on developers’ websites and games’ subreddits.

I noticed the open video game development trend picking up. Game developers like Insomniac Games were allowing a small team of developers to live stream development of Slow Down Bull. Next, Daybreak Game Company started to stream fun marketing / advertisement Twitch streams for their game H1Z1. Finally, game development was streamed from pre-alpha development through the newly released alpha version of H1Z1. I even started to see a few independent game developers getting Twitch followings and shout outs on’s weekly update show “Twitch Weekly”.

h1z1Open game development is an awesome thing for both gamers and developers. It’s starting a movement to break that mold of AAA games being developed in secret for years, then shipped for release with little community interaction. Nowadays we see Day One patches for those AAA titles that are kept under wraps to fix bugs that were present when the game was sent to distributors for print. We also see game developers hoping their community of players gravitates to their game and that those players love it enough to keep playing.

With open game development there is a tremendous opportunity to take more community suggestions and reactions into consideration throughout the early stages of development. Games like H1Z1 receive daily updates based off data and player feedback from alpha development. That data and feedback will help Daybreak Game Company develop to beta and eventually go gold with a game the fans helped create. I also think games like Slow Down Bull will help AAA development by showing what things worked and were beneficial during open development.

Finding games in open game development is one of my interests. Feel free to let us know if you like any other games in open development. I’d love to check them out. Also post what you think about open game development and where it’s headed in the comments below!

Jay Biros

Account Manager

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