Jesse Schell Says Future of Indie Games is Collaborative Relationship Between Developers and Players

PITTSBURGH, PA- December 15, 2011 – Schell Games unveiled Puzzle Clubhouse, a community-designed episodic series of animated stories and games, as a new project on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.  In a world of plummeting retail sales, overcrowded app stores, and social games that require multi-million dollar marketing budgets, Schell Games knew they had to turn the traditional game building model on its head.  Puzzle Clubhouse, the latest project from game design thought leader Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games, took inspiration directly from his experiences as a street performer. “The magic of street performing is that no two shows are alike – you work directly with your audience, you let them help change the show, you let them help make it great,” explains Jesse Schell. “Making games is fun, but over the years I’ve come to miss the direct interaction and collaboration with the audience.  Why can’t game development be like that?  Why not let everyone be a part of it?”

In the pursuit of that collaborative vision, Schell Games created Puzzle Clubhouse. The idea is to produce silly, fun, casual games as quickly as possible, with the help of the players, by letting them contribute artwork, music, stories, jokes, game ideas, and more. “Our long-term goal is to let the players create as much of the games as possible, with our professional developers there to help guide them,” says Schell. “We’re going to start small, having players submit and vote on artwork, but with each episode, we plan to push the envelope of player collaboration more and more.”

Schell Games ( has begun to build the community for Puzzle Clubhouse by initially launching it as a project on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.  The Kickstarter campaign began on December 9, and already backers have pledged more than 40% of the $10,000 goal.  The Puzzle Clubhouse Kickstarter offers some unusual prizes – everything from Star Wars C-3PO figurines signed by actor and Friend of Puzzle Clubhouse Anthony Daniels, to juggling lessons from Jesse Schell, or even being the Executive Director for an entire Puzzle Clubhouse game.

If Schell Games hits the $10,000 goal by January 8 th, they plan to launch the complete Puzzle Clubhouse website in the spring of 2012 and produce at least five additional episodes.  Schell explains what happens after that, “Our plan is to give the games away for free, and to ask people who would like to submit content to the games to become paid members.  There is a real hunger among players to be part of the game development process, and our goal is to open it up so players and developers can work together to create something they are both proud to be a part of.”

A sample game can be played at and more information can be found on the Puzzle Clubhouse Kickstarter campaign page (

About Schell Games

Schell Games is a full-service game design and development company specializing in creating innovative interactive experiences.  Founded in 2002 by one of the world’s top game designers and renowned author, Jesse Schell, and made up of highly talented artists, programmers, producers, and game designers, Schell Games has offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Austin, Texas.

Schell Games focuses on creating memorable experiences through online and social games, interactive theme park attractions, console and handheld games, internet-enabled toys, and virtual worlds.  For more information on Schell Games visit or contact us at


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