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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » "User-generated themepark MMOs" - a new way forward?

11 posts found
  pristina

Novice Member

Joined: 2/07/12
Posts: 4

 
OP  11/19/12 3:13:03 AM#1

I think Neverwinter's Foundry system, whether it succeeds in itself or not, does open a new way forward for the genre.

We all know that the speed at which players 'consume' traditional themepark content is phenomenal. But we also know that there is a huge untapped pool of creative talent out there - the players themselves. Marry the two together - voila.

 

We've already seen this happen in other genres. Many single player games outlasted their "expiry date" by virtue of user-created mods, where in some cases the mods gained greater acclaim & fame than the original themepark that was shipped. Also things like scenario editors, campaign editors etc have existed in other genres for ages - let's not forget where DoTA (and its 'heirs') came from! A number of MUDs already have player-designed dungeons and quests that have become part of their persistent world.

Obviously translating these things to MMOs will not be easy and aspects of it will be technically (very) challenging. But hey, it's 2012; I think it's do-able; at least to some extent. Ignoring the technical side of things, the potentials are great: user-created dungeons, pvp battlegrounds, questlines, zones... The developers can in turn focus on creating and churning out new assets and tools for the players to use in their designs.

 

Obviously this lends itself more towards instance-based games, where we could join an "instance" of user-generated content. But it's also potentially possible in larger persistent worlds - e.g. players could elect to 'trial' the content on a separate test server, and if deemed 'good enough' it could be voted to become part of the game world.

  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 837

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

11/19/12 3:42:57 AM#2

I pretty much thought that is what minecraft is, and secondlife, and IMVU, but aside from Minecraft those are social MMO's (by a gamers standard and VU's by their own description). The thing is, I find that the more sandbox elements an MMO posses the less of an actual game it is....

 

Now, what if the developers for a given Themepark , Sandbox , or SandPark MMO, instead hold user created content contests. They can set perameters (give the players a theme or concept, tell them what formats to put entries in and where to send them), and provide some source materials (desired textures or mesh's to be included). They can take the top entries and make them into garunteed content polls on their forums.

 

This way users can choose the best and brightest of their community to aid the developers in enchancing the game in a way that alleviates some pressures on the Developers, without loosing site of the games needs and goals.

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3888

11/19/12 4:47:51 AM#3
     I heard about what NWN is planning to do with the foundry system and it does sound exciting..  as much so as dynamic events.. I for one am so tired of these linear themeparks, I'm about to close up shop and say the hell with the genre..  However, I hope that if we do see forms of user created content it's well policed.. I felt that was one huge problem with SWG, was the abuse of the so called sandbox.. Even the biggest sandbox "LIFE" has rules, regs and guidelines..  Lets hope that Cryptic's devs are smart enough to avoid the big problems..
  jpnz

Novice Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3565

11/19/12 5:17:20 AM#4

User generated content doesn't solve the 'players consume content too fast' issue.

From a high level game design point of view, your MMO now has a much larger QA team and a smaller Dev team.

From an financial point of view, you've now increased a lot more overhead on a genre that has the biggest overhead.

From a business perspective, you are now relying on your players to make things for you which might not be up to the quality you would want in your game.

Both issues combine to make user generated content a less attractive proposition in an MMO setting.

It works in a single player game cause the player can decide whatever they want in their own PC (so no need for QA) but in MMOs, you can't do that.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Thane

Elite Member

Joined: 8/14/03
Posts: 2136

I'm a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.

11/19/12 5:19:42 AM#5
Originally posted by pristina

I think Neverwinter's Foundry system, whether it succeeds in itself or not, does open a new way forward for the genre.

We all know that the speed at which players 'consume' traditional themepark content is phenomenal. But we also know that there is a huge untapped pool of creative talent out there - the players themselves. Marry the two together - voila.

 

We've already seen this happen in other genres. Many single player games outlasted their "expiry date" by virtue of user-created mods, where in some cases the mods gained greater acclaim & fame than the original themepark that was shipped. Also things like scenario editors, campaign editors etc have existed in other genres for ages - let's not forget where DoTA (and its 'heirs') came from! A number of MUDs already have player-designed dungeons and quests that have become part of their persistent world.

Obviously translating these things to MMOs will not be easy and aspects of it will be technically (very) challenging. But hey, it's 2012; I think it's do-able; at least to some extent. Ignoring the technical side of things, the potentials are great: user-created dungeons, pvp battlegrounds, questlines, zones... The developers can in turn focus on creating and churning out new assets and tools for the players to use in their designs.

 

Obviously this lends itself more towards instance-based games, where we could join an "instance" of user-generated content. But it's also potentially possible in larger persistent worlds - e.g. players could elect to 'trial' the content on a separate test server, and if deemed 'good enough' it could be voted to become part of the game world.

you know that system was first used in star trek online?  (the foundry system it is)

that game is online for some time now ^^

 

so yea, i disagree on your post, neverwinter wont throw in too much new :)

"I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!"

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7039

11/19/12 6:12:54 AM#6

The foundry is something you will be very disappointed with.  Past Neverwinter games had far more customization ability.  The major problem is that Cryptic is stuck in a mediocre rut.  If you note, it will cost you to use the foundry as you have a limited number of slots initially.  After examining the limited options built into it, it does not even deserve to be called Neverwinter.

I would welcome and pay for a well done MMO development tool, Neverwinter is not it.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12988

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

11/19/12 6:35:34 AM#7
Originally posted by Ozmodan

I would welcome and pay for a well done MMO development tool, Neverwinter is not it.

There are plenty out there. Most of the negative things you hear about many of them is from gamers denying their own limitations and faulting the engine.

 

Cool Crowfall info and speculation - http://www.thewulfden.com/search/label/Crowfall

  someforumguy

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3559

11/19/12 6:48:35 AM#8
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Ozmodan

I would welcome and pay for a well done MMO development tool, Neverwinter is not it.

There are plenty out there. Most of the negative things you hear about many of them is from gamers denying their own limitations and faulting the engine.

 

I know Minecraft, which is not a MMO. What are the others? And just so you know, I don't see a buggy unbalanced mess of a game as my own limitation.

I remember the storyteller system in SWG and later on the chronic system. And other themepark MMO's have limited content generation features which don't even come close to this system. SWG doesn't exist anymore. And I guess I am very spoiled with Minecraft now that I can modify it's clients and servers myself.

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 21681

11/19/12 11:07:31 AM#9

Most user created content is crap.

There is enough professional created content (across multiple games) that i doubt i ever will need to play user generated ones.

Now i admit there are the very rare break-out (like DOTA) of user generated stuff but those are a) very rare, and b) you will know it because of word-of-mouth. So you get to play them anyway.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14331

11/19/12 11:11:11 AM#10
The basic challenge of user-designed content in an MMORPG is that the users can't be allowed to influence either the rewards that the content gives or the difficulty of the content.  Otherwise, it will be a race to the bottom, as content designers try to give maximum rewards for minimum effort in an attempt at getting people to do their content as opposed to someone else's.  Players who don't focus on doing the maximum reward for minimum effort content will be at a crippling disadvantage, and take several times as long to do anything as everyone else.  And players who do focus on the maximum reward for minimum effort content won't have any interesting content to play.
  Ryukan

Novice Member

Joined: 11/06/08
Posts: 713

11/19/12 11:11:55 AM#11
The Foundry for NWN sounds is coming straight from Star Trek Online. The player created missionis in the Star Trek Online Foundry were hit or miss, there were a lot of them and some were decent, some were poor and some were really good.