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The David Perry Project

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Outside The Box: The David Perry project By: Garrett Fuller

Editor's Note: This is a weekly column from our News Editor Garrett Fuller. Each week, Fuller will highlight new innovations in MMO gaming as well as smaller games that you may not be so familiar with.

This week Outside the Box is short and on the fly. With the NY Comic Convention articles still in my head and not on the site, clearly I have more work to do for you guys, so let's just jump right in.

This weekend, a press release caught my attention that I thought was definitely something new. In the age of reality TV where anyone can be a star, Dave Perry from Acclaim is bringing that type of competition to the video game market.

Dave has set up a contest where players from the community can enter and become selected as part of the design team for the Top Secret MMOG project. As the game goes through the process of development, one person will eventually be named the winner and get the title of Director. They will see the new MMOG throughout its development cycle and eventually win royalties when the game is released!

Acclaim is saying that applicants don't need any prior experience in the video game world. They just need a passion for games. So, think of this in realistic terms. One of you can jump in and actually create a game. If you do well in the contest, you can become a Director at a video game company! This is certainly a step in a new direction. However, I for one applaud Dave on this effort. I have always said that there are millions of great game ideas out there and just because some of us don't have experience, we will never get our ideas heard. In a way, it is sadly the nature of business. If something does not have a major name or title, it will likely not make it to the market. Giving gamers with a strong passion for games the chance to build something like this is a great risk reward scenario. I honestly believe whoever the winner is will do a fantastic job.

In many ways, I wonder if the whole of the gaming industry will eventually go down this road. We have seen some games like Neverwinter Nights release their toolsets, which allows DMs to create scenarios for their players. Who knows, maybe there will be a day when we can all access game engines and build our own games for friends and family members to play. Personally, I think that would be so much fun. If a design interface could be built that would give anyone the chance to become a developer, who knows what types of games we would see out there.

I only hope that Acclaim plans to broadcast the contest somewhere so that we can watch the design process as things go. It would give a lot of people who are quick to throw developers under the bus a chance to see what these folks really go through. It is not easy designing a video game, let alone an MMO.

So for those gamers out there looking to break into the market, hurry up and apply for the game. As far as everything else goes, I wish Dave Perry the best of luck with this project and hope to get more information from him at GDC next week. For now, get those ideas running, who knows you could be the next big game designer and if you win always try to think, outside the box.