By ryanwho 7 Comments
I recently finished Dragon Age, and as I geared up for a possible second playthrough I had a thought about games that, like DA, offer fairly robust character makers. After I made the character, I realized I wasn't really interested in playing the game again. I kind of just wanted to make a few characters in the maker. Thing is, you can't just make characters. There's no real incentive beyond the main game because there's no real way to show them to other people. Then I went to the DA forums and saw how flooded the character showoff threads were compared to, like, everything else. Then something dawned on me. And that is that a lot of devs and publishers are missing a golden opportunity to entice a legitimate purchase instead of using all of this bullshit negative reinforcement like taking parts of the game out to sell later, codes that come with new games, etc etc.
Now by all accounts Spore was a bit of a failure, but it had a few really stellar ideas. One of them was to have this robust maker and a conduit for people to share as many of these things with others as possible. Piracy for this game was very low and a big reason was if you weren't legit you couldn't get into this network and share your creations or check out other people's. So then you have something like Dragon Age where you play as a warden, one of thousands supposedly, and you customize the character, choose an origin, voice, etc. Imagine if Bioware set up a similar network for this game that Spore had, set in some kind of epic Warden hub or some shit. Now after people play through singleplayer they could have this online experience with other created characters inhabiting a large city as NPCs. And Bioware could have contests for the best designed NPC and the winner becomes, say, a questgiver for a newly formed quest taking place in the online hub city. You could form a network where the user does the brunt of the work and the developers pop in with various contests and such that further iterate on user made content. I feel like a lot of people derive enjoyment from creating things in these sorts of makers, and if not that they certainly want to show off their endgame loot stacked on their main character, and enabling that sort of stuff further with a network that shares and builds onto itself and basically integrates player content into every other DA player's game would create a positive reason for people to choose to get the game legitimately. Something like this could in theory increase the mileage to any given game that has a robust character maker. All the dev would need to do is set up a workable framework and check in every month or so. Compare that to including high tier loot with a pre order that doesn't even transfer to the expansion, or requiring online connections constantly, what would you rather have?
Just an idea I had.