Feb 132011
 

During a meeting awhile ago, the phrase “user generated quests” was brought up. I think it was just a passing notion; something some just said on a whim.This idea has actually been around a while thanks to Kevin and Weez, but not fleshed out to the extent that it could be. I, on the other hand, haven’t stopped thinking about it. I believe quests, let alone user generated ones, could be a powerful mechanic for the system. The basic idea is this:

A “quest” contains a series of goals that a player must complete within a certain timeframe in order for the quest to be successful. After a quest has been successfully completed, a reward is given. If the quest was unsuccessful, it is deemed “failed” and may be restarted started at the next timeframe interval. In some cases, a failed quest cannot be repeated.

The goals of the quest are made up of badges and/or achievements from the system. Attaining or unlocking all the badges or achievements within the timeframe completes the quest. The reward for the quest is either a badge or an achievement. Having rewards be the same type as goals for a quest leads to the idea of quest trees; where the successful completion of one quest is a goal in another quest, and so on.

The timeframe for quests can be set down to the daily level and up to a yearly, or academic yearly, level. Some common presets will be daily, weekly, monthly/academic quarterly, yearly/academic yearly. The player has 24 hours, or multiples of 24 hours for weekly, monthly, etc., from the accepting of the quest to complete the quest successfully.

The difficulty of the quests will take timeframe, number of badges or achievements to complete, the difficulty of the individual badges or achievements, and if the quest can be repeated into account.

Once a player chooses a quest they have created or created by someone else, they can “accept” the quest. Players may cancel a quest at any point, having the ability to retry the quest at the next timeframe period, if permitted. Players will not be able to create onetime playable quests.

This is all well and good, but… we can go deeper:

Once a player creates a quest, a privacy setting can be set. Private quests can only be accepted by the player that created them. Friends Only quests can only be accepted by friends of the creator. Public quests can be accepted by all players.

What if a quest is too hard for a single player to complete? Why not join your friends in their quests to help them? A quest has to be marked as a co-op able and all players need to complete the quest in order for the quest to actually be complete; no jumping in at the end and getting credit for something. Quests can also be marked as co-op only, where a certain number of players are needed to even start a quest.

These are just some of my initial thoughts on quests. More to come.

 Posted by at 2:17 am

  One Response to “Challenge Accepted”

  1. Kevin and I came up with the “user generated quest” early on. Initially it was going to be one thing per player. But, I now firmly believe that it’s the core idea for this to be the killer app. That the users generate quests and set their value is what will make the game most responsive to whatever community it is ultimately placed in.

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