Part of the foundation for Danish developer Press Play’s new Open Development were laid in a closed group on Facebook.
In short, the new initiative means that players can vote for their favorite of three in-development projects, and the most popular one gets made.
It’s a concept that has been built up steadily over the months. Among other things, the company started a group on Facebook to test the concept of Open Development, says Søren Staal Balslev, Community Manager at Press Play:
“It was basically a group for open testing. We needed to try out some Open Development concepts and see how they worked. Our initial project had a lot of untested elements, so it seemed like a logical decision to take small steps to begin with,” he says.
The members of the original group were made up of a lot of different people, who all had one thing in common: a passion for game development.
And the feedback from the group were in many ways more helpful than the traditional feedback from game testers, Søren Staal Balslev explains:
“Traditional game testers sometimes give feedback that is too positive, whereas the testers on the internet cut to the chase in a different way. So it was not just a test of our ideas or products, but also of our skills to convey a message,” he says.
The experiences from the group on Facebook have laid a lot of the foundation for the Open Development principle that Press Play now employs. But rather than being the main channel for communication, Press Play plans to use social media as a support for Open Development.
“For many years now, social media have been paramount for communication with the end user. It’s effective. Our new site profit from social media, but instead of using it as the primary channel, social media becomes secondary and takes a more supporting role.”
“It’s necessary, if you want to keep ownership of your content,” Søren Staal Balslev says.
The first vote in Open Development has already opened, allowing players to choose from a first-person action game, a physics based construction game and an action-packed multiplayer game. Check them out and vote for your favorite here.