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gdc 2012

Sucker Punch Addresses Infamous 2's Disappointing User Content

by Dan Ryckert on Mar 08, 2012 at 03:23 PM

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."

Of everyone who played Infamous 2, only 5% actually wound up publishing a level. About half of all players took the time to play a user-generated level, but only 15% played them more than a handful of times (Sucker Punch referred to this group as "UGC whales").

Several factors were brought up that may have played a role. Early search options didn't include the ability to narrow down levels by keyword, opting instead for a tag system that rarely worked. This was patched on day 8, and the new keyword search ability drastically improved level accessibility.

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.

Zimmerman acknowledged that there was a select minority of Infamous 2 players that really enjoyed the feature, but came to the conclusion that "third-person action adventure might not be the best genre to do user-generated content in."