Late last year we soft-launched the ability for LootLocker users to support User-Generated Content in their games. User-Generated Content (or UGC) is a popular feature these days where games let their players create custom content that can be used in the game, like skins, items, or even entire mods to provide new ways to play the game. Of course, the most famous UGC-based game today is Roblox where players can create entirely new games on the platform.
We see User-Generated Content as a perfect feature for LootLocker since it's often something that is out of reach for many developers; requiring the setup and maintenance of complicated databases and special tools for moderating and managing the content in order to properly support the system. Furthermore, since our UGC system connects together with the rest of LootLocker's feature set, it gets the benefit of added security with player authentication and player accounts, and can be connected to other features like Leaderboards. With our goal of making all types of game features accessible to all kinds of developers, we are excited to officially add UGC to this list of LootLocker features!
Supporting UGC in your game couldn't be easier. When a player creates content in-game (we will support UGC uploads outside of the game in the future) you simply create what we call an Asset Candidate which houses the data of that piece of content. It's called a candidate because until the asset has been completed and approved by the game, it isn't considered a real asset. With the Asset Candidate created, you can attach the necessary files related to the content to it, including any thumbnails of the asset (if applicable). With all of the information successfully added, you label the candidate as complete, and it will sent to your moderation queue - done!
Once everything is set up in your game, any Asset Candidates created and submitted by your players will enter the (optional) Player Content Moderation queue. If the content players are creating is public-facing (meaning that any other player might see the content in or outside of the game) we suggest you use the moderation tool for approving or rejecting player made content. While most gamers are creating friendly, valuable content, there are always a few players who might try and create something inappropriate or hateful that you will want to keep out of your game. If the content is only being shared between players that know each other, then you could consider opting out of the moderation queue and having all content approved automatically.
Now that the content has been approved it will be visible and available to all of your players. At this point you can curate the content through the Player Content Curation menu by sorting content based on when it was created, or other values. Then you can apply filters to those assets, allowing you to sort them in new ways in your game, such as "Weekly Favorites" or "Colorful Hats".
The first game that is scheduled to be released with User-Generated Content is Hokko Life from Wonderscope. We worked closely with Robert from Wonderscope to make sure our UGC system was easy to implement and provided the necessary features for him to easily allow his users to create items in the game, and share them in their own store. Hokko Life will also be using an early version of our friends system to allow players to share their creations with their friends. Thanks to the power of LootLocker, Hokko Life will be able to easily support UGC, player stores, friends, and more features as the game continues to grow.
We still have a lot of plans for our UGC system, including making it easier for players to upload content outside of the game (allowing for mods), some template UIs that come preconfigured with LootLocker, and the ability to allow your players to earn money from their UGC.
There you have it - UGC in LootLocker! If you're ready to start implementing all of this in your game you can create a free account here and download our Unity SDK and Unreal SDK. We're really excited to add UGC to the arsenal of tools we already provide and look forward to your feedback!