Gamers deserve better - a manifesto

We have a vision of an open source games platform that runs freely on the web

Gamers deserve games that are

  • Completely free and open source — the game code, the game engine code, and even all of the art assets are freely up-for-grabs with the permissive ISC License. This means anybody is allowed to take any of our code, and any of our artwork for any purpose they want (3d models, textures, sounds, everything)

  • Developed by passionate volunteers who are learning skills — there’s no better way for you to learn the skills than to get involved directly, and there’s no better workforce than one driven by passion instead of obligation – we're looking for contributors of all skill levels, and in all aspects of game development, from coding, to art, and other tasks (participating in discussions, helping triage bugs and issues)

  • Driven by the community — all community members can participate directly by reporting bugs and suggesting, discussing, and even developing new features – there is no distinctive line between "community member" and "developer" – both are contributing at different levels and are discussing and mediating the same common goals together

  • Open to discussions and healthy debates — suppose you’re a player, and there’s some new gameplay feature that in your opinion isn’t properly balanced. You’ll be encouraged to literally hop on the github page, see which developer implemented that feature, and start a discussion where everybody can weigh-in and be heard. We can’t make everybody happy on every topic, but we can reach consensus or find compromises in ways that are fair enough

  • Transparent and without hidden motives — the gamers and the developers should be “on the same page”. Greedy game corporations tend to maintain an iron veil of secrecy about their entire development process, but I think this only breeds animosity and frustration within the player community

  • Coded to the highest quality standards — no deadlines, no rush jobs, and no half-assing — nobody wants to work on or play a buggy game — and most importantly, clean code is easier to work with and is actually more approachable to novice developers – this is why I've been perfectionizing and refactoring monarch-engine's architecture for about three years now

  • Organized in a decentralized way — organizations who use our code and art assets will become a part of the monarch community for their own motives, but there’s no top-down influence from monarch, no vendor lock-in, etc... the community will be held together by trust, and the high quality of the work

  • Open to community mods, forks, and even blatant rip-offs — imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and the community is encouraged to build their own games, mods, and creative spin-offs

  • Monetized by a “donation with perks” model — we can monetize the games by asking users to donate in exchange for simple aesthetic perks, such as featured community skins – now read the next point before you act up about how we’re already turning greedy :)

  • Share revenue with contributors — it’s really important that the money we receive will be split amongst the open source contributors in a way we can all agree is fair – if it’s not fair enough, the community should simply fork the project and move on without us – then players can decide for themselves which leadership will serve them better

  • Resistant to tyrannical leadership — if the community disagrees with decisions the leadership is making, the community can easily reclaim the game by force, by forking the project and continuing it under new leadership (this has certainly happened to open source projects before). The risk of community forks creates a powerful incentive for leadership to maintain an obviously benevolent and healthy relationship with the community

We've created Monarch Games to implement this vision

I'm Chase Moskal, creator and lead coder of Monarch Games Group

I seriously believe that it’s my ultimate destiny in life to manifest this vision into the world. I’ve been developing these ideas, skills, and technologies with friends for literally ten years now. I've built a professional career as a senior programmer, and I feel it’s merely been training for this project.
What I'm trying to tell you, is that I’m really passionate about this

I’ve been methodically architecting monarch-engine very carefully for a few years now, lot of progress has been made

Monarch engine is a work-in-progress mobile-friendly 3d realtime-action-multiplayer games platform based on map-editor functionality that runs on the web. There’s no competition in the space because these web technologies are rather new. One idea we’re excited about, for example: game invitation links (that you receive via text message) will take you straight into live gameplay with your friends, on any device, immediately – we think that might be a big deal for games that want to go viral

Lonnie Ralfs is my great friend who is our lead artist. He’s been working on these open game projects with me since the beginning

We’re starting to put together a gameplay alpha of our first game, nanoshooter – so we’ve started this devblog to get the ball rolling and start sharing this project with the world

Join us in this vision

Let’s bring on a new age of open games

Today we're posting our first weekly dev update, check it out

PS: I really don’t think this’ll become a ghost project, even if I have to work alone for even longer, mark my words: I will make this happen, if even only out of my sheer stubborn force of will ;)