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Sucker Punch Knows That inFamous 2's User Generated Content Isn't Very Good

inFamous 2Back in Episode 53 of the Power Button podcast we discussed that the original missions created by users in Sucker Punch's inFamous 2 for the Sony PlayStation 3 weren't very good at all.  The general consensus at the time was that much of the user generated content was pointless, unfinishable, packed with misspelled words, and basically wasn't worth the effort to explore, but we hoped that things would improve over time.  That didn't happen.  Now Sucker Punch has acknowledged that the material created by the community isn't very good and considers that a third-person action game such as inFamous 2 may not be the best platform for users to be creative.  Game Informer has the story.

During a GDC talk today titled "User-Generated Content in inFamous 2 (And Does It Make Sense For Your Game?)," Sucker Punch co-founder Chris Zimmerman discussed criticisms of the sequel's user-generated content feature. Speaking candidly, he said "Most users were disappointed by the UGC missions they played."

Sucker Punch continued to refine the feature, adding a "Win to Publish" step that ensured user levels could actually be beaten. Early levels were frequently too buggy to complete, and Zimmerman said that users who didn't like the first level they played rarely tried a second.

Here's the thing: first impressions are everything when it comes to user generated content.  When the first UGC level that inFamous 2 presented to me involved user-created instructions that read "cole u hav 2 get 2 the power plnt becuz zek iz in truble" and then expected me to fight my way through half a dozen of the most ferocious monsters that the game had to offer without providing me with any electricity to use to blast the enemies, I couldn't find the Quit option quickly enough.  I tried a few other UGC missions and always came away disappointed.  Many people seemed to see themselves as auteurs directing pointless misspelled sagas in nine parts that didn't accomplish anything  worthwhile or provide interesting objectives.  I'm glad that Sucker Punch gave the UGC tools a try, but I really don't need to see them again in inFamous 3.