Before he joined Back Seat Designers as a full-fledged full-time host, Gareth had the idea for a spin-off show: brainstorming an adventure game design out of four random elements.
The idea was developed into Open Crowd Source, a “show, but not a game show” where Fred, Gareth, and Troels would invite a person onto the show and brainstorm said game — in front of a live audience. The first season of Open Crowd Source ran for 7 episodes between August and October 2015, between season 2 and 3 of the “main” show, featuring mostly friends of the show, recorded with Google Hangouts.
Fred created The Open Crowd Source Machine, which was an application for randomly selecting the four cards (a character, a setting, a task, and a modifier). For the shows, it ran on a separate computer and joined the Hangouts as a 5th person, making it easy to switch to a shot of the cards “on the fly” during the live recording.
The audience could participate on the IRC channel by suggesting plot points and just generally making off-color comments while the episode was being streamed live on YouTube.
Fred and Troels’ mutual friend, Thomas Arnt Jensen, composed the theme tune, originally just as a throwaway piece of music. In fact, he was unaware that the tune was being used as the theme tune for the show until well into the first season.
It was such a rousing success that it was quickly followed by another season, just a month after the first season wrapped, in November 2015.