5-08-04There are two new ways of making games that I'm interested in -
Prototyping. You take a small talented team, you have an idea and you make a rough rapid prototype of the engine and gameplay. The entire duration is maybe 6 months, you make something that's totally playable and fun, but not polished. Once this is done, you pass it off to a larger established team to finish, like one of the many 2nd teir game coompanies, or some team within your corporate group. You supervise this team loosely in executing your vision, and they should be able to finish in about a year since your prototype has very clearly defined what the game is.
Mutating/Enhancing. You take some existing game and improve it, change it, tweak it, and re-sell it. This is not a trivial or superficial thing, you may be making major gameplay changes, totally changing the flavor of the game, the key is that the basic structure is similar, you can use the previous code base and engine, so it should be easy and quick. This is done constantly with first person shooters, since you can license Unreal or Quake and have basically a good shooter framework to adapt. Insomniac sort of did this with Ratcher & Clank, but largely this is not done outside of the shooter genre. I'd like to adapt this production model to all sorts of games. There are a lot of games that are basically bad games, but still have a good structure and engine, that you could purchase and pretty easily turn into very good games.