Infamous 2 user content hurt by bugs, lack of search option

By Steve Watts, Mar 09, 2012 12:00pm PST

At last year's Game Developers Conference, Sucker Punch co-founder Chris Zimmerman announced user-generated content for Infamous 2. The biggest problem from the first game, he said, was that it ended. A year later, Zimmerman has once again taken to the stage, this time to explain the obstacles that kept the game's UGC feature from catching on.

Game Informer reports that Zimmerman gave a talk on user-generated content, using Infamous 2 as an example for other developers. He conceded that "most users were disappointed by the UGC missions they played." Apparently only 5% of players published a level, and while about half played at least one, only 15% played more than a few times.

So what happened? For one, before a patch, users could publish levels that were simply impossible to complete. The "Win to Publish" step came later, but Zimmerman says some were soured on the first stage they played and didn't bother to try another. Plus, the stages weren't particularly organized until about a week after launch, when a patch let users search by keyword.

Zimmerman concludes that third-person action adventure games might not be a good fit for UGC, but a few of Infamous 2's missteps could be a helpful warning to other developers. Sony seems particularly keen on including user-generated content since the success of LittleBigPlanet, and the company acquired Sucker Punch after Infamous 2 was released.

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