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…
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.