It’s long been accepted that a great user experience is an important part of any game. Still, to date, in-game user interfaces for the exploration and discovery of user-generated content have been basic. This is starting to change, with several games on our platform building impressive custom user-experiences for their creator communities.
As UGC becomes more widely adopted and the quality and quantity of content continue to increase, being able to easily access, browse and discover content is more important than ever before. Here are 5 key reasons why we think user-experience is critical to the future of UGC.
Ease of Use
Traditionally, mods in video games have been a manual process that often involved several technical steps in making them work. Since the introduction of ‘Workshop’ and mod managers, player accessibility to mods has improved. However, this still requires players to browse and install content outside of your game, with only basic discoverability and functionality.
Placing your modding/UGC ecosystem within your game makes it feel like a natural part of your product offering, makes UGC more discoverable for players, and encourages engagement. This concept could even extend beyond a traditional ‘menu’ and into a more abstract, interactive experience (for example, being able to browse and select desired UGC within a 3D environment, making it feel like a natural part of gameplay).
Professional, well-designed user-interfaces increase your players' confidence to delve into and experience with mods and UGC, making it feel like a natural extension of your game’s existing content.
Removing the technical aspects and barriers to entry that mods have traditionally had in the past, users will feel more confident in installing UGC, which will ultimately lead to extended play-time and engagement with your game over a longer time.
Engagement & Interaction
Designing a user-interface that encourages players not only to consume user-generated content but interact with fellow players and creators is critical to creating a thriving community based around user-generated content.
Players' ability to vote for their favourite UGC pieces, leave constructive feedback or compliments for creators, and share their content with other players is a significant consideration of any UX. Giving players a place to interact and socialise around UGC also encourages the creation of content for your game – as modders seek feedback and validation for the work from fellow players within your community.
Discovery of Content
As the consumption of UGC becomes more accessible, so too do the creation tools, fueling the desire to share new and unique pieces of content with fellow players. Simply displaying this content in a basic list is cumbersome, and being able to discover content that varies in type, complexity, and quality is a real challenge.
mod.io solves this by providing simple ways to dynamically sort, organize and browse data through tagging, metrics and metadata;
- Create tags and categories that your players can easily browse
- Organize content by popularity, date, rating or other metadata
- Highlight and promote high-quality content to users
- Surface quality and trending content through intuitive design
Currently, engaging user-interfaces within games for discovering user-generated content is in the early days. While we’ve recently helped launch several games with amazing user experiences on PC, consoles and mobile platforms, this is still something relatively unique that can help your game stand out from the crowd.
By creating something that has excellent UI design, key functionality, discovery and facilities for engagement, your game can offer players an experience currently isn’t catered for with existing, traditional UGC solutions.