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Community Spotlight: User Generated Content

Posted by MikeB Thursday April 28 2011 at 4:08PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "the dungeon experience" by TheDarkCat66. In the thread, TheDarkCat66 ponders the possibility of user created dungeons as a way of addressing the repetitive nature of developer created content:

"I actually think it would be cool if players made their own dungeons and the reward wasn't XP or Gold, but FUN and gameplay.

It could actually be an entire mini-game, where players get to design their own dungeons but as they level up in the real game, they get items such as different terrain pieces, collect monsters and NPC's to use, etc.

I think this is a lot better of a choice than games like DDO or WoW where the dungeons are entirely instanced anyways. Honestly... even the better dungeons of WoW, I would still prefer player-made dungeons. Even my favorites aren't *that* amazing. DDO had some amazing dungeons, so that's different. However, replayability in BOTH of these games was severely lacking. Something user-generated content easily solved."

Wolfenpride adds that Ryzom has such a feature, though it appears to be seldom used:

"Ryzom allows this, i don't recall it being a very widely used feature though except amongst friends/guildies, since there is no xp reward.

I had a chance to play through some though, and it is pretty fun to see what people can come up with, and just generally challenge yourself."

Loktofeit can appreciate the potential of user-created content, but he also feels that most of the content users isn't necessarily so hot:

"I think that with a peer review system and a final developer say as to what goes in or doesn't, player-created content can be amazing.  Puzzle Pirates has had player-created islands and puzzles. Pirates of the Burning Sea has fantastic player-made ships. Actually, at release, 35 of the 55 ships in the game were fan-created.

In most cases, the majority of what players create will be garbage. Of what's good, there's only a fraction that will actually fit the theme and direction that is being sought after. With clear specs/guidelines in place and a two-tier review system (player committee and dev panel) , player-created content can really prove to make a nice addition of content to an MMO."

Aganazer understands that Cryptic gets a lot of flak for many things, but at the same time feels they will be the leader in user-generated MMO content:


"Its odd to say this, but I think Cryptic will be the leader in user generated content. They already have the Foundry in STO and will be releasing (hopefully) Neverwinter this year that is based on UGC. The Foundry already sounds much more capable than the dungeon creator in CoX.

I like the idea of the minigame that unlocks dungeon pieces. Its very Dungeon Keeper. Facebook has Dungeon Overlord that sort of does this, but it lacks the whole single character RPG experience.

I think I read about a German game in development based on user created dungeons as well, but I can't remember the name. It sounded almost exactly like what the OP is talking about. Raid other player's dungeons. Enhance your own dungeon."

As one user mentioned, City of Heroes already features user-generated content with the Mission Architect system. Most of my experience with user generated MMO content is limited to this system, but I found it to be very enticing and the concept can indeed alleviate the repetition of developer created content. Let's face it, it doesn't matter how big a dev team you've got, players are going to burn through your content. Giving users the ability to create their own content and players the ability to peer-review it as Loktofeit suggested can definitely add to the experience. However, I don't feel that a game that is reliant on user-generated content would be a good thing.