Unlimited Expansion and Quality Control

Question for Devs

By on November 28, 2008 4:46:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Vordrak

Join Date 03/2006
+5

In relation to Brad's post I have a question about custom content and quality control.

Basically, one of the things I don't like in Spore (a similar system) is that you can get good content or poor content. You can also get bad spelling (I hate bad spelling).

So there could be some excellent player content, with months of work having gone in to lovingly crafting a new race, and there could be some rubbish content adding (for example) an unbalanced and poorly rendered raygun.

How will we be able to filter?

Locked Post 25 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 28, 2008 6:26:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

he said in his post that you can pick whether or not you include any particular unit and that some people may be happy with only ever using the official stardock content.   So thats pretty obvious to me that it means we can pick if te get it or not.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 28, 2008 6:57:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If the selection can be done using a bunch of sliders/buttons that would be nice.

It would be fun to be able to only get "serious" or "silly" custom contents.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 28, 2008 9:10:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It would also be able to choose which downloaded content can appear in any new game.

Also, I seem to recall one of the devs mentioning that player-created content would have to be approved by them before it becomes available. 1) I can't remember where I read this so I might be making it up, and 2) given the number of people I'm hoping will buy this game, I don't see how the devs will be able to get through all of the submitted content without making it their full-time job... so we'll see how that works out.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 29, 2008 3:50:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pigeonpigeon,
[...]
Also, I seem to recall one of the devs mentioning that player-created content would have to be approved by them before it becomes available. 1) I can't remember where I read this so I might be making it up, and 2) given the number of people I'm hoping will buy this game, I don't see how the devs will be able to get through all of the submitted content without making it their full-time job... so we'll see how that works out.
Bah, created content surveillance is a double-edged sword.

In the end, it could just mean that people upload the Hammer & Sickle with impunity, a rubbish cut/paste .bmp converted to .png, while a glossy multi-layered .png swastika of some quality gets shot down by the censorship STASI.

And yes, I invoked Godwin's Law! The horror!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 29, 2008 3:17:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I personally just hope it won't be TOO easy to create new races, so that it will be easier for a group of people to approve/disapprove content. I'm personally afraid that a lot of races will 'break the mood' of the game. Lets say someone adds sentient monkeys to the game. The idea is cool, but perhaps their art doesn't blend in to the rest of the world. That's what I'm afraid off.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 29, 2008 6:08:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It will be important for Stardock to decide on what is the baseline of the official game. Once you know that it is not difficult to classify player-made content.

The submitted content should be rated not only on pure quality, but also after style. A "magical" laser blaster can be incredibly well made, but it would still ruin the atmosphere of the offical game.

I hope Stardock will take both parameters into account. No cannons please unless someone really asks for them.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 29, 2008 6:15:46 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I don't believe we've officially established how content moderation will go.  If I got a vote on it, I'd like to see it be open for everyone to submit content without special review, but you'd subscribe to friend's content, or the general public feed (everything, unfiltered), or a Stardock Featured Feed, where we pick content we think is particularly awesome and simply add it to our featured set.

Based on how we've handled content on WinCustomize for years, there are a great number of ways we could divide up feeds (3 stars, 4 stars, 5 stars, by category, by timeframe etc.)

(This is all merely my opinion on how I would approach user-content pollination.  I'm not on the dev team for Elemental, I just work near them.  View this as my opinion as a gamer)

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 29, 2008 6:16:31 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Stardock has a long history o moderating user created content.  Take a look at the Wincustomize skin gallery, the Political Machine candidtate gallery, and the Sins map and mod galleries.

The nice thing is that the mods and skins are rated so something that doesn't blend well into the game will be rated downand you can filter those out.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 29, 2008 7:44:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Maybe set up categories. Make one big category anything that fits and is compatible with the lore for purists and people who don't want the mood ruined. Then have another category where everything goes, you can have Jedi or lasers or whatever. Have both rated by the community to filter out the good from the bad in both categories. I'm not a total purist, wouldn't mind having an Obi Wan in there or something now and again. It'd be cool if you could check something to create a game that sticks to the lore though, as I wouldn't want to be stuck with Obi Wan EVERY game I played once I decided to download him.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 30, 2008 2:42:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One thing that could really help would be some sort of user-tagging system. When the maker uploads it or it is rated or whatever, the creator and the end-users could asign certain keywords. So you could, for instance, pick all four and five star rated content with the tag "Lord of the Rings" or "Sci-Fi" or "Elemental Purist" or whatever. You would ideally be able to exclude tags too, like "Silly" or "Serious". It might be on the New Game mode under an option for a random map. It would make it a lot more accessible to a wider amount of people if adding in appropriate content was as simple as typing in a certain keyword or picking from a list of tags instead of picking through a ton of content and ferreting out what you do and don't like (Spore made me turn off custom content when xxVIle KiLLERxx or other monsters named like that started popping up.) That way, the star-based rating system could be entirely on production value and game balance, leaving matters of taste to the end-user.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 30, 2008 3:10:32 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Take a look at the skins at wincustomize.  The support tagging and moderator + user rating.  It's a good framework to build on.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 30, 2008 9:44:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

the spore system works fine, you can chose for only specific creations to be put into your game,(sporecasts,friends,direct downloads, your own creations etc.) the only flaw is the abuse of the downrater in which good contet gets rated poorly, and sometimes removed from the server, while bad content gets in the most popular creations section. the whole "freedom to rate" system is flawed, the stardock mods should do the rating, atleast you'll get an honest rate.

EDIT: I fergot to mention the observations i have made on the matter of free rating. the system has manifested a good deal of its flaws through spore, and i think stardock knows this. allowing everyone to rate means that even trolls can rate. mods have no way of knowing if someone really doesnt like a creation, or is just rating it down for "t3h lulz" this is a huge problem for the spore community, as its most prominent artists have their creations taken off the main server on a regular basis. although rating and monitering EVERY creation is a mammoth of a task, the community based alternative offers nothing short of chaos. maybe NO rating system is best, and only tags and themes(searches) so players can easily pinpoint what kind of content they want, and decide for themselves if it is good or bad. maybe the problem is not finding a better way of rating the content, but finding a better way to pinpoint the content players might be looking for.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 30, 2008 9:56:19 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

the whole "freedom to rate" system is flawed, the stardock mods should do the rating, atleast you'll get an honest rate.
The wincustomize system is that moderators get initial rating and it's weighted so it's harder for normal users to downrate it.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 30, 2008 10:55:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

thats kinda cool. i like that.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 1, 2008 9:29:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wait.  Zubaz, please tell me that doesn't include the mod who made the addition?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 1, 2008 9:48:03 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Wait. Zubaz, please tell me that doesn't include the mod who made the addition?
I don't believe the author can self-rate.  But even if they could, it'd be just one rating in a sea of them (if the mod is popular).  The same moderators can be made aware though PM when it appears that there is rating abuse.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 3, 2008 12:39:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd like to see a special category along the lines of Blessed by Devs that would reassure folks who feel very 'conservative' about taking on user-made content. Call it a Platinum Standard to match the Gold Standard of Blessed by Mods, and a couple of more clumsily-named categories to break apart Lots of Folks Like It and Some Folks Like It Lots.

Among other things, having a category with a near-guarantee of not 'breaking' the game's look and feel could help draw more single-player, offline folks into trying the online stuff.

I know I'm suggesting a more rigorous (labor-intensive) approach than WinCustomize seems to use, but I suspect that the gaming audience might have a bigger share of folks who want just a bit of 'the best' user-made content and won't want to spend any time on forums trying to learn user names for people whose tastes match theirs.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 3, 2008 2:12:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GW Swicord,
I'd like to see a special category along the lines of Blessed by Devs that would reassure folks who feel very 'conservative' about taking on user-made content. Call it a Platinum Standard to match the Gold Standard of Blessed by Mods, and a couple of more clumsily-named categories to break apart Lots of Folks Like It and Some Folks Like It Lots.

Among other things, having a category with a near-guarantee of not 'breaking' the game's look and feel could help draw more single-player, offline folks into trying the online stuff.

I know I'm suggesting a more rigorous (labor-intensive) approach than WinCustomize seems to use, but I suspect that the gaming audience might have a bigger share of folks who want just a bit of 'the best' user-made content and won't want to spend any time on forums trying to learn user names for people whose tastes match theirs.
I'm all for that. As I mentioned.. somewhere, I'm extremely picky about my mods. All mods. All games. They have to fit in seamlessly with the game.

This tend to exclud to vast majority of player-made content, and for some games, I even get annoyed with content added in expansions that doesn't fit the existing uniform style. Player-made icons, often unable to replicate the style of the game itself, tend to be a game-breaker.

I'd very much want a 'special' category of Stardock-endorsed mods that fits the game like a glove, wheter it's new races, variant nations, or anything. I love mods, I honestly really do. If this game will be as expansive as it's described, I hope I'll be able to use a lot more mods than usually.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 5, 2008 11:21:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What about multiplayer? Perhaps there is something I am missing here, but it seems to me that EWoM is going to focus a lot on multiplayer, what groundrules are there for what content can be used in a multiplayer match? How could that even be possible?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 5, 2008 12:27:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I suppose that whoever sets the standard game options will chose which mods will be in. Players who are happy with the choice will play, those who are not will complain and be kicked (I always like to have a good moan before leaving instant-respawn servers in Team Fortress 2), negotiate, or find another game.

So democracy, or possibly capitalism, evolution, or chaos and anarchy?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 5, 2008 12:45:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ok,but if there are tons of extra content, how will the user be able to keep up. You join a game with 10 user conted units and of course the host that chose the user content will know all of the new units, but the other player probably wont know how to incorporate them into a strategy, giving the host an advantage. Could even be exploited to make some uber unit that is well hidden and that propably only he knows about.

Also, most user created content, especially when it somes to units, will perhaps only be available to one side, humans or fallen, and could really mess up the game.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 5, 2008 1:11:06 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Perhaps in the looby you will be able to see each others custom content and have the option to use the least common denominator or choose contents that will be allowed from everyone's pool and anyone missing whatever can download from there.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 5, 2008 1:36:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Of course, but there will still be the problem that the people downliading there won't know the content. But if the game is slow paced enough that might not be a problem at all.

 

Also, if user generated content would be parted into groups for how much you need to be familiar with it to use it.

If the unit creation system it intuitive enough then adding different kinds of mounts wouldn't be that hard to learn on the fly. Like when you find an animl resource, like a horse, the horse resource has certain walues, like "mount" and speed, attack, def and so on. And if you then suddenly add bears as a user content it will also be a "mount" but with different speed attack def etc. And could be used in the same context as a horse, but with different results.

That kind of user content would be rather intuitive and blend in enough that the player wouldn't have to learn a whole new strategy. But if you have more complex content, like new buildings, or new resources with a whole wariety of attributes, like suddenly you have a new type of metal that give a whole range of abilities to armour and weapons it may get too complex for the user to learn on the fly.

Of course, this is only speculations, as we don't know how fast paced the game is going to be or how the reasources will have attributes or not, or what kind of user generated content will be posible.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
January 31, 2009 1:53:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Will user created content be immediately available for others to acquire (with a status of 'unrated' or 'not yet rated' or some-such), or does it have to make it's way through a queue of Stardock moderators to rate it before it becomes available? 

 

Without divulging technology - which may not be in place at this point - can we get the workflow outlined so that we understand the process of publishing custom content?

Related question: Can a 3rd party site host downloadable content that can be imported through the game?  Or, short of an import function, just manually copy the content files into the appropriate game installation folders or user profile folders?  Is there an alternate path for publishing custom content that bypasses this moderation process?

 

 

P.S. I know it's a 2-month old stale topic.  It's new to me.  The alternative would be that I start a new thread on this existing topic, but that didn't seem right.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
January 31, 2009 2:03:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They stated that they will have a filtering system similar to what their other programs (like windows blinds) carry, so it should be available pretty much immidiatly, but it won't be on the "list-o-3rdparty-content-worth-having" list right away most likely.

That question about 3rd party sites sa' good 'un.  If I made some really good models for the game I'd want to host them on my main website as part of my portfolio.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108432  walnut2   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000515   Page Render Time: