Inside GamerGate Interview: Media Lies, Gamedropping And Culture Wars

Inside GamerGate

Inside GamerGate: A Social History of the Gamer Revolt is currently available right now on Amazon for $4.99. The 202-page, non-fiction book recounts specific events that occurred during the height of the #GamerGate saga, told through the lens of author James Desborough. Continue reading “Inside GamerGate Interview: Media Lies, Gamedropping And Culture Wars”

Outlast 2 Composer Talks Shaping The Sound Of Horror

Outlast 2

I managed to get in time talking with Samuel Laflamme, a French-Canadian composer from Montreal, Canada. We talked about how he got involved with music composition, some of his influences, and of course his work on Outlast and the upcoming Outlast 2, the latter of which is due out on April 25th for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Continue reading “Outlast 2 Composer Talks Shaping The Sound Of Horror”

Games For Everybody Interview: YouTube Gaming For Disabled Gamers

There are a lot of YouTube channels out there for gaming, many of which are comedy-based or informational. Many Let’s Play videos focus on the streamer/gamer getting a taste of the game and exploring its content and features while making gestures and comments throughout for entertainment purposes. However, one channel in particular uses the Let’s Play format to help describe what’s happening on screen for gamers with poor eyesight or visual impairment. Continue reading “Games For Everybody Interview: YouTube Gaming For Disabled Gamers”

BrightLocker Interview: We’re Holding Developers Accountable For Crowdfunded Games

When Kickstarter and IndieGoGo first came onto the scene they were seen by the gaming community as a great alternative to the traditional publishing model. It was an opportunity for developers to connect directly with gamers and to be up front and honest about the kind of content and games that could be made with a crowdfunded budget. Well, over time not every project was as honest as gamers had hoped for, and scams became more and more commonplace, so much so that Kickstarter has seen an obvious drop in funding from the hardcore gaming crowd.

Well, a new player is in town called BrightLocker. It’s headed up by CEO Ruben Cortez who has experience working at Electronic Arts and BioWare, as well as former Sony and NCSoft alum, Mark Rizzo.

BrightLocker has already found some success in getting projects off the ground and they’re continuing to make headway through the industry using a new model that sees gamers getting more involved, pitching ideas and having games made by a professional development team, as outlined over on the official website.

I had an opportunity to ask Ruben Cortez some questions about BrightLocker, and the company’s attempt to bring some integrity back to the crowdfunding sector. You can check out the Q&A below.

Ruben CortezOne Angry Gamer: For people out there who are unfamiliar with BrightLocker what would be the pitch to get them interested in this crowdfunding alternative to some of the other platforms out there?

Ruben Cortez: Existing crowdfunding platforms simply ask participants to provide cash in exchange for an end product that may never happen. BrightLocker’s unique crowdpublishing concept encourages gamer involvement across the whole process, from submitting original concepts and selecting which get made through to the actual development and launch.

OAG: Over the years Kickstarter has been on a steady decline when it comes to the public financially backing video games. There have been a number of high-profile disappointments that diminished confidence in the platform. Is BrightLocker looking to restore some of that lost confidence from the average consumer, and if so, what are the ways that the company is going about doing that?

Cortez: Yes, we believe BrightLocker can restore confidence in crowdfunding by tackling it in a whole new way. Most importantly, unlike other game funding services, BrightLocker directly uses professional development teams and brings in other funding sources as needed, so gamers know the approved concepts will actually get made. BrightLocker manages the developer relationships as well, holding the developers accountable for delivering what they agree to.

OAG: Square Enix started their Collective a couple of years ago where it helps indie teams identify if their game is worth moving to the crowdfunding stage through community feedback. Most of those games are from teams with an established concept and some sort of groundwork already laid out. It seems like BrightLocker is stripping that process down even more where even if you don’t have a team or a project you can still put the idea out there. Does this mean literally someone with no experience at all could potentially get their game voted through and made?

Cortez: Yes! As an example, our recent season winner Katie_Bug had no previous game experience, but the BrightLocker community decided her game Side Scrolling Pixel Heroine was one of its favorite ideas, and it has subsequently been greenlit for production.

Cortez: Having said that, BrightLocker applies a rigorous evaluation process before gamer-voted ideas are greenlit for production. And subsequently the BrightLocker team brings deep production expertise to ensure that selected ideas are fleshed out and developed to a high, professional standard. So, although the idea creator may have been an ‘industry novice’, the rest of the team involved in bringing the game to fruition most definitely are not!

OAG: One thing that a lot of companies always say in regards to user feedback is that they don’t want the ideas or to even read game concepts because there’s a whole legal minefield to maneuver through regarding that process. How exactly does BrightLocker deal with the submission of ideas and building on that without getting entangled in the copyright web that so many other companies try to avoid?

Cortez: BrightLocker makes its terms very clear. Once a game is selected for production, BrightLocker has license to the idea and rights to develop and publish the game idea. In return, BrightLocker commits to returning a slice of gross profit to the original idea creator, so it’s potentially very profitable for them.

OAG: And in regards to ideas, ownership and payment received for a game… is there perpetuity for the creator or is there a limit on how much they can make over a given time from the project, if it does get made by BrightLocker?

Cortez: Yes, BrightLocker pays a royalty out of all revenue generated from game sales, including in-game transactions, directly to the idea creator. In addition, the idea creator receives a share of ALL additional revenue a game idea may create, including auxiliary rights like movies, TV shows, and merchandise. There is no cap on the amount of revenue share a creator can earn. The better and longer the game sells, the more the idea creator can make.

OAG: For the developers who have been part of the projects that have moved through BrightLocker so far… what’s been their take on the platform and how have they acclimated to this sort of crowdfunding-committee process?

Cortez: BrightLocker currently has a development partnership with Sperasoft and its partner studios. We will be adding additional development studios in the near future. Sperasoft developed BrightLocker’s first title LightEaters, the first game fully integrated with our unique crowdpublishing platform. We successfully launched the game earlier this year.

Cortez: Using BrightLocker provides several advantages for developers. It provides a unique, built in game community they can interact with continuously and closely to socialize and get feedback on their game. They can build support for their product, raise development funds, and utilize our publishing capabilities to launch their game. What’s more, they can utilize our open API tools to maximize their platform to game integration capabilities, deepening the gamer experience and building community support for future product launches.

Of course involving the crowdfunding community in development has to be carefully managed. The BrightLocker platform allows developers to do this in a structured way, for example using ‘guided choices’ where gamers can choose from several options the developer offers.

OAG: So what’s the average size of a project for BrightLocker and what’s the general scope that the platform is aiming to maintain in the foreseeable future? Will games be designed with PC and mobile in mind or will consoles be a part of the equation? Or is it possible we could see something that’s the scale and size of Star Citizen if there are enough backers?

Cortez: BrightLocker is agnostic in terms of which platforms the game ideas are ultimately developed on. The community votes up ideas that they love, and the BrigthLocker team evaluates which platform(s) are most suitable. BrightLocker is building relationships with developers with a wide range of capability that will allow us to develop for Mobile, PC or Console as the winning ideas dictate. Understandably, the first few projects are likely to be Mobile or simple PC titles as we ramp up and build out our processes and teams. There’s no limit to the ultimate scale of games that BrightLocker could deliver.

Huge thanks to BrightLocker’s CEO Ruben Cortez for answering the questions. You can check out BrightLocker right now pitch ideas or vote for content by visiting the official website.

Prominence Poker Arrives On PS4 While Max Pescatori Talks Poker And Gaming

505 Games and Pipeworks Studio’s Prominence Poker has finally arrived on the PS4 after launching into Early Access on PC and going live on the Xbox One not too long ago. Continue reading “Prominence Poker Arrives On PS4 While Max Pescatori Talks Poker And Gaming”

Exoplanet Interview: Gamers And Media Have Become Picky Due To Controversies

Exoplanet: First Contact is a survival, western-themed action role-playing game. It takes a lot of inspiration from various popular action-RPGs such as The Witcher and The Elder Scrolls, except it adds a wild west twist to it. Players assume the role of Jack Sharp who gets stranded on the planet K’Tharsis and loses his ship to some nasty folks. Sharp must fight, scavenge and explore the foreign planet as he attempts to get revenge and get his missing ship back. Continue reading “Exoplanet Interview: Gamers And Media Have Become Picky Due To Controversies”

Spy DNA Interview: Super Spies In An RPG Sandbox

It’s not often in games that we get to play as bona fide spies. It’s even rarer that we get sandbox games that rely on stealth mechanics and espionage. In fact, the sub-genre is defined mostly by two series, Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid. Well, if things go well for the Kickstarter from Alex Maier and Jason Sams from Shy Snake Games, we could be adding another game to the list of turn-based, stealth-oriented espionage titles. Continue reading “Spy DNA Interview: Super Spies In An RPG Sandbox”

Stellar Tactics Interview: Spaceships, Perma-Death And Fallout 2

Recently a trailer for Stellar Tactics went live and it detailed a game that allows players to fly a spaceship around a large galaxy consisting of 200,000 solar systems with various planets in each system, as well as recruit a rag-tag team of powerful mercenaries from across a galactic playpen. Continue reading “Stellar Tactics Interview: Spaceships, Perma-Death And Fallout 2”

Blade: Sword of Elysion Interview: Bringing A Console Experience To Mobile Devices

One of the most difficult things about mobile game development is finding an audience willing to stick with a game because it’s actually fun and not just because it’s a pay-bait click-fest like many other games out there that used to be big but have practically faded from existence. Well, one company that doesn’t want to rely on cheap clicks and paper-thin design mechanics is 4:33 Creative Lab. Continue reading “Blade: Sword of Elysion Interview: Bringing A Console Experience To Mobile Devices”

Lost In Harmony Interview: Fusing Japanese Inspiration With Wyclef Jean’s Music

Digixart Entertainment is prepping to release their new mobile title Lost in Harmony and the lead creative mind behind the project, Yoan Fanise, was willing to answer some questions about the design, the music and influences for the harmonic, story-driven endless runner. Continue reading “Lost In Harmony Interview: Fusing Japanese Inspiration With Wyclef Jean’s Music”

Star Citizen Composer Interview: Chris Roberts Is Very Hands-On With The Score

The Star Citizen soundtrack is being composed by Pedro Macedo Camacho. He started off working on indie projects nearly a decade ago, with titles like Darwin The Monkey and Fury. Continue reading “Star Citizen Composer Interview: Chris Roberts Is Very Hands-On With The Score”

Avorion Interview: Permadeath, Procedural Damage And Capital Ships

Avorion is a sci-fi, space combat game where players can build their ship from scratch and make it as big and as powerful as they want. It’s possible to design carrier vessels, space stations and capital ships – flying them around and conquering the galaxy as you see fit. Continue reading “Avorion Interview: Permadeath, Procedural Damage And Capital Ships”

Pangaea Interview: High-Tech Weapons, Monsters And Survival

Russian game developer LVR Studio is working on a new survival game called Pangaea: New World. They’ve been consistent and diligent in getting the word out about their new title, especially now that it’s on Kickstarter. Continue reading “Pangaea Interview: High-Tech Weapons, Monsters And Survival”