How Brightlocker is getting everyone involved in creating new games

How Brightlocker is getting everyone involved in creating new games
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

February 22nd 2016 at 11:05AM

CEO Ruben Cortez tells us more about his 'crowdpublishing' platform and how it plans to shake up games development

While many studios still turn to Kickstarter, several companies have attempted to create their own crowdfunding platforms that are tailored more specifically to video games. BrightLocker attempts to go one further by building what it calls a 'crowdpublishing' platform.

The ambitious concept is that game ideas will be submitted and voted for by the community, developed by BrightLocker and its development studios, and a share of the revenues from the finish games will go to their original creators.

The platform is currently in beta, and we caught up with CEO Ruben Cortez to find out more about how BrightLocker is trying to bring more people into the development process.

How does BrightLocker’s crowdpublishing platform work? How will users be able to submit ideas?
BrightLocker divides the game creation pipeline into five clear steps: 'Imagine' new concepts, 'Choose' favorites, 'Make' them, 'Play' them and then 'Earn' rewards, achievements and even cash based on your participation. Each step is part of the ‘Game of Making Games.’

If a user wants to submit an idea, they go to 'Imagine' and work through a simple wizard that guides them step-by-step through documenting their idea in an effective way. They also have the opportunity to order optional professional services to support their idea, like a piece of key art.

Is there any limit on the number of ideas that can be submitted? How will you prevent consumers from flooding the site?
There is no limit on the number of ideas that can be submitted. If a single user has multiple great ideas, they will be able to submit them all via the 'Imagine' wizard. The ‘Choose’ stage operates as a series of voting cycles – in each, users can vote on their favorite game concepts. Those votes are a finite soft currency on the platform, so the best games will naturally bubble to the top of the voting list. There is no incentive for a user to submit too many ideas all at once; they’d do better to put their creative effort into one at a time so they can encourage others to support it in the 'Choose' stage.

How deep will the community’s involvement in the games’ development be? What aspects will they be able to influence?
BrightLocker’s unique platform encourages a close relationship between the developer and the gamers funding their work. Funders will receive exclusive behind-the-scenes access to developer materials, screenshots, live streams, videos, concept art, producer Q&As and so on, so they can watch as their game becomes a reality. Furthermore, funders will have a unique opportunity to collaborate with developers throughout the process and help shape how their games are produced, from story to design to final product.

There is no incentive for a user to submit too many ideas all at once; they’d do better to put their creative effort into one at a time.

How many projects will Brightlocker be able to take on at a time? Are there limits that affect which concepts might be chosen?
BrightLocker will start with a small number of projects to insure quality. We have plans to continually add new development partners, which will help us increase volume. We want to ensure quality isn’t compromised in favor of quantity.

What development experience does the Brightlocker team have? How will this help you tackle the community’s proposals and ideas?
BrightLocker’s exec team has over 115 combined years of game development experience, in major industry players including, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Sony, BioWare and Epic.

We’ve all been through many game launches, from simple mobile and social games to many triple-A title releases, across a wide range of platforms and genres. This puts us in a great position to evaluate the Finalist ideas from 'Choose' stage voting, to find the best development partner for selected games, and to make sure development proceeds to a successful launch.

What partner studios do you have on board? Are you looking for more, and if so what are you looking for?
BrightLocker has partnered with Sperasoft and its partner studios to build our initial games. We are adding additional development studios and welcome quality studios to contact us for our requirements.

What is the roadmap for Brightlocker? When do you hope to have the first title underway, or even released?
BrightLocker has completed its first title, designed to showcase game-to-platform integration features as well as our capabilities at quality game production. It's launching soon, and there are other games in the pipeline already.

There is no cap on the amount of revenue share a creator can earn – the better the sales, the more they receive. 

How open will you be with the community about ongoing development? How will you manage community expectations?
The actual process of game submission, voting and selection is transparent and driven by the community – they are instrumental in helping us make choices. Once in development, the community will have regular updates from the dev team and contributors will have a wide range of opportunities to talk directly and help influence developers. We will be revealing details and features of our reward and funding systems in coming months. Transparency and visibility are key tenets of the BrightLocker platform.

How will you be able to manage the monetary rewards and ensure everyone is satisfied? Presumably the more people involved, the smaller the share everyone gets.
BrightLocker pays a royalty directly to the game idea's creator. This is based on all revenue generated from game sales, including in-game transactions and subsequent ports. There is no cap on the amount of revenue share a creator can earn – the better the sales, the more they receive. Game Creators receive a share of ancillary rights as well, which would include movie, book, and merchandising revenue, if any.

Other participants receive rewards they can use across the platform and for game unlocks. We have plans to expand participant rewards beyond just digital and physical goods and experiences, to possibly include financial rewards. This will be outlined in future releases.

The fun of BrightLocker doesn’t end with the production of a game. Games that comes through our unique pipeline will be fully integrated with the BrightLocker platform. That means that in-game progress will unlock platform XP and achievements, in turn offering potential unlock advantages in the next BrightLocker game. It’s a virtuous cycle of fun through both developing and playing each new game.

BrightLocker is running Beta tests in phases before our launch this summer. We’d encourage everyone to dive in, we’d love to hear what they think.