The ABCs of Crowd Sourcing The Consortium Project

Consortium Zenlil

Producing a video game for the VFS Game Design program is a lot of work. Scratch that. Producing a game is like jugging six balls while tap dancing on a wire over top of a tiger pit. Tigers that shoot lasers out of their eyes.

And are on fire.

So, if making a game with a five or six person team for a school program is that difficult, what do you think making a game with thousands of recorded lines of dialogue, advanced AI and scripted action sequences is like?

This is the world that I’ve been living in for the last seven years.

I’m a part-time instructor in the Game Design program, and after being in the industry long enough to be considered a veteran — with experience working for Relic, Radical and Turbine — I decided to set out to do my own thing, and make a game by my own standards. Out of this idea, and with help from a team that included Jeremy Soule, the “John Williams of video game music,” Consortium was born. A first person story and character based shooter, Consortium has been in development for seven years and has so far been funded by the Canada Media Fund (C.M.F.) and from out of my own pocket.

consortium cast

The way to finance independent projects has taken a radical turn in the last few years, so through my production company, Interdimensional Games, we decided crowd funding via Kickstarter was the best way to see the game realized.

Remember when we talked about what making a game is like? Creating, running and being successful at a Kickstarter campaign is a whole other beast. I had no idea what was in store for me and what hurdles I’d have to overcome before even pressing that Launch button.
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Game Changing : Thriving During Game Industry Seismic Shift

Games are changing.

The landscape once dominated by behemoth AAA titles is almost gone.

Gamers have more choices. Social games and free-to-play models have transformed the game industry you thought you knew. And ballooning budgets for high-profile titles mean you need a blockbuster of Modern Warfare proportions to turn a profit.

As The Verge wrote in their July 22nd article: “Developing an AAA game is rapidly becoming one of the most expensive enterprises humans can undertake, outside of building battleships, launching space vehicles, or making movies.”

But here’s the thing. For the emerging game designer — or animator or sound editor, for that matter — none of this a bad thing. It actually means opportunity.
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