At one point in the movie family Albrecht are at home eating an Indonesian rice dish. In the original plan the family would be eating a casserole, but a member of the public suggested they should eat the rice dish. The art department decided this would be even better for continuity reasons, actors could just scoop back their helping after each take without changing the shape of the food.
'Paul Verhoeven' collected contributions from more than 35,000 participants over 39 weeks. Out of the thousands of scripts that were received, he said that there wasn't a single one that he wanted to take into production.
Paul Verhoeven was disappointed with the outcome of the experimental setup of the movie. Although he is quoted as saying that he had a good time doing a movie in the Netherlands again, he found out during production that a talent-hunt for screenwriters and actors did not have the desired result. From the many scripts he received, there was not one single scenario that he liked in its entirety, so the final shooting script was a combination of several versions, and most of the amateur actors were replaced by professional ones. He had therefore no desire to follow-up on the experiment.
Because of its 50-minute running time, the movie did not get a theatrical release in the Netherlands but was shown through a "film on demand" structure (wewantcinema) where people had to buy tickets in advance and with enough sold it would play in a selected number of cinemas.
According to Paul Verhoeven, in the majority of submitted screenplays that he received, the wife openly condemned her husband's extramarital affair. He chose to ignore this in lieu of having the wife stoically accept it, which he found a much more interesting and less predictable situation.
The participating audience also formed film crews to film the sequential scripts. Some teams dropped out during the project, others shot the 8 sequences and put them online. Paul Verhoeven, to the frustration of these teams, never interacted with them. One team in particular, IO film productions, hired veteran Stephan Brenninkmeijer instead and shot their counterpart of the movie titled: Lotgenoten (2013). In contrast to "Steekspel", "Lotgenoten" did have an official theatrical release in the Netherlands.
The movie was meant to be an experiment of audience participation, whereby the production of the movie was going to be combined with a talent-hunt like "American Idol". Aspiring film makers were encouraged to use three minutes (written by 'Kim van Kooten') as the basis for writing a full movie script and send it in, out of which Paul Verhoeven would select his favorite version to direct. Amateur actors were initially attracted to star in the film. However, Verhoeven finally filmed Tricked (2012) with professional actors and did not use the submitted screenplays. He wrote the screenplay together with 'Robert Alberdingk Thijm', based on some ideas they got from the submissions.
Steekspel was a partly crowd sourced film. The first three minutes were written by Kim van Kooten and people could send in scripts for the rest. Verhoeven found none of the submissions good enough, so the screenplay was written by him and Robert Alberdingk Thijm, based on some ideas by the submissions.