Games are slowly emerging from the land of custom coding into the world of data driven, standards-based application development. I love this trend for a number of reasons including faster development, more artist involvement in the design process and increased opportunities for innovation. What is the future of user created content and how will it effect our profession?
Echoes of web 2.0…
The third generation of titles treats user content as an integral part of the game experience. User content isn’t an extra; it is how you play the game. With this shift, I would easily expect 100% of players to partake of user content.
Consider the benefits of this third generation of mod friendly games.
* The game developer provides an inspirational sketch of a game and a well stocked tool box.
* Then, over many months of player activity, the game becomes fleshed out with content that the players desire.
* Players build the majority of game content and the game developers monetize their results.
Go underpants gnomes, go.
Sounds a lot like the platform approaches of social networks…
In the end, I’m most interested in production efficiency and making money. User content is a natural answer to both of these topics. Game developers can leverage their investment in data-driven development systems to empower their game player’s creative class. The end result is games with a much longer shelf life and only a marginally more expensive development cost.
Worth reading the whole thing