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Reader Comments (10)

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 9:27AM Dlangar said

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I think you want to distinguish between rewarded and compensated. If that makes sense.

They absolutely should be rewarded in some fashion, and in Mission Architect, they are indeed already well rewarded. Badges fall like rain when you are creating and testing your MA missions, and of course there are the tickets you earn while running MA missions, that can be redeemed for in-game items. In fact, you even earn experience while playing the missions, so you are rewarded both for creating the content and consuming the content. While I would argue that CoH goes perhaps too far in it's rewards, you *do* want players encouraged to create content, and you certainly want playes to be encouraged to use it. Very few players will do something for nothing.

But while I didn't see the actual article containing the quote from Mr. McGee, I got the impression he was talking about real-world compensation. The idea that, hey if your players are building your content, you should pay them. And this I think, is an absolutely bad idea. Because once you start compensating players for buildin content, with real world compensation (free game time, money, etc), then you are essentially contracting out work-for-hire. And I see all sorts of thorny legal and ethical issues players could, by all rights, bring up about who really owns the content and their own rights to the content they created. Those sorts of issues (who owns the copyright to the stories you write for Mission Architect? What if you decide to create and publish a comicbook using that story you submitted to City of Heroes for a mission?) already exist, but they get 10x more complicated when real-world-monies are involved.

So in short, I do think you should reward players for their effort, and to encourage them to participate. But you have to be very careful your rewards don't turn into "contracting players to build your game as work-for-hire". Unless you're prepared to deal with the consequences of that.

Posted: Apr 26th 2009 1:48PM (Unverified) said

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i agree Dlangar i love the MA but to involve real world assets is hard to figure out, now i know if you create a story it has like a 1% chance of becoming cannon in the game im good with that.

as for who gets the rights for real world work that easy you get the right for anything outside of the game but if you want to publish it ask, buy, borrow, etc the ncsoft/paragon studio's copyright.

so you own the story you create but if you want to sell it for real money ( you can give it away) you have to let them in on the deal. as for how hard that is really depends on the game in questions.

for paragon studio's it is hard too say i rem there was a book that was going to be released but they did not want it or something. then you have the rest of the city of X books now im entertain the idea but we will have to see when i get done.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2009 9:51AM Tom in VA said

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Well, I like the idea of compensating players for creating content, provided...

--the content is exceptionally creative, substantive, and good
--there is a secure (i.e., not open to abuse) and fair way to rate this content (either by the players or the developers)
--the compensation comes in the way of in-game "perks" -- special in-game items or discounts on subscription fees, etc.

I really think games like Guild Wars, Tabula Rasa, and so on would take on a whole new life if they were restyled with a "mission architect-like" option as was done with CoX.

More than that, however, if I were an MMO developers, I'd actually consider offering to purchase the very best missions from player-creators (with real money), and then offer these "premium" missions for sale as an MT to other players. This would (i) generate revenue for the MMO, (ii) encourage enterprising players to create great content, and (iii) encourage all players to stay with these games, extending their lifespan even further.

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 10:00AM HadesLotD said

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Put in a survey at the end of each quest or mission, and the game company rewards the creators of the highest rated content with some free game time.

Problem solved.

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 10:19AM Crsh said

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Rewarded or not, I find the ability to create your own content and share it with other players to be a great idea with lots of potential; Second Life for example is all about user-generated content, but SL isn't a game per se so the comparison ends there.

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 10:48AM (Unverified) said

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The greatest thing i think about the MA system is that it will the game a vastly increased life-span. my basis for this is Warcraft 3 the RTS. its map editor is so powerful its ridiculous, i am tempted to say its the same one the devs originally used to dreate the game missions etc. (i cant rmrbr where i read it though, but suffice to say its powerfull) and the result is new maps are being greated or updated to this date. the playerbase is huge. ive been a reguylar player since its launch. i think mmo's that jump on this band-wagon are very sensible in increasing the longevity

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 4:36PM (Unverified) said

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Of course they should. In some cases user-created content is extending a game "life-cycle" by months if not years. If people keep buying the game/subs to play the additional content those who created it should get compensated.

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 8:14PM J Brad Hicks said

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I don't know, I get what he's saying, but ... paying people to create content in City of Heroes seems to me like paying people to edit Wikipedia. Or like paying people to do paint-by-numbers. There are plenty of people out there who want an output for their creative effort that they can show other people, want it enough to pay for the opportunity themselves. Why not let them?

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 8:31PM johnnic1235 said

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Absolutely not. Even the pixelated rewards in MA are a mistake.

Right now, MA-created content is a 3-way war between (1) people who are writing good content in the classic RP context (2) reward-seeking farmers, and (3) reward-seeking badgers.

Only one of those categories will increase the lifespan of your product. And the people who create missions in that category would do it for the love of the game. No reward needed. Or, rather, the satisfaction of publishing a well received arc is reward enough.

Posted: Apr 26th 2009 4:59AM cray said

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Bad idea to reward people monetarily, it crosses an ethical bridge that could ultimately ruin the Mission Architect's goal. Which is to breathe new life in CIty of Heroes.

As soon as you start rewarding people with currency or benefits outside the game, greed enters the equation an and a game player sees the Mission architect as business opportunity as oppose to just being a in-game feature.

If Paragon Studios wants to increase their subscriber base, They should foster more rigid review/voting system for the missions that were played. Let notoriety seep its way into the gaming blogs. Giving players a reputation will garner more interest in the game, hence new subscribers.

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