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Cryptic Vets Let Funders Pick New Studio's First Project

Cryptic Vets Let Funders Pick New Studio's First Project

November 3, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

A new studio formed by veterans from Champions Online developer Cryptic Studios is letting contributors to its Kickstarter fund have a say in the company's direction, including the subject of its first game project.

Mob Rules is the name of the new studio being launched by Cryptic co-founder and City of Heroes designer Rick Dakan, alongside Cryptic and Google software engineer Jonathan Wills and veteran comic artist and designer Austin McKinley.

Anyone who donates at least $1 to Mob Rules' $20,000 prototype development fund will get a chance to vote on which of three project ideas the company will develop first: squad-based strategy game Guerilla Gorilla, competitive horror game Haunts, or temporal action puzzler The Last Second.

Contributors earn votes proportional to their funding amount, and can earn more votes by referring friends or participating in discussions and other upcoming free activities.

After the weeklong online vote, which starts November 24, those voting shares will persist "for the life of the company," according to the Kickstarter page, although the founders admit they "won't consult [voters] on every little decision... or every big decision."

"We have visions for each of these games," Dakan said in a statement. "Part of our vision is to get some wisdom from our crowd of voters. ... [We're] inviting you to be an integral part in creating some exciting new games and building a game studio that is answerable directly to you."

The independent studio is receiving technical and legal support from Open Game Labs, a non-profit set up by former Cryptic CEO Michael Lewis to help develop new and more transparent and open business models for video game development.

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