If you follow MMO news at all, it’s more than likely you’ve heard the name Firefall come up quite a bit. Information on the game is openly available, almost as if no NDA exists at all. This is on purpose.
Red 5 studios is taking a new, community-oriented approach to making games. This something almost unheard of in an industry that’s completely entrenched with the idea that you have to keep your potential customers in the dark until the very last possible second.
What Red 5 has done with Firefall is allow larger and larger chunks of the community into their closed beta, and has continually kept an open dialogue going with them. This has resulted in three nearly-complete remakes of the game over the last two years, with the newest rebuild landing today. It has a whopping 26 pages of game changes.
While this may seem like a huge headache to the normal development studio, Red 5 is set out to make sure that they are truly making the game that the players want, and not the game that they think they need. Because of this, the overall attitudes of the interactions in game and on the forums is largely positive. For most other MMOs out there, particularly those with a PvP focus, this is not the case.
Another way that Red 5 is turning heads is through their newly-launched YouTube channel, Stage 5. They are building a game-centric network that seeks to step into the space that used to be covered by G4 and ZDNet, back in their heyday, before shows like COPS ran rampant in their programming. Their first show, GameChangers, focuses on the overall development of FireFall, and some behind the scenes looks at what goes into making a game in the fashion that they are.
It’s definitely worth the time to check out both of these projects. You can find FireFall in all of its MMORPG-Shooter glory over at it’s website, and Stage 5 over at their YouTube channel.