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INCLUDING FROM Player Asset Creation :


SEE ALSO Player_Created_Asset_Collaboration_System




The idea is to have Assets used in the game which come from the Players themselves - used to continually expand/improve the MMORPG World. This requires the internal data workings of the game to be made far more visible/accessible, and they be made more understandable and usable.

The MMORPG Game system is modular (down many level to basic details) and additional PLAYER CREATED flavors of modules can be substituted for the initial set provided by the Game company (as the game goes on). Basic sets of all these will be company developer provided on World startup (initialization). These interchangeable modules are sized from being chunks of buildings down to emplaced objects (signs and such), and down to individual Prop Objects that Players can pickup (with substitutable attributes like colors and textures and game mechanics attributes) :

The system allows in-game changes by Players to rebuild many objects (and change object sub-components) to customize things in the game. The [[[Player Created Asset]]] mechanism allows there to be quite alot more variations, and even new objects that look and behave differently from what existed originally (that originally company created). Everything produced would be inspected by the company/player community (vetted) before being added to the game.

Types of assets:

Building block shapes and functionality (sub-object components slots like wall panels)

  • Basic 3D shape (mesh)
  • Includes multiple looks/assemblies/pattern variations for the different states (wrecked/damaged/corroded/burned/new)
  • Navmesh(avatar movement navigation mesh game Data) usually produced by a tool but player needs to check to see that its what they want and make changes if needed)
  • Connection compatibility with other building blocks (standardized interface surfaces ie- doorways) - there often is a subset of similar blocks built intended to match each other. These are essentially rules for how the building blocks get assembled together used by the auto-generation process on the server.
  • Placement cues for prop objects (on floor/walls/ceilings

Alternate/variety textures for visual look of object/NPCs. Differing surface appearances. Includes clothing patterns (very popular in MMORPGs).

Voice Acting :

  • Small snippets for NPC exclamations (including additional splicer ones) and causal NPC interactions (GTA-like crowds of figures)
  • Vignettes (longer back and forth between NPCs) that players get to watch
  • The more voice variations available the less repetitive the situations in the games sound.

Interactive Dialogs for city NPCs (friendlies - vendors, quest givers and such) - combination of text responses, if-then logic (based on player responses and on situational factors) Tree within tree (reuse of same tree on duplicate logic paths). Queueing of NPC actions/sounds/animations, modifications of items (ex- transfer to players inventory, or picking something up )

Behavior scripting of NPCs (including coordinating player 'team' NPCs). This would be the most complicated creations but would do the most to make NPCs 'come alive'. Splicers who use more varied tactics would give players more of a challenge and having different ones use different mixes of tactics so the player cannot predict

Client side AI scripting modules (helps server by offloading processing). Since there are alot of actions that 'Team' NPCs can do (and can coordinate as a group) there are lots of opportunities for improving Basic AI.

3D Objects (props) - objects that are independent of the terrain can be manipulated separately (ie- a crate, tin of meat, a chair, etc...) -- also interchangeable decorations for building surfaces to offer options in theme. Clothing items are 'layover' objects that have shapes/textures, and also be made to adjust size to match figure variances.

Music - playable on various devices or used for TV/Radio/Public Announcement

Sound Effects - various sounds made by objects and action upon objects

Fonts - sub-Asset used to create other things like signs and used for various readable documents. You would want many different ones to keep things from looking repetitive and there would be specialized ones like letter/digit patterns for Neon signs, etc...

Assembling Groups of Props into appropriate groupings to make them simpler to substitute as a group by an auto-generation program that would also adjust positioning (fitting) to placements.

Quests/Missions creation of Mini-plots with Quest NPC characters to play the roles. Target destinations placed on the fly at an appropriate location matching the theme of the plot. Variations. Text story (amusing/interesting details around the basic plot).

Mini-Games (tablet friendly) activities that tie in with the main game. Frameworks would be provided that tie into Server, and the game would be created from 2D tiles/texture Objects and Scripting that defines the Mini-Games mechanics.

Mini-Game Data Sets Data defining the Mini-Games scenarios would be another sub-asset addable/modifiable to have different levels of difficulty or just variations to not be repetitive.

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TYPE - Interactive Fiction :

Scripted scenes/stories (use Stage Direction scripts), and a pix type interface as Asset/Scenario in the MMORPG.

One game reviewer commented on how poorly AAA games are done - lacking anything but a linear plot, even from games who claim Player modifiable plots/stories (generally very meager results exist for this design feature in existing games).

Of course careful crafting of the story to be self contained or fitting to the Players current situation should be required.

Terminology - "Agency" is the Player's ability to affect the game world (the MMORPG should have more than a little of this - but at the same time NOT allow Players to skew the Game World away from its basic playable state)


A critical feature of these creations is making them able to take sub-component substitutions so that details and themes can be varied easily in both look and behavior. Too many modular systems have too few options and very quickly become boringly repetitive. At each level of complexity there should be more options of substitutions - the assets are therefore 'templates' that can be reused to quickly generate many variations and customized adaptions for specific instances. Basic templates would be created by the company (they would have to do this anyway to have an interchangeable component model work even if they developed everything in-house) as starting examples for players to work from.

The players have magnitudes more imagination (and time) than the game company employees to generate this stuff and you need constant new content to keep MMORPG players from quitting when they've already done the same thing too many times. This 'Player Created Asset' system taps into that imagination/knowhow/effort to be able to achieve that.



Tools needed for player asset creation :

Online publishing mechanisms to pull Assets to the Players computer and to push them back for inspection/reuse/improvements/vetting - includes search and summary to allow player to choose from available existing and WIP(Work In Progress) Assets. Easy to use online methods are needed to facilitate collaboration processes.

NOTE - players themselves often can create VERY useful tools (and tool modules) beyond what the game company might provide. They need to know the exact specifications of the data formats and how the Game Engine uses the data (well documented).

Format Converters - data converters to game specific asset formats (from commercial tool import formats)

Texture Editor - common 2D pixel editing (many tools available)

3D Object Editor - import mesh and selection of textures, assign properties for alternate states, test views in various lighting situations. More complicated objects have component parts/repair diagrams(for crafting) and behaviors(what they do when activated)

Asset Viewers - display/activate assets in the same way used in the game Script editor/IDE for scripting language used by Game engine - include documentation of libraries. This includes not only the actual script instances for specific object creation, but also for template routines (library subroutines that can be used by other players), and for entire behavior modules that can be substituted (different NPCs do different things and have different actions they take) Dialog Editor/Tester - dialog data includes script snippets so would tie into the script language editor/IDE. Allows player to test all tree path options of the NPC interaction dialog trees and verify proper dialog output and queue actions/animations/gestures and Player interactions. Specifying situation factors to test reactive variation logic would be part of the Test Rig.

Music Editors (midi style as well as mpg quality) - numerous commercial and free ones are available using common data formats. Sound recording/editing for voice acting and sound effects. Particle effect editor (things like explosions, leaks and fires etc..) Game format 3D Editor (usually the most customized as it matches the game engine precisely - can import data from other tools)

Commercial 3D Editors (can make up for deficiencies/minimal features of any company created "Game format 3D Editor", many players have much higher proficiency with existing 3D and 2D tools). Customized 'Plugins' for these tools which players might have significant experience and effectiveness in producing parts of Assets.

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Figure Animation Editor (animation formats are also most customized data format specific to Game Engine used) creates the figures human motions for a particular action/gesture. These are invoked by the behavior scripting to play out the motions the NPCs and Players character figures make. Animals/plants and animated machines similarly have animations created to have proper motions for their moving parts. Appropriate sound effects are paired with these animations.

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Mini-Game Test Tool that would assemble the Mini-Game scripts with the assets and scenario data to run the game for testing (including simulating the games interaction with the main server).

Some of these tools have to be custom made to match the game engine customizations and would be done for internal development anyway. So expanding them and idiot-proofing them (for ease of use by players) would be the additional work (wouldn't be creating everything from scratch to implement this 'Player Created Asset' system).

Some players have the 'expert level' skill to do any needed complex/difficult scripting/programming, while others would use the previously made templates and substitute the appropriate sub-components and choose/apply options/modes/tweak coefficients/textures to vary the objects when building instances to add to the game. Most anyone could edit a texture (ever use MSPaint ??) to make an already skinned object look somewhat different. The few experts create difficult things usable/modifiable by the many. Others come along look at what other players have produced and add their own improvements to their copy. And in the game itself that large assortment of 'good'/'best' objects thus created are moved about and placed flexibly in the game world, and anyone can do that.

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Asset Type - HUD Icon/Controls/... :

Yet more things for Players to create and offer for other Players to use to customize their game interfaces.

Not just the skins/controls, but also various indicators AND the logic that sets those indicators (Popular  configurations of functions made available for those not inclined to make their own.)

Includes 3D Effects/Animations (even works for tablet interfaces)

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Action Success Indicators :

Interface Plugins and options : Amazing (*Ding*) Player Advancement Thingees (sound and animation floaters) for the Pavlovian Training of SOME Players. Selections for Player customization.

Yet Another Player Asset Creation Asset Type AND Contest (copyright infringement not allowed)

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Asset Type - Splicer Appearance :

Template driven (scripting required to arbitrate/meld multiples). Probably with a magnitude driven point system (Hey, I Leveled Up, and now I can have those Face Tentacles I've been wanting !!!")

  • Body Deformations
  • Distortions (like mods Steinmann did)
  • Tumors/Sores/Weeping Wounds
  • Discolorations - hair/skin (eyes if you can closeup enough)
  • Bent Bones
  • Twitches/Limps (affects animations)
  • Odd Textures
  • Skin Folds (floppy/hanging bits can get odd)
  • Hair weirdness
  • Missing bits (voids)
  • Dental details (can be quite horrific)
  • Speech Impairments/differences
  • Mentals
  • Various facial gestures get affected
  • Various Grungification (dirt/burns/holes/wounds) which are ALOT more complex than for static/mechanical objects

An Interface to Create Your Own (and a requisite Splicer Beauty Contest) could be Fun and Horrifying.

Of course the more disrupted your body is (in Real Life), the more closer to Fatal such changes are. So you really cannot go 'all out' with the changes.

Of course, this means you have to have the 'Normal' body features to start off with - with all the variations which that entails. (Customizations like that would be part of the default game anyway.)

Generally things like tentacles are too difficult to incorporate (I'm sure some people will want them, but if they do then THEY had better be ready to add the Animation (Body Movement) Templates themselves for all the actions a "Tentacled" figure would need to operate. ("Ever try to make a tentacle hold a cup of coffee and have the 'person' drink from it ???) Pseudo tentacles (like ones that hang down from your face) are a bit simpler as the "Rag Doll" physics animation system can handle that without too much issue.

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An Extensive Requirement for Voice Recording Assets in Infinite BS (and all the games)  :

Supposedly they had lots of voice recording in Infinite BS - many more than in the previous games (which themselves had lots of alternates of the limited sets of Splicer interaction states)..

A huge reason for employing 'synthesized' voice in the MMORPG (when they advance that technology enuf) which could then allow 100X as many voice messages/phrases/epithets/etc... (cuz you'd just write them as text.)

There just would be so many different flavors, and with more versatile behavior from NPCs you can't have the majority of NPCs be 'Deaf and Dumb' mannequins without it detracting from the game.

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Jibs ('jibblets') as Assets = props and effects  :

Actually there could be whole sets and modes for this, which Creative Players might create to handle a whole variety of Wounding effects (including alternates to not get too repetitive) and including all the various Degrees of indicators to the Player. Decals for temporary (fading) jibs - various splashes of fluids and such.

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Player Calendar-Memo Widget (In-Game Tool and Interface) :

  • With pictures on the months (various selections/sets). Smartphone version for 'offline'. Reminisce/remind about activities (past/present/future). Player can track what they did on various dates
  • Local Client Database (asset library) ?? or echo'd on Server (prob needed to 'auto update')
  • Official Rapture Holidays
  • Skin Options (the usual for these kind of things)
  • Script Plugins for various widgetry/app utilities

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Custom Voice Recordings Created By Player For Their Own Shopkeeper  :

Assembled (via a scripting) mostly of short standard phrases (of limited length). Cached on Client Dictionary for frequent reuse. Trademark spiels and catchphrases, etc...

Such Voice Sets might be created by talented Players, and be available for use by another Player.

You'd be amazed at what's possible once games start tapping into the Player's skills and talents (and imaginations). Subject to in-game vetting and removable for inappropriate recordings (and subject to removal of a players ability to deploy customizations like this - to repeat offenders).

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Another Player Created Asset Type : Grung-i-fication Treatments - Adjustables and Variations :

Often applied using surface texture overlays, can be rendered proportionally (increase/decrease effect)Multiple textures for same effect (known as a 'splat' in game programming) can mix up the 'look' of the object for the same type of effect. It helps to vary appearance of objects quite a bit.

Different 'flavors' of effects (including many in combination) ... Dirty to Polished Clean, corroded, filthy (matching to the materials of the parts making up an object). Includes damage effects done by various agencies of destruction/deterioration (fire/water/cold/electricity/etc...) upon the different material types.

Some Grungification types conflict, and scripted logic would be part of the 'Templates' for material types to arbitrate between them when the effects are displayed.

Various Object Attributes control the appearance (some random factors to individualize the effects are possible) so that scripting for actions like changes made by 'cleaning' can be actioned, which modifies 'the look' of a particular object. These are applied/determined on objects creation, and on further effects cause by game interactions (ex - modifiable by player 'cleaning up' the item).

Templates would be created for object-types so this Grung-i-fication element can be automatically defaulted (a passable generic effect) without extra work. If an object can be broken into 'parts'/'components', those pieces retain the Grungification treatment. Further customization for a particular object type Template would improve the appearance (taking more Creator work to make the improvements/variations).

A similar mechanism can be used for decorations of objects (which in games are usually done by 'decal' overlays of the basic textures.

Such a mechanism can be used for gradual weathering of objects (ie- if they don't get cleaned - that like-new shine just doesn't last).

Objects can be made to visually reflect (for the Players judgement) their current (general) state of effectiveness/functionality. Specific damage appearance would also be built into the Objects Template to allow an Object Instance to reflect its damage state (that too would be subject to generic Grungification.

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Decals :

"Decals" (in computer games) are temporary Objects put onto the terrain/props by certain actions (smash/crack a window and you see the crack pattern, or a chip out of stone, bullet shells on ground from firing, etc...) after a time it/they normally will disappear. Do the action over and over (on window in Rapture makes it easy to see) and when you do it rapidly and repeatedly enough, the oldest ones start disappearing before your eyes (some max rendering count/limit being allowed).

Now the MMORPG can have multiple people causing the generation of these 'Decals' in the terrain close enough for you to see, so the Client would need to be able to display many more of them (much larger limits).

In the MMORPG, because of the added detail and more realistic effects (like Accumulative/persistant damage or shell casings being valuable recycling items), IF no Player intercedes, NPCs should be counted upon to 'fix' and Clean Up the Decal things -- to put those things back to a more normal state (and to keep Rapture from becoming Knee-Deep in specially rendered refuse).

The game can have lots of variations (oft done with overlapping Decals). Player Creators should be able to provide lots of the Decals (they are most of often textures or simple 3D Objects). Much of the variation can also be added via Scripting controlling the placement, combinations, and color shifts (and such).

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Musical Instruments :

Other MMORPGs[1] have Musical Instruments Players can play (note off text file or keys pressed for 2 octaves).

Playing tunes (musical scores) themselves ( not sure of legal ramifications but must be a way around copyrights when Players are the ones scoring the pieces inside the game )

The Instruments (Objects) are also 'Assets' (the different playing Notes themselves too)

Rapture's Greatest Harmonica Hits

There is the mechanism for Coordinating multiple instruments playing the same piece of music... (and having NPCs play)

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Failure Animations (and more) :

And all the associated interactions (changes that take place as a result of action failures). Much of the animations could be based on the Game Physics (BioShock had simple collision/bouncing/Ragdoll figure effects).

For the Use of Tools/Weapons with Breakage, Damage, Misfires, Botches, Dropping, Missing of Target ... What happens in the game when you Fail doing a particular Action with a particular Tool/Weapon, upon a particular target Object, in a particular game environment ??? (The same goes for PARTIAL results as well as for SUCCESS).

With a more complicated game, you have more varying outcomes to your actions (ie- Hit/Miss options) than in the common/simplistic MMORPG or Solo game. This complexity would rely on on the Objects systematically having Damage State effects and sufficient other Attributes to efficiently facilitate a spectrum of results. Templating those Attributes for reuse in similar objects ins the key.

Theses results can be fairly complicated (interactions with other objects and the environment) and with MANY endcases possible for just one action. ( Physics - every action has reaction(s) ).

As usual in this MMORPG, reuse of the developed Scripting(programming the logic of the failure) would be a key idea, so that something that works with one specific object type now can be applied where appropriate to others (instead of completely customizing every single one - which at this MMORPG's level of detail will be too huge a mass to EVER be practical).

This scripting is not simple, as it deals with WHY/HOW causing a failure and then WHAT happens due to it in every possible detail. As with much of the rest of the game there is the problem of NOT having one part be VERY detailed when much else is too simplistic. So Balancing the detail levels applies to these Failure

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Stained Glass (An Easy Player Created Asset)  :

These would be basically a flat see-through or wall mounted (partitions/screens?) type of object (often simply framed)

Some commercial Texture Editors already have feature which make conversions of picture very easy. An Easy-to-add customized decoration.

Of course Templates of object Damage (and Grungification) would be included.

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MMORPG Players Ownership of Vending Machines vs Shop/Store :

Another game Asset - Vending machines. Recycled 'Circus of Values', and others.

Template driven designs, with a variety of interface 'building blocks' for Player Asset Creation

'Skins' with Funny Themes, Sound Effects, Sayings (Sales Spiels), Kludged-together appearance/mechanism. Customizations with unique texture overlays.

Booby traps against vandalism and 'hacking' is of course allowed (Booby Traps being yet another Asset Type...).

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Asset Creation - Splash Screens :

Players can come up will all kinds of these -- from stuff taken in the game (the usual vetting applies).

BUT where are there Splash (loading) Screens now that the gameworld is a continuous map ??

  • There still can be delays while the Server bubble scenarios are staged (auto-generators need some time to run).
  • Initial game startup is always there.
  • Ones being seen for 3 seconds can be a gimmick ( "DID I JUST SEE WHAT I THOUGHT I SAW !!!!!" effects.)
  • The Mini-Games could have them.

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