By Stormshade @ September 21, 2012 at 7:00pm
Cryptic’s ground breaking UGC Toolset, The Foundry, was recently shown to the Press at PAX Prime in Seattle, and you’ve doubtlessly been reading all the coverage that’s come from that. But there’s so much more to The Foundry than what can be shown in the small amount of time a press appointment actually lasts.
Let’s break this thing down into some more details:
Playing Player Authored Content
There’s a number of ways for players to find content which has been created by the Neverwinter Community. Popular or spotlighted missions will be advertised on the in-game landing page, an in-game UI element which conveys a plethora of information, including quests, dungeons and events that you can do at your level, in addition to other things, such as Foundry Content. You can also find player authored content at one of the many job boards that are located throughout the public zones… You might also find a Harper Agent, members of a semi-secret society dedicated to the preservation of lore, and fighting the forces of evil, on your travels through one of Neverwinter’s many adventure zones. These agents will be able to point you towards player authored content near them – in almost the same way as standard quests are offered.
One thing you’ll notice once in-game and playing through these adventures, will be that you’re hard pressed to distinguish a player authored adventure from one that Cryptic’s own development team has created. NPC’s, objects, and monsters within public and adventure zones are all available to be incorporated into a Foundry author’s quests and campaigns. Foundry content can involve the Cryptic world as much or as little as the author wishes – from entirely taking place inside Adventures zones to being completely isolated in the author’s world. We felt that this amount of integration was very important for a number of reasons, but one of our key goals was to promote immersion. We really feel that any Dungeon Master who wants to add to the Forgotten Realms should be able to, and we don’t think their content should “stick out” in any way.
The primary purpose of The Foundry is to allow players to create, and publish, their own quests and story lines within the world of Neverwinter. The Foundry Editor is what allows you to do this. By giving you some of the same tools that our own designers use to create the world of Neverwinter, it allows you to create some truly unique content for all to see and play.
Using The Foundry editor, you’ll be able to create your own maps, and set the adventures that take place within them. More importantly, you’ll be able to do this right away, with very little experience with the tools. Whether you want a simple delivery type quest, or intend to create your very own, with multiple hand created maps, a plethora of customized NPCs, pages of dialog, and a truly epic story, you can. Everything you need is right at your fingertips.
The interface is a series of fairly simple to use drag and drop style editors. This doesn’t mean that mastering The Foundry is easy. While you can dabble, and be successful, much of the full potential of The Foundry takes some time to fully grasp. The tools and your quests are really as simple, or as complex, as you wish them to be.
Obviously The Foundry is a very powerful tool for the community to utilize, and we plan on supporting our Foundry Authors, and players, a great deal. We’ll be publishing guides and video walkthroughs for The Foundry as we get closer to launch. We’ll be working with fansites, and other groups to help the community grow, and you’ll see some hefty in-game features as well.
By playing through player authored content, you’ll receive similar rewards of experience, items, and other loot as you would playing through content created by our own development staff.
By creating content, you’ll also have the ability to unlock rewards for yourself. Perhaps an in-game or forum title should you create five adventures rated 5 stars by the community? There are a plethora of different options which we’re considering. We’d also really like to hear what you think. So please head over to the forums and discuss what kind of incentives you’d like to see for playing, and creating, Community Authored Content in Neverwinter!