The idea of user-generated content is nothing new, and success at implementing the concept has ranged from the niche (inFamous 2) to the wildly successful (Minecraft). Just this week, game designer/Carnegie Mellon professor/all around interesting and smart guy Jesse Schell launched a kickstarter campaign to support the latest project from his studio Schell Games (geddit?) called Puzzle Clubhouse.
Over at the game's Kickstarter page, you can check out a video in which Schell pitches the concept. It sounds fun enough in theory, but the the execution should be both interesting and educational, mainly because Schell is the man behind it.
From the Puzzle Clubhouse press release:
In the pursuit of that collaborative vision, Schell Games created Puzzle Clubhouse. The idea is to produce silly, fun, casual games as quickly as possible, with the help of the players, by letting them contribute artwork, music, stories, jokes, game ideas, and more. "Our long-term goal is to let the players create as much of the games as possible, with our professional developers there to help guide them," says Schell. "We're going to start small, having players submit and vote on artwork, but with each episode, we plan to push the envelope of player collaboration more and more."
Attentive gamers will remember Schell as the guy who gave that "Points for Brushing Your Teeth" DICE Speech from last year that got everyone talking (It's kind of where the whole "gamification" discussion really caught on). I saw Schell give a follow-up last year in San Francisco, and was struck by his ease at speaking and his creative ability to engage the crowd and impart his ideas.
He also wrote a terrific book on game design called The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, which I dug enough to include on my gift guide for people who like science and other thinky pursuits. And hey, the book is one of the Puzzle Clubhouse kickstarter prizes!
To sum up: Schell is a smart dude, working with other smart dudes and dudettes, making a game that will no doubt prove to be interesting and fun. Go ahead and check out the game, and if you think it sounds cool, throw it some support.
Puzzle Clubhouse [Kickstarter]