DrDisrespect's game studio Midnight Society has shared some details regarding the planned development cycle for its upcoming shooter Project Moon. Supposedly, the studio will commit to releasing "Snapshots" (essentially vertical slices) every six weeks, but some game devs are skeptical about the viability of this plan.
What plans does DrDisrespect's game studio have for Project Moon?
Last December, DrDisrespect announced Midnight Society, a new game studio co-founded by the streamer and aiming to create AAA games. The studio's first game, Project Moon, is a multiplayer shooter built in Unreal Engine 5, and now, a new blog post on the Midnight Society website has revealed how the studio intends to structure early development. In essence, if you're an Access Pass holder for the game (a privilege for which you needed to buy one of DrDisrespect's NFTs), you'll get access to Snapshots, which are vertical slices of certain elements of the game. These Snapshots will be released every six weeks, according to Midnight Society, and are intended to provoke discussion amongst the community, with feedback subsequently being implemented into future development.
As Midnight Society tells it, Snapshots will be complete enough to "have actionable conversations and discussions" in order to create specific goals for development moving forward. In less buzzword-y terms, this means that each Snapshot will contain enough content to let players make helpful suggestions on how the game should play. Midnight Society says it believes the community deserves "access to games currently in development", as well as the chance to offer feedback to shape that development. The first Snapshot will offer a firing range and an assault rifle to get to grips with, and the devs are looking for feedback on features like accuracy, recoil, and general feel.
What has been the community response to Midnight Society's plans?
Midnight Society's assertions have drawn no small amount of skepticism from the game development community. Forbes writer Paul Tassi asked game dev folks on Twitter whether DrDisrespect and Midnight Society's plans were viable. While some seemed to think they were, others expressed concern regarding the ambitious 6-week Snapshot cycle or what they perceived to be an unnecessary level of community involvement with cutting and including game features.
Developers also expressed concern regarding the potential for crunch, given the ambitious 6-week cycle plan. With major AAA studios like TT Games and CD Projekt Red coming under fire for excessive employee crunch, developers working long hours is a hot button issue in the industry right now, and some devs seem to think Midnight Society's plans will inevitably lead to crunch. DrDisrespect himself was, as you might expect, dismissive of Tassi's tweet and its replies, sarcastically saying that his studio "forgot to run our plans by the Gamedev folks". For his part, Tassi responded by wondering how well DrDisrespect's tweet would age in future. We'll just have to wait and see what happens next.