Thoughts on a Community Project?
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January 18th, 2013 (2:45 AM).
Lead Dev of Pokémon Essentials
I honestly think you're over-complicating this. Surly the goal of this project is not to give experience of/insight into the world of game development, but just to make a game with everyone?
As soon as you form a dedicated team to work on the game (which will be difficult), you create a divide between them and the community. The team will have the last word on what happens with the game, which means they can easily ignore the community if they want to. There may also be a degree of elitism about it. To me, this sounds no different from any other fangame, which I've said before is a bad way to go about this. The community as a whole ends up as nothing more than a fringe audience, and ends up not feeling very connected to the game they're supposedly helping to make, which is the opposite of what a community project should be.
No, everyone should be treated as equally as possible, to allow everyone to feel as much a part of the game as everyone else. Hence my pass-it-around idea. It's not a teaching thing, it's a way to get everyone involved. By its nature, it solves the problem of multiple people working on the same/conflicting things at once, as well as (mostly) avoid any possibility of elitism and exclusion, and the problem of malicious/accidental corruption (the archiver archives every week's version by themselves).
I disagree that pass-it-around would be slower than dedicated-team. The quick pass-it-around encourages broader and less complex contributions (e.g. mapping/eventing rather than scripting), which means more maps will be created, which means more of the game itself will be created more quickly. Conversely, have a look at all the fangames which buried themselves in details and stalled/failed. Essentials is good enough to make a game all by itself without needing to re-script things, isn't it? It's supposed to be, after all.
Of course, the community can work on more substantial things than just plot while someone else has possession of the game. Region maps, Pokédexes, tilesets (if desired), perhaps even some scripting can all be done independently, and given to the current possessor to add in. This gets the community even more involved.
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