Neverwinter Dev Blog details the Foundry

In Neverwinter's most recent Developer Blog, they discuss the Foundry!

If you played the original, pencil and paper Dungeons and Dragons, then it's probably occured to you how cool it might be to actually bring the quests and adventures of you and your friends to life.  While we might still be a few years from actual Dragons thundering through the skies above, we can still have a taste of this experience through Neverwinter's Foundry tool.  In a recent Developer Blog, Sominator outlines some of the detailed efforts that Perfect World and Cryptic Studios have made to create the wonderful Foundry tool that is available to all players in the new Free to Play MMO, Neverwinter.  

Reminiscent of tools such as RPG Maker, the Foundry truly is a beautiful toolset.  Giving the players full control of every detail allows for an enthralling experience not only for the end-user, but also for the Foundry authors themselves.  If you've ever wondered what it would be like to bring the Warcraft 3 or Starcraft map editors into an MMO environment, look no further than the Foundry. 

The Foundry allows the author to start with a set area of the already existing map, for those looking to get a feel for the toolset, or to allow their own stories to unfold in the true game world, or the choice to start with a clean canvas, allowing for total creation from blades of grass, to a King's fortress.  With almost no limitations on color pallete choice, object placement, and dialogue, this functionality truly gives power to the author to really create an enriched and immersive experience. 

Screenshot

There's no doubt that choosing a world set in the realm of Dungeons and Dragons was the perfect place for a kit like this.  DnD players the world over are known for their incredible imaginations, and their ability to create stories given a set world to expand on, and this is the perfect tool for that mindset. 

Of course, once the creation of your adventure is finished, things don't stop there!  A small part of the playerbase that designate themselves on a player-by-player basis as "testers" for the Foundry will approve or deny entries depending on what they think should be available.  If your creation is accepted by the community, it will be available via a simple browser located within the game, from which any player, of any level, at any location may queue up for your entry, and enjoy what you have made for them! 

It truly is an incredible and ambitious idea, and the folks behind Neverwinter have been spot on with the execution of the system.  So, if you've ever wanted to bring that old DnD campaign to life, or wondered what it might be like to create your own little sliver in an MMO, this is most certainly the way to do so. 

I hope to play your Foundry creation soon!

Tyler "TovarishGaming" Solley

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# May 17 2013 at 12:10 PM Rating: Decent
I feel that the Foundry works really well under the DnD franchise. If you put this tool in say, TERA, or RIFT, you'd still get a few decent quests and dungeons out of it, but the content wouldn't feel particularly special. I feel that with the history of DnD, and the fact that the game literally runs on the fuel of people who grew up imagining adventure, that it's truly a great setting for a kit like this.

I think every MMO should have player generated content, because it only provides good things, however, every game should find their own way of doing it. For Neverwinter, it's obviously the Foundry, and that was a great choice for their game. RIFT decided to go with player housing. WildStar is going with player housing, and warplots. World of Warcraft went with the farmville approach, which still while very much a part of the main game, is kind of their way of giving the player a little freedom. There are obviously vastly varying degrees of what it means to have "player generated content," it's all about the game at hand finding their specific niche.

I think something like the Foundry could exist in every MMO, but I don't see the appeal. With player generated content, you start to walk that fine line with "sandbox." I feel as though if you truly want player generated content, and that's the driving force behind you playing an MMO, then you'd probably just play a Sandbox MMO and be done with it.

The Foundry is a perfect addition to the niche that Neverwinter fills in the MMO market.

As always, these comments are my opinion and should be read as so! :D Cheers!
great write up ... do you think other games will follow ?
# May 17 2013 at 11:38 AM Rating: Decent
6 posts
Crowd sourcing content could be a way for games that cannot afford to keep their game as fresh due to f2p formats, do you see this concept working for games that are not f2p?
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