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User-made content "Holy Grail" for Home

Moderation and quality are the issues.

The creative director and lead artist of Home want to push user-generated content as a feature, but recognise that moderation and the quality bar are big issues.

"From day one we're going to give [users] basic customisation, analogous with other games," John Venables told GamesIndustry.biz.

"But we will hopefully be increasing the tools that we give to users over time, to give them more control, maybe to ultimately provide their own content."

"Obviously the Holy Grail is to give people the tools to create their own things, but it's a difficult path to tread I think," said creative director Ron Festejo.

Festejo used clothing textures as an example - if users are allowed to import their own textures, how can the developers guarantee a safe environment for younger users?

"And I think that the problem is, at this point in time we can't do that just yet.

"We've got some moderation tools in there where you can report people, but I think we've got to do this in baby steps - see how people react to the clothing that we give them, and we're working with partners to provide a huge variety, to appeal to different types of people," Festejo said.

"As Ron says, iterative steps, and maybe the toolset will slowly expand over time," Venables agreed.

Festejo promised to continue to listen to what users have to say, recognising that the developers would have to do a lot of work to make sure that no one walks around with an offensive T-shirt if additional tools were provided in the future.

"[F]or PlayStation, and the type of audiences we appeal to, I think there's a certain level of responsibility that we have to ensure that offensive stuff isn't in the universe that we create."

"User-created content is the Holy Grail, with games like LittleBigPlanet that's all about user-created content - that's going to be an interesting litmus test for us to see the kinds of things generated by users because those guys are also pushing the boundaries in that area."

The complete interview with John Venables and Ron Festejo can be found on GamesIndustry.biz.

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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