There’s been a lot of conversation concerning the sort of rewards that UGC missions might deliver, ways that UGC can be used to earn experience and such, among other things which involve building upon a character’s attributes. For many, this seems to be all that matters, and that’s fine. But…
Well, just for the sake of argument… er… discussion… yeah… let us look at this from a different perspective. Leave aside the fact that there will be rewards and such. Just suppose that content we will be making with the Foundry tools were to exist without yielding any Ding or Bling. What then would motivate anyone to play it? Would it even be viable as a gameplay mechanic.
I think that any Founder (since the tools are called Foundry, I think that name fits better than UGC Author. It’s certainly easier to say) worth his or her salt should write missions as if the story thereof is their soul merrit. And yes, I meant SOUL. What we write should be at the very core of everything that is visually presented to the players. IF the soul of our missions is manifested in that way, then they will matter, regardless of whatever rewards the system doles out in the end.
I submit that even with the limited nature of the Foundry in its first release, creative and intuitive work within those limits should be able to turn out some awesome material. The official mission, City on the Edge of Never, has been lauded by many as one of the best missions in the game. And yet it was written using the same resources as the many official missions that have been condemned as the worst missions in the game. The difference? The person writing the episode and how he used the resources at his disposal to pull the player into the moment. To make the mission about having an experience rather than earnign experience.
That’s how we can make UGC missions that matter… By drawing the participant into an experience he or she will remember long after any new shiny piece of reward loot is rendered obsolete.