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Player Generated Weapon Designs

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Hi,

 

For a theory based idea for a mmo crafting system, trying to allow player generated content into crafting.

 

When a blacksmith creates a weapon they can choose what type of model/skin to apply to fit that type of weapon.

Vetoed artists (approved artists, if they supply penis swords, their permissions can be revoked), can charge real money for models of weapons, so a blacksmith might want a certain theme with their crafted item or someone might want a one of a kind weapon. (can be used for other crafting, swords is an example, but it could be anything from swords to furniture)

 

Now the issue is I wanted to talk about it, a blacksmith buys a highly detailed model, but they don't put it on one of a kind weapon, they instead put it on a basic sword, that they supply for a cheap rate to every new adventurers.

 

Now they brought the model, its theirs to do as they please with (assuming the artist has given permission.), so in that regard its okay but in terms of the game does it break it to much? potentially having every player walking around with legendary looking weapons.

 

One solution that just occurred to me, is checking how detailed the model is, applying a rating it to, and then the ingredients used have to have a higher rating then the model, or you can't apply it, and are stuck using a default model or another model you own that's rated lower.

 

Any suggestions for how this could work? or if you don't think it would work.

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make material cost relate to the volume occupied to the model. This'll keep cheap weapons small, expensive weapons can be bigger.

or allow artists to add a level requirement to their models, which can't be changed if the model changes hands. Although this doesn't stop unauthorized reproductions from being handed out to newbies, it allows artists to decide how legendary their model should be.

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make material cost relate to the volume occupied to the model. This'll keep cheap weapons small, expensive weapons can be bigger.

or allow artists to add a level requirement to their models, which can't be changed if the model changes hands. Although this doesn't stop unauthorized reproductions from being handed out to newbies, it allows artists to decide how legendary their model should be.

 

 

Volume is a good idea, I wonder if between that and poly count, would be enough to judge via an automated system..

 

 

I don't think the artist could decide how legendary their model is, since it goes back to the original problem, they create a highly detailed model, and say it can be used for any weapon regardless of weapon strength or materials used.

 

Happy for the artists to specify, if the model is single use, can be made in bulk, or sell the model outright the buyer can do as they want.

looking after the artists rights would be a high priority.

 

Just realized, in terms of the artists specify if its legendary or not.. who species if its a sword or a bed.. you would hardly want player beds to be looking like a sword, lol.

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what you need is a rating system for model "fanciness", and automated probably won't cut it.   for any algo you come up with, i can create a BS mesh that maxes the rating, and breaks the "spirit" of the gameplay..

 

so user models would have to be rated for use in the game. you could even have them publicly rated by other players via a voting system.

 

once you have good ratings to work with, then you can place restrictions on what model can be used for what item based on ratings (and object type, obviously - no sword models for bed objects, etc).

 

volume and poly count probably won't really work. i can just make an over-sized object, or a ton of tris, or go under-sized and low poly, depending on which way it'm trying to "beat the system".

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You probably want a more restricted system, such that the appearance of the sword/item actually carries information (and is not just meaningless/misleading noise).

 

For example, you might want a large selection of small components of various materials and shapes, that can be connected together into a sword design.

Youd then require acquiring those components to actually build the sword, so it would be impossible to create something deceptive.

 

Then naturally, the simpler and cheaper swords will look simpler and cheaper, simply because players learn to recognize the materials/components used, and know their worth (and you will of course make the art such that generally the better stuff looks more valuable even without actual player knowledge of the worth).

 

 

Overall, just giving players full control to create stuff that just looks good, will lead to an extremely shallow and pointless experience. Sure it will look equally good in the screenshots, but it will take 5 seconds for players to realize its just some random mesh slapped on the sword and then they learn to filter it out. If the appearance carries useful information, it will be part of the game.

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An interesting point, as a few pointed out I suppose there are a few major issues to resolve with the primary being that the better looking models also need to be more rare/expensive to keep them feeling "special".

 

Two versions I could imagine could be the following:

 

1) Moderated design

Since you seem to envision there to be a real market with real money involved you would also like to retain some control of the market in my mind. One way could be to let new design go through a control stage where you (the company) approve each design and set a baseline cost/rarity etc. This would let you control the quality of models for different rarity. Although it does require manpower which might be an issue I would assume it to be the best way to keep an even quality level as a function of rarity (not to mention preventing half the world running around with buster swords and penis clubs)

 

2) Supply & Demand

A unmoderated but real world inspired system. Let existing model and new model by a specific artist be based on number of purchases of the specific model and by the artist in total. An artist making very nice model would thus be more epensive and therefore rarer, it also allows models which are growing in popularity to become more rare the more popular they become. It would also allow for the nice touch of getting a potentially valueble weapon cheap by being the first to discover a new artist

 

Well, my five cents at least -_-

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I'm assuming you're talking about ORPGs or other MMO-ish games.

 

An interesting point, as a few pointed out I suppose there are a few major issues to resolve with the primary being that the better looking models also need to be more rare/expensive to keep them feeling "special".

 

Why? That just seems like it'd lead to a escalating war of one-upmanship of making weapons look more and more "impressive", which can rapidly become a downward spiral of tackiness.

 

I got a sword! Now I have a sword +1 with spikes on it! Now I have a sword +11 with blue energy or fire coming out of the spikes! Now I have a sword +27 that has other swords sticking out of it!!!!!!!!!

 

And let's not even get started on the bows...

 

Why are weapons just +1 increments of each other that rapidly get obsolete?

Why not make weapons be more unique gameplay tools with balanced tradeoffs, that have different usages in different circumstances or enable different styles of gameplay?

 

It seems the war of tackiness is an attempt to try to make players be impressed by the visuals to distract them from realizing the weapons themselves aren't any more impressive. We try to hide the '+1 extra damage' behind fancy glowy effects and intricate designs, so the player doesn't realize that the actual item is gameplay-shallow.

 

So instead, why not invest the effort into making the weapons gameplay-diverse and gameplay-enabling instead?

 

If you have 271 different swords, but the player doesn't have to do anything different regardless of which one he has equipped, is it really adding to the gameplay, or is it merely a content grind? And if it's merely a content grind, what do you do when the players run out of that content? Race them to try to create more, despite them always consuming faster than you are creating?

 

The same can be applied to your dungeons, spells, and many other things. Do players get it, get use it, and discard it? Why? Maybe it's because the 'content' isn't actually adding to the gameplay?

 

Look at World of Warcraft's dungeons. People play them, beat them, and forever leave them (until they create a new character).

Compare to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's multiplayer arenas. Players play the same level, over and over, and over and over, for a thousand matches or more.

 

Look at the wildly popular League of Legends.... they have (basically) one level. One level. That 25 million people have played for more than 100 times each.

 

It's not the content that's the problem, it's the fundamental design of the game that the content is in.

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Thanks for the replies, defiantly a tricky thing to try to add to a game.

 

I am not looking at a gear system based on throwaways, Id rather a player chooses a look, and that's the player, you see them and you know who it is, I want to make something where every player has that option to have a unique outfit/setup, I figure the best way to get all the art for it and closer to what the player wants, is to let them talk and bargain directly with the artists.

 

In terms of the artists, and human resources to review all the art, and see if it meets guidelines.

Have a artist level, and goes up based on their artwork, constant good artwork within the rules, and they can move up levels, high leveled artists are not checked as often

level 1 artists can't post items without it being checked by a staff member, before player voting

level 2 artists is checked randomly, and then goes upto a player vote.

level 3 artist is checked less regularly, and goes to player vote

level 4 artist is checked rarely, does not need to be voted in.

level 5 and the highest level, is the only one that can make individually crafted designs.

 

In terms of money, perhaps the cut taken by the game is reduced at each level, and if someone goes against the rules, they can be lowered in rank or banned.

we now have level 5 artists that can make one of a kind looking items

levels 4 or 5 can guarantee a design in game, since they don't need player votes

 

Using a reward system should in most cases stop bad entries before they make it into the game and can do damage.

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I'm assuming you're talking about ORPGs or other MMO-ish games.
 

An interesting point, as a few pointed out I suppose there are a few major issues to resolve with the primary being that the better looking models also need to be more rare/expensive to keep them feeling "special".

 
Why? That just seems like it'd lead to a escalating war of one-upmanship of making weapons look more and more "impressive", which can rapidly become a downward spiral of tackiness.
 
I got a sword! Now I have a sword +1 with spikes on it! Now I have a sword +11 with blue energy or fire coming out of the spikes! Now I have a sword +27 that has other swords sticking out of it!!!!!!!!!
 
And let's not even get started on the bows...
 
Why are weapons just +1 increments of each other that rapidly get obsolete?
Why not make weapons be more unique gameplay tools with balanced tradeoffs, that have different usages in different circumstances or enable different styles of gameplay?
 
It seems the war of tackiness is an attempt to try to make players be impressed by the visuals to distract them from realizing the weapons themselves aren't any more impressive. We try to hide the '+1 extra damage' behind fancy glowy effects and intricate designs, so the player doesn't realize that the actual item is gameplay-shallow.
 
So instead, why not invest the effort into making the weapons gameplay-diverse and gameplay-enabling instead?
 
If you have 271 different swords, but the player doesn't have to do anything different regardless of which one he has equipped, is it really adding to the gameplay, or is it merely a content grind? And if it's merely a content grind, what do you do when the players run out of that content? Race them to try to create more, despite them always consuming faster than you are creating?
 
The same can be applied to your dungeons, spells, and many other things. Do players get it, get use it, and discard it? Why? Maybe it's because the 'content' isn't actually adding to the gameplay?
 
Look at World of Warcraft's dungeons. People play them, beat them, and forever leave them (until they create a new character).
Compare to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's multiplayer arenas. Players play the same level, over and over, and over and over, for a thousand matches or more.
 
Look at the wildly popular League of Legends.... they have (basically) one level. One level. That 25 million people have played for more than 100 times each.
 
It's not the content that's the problem, it's the fundamental design of the game that the content is in.

I would have to disagree there, while i completely agree that for games like LoL and CoD it matters less there is still a lot of games that thrives on the apperence of items rather than functionality, and even in LoL they can make a lot of mobey from character skins

Some examples would be The Sims, Counter Strike (1000$ knifeskin, geez.. ) Diablo 3 etc. All these have major success with form rather than functionality only

So, yes it is perfectly viable to have AAA games even without any real variation but to say that focus should be on gameplay only is pushing your on preferences a bit rather what will engage a lot of players with different taste in gameplay

No offense meant, just of a different opinion

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It's not the content that's the problem, it's the fundamental design of the game that the content is in.

 

not to derail things, but you really should write an article or journal entry on this topic - especially with possible solutions you've found.

 

i notice a recurring theme in what you say with regards to this topic, and they always seem to be words of wisdom.

 

do us all a favor and post your thoughts on the subject and let us see what you've figured out.

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level 1 artists can't post items without it being checked by a staff member, before player voting

 

you might just want to staff approve everything until the artist gets a good rep with the staff, at which point you can give them "trusted artist" status, and can relax the vetting process some.  if they later mess, up revoke their trusted status, or ban them entirely, depending on the nature of the offense.

 

this gives you a simpler vetting system, and tighter content control, in one fell swoop.

 

an entirely different approach might also be possible:

 

let them do whatever they want. if it makes them look silly that's their business.  depending on gametype, silly may be good, and therefore acceptable, or ti may be bad, and therefore players will avoid it. 

 

"hey man, i'm about to go slay a dragon, i don't want to look like no GD fool!"

 

.

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And let's not even get started on the bows...

 

that's just a summoned bow!

 

i thought you were going to show something really crazy!   like the Hunstman:

 

a medieval composite longbow with a scope!

 

https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/110/images/57870-1-1410007430.jpg

 

or something truly ridiculous like this:

 

http://i.imgur.com/lHsg2.jpg

Edited by Norman Barrows

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I think people who play a game like this would want something artistic, since it would potentially take a lot of effort to make the weapons.  If you then block them from using things they've made until they grind X amount and so-on, I think it would be demotivating.

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Now they brought the model, its theirs to do as they please with (assuming the artist has given permission.), so in that regard its okay but in terms of the game does it break it to much? potentially having every player walking around with legendary looking weapons.

 

Is this really a problem?

 

There are hundreds of potential problems that come to mind if such a system was put into a game in reality (which the penis sword problem just being #1 of them), the fact that beginners swords now could look awesome not being one of them to be honest.

 

If you afraid that the endgamers wouldn't like it: Given your game is popular enough, and the blacksmiths active enough, there would always be the one epic weapon that would actually look unique and epic... and the one trash beginner that would also look epic. It would give weapons another dimension other than stats... some players might choose a non-optimal weapon just because it doesn't look like the rusty beginners sword.

Let me tell you, the beginners would be THRILLED not having to walk around in rags until level 30!

 

If you are afraid the whole thing would break the story or atmosphere of your game, then chuck player customization out of the window now. Its a fact most of your players, especially in online games, don't give a damn about your story. If you want to force them to roleplay, you should limit customization. If you want to give them the max ability to customize, let go of some control. Let them have their beginners sword of epicness, and their master epic weapon deceivingly looking like a rusty noob dagger thingy.

If it will annoy some people, it will also amuse just as many others.

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Now they brought the model, its theirs to do as they please with (assuming the artist has given permission.), so in that regard its okay but in terms of the game does it break it to much? potentially having every player walking around with legendary looking weapons.

 

Is this really a problem?

 

There are hundreds of potential problems that come to mind if such a system was put into a game in reality (which the penis sword problem just being #1 of them), the fact that beginners swords now could look awesome not being one of them to be honest.

 

If you afraid that the endgamers wouldn't like it: Given your game is popular enough, and the blacksmiths active enough, there would always be the one epic weapon that would actually look unique and epic... and the one trash beginner that would also look epic. It would give weapons another dimension other than stats... some players might choose a non-optimal weapon just because it doesn't look like the rusty beginners sword.

Let me tell you, the beginners would be THRILLED not having to walk around in rags until level 30!

 

If you are afraid the whole thing would break the story or atmosphere of your game, then chuck player customization out of the window now. Its a fact most of your players, especially in online games, don't give a damn about your story. If you want to force them to roleplay, you should limit customization. If you want to give them the max ability to customize, let go of some control. Let them have their beginners sword of epicness, and their master epic weapon deceivingly looking like a rusty noob dagger thingy.

If it will annoy some people, it will also amuse just as many others.

 

Thanks, I think in the end I dont care what everyone is running around in, and this is what I want the most to come from this is "Let them have their beginners sword of epicness, and their master epic weapon deceivingly looking like a rusty noob dagger thingy."

 

?Appearance is only that, if someone wants to look like a flippish noble from day 1 with everything epic looking.. I don't mind.

 

I just need a good system, for avoiding the penis swords..

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You need player voting. Checking volume or polycount is meaningless as others have stated, to easy to bypass. And a bigger sword shouldnt by default be more epic/have better stats. Thats really bad design.

 

But why implement this at all? Seems you want to monetize like "second life" or something. But you do realize the game will look pretty ugly with no distinct art direction at all? Imaging WOW but all toons run around with player-made 3d-objects attached to them... In second life it works because there is no competition, just flaunting your expensive gear.

 

And you pay less for a more ugly sword/armour? So many players will buy just that (because who likes grinding for in-game money). Not a game I would like to play...

 

I mean it COULD work in a super-popular, super-populated gameworld if you strictly control the creation process with voting etc. I just dont think its realistic at all.

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So you're talking about applying a skin to an existing weapon. One way to limit them is to make crafting take a long time so they cannot just be churned out factory style, or make them expensive so they're something for higher level characters to work towards. (It's probably better to save optional game mechanics for later anyway, new players may already have a hard time learning how the game works without throwing additional layers in)

 

I'd also make sure graphical overrides are a clear, obvious and separate looking kind of item, keeping them completely separated from regular items; selling pre-skinned items is a fairly straight forward way for scammers to create fake high level looking items.

 

Personally I'd keep a customization system to breaking each kind of weapon into parts (eg. blade/hilt/handle) and allowing customization by swapping the parts and materials/colors. If you get a large number of people in the same area at the same time, all with their own custom armors/weapons/clothes/hair/jewelry/shoes/effects you'll require every single user to download a copy of every single unique equipment model. It's going to bite server bandwidth pretty darn hard.

Edited by Old Soul

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If you forced the player to craft the appearance of the weapon in game then you could have more control over it.

Assuming crafting happens in game, you could prevent people from duplicating weapons. If an artists makes a weapon they can keep it for themselves or sell it, but not both. When any specific weapon design actually reflects real time it adds value to the design. More intricate designs would naturally take more time and therefore would be more rare/valuable. Of course there will be hackers who would figure out how to mess with save file data to duplicate weapons.

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Allot of very good points.

 

I might have a more in-depth look how dota does it with the skins, maybe reinventing a wheel here, it didn't occur to me until just now.

 

This just started from black desert having a lack of gear options, and trying to find an alternative that does not involve hiring a ton of artists, especially to give characters 1 of a kind appearance.

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