Joe Morrissey, a Senior Designer at Paragon Studios, discusses City of Heroes Architect — a system that lets users generate in-game content:
Wanting tools so the rest of the team could actually come up with content was the idea. Because we have a lot of guys on the team that are hardcore players, they play the game all the time.
Then they come to me like, “I’ve got this idea for this story, we should really do this arc with this guy!” And I’m like, “That’s great. I haven’t got time to do it. I’ve got plenty of other story arcs to work on.”
But, if we made the tools easy enough, then they could actually come up with the arcs, and we can put them out.
Then somewhere along that road it dawned on me: Why stop with the rest of the team?
It was a scary venture, because we were getting momentum from it, and the studio leads at what is now Paragon but at the time was NC NorCal, they wanted to differentiate us from other games out there.
Architect just kind of kept coming back up like, “How are we got to do that? That’s really scary to do,” and I’m like, “That’s why we are going to do it. We are not going to do it because it is easy.”
We definitely have learned that you have to take risks, even when your game’s been up for five years, especially if your game’s been out for five years, you have to keep reinventing yourself and keep yourself fresh.
– Joe Morrissey @ MMO Gamer