During last week's DICE conference in London, Oddworld co-founder and president Lorne Lanning touched on the idea on having players co-create content. In his talk, he gave the example of polling players for the name of 'Abe's Oddysee HD' - now Oddworld New 'n' Tasty. The quality of the responses he received inspired him to ask fans to provide art and even credits music for the game.
Speaking to Lanning after, I learned how his hopes for involving the Oddworld audience in content creation extend far beyond polls and art. While he was quick to note how far away any of this was from being decided or announced, he told me how he admired what games like Minecraft are doing. That's not to say Lanning is formulating plans for Oddworld-craft, but the veteran designer is certainly interested in how to adapt the Oddworld property to make the audience more involved.
"First I'm speaking pie in the sky, but I love the model of being able to provide clay to an audience, and they provide back sculptures," Lanning told me. "That would be a great thing. I think that's what Minecraft did and in that way they did it more probably uniquely than most."
"When you put the power of creativity in someone's hands, just like great designers we all like working within limited constraints," he added. "The wider the page, the more open the possibilities, the harder for the writer to write, the same with designers. That being said, I think the future is all about that, is all about people having a co-creative participation. The question is, with what you're doing, how adaptable is your property to be able to facilitate that to the audience. We're exploring that in different ways, and right now I think we have more questions than we do answers."