Where are all the new eSports?
The PC eSports market is dominated by some of the world’s biggest and best game developers. StarCraft II, Dota 2, and League of Legends are among the most played and watched games on any platform, with LoL and Dota 2 being the two most played PC games in North America. Online viewership, player earnings, and international eSports tournaments are growing bigger every year.
If eSport games are so successful, where are all the new eSports? Are developers too afraid to go head to head with Blizzard, Valve, and Riot? Setting out to make a better MOBA than Valve or a better RTS than Blizzard would certainly be an uphill battle, but is there really no room in the eSports scene for an indie studio to try and carve its own niche? Do gamers only want to play new MOBAs, or are they willing to try out something completely different? With so much room at the top for new blood, now would seem like the perfect time for a small independent game studio to step forward and announce they’re making a whole new breed of strategy eSport.
So that’s what we’re doing.
A Strategy/Fighting Game for the Pokémon Generation
Most gamers first fell in love with video games in the 90s, and no game from the 90s captured the hearts of budding gamers worldwide as much as Pokémon. Countless hours of our childhoods (and adult-hoods) were spent assembling the ultimate team of magical fighting monsters for battle in the world’s most popular blood-sport. Our upcoming project will make sure you put those hours to good use.
Code named “The Proxy Project”, we’re looking to bridge the gap between LoL and StarCraft II by creating the real time strategy game that the Pokémon generation has been waiting for. Each game pits two teams of bio-engineered monsters (proxies) in a fight to the death. Each proxy will handle like a simplified hero from a MOBA game while the whole team of proxies will feel like a small army in an RTS. Victory will demand crisp micro, split second decision making, a healthy dose of multitasking skill, and the creative ability to design your own team of proxies from an endless pool of potential choices.
One of the biggest departures that The Proxy Project is making from existing eSports is the emphasis we are placing on team building, or “theorycrafting”. Giving our players the ability to research and design new teams allows them to spend their out-of-game time in extremely meaningful ways while rewarding creativity and innovation. Through theorycrafting, we hope to foster a much more dynamic metagame than that of the current crop of strategy eSports.
Making a video game is no easy feat, especially when your intention is to create the surrounding professional industry that comes with calling yourself an eSport. We need a good bit of help to reach our goals, so we’re teaming up with the only development team on the planet that Gabe Newell of Valve says he “won’t try and compete with”, you guys.
Let’s make an eSport
Our core development philosophy at Off By One Studios is simple: eSports should be made for the community, with the community – everything from game balancing to 3D modelling should heavily feature community input. We believe today’s eSports should be driven by a core ambition to develop a thriving professional ecosystem around competitive gaming, as the eSports industry is still relatively new and has plenty of room left to grow. The current eSports ecosystem includes professional gamers, casters, community figures, and big time game studios; we want to expand this ecosystem to include artists, programmers, and all other members of the game development community with an interest in promoting new eSports.
Generating enough ideas and new content to sustain an eSport is a daunting task, whether you are a Triple-A studio (Blizzard, Valve, Riot) or an independent one (Off By One). As a low budget indie team we are not only depending on the support of the community to help make this project succeed, but we truly believe that the quality and creativity that comes from community-generated content is superior to anything that a game studio, big or small, could possibly create on its own. The world is filled with talented developers waiting for an opportunity to shine, and we want to pay these individuals to help us create The Proxy Project. Coming soon, we will be launching a community development portal to host all of the jobs, tasks, and input we will ask from our community to help us make this project a reality.
We realize that this project requires quite a bit of help from the community at large, but we plan to give back to it in new and exciting ways. The Proxy Project is being developed on our very own Craft Engine which we will fully open source. Designed to utilize modern processors to their full potential, Craft Engine is cross platform (runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux) and built on a developer friendly python front-end.
How you can help
The success of this project truly hinges on the feedback and exposure we receive from the eSport, programming, and game development communities. Simply put, community-oriented game development requires a community. You can help create that community by sharing this page.
If you want to see a new breed of strategy eSport emerge, are interested in the game design and programming blogs , wish to support our community-oriented development goals, or simply want to help an independent game studio find success, all you have to do is spread the word. Like it, upvote it, link it to your friends, and take part in the conversation on our forums. Every new person that reads these words is another potential contributor.
Thanks for reading our manifesto! Don’t forget to check out our blog for more details on the game, the engine, and our studio.
Alexi Pors – Lead Designer