It’s not easy to build a community around a game that isn’t even out yet, but developer inXile hopes to try by letting its future players contribute to the development of Wasteland 2.
Just last week, the independent (and Kickstarter-funded) developer announced that it wants users from around the world to help create the art assets for its upcoming role playing game. The studio says this experiment will allow the dev team to focus more on the game’s design, while future players will get a chance to influence the game before it becomes a finished product.
Interested users can create 3D models based on the concept art on inXile’s website, and then submit their creations to the Unity Asset Store. inXile will then go through the various submissions, and pay the creators if the studio uses their assets in the final version of the game.
Raptr recently published some amazing data on the impact of giving users tools to create in-game content, and how that translates into a massive bump in user acquisition, and retention (as much as x23 in some cases.) This is the first time we’ve seen a game publisher ask for user-generated content to be submitted before a game even launches to be used as the core content for the game.
This experiment is particularly interesting from a community-building perspective, as it could help inXile build excitement for its game well ahead of its final release. The game’s players now have a chance to build elements of the game themselves, which could make them far more likely to follow the game’s development and check out the finished product.
Given its roots on Kickstarter, Wasteland 2 has always been a game that’s had close ties to its fans, and the team at inXile seems to be going out of its way to build a relationship with its players and grow a community around its game in advance.
Will the studio’s community-focused approach to development work out? We won’t know for sure until the game makes its eventual debut, but no matter how it turns out, this experiment should teach us all some important lessons on how crowdsourcing can affect your game’s community.
More details can be found on inXile’s website.