That's right. We're trying for something a little crazy. The idea behind Puzzle Clubhouse is an online community for a new kind of game development process, one that is crowd designed, and crowd supported. It's a creative experiment and we need your help to get it started!
Want to know more? Keep reading!
Each Puzzle Clubhouse episode is a combination of an animated story and a short, quirky game. You can play a prototype episode at Puzzle Clubhouse.com to get the idea.
Why are we going episodic instead of one big game? Good question. Here are three of our reasons:
- We want to involve as many people as possible as much as possible as often as possible.
- Who wants to wait 12 months for their texture, dialogue, or concept to be released in a game? We're leaning towards short episodes with short turnaround. Our hope is that we can do at least one episode every month to start and more as we get the hang of things.
- The Puzzle Clubhouse collaborative design process will require iteration. We'll try some things, learn from them, try some more. Having an episodic structure gives us a natural iterative loop.
We’ve found that any good project has a central vision and that well-placed constraints can strengthen the creative process. We’ve established a fictional backdrop world with initial characters that is meant to be a springboard to creativity. It's more than a blank slate, but still wide open to your new ideas. We've also created a basic episode structure and set a goal that episodes be completable over a lunchbreak.
Consider it a starting point but we're more interested in where we'll end up together!
We expect to evolve our process so that we can get more and more of the game concepts and assets from the Puzzle Clubhouse community. But here's what we're thinking to start off:
When we begin developing a new episode, we turn to Puzzle Clubhouse members for character ideas, lines, audio, images, etc. For each episode, we have specific, approachable ways for members to participate. We provide the templates, examples, and connections to tools to help you be as successful as possible in expressing your creativity.
The Puzzle Clubhouse community then votes on submissions to pick what makes it into the game. Members will also get early access to prototypes for feedback and playtesting.
Every episode has an extensive credits list, giving you recognition for your contributions. Members build up their status by not only playing episodes, but creating, voting, and otherwise contributing to episodes during their development.
And, of course, our aim is that each episode be a fun experience in and of itself - so that we, you, & all our friends can enjoy playing what we create together!
We want Puzzle Clubhouse to be sustainable and community driven. That goes for both the episodes and the funding. We don't have anything set in stone yet but we are thinking that when the site launches, everyone will be able to play the completed episodes, make an account, vote on content, join public conversations etc. Members will have special abilities to submit content for an episode, access to behind the scenes content & development, expanded voting power and be part of the prototype playtesting group. Becoming a member will probably cost about $20/year with a $50 Lifetime membership option. This means that the people who support Puzzle Clubhouse will have the most influence on what we create. This is definitely something we're still trying to figure out so if you have feedback, we'd love to hear it!
Our $25 Kickstarter reward includes a year membership in Puzzle Clubhouse. while $75 includes a Lifetime Membership. At $75 and above, we're also including gift memberships for your friend(s)!
We already have the initial scaffolding in place for Puzzle Clubhouse but we know we really need community support. This isn't a project with a big client behind it. There are no brand tie-ins or contracts. It's just you and us. We're really excited about how far we can push Puzzle Clubhouse and the idea of crowd-design. We need your help to take this first step!
The money from this Kickstarter will help launch the Puzzle Clubhouse website and get the first set of episodes into production for Spring 2012. Our Kickstarter Backers will become our founding members and the first contributors to Puzzle Clubhouse episodes!
To show our appreciation for our backers, we've created some unique Puzzle Clubhouse items just for you including a Uncle Cornelius tshirt, postcards, desktop wallpaper, and the amazing, one-of-a-kind Puzzle Clubhouse bookmark!
We've made some other stuff at Schell Games. We're offering two of our games as part of pledge rewards:
We also got some cool autographed things from some folks we're calling "Friends of Puzzle Clubhouse" who wanted to help sweeten the pot for our Kickstarter supporters:
- Kyle Gabler (Game Designer & Artist (2D Boy, World of Goo))
- Jim Rugg (Cartoonist & Illustrator (Street Angel, Afrodisiac, The P.L.A.I.N. Janes andJanes in Love, One Model Nation, and The Guild)
- Anthony Daniels (English Actor (C-3PO in Star Wars))
- Extra Credits (Video Game webseries by James Portnow, Daniel Floyd, and Allison Theus covering all manner of game topics)
We also have a smattering of game design resources from Schell Games & beyond!
- Jesse Schell (Schell Games Founder, author of the Art of Game Design, creator of the Deck of Lenses, giver of talks people seem to enjoy like like TED: The Future is Beautiful, DICE: Beyond Facebook, ARE:Augmented Reality, GFC: Make Games Not War, Google: The Pleasure Revolution )
- Sheri Graner Ray (Schell Games Design Director, author of Gender Inclusive Game Design)
- Chris Klug (Game Designer, co-author of Interactive Storytelling for Video Games)
- Raph Koster (Game Designer, author of The Theory of Fun)
- ETC Press (academic, open source, multimedia, publishing imprint affiliated with the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU))
- NEW for Ludologist's Delight! Jane McGonigal (Game Designer, Gameful founder, author of Reality is Broken)
- NEW for Ludologist's Delight! Katherine Isbister (Game Researcher & Designer, co-author of Game Usability: Advancing the Player Experience)
- NEW for Ludologist's Delight! Bob Bates (Game Designer, Author of Game Design)
And then.. well, we have some outrageous things for anyone who is outrageously generous in supporting Puzzle Clubhouse. ----------------->
Remember- Kickstarter is All or Nothing. If we don't hit our goal, Puzzle Clubhouse gets $0 and the various reward wonders will sit sad and dusty in our studio office : ( So please tell your friends!
We are Schell Games. In our day job, we do a lot of game development for clients. Puzzle Clubhouse is something totally different- it's the brainchild of our fearless leader, Jesse Schell, and is driven internally by the Schell Games team of passionate artists, designers, & engineers.
We hope we've gotten you excited about Puzzle Clubhouse! If you're able to become one of our Kickstarter backers- AWESOME! You're the best!
Even if you can't back us on Kickstarter, we hope you'll still share Puzzle Clubhouse with your friends via the social networks and check out the site when it goes live in Spring 2012!
- (31 days)