Arcane Game Lore

Never split the party!

Community Game Design

Have you ever wanted to be part of a RPG game design project?  Do you have an interest in building a science fiction RPG?  Have you ever wanted to watch that process as it unfolds even if you’re not participating?  If so, you’re in luck.  My friend Bill Logan, just started up a new community on Google+ with exactly that purpose.

Spacer game lgooThe game will be called SPACER and it’s being developed completely openly and by the community on Google+ with Bill sort of guiding the direction and compiling the results.  When completed the game will be free and open sourced for anyone to use and add to and is being released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The basic format of development is for someone to throw out a topic and some options on how the game mechanic or idea should world.  Others suggest alternatives or variations and the community discusses the pros and cons of each.  Then Bill puts together a poll and everyone votes.  The option with the most votes is selected, although any decision is up for change later as more gets developed.  Especially if we come up with something new and better that makes one of the earlier decisions not work.

The community just started on July 16th so we’re barely getting going.  There have been votes on a few things already such as how to do stats, the resolution system, and whether to be class-based, skill-based, or something else.  Jump over to the community and check out the completed polls to find out the results.  I have to say I’ve been out voted on every one so far.  I guess I just like my games a little different that the majority of people in the community.  The decisions so far have been interesting and are definitely pushing towards a very rules-light system.

This will be an interesting exercise, both in seeing what will come out of it as well as watching the process unfold.  I’ll probably have more thoughts on this as it unfolds and we see the dynamics develop (and as we get closer to a working game).  If you’re interested in participating, come join the community.  We’d love to have you help out.  We’re 40 strong as I write this and the more the merrier.  Now I need to go read the combat mechanic posts as that’s the next item up for discussion.

Have you had any experience developing a game in a community setting or as part of a group?  Are there any pitfalls or dangerous rapids ahead that we should watch out for?  And advice on how to do it well?  Give us your voice of warning or cheers of encouragement in the comments below.

Categorised as: General


  1. [...] involvement with the experiment to create the SPACER RPG as a community via polls that I posted about two weeks ago has gotten me back to thinking about my game design and what I want to do.  So we’re back to [...]

  2. [...] mentioned the community designed Spacer RPG in a previous post.  In that G+ community, the call went out for building star maps for the game.  As an astronomer, [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>