Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Behold, the madness of crowdsourced game development

Illustration for article titled Behold, the madness of crowdsourced game development

After the massive popularity of religious mania/mob rule simulator Twitch Plays Pokémon, imitators were going to be inevitable. People have been shouting commands into chat boxes to “crowd-play” games like The Legend Of Zelda, Final Fantasy VI and more—and the original Twitch Plays Pokémon channel is still going strong, having flailed, wandered, and memed its way through seven other Pokémon games since March of this year. But while crowdsourcing the playing of a game is becoming strangely mainstream, it’s a bit more novel to crowdsource things on the development side.


That’s the premise of please be nice :(, a game which started out with two very simple rules: Get to the bottom right of the screen to win, and the first person to win a particular version of the game gets to suggest a new feature for the next iteration.

133 suggestions later, please be nice :( is a nightmare out of the Internet’s subconscious, full of screaming Nicholas Cage heads, massive flocks of Japanese-spouting blue birds, and menus written entirely in Doge. It’s still surprisingly playable, though, which is a testament to developer Aran Koning’s ability to figure out how to implement suggestions like “finish before evil pig” without completely destroying his game. 

Although development appears to have stopped for the moment, you can still play the latest version, as well as check out the entire log of bizarre suggestions (“laser shotgun,” “gungun—shoots guns that shoot!”) that have been incorporated into the game, here. You can also read a brief interview with Koning, talking about some of his favorite suggestions, on Vice’s Motherboard blog.