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« Agency: Past, Present, Future. | Main | Convergence Culture »

November 01, 2010

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The best level editor I ever tried is the one you did for Far Cry 2.

I would be fascinated to see a game try this. The closest thing to *3d* user-generated content forming the main game has been Spore. Are there any other AAA-title examples?

The guy who architected the engine for far cry, made a game called Cube, wich basically lets the player enter a "create level mode"

Minecraft is among those ideal tools for level design. You could even have a similar kind of survival mode + architecture style of play set in a nomadic/early mankind period, then "advance the levels in time" to produce layouts for modern game levels.

It's a pretty neat idea, though I wonder: once you design an algorithm to determine "appropriateness" of a level created by a user, couldn't you just use that to inform a procedural generation system instead?

Thinking it through, there may be some value to allowing aesthetic wiggle room within the appropriateness measure. A human would (probably) naturally gravitate towards creating an aesthetically pleasing level in ways that no fitness function could predict. I'm thinking maybe:

Design a fitness function for grading X-COM appropriateness of a level, where the function allows room for creative/aesthetic expression without totally killing the fitness score. Combine that with a quick in-game poll: "Did you like the level? [thumbs up] Click here to give detailed feedback on the level [link to a 5-question poll]". Combine a level's fitness value with user ratings and use that as the ultimate rank for a level that gets factored into your level-choosing algorithm for a particular gameplay session. You could even weight the ratings higher than the fitness if a level gets a lot of positive votes, but you could still rely on the fitness function to promote new levels without votes. That way you might avoid the issue of popular levels staying popular and it becoming hard to break into top levels.

I for one would really like to see that happening, it would make senses that the merging of casual and hardcore gamers would happen along the lines of gameplay allowing diverse gaming objectives yet promoting cooperation between the different brands of gamers.

If game designers are gods to the virtual worlds they create, then level editors are alike to angels and devils, and following that metaphor, instead of incentives, strong set of rules ought to be established to prevent the generation of degenerated levels/maps.

collaborating a game between casual gamers and avid addicts using inter-media platforms is a grand idea. i'll buy your GTA:GD "spore clothing designer" created clothes from my facebook daily energy fashion industry manager with real time GTA marketing purchases from the streets of player generated maps. these are brilliant ideas, but where are you going with this?

i don't mean to sound like "the jackal" here, but you sound like there is a crime being committed here and no one is doing anything about it. don't get me wrong, i would say that the majority of us agree with your ideas. you are pouring so much passion in to these columns, but to what end? are you rallying the troops or clearing your head?

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