I’m Shawn Jackson, the Chief Operating Officer at Precursor Games. I just wanted to give a little bit of background on myself for those who don’t know me, as well as talk about bringing Shadow of the Eternals into production.
How I got here
I’ve wanted to make videogames ever since I was 15 when Resident Evil 2 came out. From there I really got into games like Syphon Filter, Thrill Kill, Street Fighter, Command and Conquer, Halo and Battle For Middle Earth. Fast forward to the future: I took art centric programs in college and one of them was a postgrad diploma in gaming. From there I debuted my career as an Environment Artist at Ubisoft Montreal, Silicon Knights in 2007 and now a COO at Precursor Games.
What am I responsible for?
My job description is simple; get the project done and make it great! However, that description comes with many difficult challenges. This does not mean I get a whip to crack off the backs of our team members and expect them to work harder. I’ve been in the thick of development as an environment artist with strict deadlines for many years – I’ve seen many different approaches to this. Fortunately, I have had the privilege of having some great mentors who have taught me the value of teamwork and time management in a development studio environment. I’ve learned that if someone is enthusiastic in their work, they will take it upon themselves to manage their time wisely and do the best job that they can.
The Opportunity – Three pillars that make Shadow of the Eternals Unique
Crowdfunding a project has a unique set of opportunities that you typically wouldn’t see through traditional game development. At Precursor Games I feel that the combination of Crowdfunding, Community Created Content and Episodic Content makes this opportunity so special. It is something that deserves attention.
With crowdfunding we are able to work with our community and retain creative control in the development cycle. The people can decide directly with their wallet whether they would like to see that the game comes to the marketplace.
Our community is very important to us and by directly involving them in the development process, we are able to work with them to create unique ideas. This way, our community can get their own content into the game in which otherwise wouldn’t be possible in a traditional development cycle.
Episodic content allows us to work on portions of the game at a time and then look to our fans for the feedback. There are two ways that everyone can benefit from this model. First, they see the development team responding to their ideas and feedback sooner than with a traditional game. Second, we can gauge the gamer’s anticipation with regards to new ideas, concepts, design mechanisms, or stories and then use that information to refine our work.
Precursor Games wants to make the best games that it can and I truly believe that we are going to create something that we can all be proud of.