I got quite interesting idea presented to me about franchise indie world. I don’t know exactly how this chap was planning to go forward, but I started pondering the following:
What if hundred or thousand (or hundred thousand) indies would combine their forces in creating a world that would act as the base for games?
There would be background stories, art, sounds, music, but not gameplay. The theme, art and dozens of characters and so on would be built.
And then… indies could leverage this brand by adding their own gameplay. For example, let’s suppose we’d all agree (after a bunch of fistfights) that we’ll have this steam punk world. Year is 1888, although there’s some technological innovations ranging from limited time manipulation (with non-organic objects) and heavy politics and brink of war between nations. And 1000 other things.
Art would be there, background setting for story would be there. Characters would be there as well.
Now we’d get to the sweet spot. Now indies could jump in and use whatever assets there is and create their own games. The game concept could possibly need some high-level acceptance to ensure that the game is still (at least somewhat) loyal to the world and the stuff would work logically. (For example, there couldn’t suddenly be green zombie monsters from outerspace)
If (when) more art or assets would be needed, the studios could create them by themselves (based on guidelines from existing work) and add to the repository, making it even bigger.
One indie could go and create match-3 game for iPhone – where time manipulation would be done. Another indie would do RTS about the war. Somebody would try hidden object game, and one would create an RPG about politics.
The games could be published and expand the brand, making each game familiar and more popular than what they perhaps could be if done solo.
Could work, don’t you agree?