User-Generated Content unter dem Aspekt der User Interfaces von In-Game Editoren

Alexander M. Pippan, 2012

Parallel to the transformation of the internet into what is called Web 2.0, User-generated Content in video games made a major step in its evolution. Content creation for players is increasingly made possible by in-game editors as part of the gameplay or as an additional feature. User-generated content extends the games duration of play. Developers’ benefits include an increased shelf time of the product and new creative input by the players.

By being part of the game experience, developers have to concentrate on how to design in-game editors as entertaining as possible while supporting the players in their activities. This thesis describes a division into four representations Player, Tools, UGC, Progress/Status within user interfaces of in-game editors, whose successful implementation can support and entertain the player during the creation of contents. The division is based on the Mechanics and Aesthetics identified during the examination of the in-game editors of the four games Little Big Planet 2, ModNation Racers, inFAMOUS 2 and Create.

The thesis project Little Long Finger complements the results by applying
the described division to the concept of an in-game editor. The player’s representation and the connected representation of the tools are the most striking means to increase the entertainment value of an in-game editor. Their implementation is dependent on the genre of the game. In contrast, the feedbacks of the player’s actions are independent and in order to entertain the player they can be designed by using additional effects such as particles, animations or acoustic signals. User interface elements, such as elements for input error avoidance should feature a self-explanatory and easily recognizable design and they should minimize the usage of entertaining effects.

Little Long Finger ist ein In-Game Editor basierend auf einem fiktionalen Spiel-Modus. Der Editor selbst unterscheidet sich von externen Editoren durch die Verwendung von für Games typischen Effekten wie Partikel, Sounds oder Animationen. Sie dienen dazu die Unterhaltung während dem Erstellen von neuen Inhalten zu steigern. Der Spieler kann zwischen den zwei Konzepten Classic und Avatar wählen. Diese definieren dessen Repräsentation im User Interface des In-Game Editors.

Wenngleich kein komplexer Spiel-Modus implementiert wurde, so kann der Spieler dennoch mit Hilfe der Funktionen wie Bauen, Löschen, Rotieren oder Modifizieren einen beeindruckenden Level erstellen und diesen noch während der Erstellung mit Hilfe der Vorschau-Funktion probeweise durchspielen.

Little Long Finger features an in-game editor based on a fictional play mode. The editor distances itself from external editors by using game typical effects like particles, sounds and animations to create a more entertaining experience while creating content. The player can choose between the two concepts Classic and Avatar defining his representation within the user interface of the in-game editor.

Although there is no complete play mode implemented, the player can use the basic editor functions like build, delete, rotate and modify to create a stunning level and try it out on the fly with the game preview function.

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