Content Library

I’ve been teasing at this idea in my head forever, I think it’d be pretty cool. I also think it would massively dilute what Shmeppy is all about and create a lot of logistical problems, so I’m super unsure about it. But anyways…

At some point (in the fairly distant future), I expect Shmeppy to allow uploading images to use as backgrounds. I think a fairly natural extension to this would be to house a ton of backgrounds to use in some content library within Shmeppy, and make it super easy to search through them.

I have some experience building search engines. Search is super hard and requires a ton of time and careful design work. But I’m pretty confident I could do a pretty good job with this and create an interface that felt absolutely delightful.

Imagine being able to type bridge castle archers and see several images appear with a bridge spanning some chasm towards a castle with holdes or turrets for archers. Or further refining it by selecting an area of your map and seeing images that roughly fit the area you selected appear as previews in your game as you hover over them in the search results.

Sounds like a very fast way to find map images…

The Problems

But there’s like, several problems with this feature.


For one, that content libraries gotta come from somewhere. And I’m sure as hell not gonna make all the maps for that.

So I’d either want to go the route of Netflix: approaching content creators myself and negotiating rights to use their images in the content library. Or YouTube: have the content creators come to me and give them automatic payments based on the usage of their images.

Both would create the siutation where suddenly people’s incomes are (at least partially) reliant on my product. Very scary. If Shmeppy goes down or has trouble, not only does it suck for people who want to use it, but a bunch of people may stand to lose their income o.o.

It will also require a lot more money from users than the $5 a month I plan to charge GMs. It’d have to be a separate plan, and probably more than $5 a month if I want to be able to funnel enough money to the content creators to make it actually worth their time. Imagine paying $10 on top of the $5 a month you’re already paying for Shmeppy without the content library.

The Painted Duck Effect

It’s also going to encourage people to spend a fair amount of time browsing the content library, finding the perfect map, which is really not what Shmeppy is about.

Anyways this is a seriously far-away feature if it ever does get onto a roadmap, but I’m super interested to hear ya’ll’s thoughts about it.

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I’m always up for the idea of Shmeppy expanding because I believe the foundation of it is so user friendly that it could retain it’s core values and still add features like this in. In fact I remember directly asking for it beforehand… With that in mind however, Shmeppy is what it is because of the idea you’ve stuck to all this time, even though you’ve updated and adapted it to user feedback so at the end of the day I think the decision should be yours alone on whether shmeppy becomes something more inclusive than what it is.
Do I think it would be brilliant? Heck yes I do.
Would it still be able to retain it’s simplicity with an added feature like this? To a great degree, yes, I’d say so.
Do I think you’re the right developer behind the wheel? Yes, and I’m sure that everyone else here agrees that if this is something you are going to add, that I’m confident you’ll do it right without compromising on what you believe Shmeppy to be.

All in all, Shmeppy is a brilliant program that would succeed with or without the addition of other maps. It would make a great addition, but also maybe a halfway point is a simple tile system so people can create a ‘more detailed’ map in a minute or two.

Either way I’d be one of a few, I’d imagine that wouldn’t mind paying a bit extra for a bigger feature, but I’m also quite happy the way Shmeppy is going now too. :slight_smile:

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I am skeptical of this. It involves three different aspects that to me sounds like they should each have entire teams behind them:

  • The search feature
  • The dealing with creators side. If you’re going to get lots of creators to upload, there’s going to be content licensing issues and payment issues and lots of noise.
  • The dealing with paying users side. If you’re going to high payment, you’ll have lots of issues with users complaining more loudly, and more complicated interactions around them.

Unless you feel comfortable staffing up whole teams for this, I’d leave the paid version this feature be. I’d instead do simple user contributed content: Create a site where users can upload content, make this content publicly available, and use Google Custom Search to search it.

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