|Session Name:||User-Generated Content In MMOs - From Champions Online To Neverwinter|
|Company Name(s):||Cryptic Studios|
|Track / Format:||Social and Online Games Summit|
Every MMO developer knows that releasing new content for your game is a vital step in maintaining a long-term and healthy player-base. Now imagine a set of tools and systems that can mobilize your entire player base to help create that content for your game - making it their game as well.
Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment are attempting to do just that with our set of user generated content (UGC) tools. "The Foundry" UGC tool set has been live in Star Trek Online for over a year, and has undergone vast improvements for the upcoming release of the Action MMORPG, Neverwinter. With these powerful editors, players can author maps, dialog trees, interior layouts, character costumes and enemy groups - almost everything the Cryptic developers can do. Players can then hook their content into the MMO world of Neverwinter, making it available right beside Cryptic created content.
However, making an accessible and powerful tool set is only part of the equation. To be successful, good UGC authors need to be incentivized to keep making high-quality content. Rating methods need to be developed so players can find the latest and greatest UGC content. MMO players won't necessarily play UGC content just because it's fun, so the in-game reward structure for playing UGC needs to be as good as the rest of the game or all that content will be ignored. And if players are rewarded for playing the content - all manner of new game exploits will need to be addressed.
In this talk, I'll discuss the Cryptic's experiences with "The Foundry" - and detail the new developments we've made to make sure that User Generated Content is a successful and exciting part of Neverwinter.