OMG GameLab is a program that allows you to participate in design process of our games long before other players get a chance to see the game. To participate in the 'Lab' we request and require your agreement to a legal contract.
But before we talk about any of the legalese in our Contributor Agreement, we'd like to explain a bit about how we develop games, why we're requesting your assistance in their creation, and why we require the contract.
At One More Game, an independent game studio, we develop our games behind closed doors in order to keep information about our games secret until we're ready to unveil details to the world. There are good reasons for our secrecy!
Journalists are more likely to write about our games if they're given the opportunity to provide the first look at game-play, and are the ones to unveil new features. We only have one opportunity for unboxing and so it's important that we keep the lid on to allow that possibility.
Game development is a competitive industry, and we'd prefer other game studios see information about our games only when they're publicly released, and not before.
So ... secrecy is important. But another critical element of game development is player feedback. We can opine all day about what players want, but we are sometimes too close to the game. Something along the lines of 'no parent thinks their baby is ugly'? Getting players into the game early is essential. We need your feedback before the design has fossilized around something that's ... maybe good, but not totally awesome.
And so, following a pattern we've used personally for decades, we're inviting you to participate in what we call OMG GameLab. You'll get to see the game early. It will look ugly. There will be things that are obviously wrong, and, occasionally, broken, though we aim for stability and reliability as important development tenets. After all, it's kinda pointless to ask you for design suggestions if the game won't start!
So unlike Beta Testers, who are playing a game that is largely complete in order to find bugs and server scalability issues, contributors to OMG GameLab have the opportunity to see a much younger game and help inform its very design.
As part of this process we ask that you keep an open mind, and be gentle with your criticisms, as we venture forth together to find the fun. What we're hoping to hear from you is less about what's wrong, which is largely obvious, and more about what you< think we should do to make it better.
The contract below (which is on the shorter side as contracts go) includes terms to facilitate our desire for secrecy, and some others to give us the right us to use your feedback, describing in legal language:
No streaming of the game, posting screenshots or videos, or public sharing of game details
We have the right to use your feedback to improve our products and services
You consent to our recording and re-use of video and audio streams of alpha events
We can terminate your participation in the Lab if we believe it necessary
So yeah, that's the gig.
We hope that you'll enjoy the adventure, as we are, in fact, focused on building something lovable.
And so with that, on to the sticky contractual stuff.
Please read these terms carefully, as this agreement is a legal contract. You must be an adult to consent and to participate in OMG GameLab.
Until such time as we publicly launch the service, you may not share, publish, disclose, distribute, transmit, post or make available, directly or indirectly, information about our services to any third party. You may disclose that you are a member of OMG GameLab.
You grant to us a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use and incorporate into our services any suggestion, request, recommendation, audio-recording, video-recording, or other feedback provided by you relating to the services. If you participate in video-streaming and/or audio-streaming of alpha events, including but not limited to game playtests and feedback sessions, you consent to our recording and re-broadcast of those streams.
You may use our services only as permitted in accordance with these terms and in good faith. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, you may not and may not assist, encourage, support or enable others to:
Distribute, publicly display, or publicly perform our services
Use our services for the benefit of anyone other than you or other authorized users
Sell, resell, license, sublicense, distribute, rent or lease any aspect of our services
Transfer your right to use our services to any other person or entity
Engage in conduct that inhibits and prevents the enjoyment of our services