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Player Created Assets - Modding System

This is a modding system designed to let the maximum number of players possible create things for the game.

Props from Existing Games


Now this MMORPG is much more interactive/detailed than most (or all?) and objects will act more the way they would in the real world (hence all the hidden data defined by expert creators) -- that painting you could throw at somebody, or you could trash it by stomping on it or you could paint some more on it to modify it. ALL the objects are define with real attributes to make them behave correctly when manipulated, and 'damage' is a big aspect of THIS game, after all, so repairing things is also a big part of the game.

Note- there is 'in-game' creation (described further down) and 'out-of-game' creation that builds asset templates (immediately below).

Out-of-game-creation :

The levels of modding is broken up into many tiers with really complex stuff (like NPC behavior scripting and 3D shaping) seperated from the simpler tasks like inserting premade walls/doors and setting wall textures and placing wall decorations (ie- wainscoting and various mouldings ...) and furniture props (which might be easier to do, but actually take more imagination to make them feel right). One type of modding is Creating new wall textures (ie- wall paper patterns) which once they exist can be used by other people.

Some players create the building templates and then many others use them to create the actual game assets. (Note- tools to do all this are integrated into the game system -- preferably 'easy to use' tools).

The system would include ALOT of premade/pre-existing stuff ( all with the complicated attributes data that make them work in the game already done) that players would add detail to. Example - the picture shows an existing standard building structure (with all that complicated behind the wall detail data already defined - so that the server will know what to do when the scenery gets damaged).

You would select that building pattern (say for a floor of a high-rise) and first move the dividing walls around to where you want them (within the limitations of the outer structure) and then place doors (the building template would probably already have windows placed). The location of the floors elevators/utility shafts/stairwells would already be defined and you would work around those. The walls are blank (you dont care whats behind them ... that is already taken care of) and you would select what textures/details you want for the ceiling/floor/walls. If things like kitchen details are needed, there are standard object groupings for those you can place in the appropriate locations (the 'plumbing' for it will be 'fitted' in the database automatically).
There would be cabinetry objects to imbed in walls or to place in the middle of floors.

You can save at this point and turn it into a template to use repeatedly for further fine detailing (for a high-rise you would expect the room patterns you just created to be duplicated many times on a number of floors).

Next you can start adding more unique detailing - but remember these assets you are creating maybe for an 'auto-generator' to use that will either create some rooms for a NPC in the civilized part of New Rapture or will be used out in 'the Ruins' to create wrecked/abandoned buildings that will have alot of damage and decay added (and any contents trashed) - which the auto-generator will have lots of ways to do. SO if you are creating only a template, you would have placed markers in the various roooms (like living room, kitchen, dining room, closet, bathroom, library, anteroom, storage, workshop) that would be clues for the auto-generator to fill in further details.

If you decide to create a unique place with specific details (to create a coordinated/cohesive theme) you can set that mode in the tools and start adding furniture and decorative details (which would have been produced by the 'objects' part of the creation system) with exact placements and settings variations on those props to match the look you want (the 'canned' objects would have their own adjustable attributes for textures/color combinations). You may wish to define your groupings of furniture as their own templates to be submitted seperately (thus creating another detail 'object' to be reused elsewhere).

You would submit your creation and it would be inspected/vetted for 'proper' content and then eventually become part of the set of 'templates' useable for the game.

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In-game-creation :

Now you would also do much of this IN the game when you are assigned a location to repair and 'fix up' (like for your own Avatar's residence) and you could do the actions to make the location look the way you want (fix the walls and decorate them, buy the various furniture props and place them). All the typical 'house' things you do in MMORPGs except in this game they are much more customizable (multitudes more items to select from) and actually have utility. That takes more time (because you cannot always find exactly what you want, but with the New City already recovering there would be alot of stuff availabel from NPCs).

Unique items like art - I already proposed there be 'in-game' tools to create individual art objects (paintings/sculptures/stained glass/topiary,etc..). Im not sure if 'importing' will be allowed for this (would have to be something pre-vetted). But once the item was created it could be added to the players residence or given to another player (sold..)

A neat idea would be that if you did create an in-game art object this way, you could export it and submit it to be a 'template' object that could be used in the OTHER game worlds to decorate NPCs places -- your creative effort should not be wasted AND the auto-generator can ALWAYS use more unique things to place in the game.


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Way up there in the 'wall of text' of my postings I go into alot of this process in more boring detail. But here is a list of some of the things that players would be able to create :

Simpler 'objects' :

Textures (wallpapers/floor patterns etc.. or as attributes for other objects)
3D item shapes (like my favorite example 'chair')
Music (midi to start)
Furniture/prop arrangements (including typical stuff on street corner or a Splicers lair)
Signs and marquees (neon sign tool)
Emotes and gestures (poser type editing)
Voice clips (including audio diaries)
Standard behavior scripting (reactions to standard situations like NPC walking into someone)
Particle effects (fires/leaks/sparks/fountain water displays, etc...)
Shop layouts (for NPCs specific businesses)
Unique art item (mentioned above)
Building sections (the floor layout editing mentioned above)
Newspaper articles (Rapture Tribune is back...)

More complex things :

Ghost stories (like in BS1) with dialogs and stage directions of movements
Cut-scene choreographing
Radio/TV ads and shows (combination audio visual stuff)
3D building design (creating the structural building blocks that all the detailings stuff fits into)
Combat logic scripting (we can always use smarter Splicers)
NPC behaviors (complicated scripting)
Dialogs (canned interactions used for vendors and quest/missions)
New Fabrication Formulas (U-Invent type patterns for manufacturing/repairing items)
Quests/Missions -(combines alot of other assets and alot of logic/scripting debugging)

Tutorials on how to use tools (yes a 'player creation' - writing up 'how tos' to make it easier for others)
Tools and plug-ins (there are many players out there with more programming knowhow than most game company 'devs)

Mini-games (big aspect for this MMORPG ---  mini-games that you can play on your tablet or palmtop that have a direct effect on your game world playtime - without always having to be on your highpowered 3D PC/console ...) Toolkits for 'games' provided top make this easier (think of a starting template being a variation of the piping 'hack' game in BS1)

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It would be logical that the company devs (once the modular system was working) would be to first recyle ALL of the BS1/BS2/MP/DLC content and extract the stuff there to be made into 'objects' for the modding system (thats alot, including whole building shapes to get them started). Part of the process would be farming that out to player 'creators' even before the main game started.

--- --- --- --- --- -

Sound complicated???

Yes it is -- which is why it would be a major major effort to develop (the tools alone), and why game companies havent done it (and many probably couldnt/wont bother)



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