How Crazy Dreamz: Best Of is giving back to the community that made it
Dreamz Studio explain their ‘Fair Game’ initiative in this promotional feature.
Crazy Dreamz: Best Of is a new game from French indie developers Dreamz Studio, the creators of Crazy Dreamz: MagiCats Edition. This new game is a 2D sandbox platformer developed via a collaboration between Dreamz and – in an unusual twist – their own players.
That’s right: this new release carries a selection of the best 100 levels created in MagiCats Edition’s innovative level-crafting tool, compiled into an entirely new title. And perhaps most interestingly of all, this collaborative endeavour will give back 50% of revenue to the players who made the game possible.
With more than 20,000 original scenarios crafted by the players, Dreamz Studio came up with the groundbreaking concept of the ‘Fair Game’ initiative. The community responsible for the creation of these 100 selected levels included in Crazy Dreamz: Best Of will receive half of the earnings made by the new release, which is available via Steam from today.
“The Fair Game initiative is our way to express our appreciation and respect for the players’ creations and to highlight their talents,” explains Thibault Louis-Lucas, founder of Dreamz Studio. “In this era, where video games benefit from a lot of user-generated content, it seems unfair to us that the players just stay as players – especially when they’ve taken 800 hours to conceive and build a map that will be enjoyed by a global community.”
And so, inspired by the idea of Fair Trade, Thibault and his team hatched a plan. “We wanted to reward the players’ talent with consistent, concrete, shiny money, by making ourselves the publisher of the community’s game,” he says.
The first entry of this series, Crazy Dreamz: MagiCats Edition, is a free-to-play classic 2D platformer where players control a cat-wizard through a world filled with enemies and boss fights, surrounded by a colourful looking environment. But MagiCats Edition’s goal was to introduce the players to its “powerful but easy-to-use in-game coding interface” designed so that players could create and share their custom made, unique levels with each other.
This concept may be reminiscent of Super Mario Maker, where players also had the tools to construct their own levels, resulting in ever more challenging and sometimes impossible courses. But Crazy Dreamz takes this to the next level by providing the community with an easy-to-master building tool that also not only allows for the crafting of levels, but also for the designing of the enemies’ behaviour, transforming it into a even more customisable experience.
Throughout the Crazy Dreamz project, Dreamz Studio’s main goal has been to show how exciting programming can be, and inspire more people to get involved. In a recent blog post featuring an image of a teenage girl using a smartphone, the studio wrote: “She uses smartphones and computers all day, but doesn’t know how it works. It looks like black magic to most of people. But to understand magic, you have to become a magician yourself.”
It can start with a simple level in Crazy Dreamz, continue with a mod in Minecraft, and – if Dreamz Studio’s ambitions pay off – finish with a whole indie game for the internet to download and play.
So, after teaching players through Crazy Dreamz to design their own levels using a friendly coding tool, how do you select the best 100 creations out of a 20,000 pool?
“The magic here is that the community did the selection itself,” explains Thibault. “Each time the player passes a level in Crazy Dreamz: MagiCats Edition, they can grade it. According to this grading, we already gained loads of useful information. Our job was then to take the grades and rankings into consideration, check each level individually, then work with those creators to tweak and perfect those levels.”
But this is just the start of the Crazy Dreamz project. “It will never be finished,” says Thibault. “We want to keep the possibility of infinite creation for our players and become the easiest-to-use game-maker some day in the future. To make this dream come true, we keep polishing MagiCats Edition every day, and never stop thinking about new features, content and improvements. We even have a box in the office for collecting all the team’s ideas.”
And as for Best Of? That’s not going to just stop either. “Our fans can expect more new creations, new features, new skins, and more. Remember, you can always load up Crazy Dreamz: MagiCats Edition and make an awesome creation to be in with a chance of featuring in the next Best Of!”
This is a promotional feature sponsored by Dreamz Studio. What does that mean? Find out here…