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User-Generated Content: What Could Have Been; What Could Be

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Hannes Erich, May 30, 2013.

  1. Hannes Erich

    Hannes Erich Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran

    Nov 13, 2008
    Likes Received:
    When developers meet to discuss new features and ways to add to the value of this long and storied game, I want them to consider this off-the-wall suggestion.

    See, today, I noticed part of a pre-purchase blurb for a new single-player computer RPG, and it got me thinking. Here's the blurb:

    Shadowrun Returns Editor: Design your own stories and share them with the entire Shadowrun community. This is the same powerful tool the Harebrained level designers used to create the game. With it, you can construct new locations, characters, stories and elaborate tactical scenarios.

    I never played any Shadowrun stuff before, but the look and feel of the game and skill-based progression make it appear almost like the science fiction-y Ultima-style RPG I always wanted but never got. But that's not what I'm here to suggest. (Although it does help show that 2D isometric RPG games are still coming out.)

    I just want to say how aggravating it is that Ultima Online never pioneered true UGC (user-generated content) beyond house design, books and character bios. When I finally delved into an emulator, it wasn't to play for free but to take UGC to the next level. I learned how to create my own NPCs, dialogue boxes, and quests. In the first quest I created, an NPC in Britain sent you on some initial tutorial-ish errands (this was more to teach me than the players :p), then on a mission to kill a unique creature in a cave outside the city, where you discovered a body and a clue (a note), which led you to Trinsic to help the City Guard unravel a plot to destroy the city from the inside.

    Unfortunately, only a very small handful of players ever saw anything I created for UO, because I hosted it on my personal computer at home, for personal use. (I was offered large-scale hosting help but felt like it would have been more EULA-breaking than I was comfortable with.)

    The whole time, the capabilities were there inside the engine. But sadly, the tools that allowed me to create my own quest had to be coded by players!

    Ultima Online was never big on theme-park elements such as quests but I've since discovered how fun it is when developers drop theme park elements in the middle of a sandbox--and then allow players to build their own theme park elements.

    Now a lot of old hands of the pure sandbox model aren't going to like this idea and guess what? I can't argue with you because I used to feel the same way; and I might feel differently now but I STILL don't think there's anything wrong with liking things the way they are. I'd still like to see something like this happen, but in a way that didn't negatively impact players or force them to do the content. Elements such as this could help add value and bring players back who DO enjoy this sort of thing.
  2. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    May 12, 2008
    Likes Received:

    This is one area being worked on as well in Shroud of the Avatar. The basis of the ingame map is that the overworld map is in Hex segments which each open up into a 3d area. Each 3d area has a possible scenario and the call has been put out for player writers to create ingame scenarios (beyond the main plotline) based on a certain list of criteria.

    Even with a lack of ingame development tools, you can't say that UO's player-created content has been limited to houses and books or bios. Over the course of 15 years there have been MANY player-created events, quests, sports, and so on. My old guild, back pre-Trammel ran "Escape" events starting in the Covetous Level 4 torture room sending in a group of players with VERY limited resources to work their way back out. Bagball was a completely player-created sport. Fight Nights, Chicken fights, Auctions, the list goes on. I think you may have sold the playerbase of UO a bit short in the area of User-Created content simply because the players don't have the ability to do things like add in monsters or area effects.
  3. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    Aug 30, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Would it be extremely hard to make a "design shard" for players to design buildings/deco etc etc with special permissions to allow the community with the unique knack for decorating and maybe give the devs a few ideas on some cool additions? Maybe take a bit if work off the already skeleton crew? I'm sure there would even be players that would purchase access to that specific shard just for that reason!

    $19.99 for a lifetime pass to a shard with [add [move abilities and design some neat dungeons,towns,building,town deco..all combat disabled etc etc

    2 birds 1 stone..a bit of extra revenue and bring together people willing to contribute, those are the type of people you want running EM characters and such, people who care