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What a 'Player Created Asset' system could do for the Game Industry :

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  • It would start with one company using the products of this system for its own series of games (economy of scale as the same tools/knowhow and game assets can be reused).
  • Later, game companies will be sharing/converting assets/freely available (Open-Source type arrangement)
  • The more players who learn how to use the tools to create these assets, the more good assets will be generally available (or more easily modified for a new game). A Pool of creative players would be available for more games and for any game company using the system.
  • As the system is adopted, more asset creation tools will be readily available to make the creation task even easier. Players have shown the ability already to create tools that are competitive and will also create specialized tools.
  • Many assets are very specific to the games they are created for, but basic component parts of them can be generalized into templates (basic attributes) that can be reused (and new game specific details then overlaid on them as a base, with alot of effort saved).
  • As the use of this system gains more use, more and more assets covering a variety of needs will be in existence so that the tedium of routine detail creation in games will be largely eliminated, and the game companies can put more money and effort into making better games (proprietary work).
  • The overall system has shared cross-benefits for MMORPG games and for Solo type games.


Standards :

  • The entire system is dependent on a common modular paradigm to represent the game data and the way it is used.
  • Object based architecture much more than previous games systems (common system of building blocks)
  • Templates are modules that can be hierarchical and are parameterized and contain subsets of the data that define the final game objects. They are designed to be interchangeable to allow easy recombination.
  • There needs to be similar use of the asset data by the Game Engines. Data CAN be translated from one system to another and any missing/specialized Engine specific data can then be synthysized or added as needed.
  • Eventually the Game Engines will use Data Standards than will cover most aspects of game Asssets so that most existing objects/templates will be mostly complete for normal uses (drop-in building blocks).
  • A Common Scripting Language would be needed (although those can also be translated if really needed). Game AI (artificial intelligence/intelligent behavior) likely would be one of the proprietary aspects of games that companies would want to protect, but the scripts used for more mundane operations of asset objects could still be standardized so that they could be part of the common data.


Rewards:

  • Profit. (if there is no advantage in this system for this then there is little hope for it being used).
  • Better games. Break the cycle of stagnation that gives us the rubbish the game companies keep feeding us (many of the game designers dislike the trap the game industry is caught in).
  • Collaboration made ease to tap into the abilities/creativity of the players (a major largely unused resource).
  • Make it much cheaper to create the assets require to make a game (players efforts are not paid for in $$$).
  • Reuse. What is created for one game can be reused on the next (and raise the efficiency/production of an entire industry for a element that is one their largest expenses).
  • Allow more realistic use of objects in a game (physics, behaviors, appearances) - their increasing complexity (and cost) will have to be offset or game companies simply will NOT do this.
  • By cutting expenses, lower the overall cost of game production so that niche genres can have games created for them and competent games can be created for them.
  • By cutting other expenses, more effort can be put into creating more interesting/better games for the players. If the more mundane terrain and NPC aspects can be easily cobbled together at a good quality (as a stage), then ALOT more effort can be put towards major improvements in AI, special effects and spectacular/impressive/imaginative art for any particular game.
  • Partial adoption of the system may be needed to 'ease' the system into use. If cost effectiveness can be demonstrated more companies will adopt the system and build the critical mass that will allow full realization of the system.
  • A company that is brave enough to break into this new paradigm may outshine its competitors (producing games) and get major PR advantages and acclaim.
  • There may be significant crossover to other industries (ie- movie animation/commercials/other computer media)


Risks:

  • Tools required would need to be developed, which is up-front money (though they can be largely reused for additional games). Player polished tools ('Game Tools for Dummies") take alot of work to create (and even free tools need to be documented/tutorialized for general use).
  • Agreeing on 'standards' is something computer industry companies do slowly, sometimes taking years. Breaking the ice with sufficient lump of standards so that the rest of the system can be built around them, would be one of the first achievements. One company that adopts this system may want to make it difficult for another company to reuse work it spent money and effort to develop.
  • Investors don't like risk and wont usually put money to something unproven (and moreso not already shown to be profitable)
  • Game companies have invested in their existing infrastructures and might see this all as 'starting over'. They may fear it because they may be so steeped in the ancient methods currently used that they will not be able to adapt.
  • Game Engines may lag in having the required feature to facilitate this system. The Game Engine companies would eventually get such features, but it will take time. Game companies would then have to do massive customizations (though again these can be reused on subsequent games).
  • Adherence to an Open Sources system isn't always possible when companies who make use of 'the source' and make improvements (at their expense) don't bother to feed those improvements back into the publicly available 'source'. Thus the proper licensing process (and the requisit lawyering) will have to happen. ALL assets in a game that use the open source system would HAVE to be made public (and be published in the public repositories) or the game/company is in Contract Violation. Many game companies will not like operating like this despite the major advantages the system offers them.   The dividing line between the shared public system and the proprietary parts (that the game companies will now largely compete thru) is not always easy to define.
  • Legal issues in such a system may scare away more than a few companies from even considering the new system.



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