The Infamous Noob

May 20, 2009

User-Created Content: Yea or Nea?

Filed under: Design, Games, PEBKAC — infamousnoob @ 5:46 pm

Little Big Planet is probably the most famous user-made content source, but City of Heroes has been going through its share of publicity for adding a feature last month that lets users make their own parts of the game. The central issue is that players, given the ability, will always make content that amounts to a “loot pinata.” Whether the reward is experience, equipment, or wealth, allowing the creation of content without a limit on the rewards it can award degenerates the game into instant gratification instead of working toward a goal — and when players pay by the month instead of by the content, keeping them playing for more than an instant is key.

My proposed solution to this is to implement a rating system that would “unlock” the addition of rewards to content after it has been rated by either the game producers or the players at a sufficient level. However, I’m not sure this would completely solve the problem since I’m sure there would be enough users who like the idea of “free loot” to rate it up, and filtering everything through the game developers/producers seems like a good way to shut down any future “real” content from them.

I think that this exemplifies the problem (and the biggest strength) of MMOs: lots of people play them. This means you get people from every possible part of the spectrum, which guarantees that there will always be those who are looking to “beat” the game as fast as they can — even if it’s no longer fun at that point.

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