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Too Much Multiplayer In Today's Games?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the nobody-needed-to-frag-each-other-while-stomping-koopas dept.

Games 362

hornedrat writes "Gamepro discusses the idea that modern games put too much emphasis on multiplayer, and that players aren't as concerned about it as developers think. 'The current environment encourages developers to unnecessarily toss multiplayer into their games without caring about it — or even considering whether anyone will bother playing it. It’s like they're checking an invisible quota box that demands multiplayer's inclusion.' Personally I agree that too much emphasis is placed on competitive multiplayer. I play online, but only with my brother in games that allow co-operative modes, like Rainbow Six: Vegas and ARMA 2. 'My point isn't that developers shouldn't try and conquer Halo or Call of Duty. We'd never have any progress in this industry if developers didn't compete. Game companies, however, should think carefully about what they want their games to be, and more important, gamers should consider what they want. If a developer wants to eclipse Halo, then by all means, pour that effort into a multiplayer mode that's different.' I would be interested to know how many gamers really care about the multiplayer components of the games they buy."

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Way too much. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33037616)

And first post. ( well, probably not given the speed of /. comments )

Hardly (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037618)

I exclusively play multiplayer games, except on my phone when I want a quick game of Vexed or something to pass the time. Other than that, single player games are a little sad, and never as challenging as multiplayer. The way single player games are made challenging are to have bad guys with more strength/weapons/power than you, and/or cheating. Whereas QuakeLive is as good as the guys you're playing against, and given that it's full of clan players and people who've been playing quake for perhaps longer than they should have, it means that you're competing on level ground when it comes to player specs/weapons, but against people who know every last trick available (which you can learn should you be arsed). Who wants to play quakelive against bots? What would be the point?

Re:Hardly (2, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037644)

I play Modern Warfare 2 almost all for it's multiplayer. The single player campaign was great, but the fun begins in multiplayer. I also love games that have co-op play along with single player, because you can play with your friends and it opens up a lot of new possibilities. Games like Left 4 Dead with 4 player co-op (and versus mode) are also extremely fun because you have to work as a group and if you mess up, other players need to save you and you affect the game. It's a lot of fun.

I do also play games like Splinter Cell Conviction and Civilization series where the main point is with the single player. However for example playing Civilization with real people add completely new aspects to it.

Why it has to be either only single player or multiplayer (or badly tossed in multiplayer)? Work on both of them to make them great. The upcoming Medal of Honor actually has two completely different teams working for single player and multiplayer - EA's own team for single player and DICE for multiplayer and they even use different engines.

Multiplayer provides a lot of fun, so why take it off? Especially when it's value that usually only paying customers can enjoy. Many times on slashdot I've read that companies should provide more value to paying customers versus pirates - multiplayer is it and can definitely be a good factor in if a person buys the game or pirates it, and I personally love playing with other people.

Re:Hardly (1)

PaKL (1236442) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038052)

I play Modern Warfare only for its multi player function. In fact I have most of the PC versions of COD and have never completed the single player side on any of them.
The games I do play single play on are mostly C&C / Diablo type games.

I buy FPS games based completely on the online multi player side and isometric type games for the single player side.
Many people do play multi player in C&C and Diablo type games and of course co-op in games like Serious Sam and the like. So to reduce the time and effort spent on multi player would be a bad thing in my opinion.

However developers should look carefully at their games to see if multi player is a valuable addition to the game or not.
Sim City is a game that works well without multi player for me but I have friends who say they would love a multi player function for it.

Re:Hardly (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038294)

The upcoming Medal of Honor actually has two completely different teams working for single player and multiplayer

they even use different engines.

So at what point do they actually become different games?

Re:Hardly (5, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037712)

I exclusively play multiplayer games, except on my phone when I want a quick game of Vexed or something to pass the time. Other than that, single player games are a little sad, and never as challenging as multiplayer. The way single player games are made challenging are to have bad guys with more strength/weapons/power than you, and/or cheating. Whereas QuakeLive is as good as the guys you're playing against, and given that it's full of clan players and people who've been playing quake for perhaps longer than they should have, it means that you're competing on level ground when it comes to player specs/weapons, but against people who know every last trick available (which you can learn should you be arsed). Who wants to play quakelive against bots? What would be the point?

You're only thinking of a very narrow subset of games.

Was Myst made more challenging by giving the bad guys more strength/weapons/power than the player? What about The Path? Or Braid? Or Portal?

Lots of games challenge players in different ways - challenge them to think through a situation, rather than relying on quick reflexes or memorizing a map's layout.

But I think you're missing the broader picture... A single-player game does not need to be challenging to be fun. It doesn't actually have to be hard to complete. A single-player game can present an interesting storyline in ways that a multi-player game cannot (or, at least, has not yet).

In a single-player game you can develop characters and settings. You can explore a world. You can show the consequences of your actions. You can have a whole story arc.

A multi-player game is generally about pure competition. Beat the other guy. Score more kills. Get more points.

It's kind of like comparing football to a novel.

Re:Hardly (1)

Tybalt_Capulet (1400481) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037808)

Because in-depth storylines sell games these days.

You know Square-Enix bread and butter Final Fantasy? Well, of course what everyone talked about in Final Fantasy X was the story!

Oh wait, no, everyone liked the graphics. The story was terrible.

I'm pretty sure that challenging gameplay and graphics are what sell games. If not, there would be the 'Tom Clancey: Press A' where you press A for each line of dialogue, and you unlock achievements by flipping pages.

People read books for story. People do anything else for excitement.

Re:Hardly (5, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037982)

I disagree. A lot of RPG's have had extremely successful single-player campaigns, but the graphics were not all that great, even when the game first came out ... and many continue replaying it. Why? Not graphics or challenge, but story. "Hey, what happens to the story if I do it this way instead" or "use this character" or "how does this class follow the story path" ... etc.

Or, say, Oblivion. Not a hard game. Not amazing graphics (at least, anymore), but generically nice. Not multiplayer at all. It was pretty successful. It had a more or less simple and somewhat interesting main storyline, but what made it fun was the rather free world it presented.

Your example of "Tom Clancy: Press A" with moving dialogues (basically, a book) is a bit oversimplified. When the GP was talking about "story," I'm pretty sure he's talking about story interaction, not just the flat linear telling of a story. It's the placing of the game player into the story that people like, not simply being told the story itself. It's BEING the protagonist - or someone in the story, anyways - that's fun.

Just like actually controlling the exploration of a world is a lot different than having a guided tour of the world. Who would want a guided tour of Oblivion, a hands-off experience? That'd be boring.

Many non-RPG games appear to be putting RPG elements in, as well. FPS's with a lot of storyline (e.g., Half-Life). FPS's with characters gaining levels/experience ("Action-RPG"). Heavy story RTS games with small "experience"-based leveling type things, such as World in Conflict.

Re:Hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33038072)

I'm pretty sure that challenging gameplay and graphics are what sell games.

And so why is gameplay given so little emphasis in games? They spend a fortune on the story and graphics but
increasingly do very little for the gameplay. Graphics are the least important part of the game. They have
been more than good enough for years now. Because theres only so much you can do with the current generation
consoles and most PC games are just console ports they're looking elsewhere to distance themselves from the rest.
They make gameplay 'barely good enough' to get favourable reviews (increasingly easy with game journalists these
days). and spend the rest on the cut-scenes. As long as it looks pretty they think its good enough. Any bugs can
get fixed later on. Crap gameplay.. we'll tell them the sequal is better and they'll buy it.

If not, there would be the 'Tom Clancey: Press A' where you press A for each line of dialogue, and you unlock achievements by flipping pages.

What you're describing is QuickTimeEvents and they are one of the worst things about games but still seem to be getting more common.

Re:Hardly (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038226)

Tom Clancy: Press A is a pretty popular games genre in Japan, they call them Visual Novels.

Re:Hardly (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33037844)

"Or Portal?"

I would love a co-op Portal. It opens up completely new kind of challenges too.

Re:Hardly (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037734)

There are some fundamental flaws in multiplayer games that can't be fixed with technology that make things non-fun.

A) Most random people on the internet who play games on Xbox live and the like are complete assholes. Consider the message I got last night while playing some TF2 "Why are you fucking hacking you fucking douchbag" and the reason that was given that I was "hacking" is because I managed to backstab him while he was sniping several times in the row when his back was turned... Enough people like that are out in the world to make playing online against random people a pain.

B) The difficulty. It takes a lot longer to learn how to efficiently play an online game than it is to learn to play a single player game. Even worse is if you are in a team-style game and have to endure abuse about how you aren't as great as they are despite the fact you bought the game yesterday... And difficulty can't be accurately chosen unlike a single player game, yes, there are systems like Halo's matchmaking, but even that doesn't always work.

C) Cheating/Lag, few things are more frustrating than trying to snipe on a laggy connection.

D) Badly managed servers. For example, on Team Fortress 2, you will have people who decide to make everyone be engineers, then suddenly allow for one spy, then make everyone be engineers once someone on their team is the spy...

Re:Hardly (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037850)

>>>A) Most random people on the internet who play games on Xbox live and the like are complete assholes

Precisely. Multiplayer was fun when it was just me and some friends with connected modems. 1-on-1 Populous or Firepower was a blast. Tradewars was a blast. And if some asshole showed up, the word quickly went out and the asshole was ganged-up on & exterminated. Then the "Eternal September" happened sometime around 2002, and a bunch of idiots showed up. Goodbye fun.

Another reason I don't like multiplayer is there's no

.

Yesterday Amiga celebrated its birthday. Today /. is plagued with Guru Mediation errors. Coincidence? I think not. (BTW a new Amiga is arriving in August and will have the approximate power of a PowerMac G5.) :-)

Re:Hardly (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038014)

Another reason I don't like multiplayer is there's no

Me too.

Re:Hardly (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038120)

...there's no fixed ending, and it just becomes a grindfest that chews up money from your credit card. I'd sooner buy a solo game like Final Fantasy 12 (fixed ending) or DDR (fixed cost).

Re:Hardly (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038036)

The trick with online multiplayer is to find a community of like-minded individuals of near your own age group, find their steam community(ies) and play largely inside that circle of people, which tends to be ~100-250 people. I can think of four large, healthy TF2 communities off the top of my head that are also involved in several other games as well. All of a sudden you're playing with people you know, and it becomes a lot more fun. If you play on a 32 player instant respawn server full of strangers who happen to mostly be 12 year old shut-ins, of course you're going to have an awful time.

Re:Hardly (1)

Jamu (852752) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038054)

You can largely fix D by blacklisting the server, or simply finding servers you do like and adding them to your favourites. As a bonus you'll probably avoid a lot of the people in A. Personally I take the accusations of hacking as a compliment. Abuse is easy to fix: disable all chat.

Re:Hardly (5, Insightful)

getNewNickName (980625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038078)

Most of the responses so far have equated multiplayer with death-match style gameplay. What people seem to be neglecting is coop campaign style multiplayer. I don't much care for death-match with random online players, but instead it's fun to get together with friends to play through story mode. This is what I would like to see more of in upcoming games.

Re:Hardly (4, Informative)

modecx (130548) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038248)

D) Badly managed servers. For example, on Team Fortress 2, you will have people who decide to make everyone be engineers, then suddenly allow for one spy, then make everyone be engineers once someone on their team is the spy...

That's not a badly managed server. That's a server with a custom game mode that you don't happen to like. A few multiplayer games have had something of a "cooties" mode, where you either A) avoid getting killed by the cooties monster, B) become the cooties monster and have to kill someone else. As for me, I sometimes find that kind of game an interesting distraction. Sometimes the modder comes up with something *GOOD*, or at least something original.

Here's badly managed servers for you: every singular MW2 PC server. Due to the idiotic idea that is iwNET, you will be paired you will be paired with a given 'server' if they have an open slot and you have a decent ping. That 'server' is some other schmuck playing in your game. A good 50+% of connections are bad, very bad, or horrible, I'm sure due to any number of faults. Further, the server 'admin' either doesn't know how to correct issies, or is apathetic to the fact that some turd is running a wall-hack or aim-bot.

If that wasn't bad enough, the kids have found ways of creating servers with their own rules: and here's the rub: you're still connecting to them regardless of any want or desire on your behalf... And you have no idea that you're connecting to a hacked server before you're in it. Example: A few weeks ago, I joined up on a server that instantly leveled me to level 70, and gave me darn near *every* achievement. Every unlock for every gun, every logo...You know... it sucks royal.

Maybe I'm the only guy who likes playing to accomplish achievements. It forces me to break the mold, try guns and stuff that I might not have liked at first--and learn to dominate people with them. Now, I have every achievement, and can't get rid of them. Can't bring myself to play it anymore.

At least the modded servers in TF2 tend to advertise that fact--giving you the opportunity to decide if you want to join or not.

Re:Hardly (4, Insightful)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037750)

Who wants to play quakelive against bots? What would be the point?

I do, especially when I first start out.

Years back I was interested enough to take a look at "America's Army" to see what all the fuss was about and I quit and uninstalled before the first match was even over. It felt complicated, my mission was unknown, and the other players didn't know not to expect anything of a guy who not only just started playing but hasn't been an FPS guy since playing Doom2 over the network in high school.

I got a beta invite to Starcraft2 and ran into the exact same problem. Having never played the original I definitely wanted to give it a test run before purchasing. The beta doesn't include campaign mode, which is understandable, but doesn't have even the first mission of the tutorial where you learn to just move units around and what your resources are. I'm glad for serious players that Blizzard had the wisdom to tier their players so I never play someone who's been playing Starcraft for a decade, but I was still an annoying scrub to another beginning player who could have been just one not-so-god-awful-player- away from the next tier up. Given the awful zerging I got, I've very little interest in buying the game.

Multiplayer is great for going beyond the basics, but there are plenty of players who don't or won't. I've got a life and only play a game for a few dozen hours, so I do want the easy-to-medium level AI.

Re:Hardly (4, Interesting)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037778)

Well... I never play multiplayer, so I've just stopped playing all together!

Re:Hardly (2, Interesting)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037914)

There's different kinds of multiplayer too. In an (RT)S like Civilization or Starcraft, you're pretty much bound to have a number of peers which can either be human or computer controlled, and this pretty much obviates multiplayer. In a lot of MMORPGs like Game! [wittyrpg.com] or WoW, you can arguably play them as "single player" games, without really interacting with other humans at all, but few people do that. On the other hand, the number of ways you can interact with other humans in an MMORPG is much broader than that which you'd normally find in an (RT)S game.

Then there's a whole different class of games where multiplayer isn't really an obvious addition. Consider something like Resident Evil, adding multiplayer to that would be quite unusual (which is probably why it was purely single player). The most obvious way to add multiplayer would be to have a co-op mode, but it seems that co-ops modes are pretty rare these days (I'm not entirely sure why), and it would totally throw a wrench into just about everything else in the game, from camera angles to difficulty, not to mention the impact to the story.

Really, I don't think anybody is complaining about multiplayer in the first two types of games, they're a welcome addition there. The problem is in the last class of games where multiplayer isn't an obvious addition. Certainly, multiplayer can be a brilliant addition if done properly, but if it's just tacked on, it'll probably be wasted effort aside from being able to check that invisible checkbox in some executive's mind.

Re:Hardly (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038008)

Go play nethack and get back to me. Yeah, that horde of 'q' is stronger than you are. But who's smarter? (judging from your post, I'm betting on the 'q' actually)

Short lifespan (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037650)

The problem with multi-player is that it depends on an online server today which will shut down in time. Consider Super Mario Bros. a game made what? Nearly 30 years ago? It is still as playable today as is was in the 80s. Now consider Halo 2 made in 2004 which is now crippled in 2010 because Xbox live for the Xbox has been discontinued.

Re:Short lifespan (1)

Carnth (609080) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037704)

This is not true when you consider PC games with dedicated servers run by the public.
Team Fortress Classic (2001), Natural Selection(2002), hell, even the original Quake can still be played multiplayer.
Just make sure the games you buy are available with dedicated servers that can be run by the public, and you will never have this problem.

Re:Short lifespan (3, Interesting)

ALeavitt (636946) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037780)

But you also rely on other people playing those games as well. What if I find a niche game now that allows players to run dedicated servers, but at the game's peak there are only 150 people playing online at any given time? You can bet that no matter how much I love the multiplayer, I just won't be able to get the same satisfying experience five years down the line when most of the playerbase has moved on. I could either spend a good deal of time and effort trying to keep a multiplayer community alive or I could just accept that all multiplayer games have a lifespan limited by player interest. There is no similar limit to the lifespan of a single-player game.

Re:Short lifespan (0)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038250)

Well, does it really hurt to try something new? And I'm sure every once in a while you can get a revival going. Some game boards have those "Lets play...." threads where a few people come together and resurrect some old title. Are you really saying "it won't be playable five years from now, so why bother?"

Re:Short lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33038318)

You can always play Doom(1993) online. A decent amount of people play on the different online Doom ports. Even compared to today's games it's still very fun.

Re:Short lifespan (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33037708)

So what if you had great time playing them then? I mean, you probably aren't spending quality time with your old girlfriends anymore, and the pizza you ate yesterday is gone already. Other items and your car wears off too, and new interesting products come. Hell, when you die your life is gone. Nothing lasts forever, so why would games be different? The important thing is that you have or had great time.

It makes no sense not to enjoy about products (or girls) just because you might not be able to do so forever.

Re:Short lifespan (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037816)

But the entire point of buying something is to enjoy it for a pretty long time. I buy a movie to watch it a year, two years, 10 years, etc. from now. I buy a CD (or MP3) to listen to for a decade or two, or three, or four.

Multiplayer-based games should be discounted when compared to single-player games if things like this continue to happen. If I'm paying $50-60 for a new game, I expect the thing to last, not to have a huge feature removed just 6-7 years down the road.

While its true that lots of things don't last, when I buy something I expect it to last as much as possible. I don't buy new cars for the same reason, when I spend my money on something, I want it to last for as long as possible.

Re:Short lifespan (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037984)

For me it's the opposite. I finish a SP game in 12-15 hours (if that much) and then it's useless because I've seen it all; Yes, I might replay it some years from now, but how many games (and books, and movies) are really worth replaying? A good multiplayer game has a constant source of new content (the players themselves) for the years the online community lasts.

Re:Short lifespan (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038316)

I finish a SP game in 12-15 hours (if that much) and then it's useless because I've seen it all

Not if you can restart with a different character class.

Re:Short lifespan (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038272)

And of course, most people aren't like you, so even with a technical solution you're still left without anyone to play the game. People kept Allegience going through incredibly heroic measures and yet there's still barely anyone playing. You're fighting lack of interest and all the new titles that have come out in the meantime - and often the "new version" of the same game, which all the hardcore players will have rushed out to buy anyways.

Re:Short lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33037752)

No, the problem with multiplayer is it is designed to solve a different problem than single player.

Think of single player as a film. You can enjoy it by yourself. You can start and stop it whenever you want.

Think of multiplayer as a board game. You aim to do it with multiple people. It's hard (or impossible) to do it by yourself.

There have been plenty of recent games which have succeeded without multiplayer (Ever heard of Portal?). There are plenty of recent games which have succeeded without single player (Ever heard of Team Fortress 2?).

Re:Short lifespan (1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037796)

Consider Super Mario Bros. a game made what? Nearly 30 years ago? It is still as playable today as is was in the 80s

It just requires a LOT of blowing on the cartridge. :)

Local multiplayer (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037856)

The problem with multi-player is that it depends on an online server today which will shut down in time.

Not if it's local multiplayer with one machine and two to four gamepads, like Bomberman series or Smash Bros. series or Tetris Party. Not all multiplayer games have to be FPS or RTS. With the rise of HDTV, it's even practical for PC games to get in on this act.

Re:Local multiplayer (2, Insightful)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038144)

It seems (to me at least) that its getting difficult to find games that allow you to share a screen with someone. When Im looking at the PS3 games and most of them say Players: 1 Online Multiplayer: 2- 8. I dont particularly like it. I remember playing two player games at my friends house or with my brothers and sharing the screen. Im not going to buy a second PS3 and television just so I can play two player games with my friends. Split that screen up.

Re:Short lifespan (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037862)

A valid point, but LAN parties [pdxlan.net] are now playing free games using local servers which not only eliminate lag, but also will be available long after the profit motive is gone. Buying into an online service whose business model depends on having 100,000 subscribers is as naive as buying into those health clubs that sell "lifetime" memberships -- don't be surprised when you come in one day only to find the doors permanently locked.

Re:Short lifespan (2, Informative)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038080)

Just an aside, but I found Duck Hunt on the original SMB cartridge to be unplayable on my HDTV, presumably due to the lag in video processing/display.

Re:Short lifespan (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038160)

Yeah, the light gun was a glorious hack that took advantage of knowing exactly what scan lines the ducks were flashing on to work... So any kind of delay will make it not work at all, I'm sure.

Wow, I'll be sad when Duck Hunt can no longer be played... Oh well, that's what emulation is for. :D

More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (5, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037664)

I virtually never play multiplayer online (I'll play multiplayer console games with friends, but virtually never with random people). Why? Two reasons. First, multiplayer is horribly repetitive and lacks originality. Secondly, when doing random matches online, the overwhelming majority of people are total asshats (see John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory) that completely ruin any fun.

Companies need to focus on having original gameplay and an involving story that keeps you wanting to play, not just repetitive multiplayer.

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (1)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037706)

You're right, in part. Multiplayer with people you know is way more fun than with random people online. And, even then, online play is best when you get to know some of those 'random' people and play with the same ones over time. Otherwise, you will always be plagued by idiots and jerks. For some reason, the internet appears to contain a nearly infinite supply of people who do nothing but try to ruin everyone else's fun.

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037804)

Neither one of those is an insurmountable problem. Some MMORPGs handle multplayer well (WoW, Runes of Magic). And, playing against other skilled human players is always going to offer more variety than playing against an AI. Also, one of the prime functions of the server should be to filter asshats and make it as difficult as possible to grief other players. Personally, I feel that playing multiplayer is actually teaching people useful social skills that will come in handy in real life, whereas soloing is the equivalent of computer-assisted masturbation.

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038204)

NI feel that playing multiplayer is actually teaching people useful social skills that will come in handy in real life, whereas soloing is the equivalent of computer-assisted masturbation.

Yep skills like.. when your better then other people your hacking/cheating
or.. when you dont like someone you can just kick/ban them
or.. when someone upsets you, you can curse them out with no repercussion.

Yep its exactly like life.

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33037858)

Agreed. I never played any multi player game post the original Doom, for which I only played online with buddies I know on the same LAN.

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037870)

I virtually never play multiplayer online (I'll play multiplayer console games with friends, but virtually never with random people).

Would you play multiplayer home-theater-PC games with friends in the same manner that you play multiplayer console games with friends?

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (5, Insightful)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037886)

I'm in the same boat. Online multiplayer against strangers is fun for the first month or two a game is out for me. After that, most of the regular people and average skilled gamers have left and all you've got are people that are some combination of so much better than me (and better than I have the time and patience or natural talent to be) that I might as well just set the controller down and let them kill me and assholes. If all it has going for it is multiplayer, I'll probably stop there and not buy any expansions or sequels.

Good single player game? I'll buy it, I'll probably buy most of the expansions that get released, and I'll buy the sequels. That's held true to Fable (I also re-bought the whole game just for the lost chapters version), Fable 2, Fallout 3, Dragon Age, Oblivion, Rock Band, and so on with a continually growing list of games that include, and are frequently solely based on, a solid single player experience

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037906)

I think the second one can actually be fixed, and Nintendo is doing a great job of it in Mario Kart. First they don't let you talk to other players (which has benefits and drawbacks), and second they have a rating system, so when you log in the game automatically pairs you with people close to your level. This is great because you don't need to be awesome at the game to have a chance to win (and lets face it, human opponents are much more interesting than computer opponents), and all the cheaters move to the top ratings: which means the average player doesn't have to deal with cheaters. It's a different system from a lot of online FPSs where everyone randomly congregates in a room.

As I've grown older I've found I've become more of a social gamer, I don't really care about playing through games anymore unless someone I know is also playing through it. I probably play games more than most people, but if someone I know isn't playing so we can talk about it, then it's just not as interesting. Unless there is truly something special about the game, I won't play it alone.

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038074)

Oh asshats - the new demographic

Thanks mainly to consoles, games are being tailored to those with short attention spans (though they're more polite in calling them 'people with time constraints'). Maybe it's a shift in gaming culture, but these time-precious douchebag EA Sports-Buying Guitar Hero Fanatics are the big money and they demand social interaction and to be able to teabag a real opponent.

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038136)

I ran into the same thing. I played the free online month that came with GTA4 quite a bit. Got owned a lot at first, but I adapted the gamer part of my game to face real humans rather than AI, and began to give as good as I got. Then after three weeks I was all, eh, is this it?

I really only had one time when I felt it surpassed single player when I was playing cat and mouse with some other player for half an hour. I was on foot in the Manhattan area and he had a helicopter. I took him out, but he managed to crash on me for mutual destruction. Pretty fun- almost like we made our own little movie.

I dunno. Maybe I should look into MMOs with their guilds and cooperative quests. Maybe The Old Republic will be more up my alley.

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (1)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038176)

Yup.

To me, anything in title of a game resembling: Online, Arena, World of, Tournament, and so on, is actually just a code word for:

We ran out of development time before we could / we are too in competent to / we just couldn't be bothered to develop decent AI, levels, or storyline for the game; so we'll cheap out, say "it's all about the multiplayer", release an incomplete game, and charge you extra for the privilege.

Re:More decent gameplay, less multiplayer (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038194)

The first time I played multiplayer was Doom I on a local lan with three machines. My cousin (a total noob at any kind of gaming ... or PCs) was like one of those target dummies in Oblivion, and my brother and I chased him all over the map blowing him up, mowing him down and generally turning him into dog food. Fun!

One of the last times I played multiplayer, online, was Command & Conquer (yes, the original, and yes, that long ago.) I spent a couple of hours gradually getting the upper hand, and just when I was ready to move on the opposition they quit the game.

Battlefield 1942 held my online interest for a while, but I got fed up when nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody, could seem to manage the idea of scout = spotting, artillery = firing at spotted target. There was a big rush for the planes, then the Big Guns What Go Boom, and then it might have well have been lab rats on the other side of the screen, pounding their keyboards and grinning inanely as the artillery went POP and BANG and FLASH. No idea what they were aiming at - walls, airplanes, the sea - but they were obviously enjoying themselves because even lobbing grenades into their bunkers didn't seem to stop them.

Publishers, publishers, publishers (2, Interesting)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037670)

The current environment encourages developers to unnecessarily toss multiplayer into their games without caring about it — or even considering whether anyone will bother playing it. It’s like they're checking an invisible quota box that demands multiplayer's inclusion.

Developers? No. The checking-off box mentality is created by the execs who look at past performance, market research, and all that boring stuff to come up with very specific ideas about what they want in a game. The developers usually have to build what the publisher asks for if they want to get paid.

Of course if you as a developer think you know better you can always strike out on your own, but most that do don't end up making much money. Thems the breaks.

little kid brother modes (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037680)

The two Super Mario Galaxy games have this "sidekick" feature that lets your little brother have fun while you're playing. You achieve all the tough stuff in the level, while any toddler who wants to sit next to you can wave the wand and collect extra stars that may help you out in some way. I'd love to see more games have a sidekick feature, or a mode which is way easier and open-ended than the beat-a-boss-find-a-bigger-boss treadmill. Say, for each major area in the game, just let somebody putz around and explore, push buttons, be congratulated for finding stuff and reset things so they can "find" them again and again. We don't all start out as an obsessed 14-year-old ready to frag everybody in sight.

Re:little kid brother modes (1)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037764)

Rock Band 2 has a similar mode for little kids and non-gaming adults to play. I agree that it would great as a way to get more non-dedicated gamers to play.

Re:little kid brother modes (1)

Nanoda (591299) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037802)

I enjoy watching my brother play some of his games, and that SMG feature is hilarious. I'd like to see multi-player expand game types; I almost never played COD4 multiplayer, but I almost always like playing puzzle/adventure games (like Monkey Island or Space Quest or what have you) with someone else. Perhaps it's because they were my game of choice in the early 90s (when it was 1 PC per house, not per person), but they don't seem like anywhere near as much fun when played by myself. I'd like to be able to share a screen and controls, and have those arguments about where to go or what to click, and get called an idiot for killing Roger Wilco. :-)

Re:little kid brother modes (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037938)

Jet Force Gemini had something similar, in that a sidekick could help you by shoting enemies, but as the game had creatures you had to rescue alive, the sidekick shouldn't be a baby. Also, it had some sections entirely built for the sidekick, which was a bit of a break in the gameflow actually.

I think gamer interest largely drove the shift (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037686)

Around the late 1990s and early 2000s, there were a number of games with both single-player and multiplayer components, where basically nobody cared about the single-player components, and companies increasingly decided that, as a result, it was hardly worth bothering with them. Starcraft wasn't a success because of its single-player missions, the new single-player missions weren't what sold most copies of the Starcraft: Brood War expansion. Counterstrike was a huge success despite not even having a single-player component. Same with Quake 3 Arena: just ditched the single-player entirely, and did very well.

Re:I think gamer interest largely drove the shift (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037966)

To be fair, Counter-Strike was a free, fan made Half-Life mod before Valve bought it and it became a pay to play game. There are a lot of games that simply use the single player as a sort of training mode for the online multiplayer portion. CoD4 and from what I've heard, Modern Warfare 2 both use this tactic quite a bit. SOCOM 3 for the Playstation 2 was the same way. I've run into very few games that have equally good single and multiplayer functions.

Re:I think gamer interest largely drove the shift (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038066)

Same with Quake 3 Arena: just ditched the single-player entirely, and did very well.

Not entirely true. Quake 3's single player was a very thin gloss over top of the multiplayer, but at least it did have a few aspects to differentiate it from multiplayer... There were multiple tiers, each with a couple levels in them that you had to beat all of before moving on to the next tier, plus it recorded some stats for you. Unfortunately, both of the people who played Quake 3 only for the single player were unavailable for comment.

Re:I think gamer interest largely drove the shift (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038224)

What about rpg's? Those still sell pretty well and are totally single player. The amount of content is expansive though. Maybe its just a value level? For example, most FPS games' single player missions last 5 hours. And then multiplayer is more developed and played. In a jrpg you have 80+ hrs of gameplay. So for $60 its more worth it, if there is no multiplayer, to play the game with more hours of play. Multiplayer adds tons of playtime. So single player games that don't last very long are not worth the buy unless there is multiplayer. Just a thought.

Re:I think gamer interest largely drove the shift (4, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038290)

The trouble aren't really the games that focus completly on multiplayer, but the games that do it as a lackluster sideshow. So instead of focusing all their development power on the singleplayer, they waste time on a second rate multiplayer mode that nobody is going to play anyway.

See Brütal Legend as a horrible example, instead of doing the proper singleplayer game that people wanted, they have created this hybrid of a ultra short singleplayer campaign combined with a lame multiplayer mode. It kind of boggles my mind how anybody could look at that concept and consider it a good idea. But there are of cause plenty of other games where the multilpayer mode is basically just there so that they can say "Hey, we have multiplayer to!".

If developers don't care enough about multiplayer to make it really good, they just should give up on it and focus on singleplayer, as a multiplayer that nobody plays is basically less then worthless. It is kind of the same with MMORPGs, you have to be really really good if you want to compete against WoW, if that is to much, then there is little point in even trying.

Want more local (split screen) multiplayer (1)

rob_osx (851996) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037692)

I'm looking for games that I can play with friends and family in my home. Who plays D&D by themselves? Games are more enjoyable when it is a shared experience. I'm not the "average" gamer, but I know a lot of families that would love a LOCAL 4 player Lego Star Wars or a LOCAL 4 player RPG. I think this is why some of the Wii games are so popular, it allows multiple people to play simultaneously.

Re:Want more local (split screen) multiplayer (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037864)

They'd much rather you buy another console and game.

Re:Want more local (split screen) multiplayer (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038260)

If thats the situation I wont buy the games or the consoles. I want good single player games and good local multiplayer (Screen sharing). If you dont offer that, then the suggestion that I will buy 2 of everything (consoles, tvs, and the game) is laughable.

Indie local multiplayer? (0, Offtopic)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037958)

but I know a lot of families that would love a LOCAL 4 player Lego Star Wars or a LOCAL 4 player RPG.

I'll help you if you can help me solve this: Local multiplayer game development still appears to be a very closed environment where indies can't thrive. An indie local multiplayer game can work with four USB gamepads plugged into a hub, but it needs a PC within a cable's reach of an HDTV. But a lot of families still use a standard-definition TV, and even those that have an HDTV with HDMI and VGA inputs usually don't have a spare PC with non-Intel graphics to put next to the TV. One Slashdot user has recommended making the game for the PC not with the intention of selling copies for the PC but instead as a "pilot" to get picked up by a major publisher who will fund a console port. What publisher takes such games?

Multi-Player is my first and top game requirement (1)

thinktech (1278026) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037694)

Not for the competitive aspect of multi-player, but for the cooperative aspect. If I can't enjoy a game with my family or friends, it's little more than an intriguing version of solitaire. I read books for self-enjoyment. For games, I want other people.

Too Little? (1)

jonxor (1841382) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037696)

I think multiplayer modes are often overlooked, and thrown in as an afterthought with most developers, But I think attention to them should be increased, not eliminated. I have never had a game where I said "Darn, there is multiplayer". It's true that many games just aren't suited to multiplayer, like story-heavy RPG's (Except Diablo) and Civilization multiplayers (Besides people who have a few days to finish a game). But, Multiplayer is like the un-programmable level. Once you have mastered the single-player aspect of a game, what is there left? It is a great boon to the re-playability of a game to be able to go on and face human opponents. It almost seems like a necessity on some games, so much so that the fans go on to write it themselves (Such as the case with multi-theft auto for GTA3, Vice City, And San Andreas). I don't think there has been any significant percentage of games with a properly implemented multiplayer system that went mostly un-used.

Re:Too Little? (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037768)

I fully agree with what you're thinking here. They know that once a player has beaten the game, no matter the difficulty, they may not care to keep playing it after that. They toss in a multiplayer to keep interest in the game so it can keep selling more copies.

A big part of the reason the Halo's and the COD's sell is not because of the single player elements. I've encountered numerous people who couldn't care less about single player. They play the games for the notoriously fun multiplayer. A gaming company should keep this in mind if they're going to put in multiplayer at all. If you do it, make sure it's fun and addictive. If you can't manage to get it right, don't bother putting it in. Because really, the resources could be saved, or even used on other areas to polish the game.

Character classes or expansion packs (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037996)

Once you have mastered the single-player aspect of a game, what is there left?

Play through again with a different character class. Publishers assume that once you finish that, you'll have earned enough at your day job to buy expansion packs and sequels.

both are good (4, Insightful)

headonfire (160408) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037718)

Personally I like both qualities, depending on the game. A game that I can pick up any time and play solo is probably going to get more attention from me in general, but having the option of multiplayer is good, too. It really depends on the game - it definitely shouldn't be shoehorned in, but at the same time, it can be a fun bonus feature in an otherwise solo game.

Prototype comes to mind - a primarily solo game that game would've been a riot if i could bring in a buddy or two with all that superpowered and disembowel-ly fun to spread some chaos on the unsuspecting city, but it did hold up well as single player only - all the focus was on the solo campaign with no distractions of deathmatches or arenas or any junk like that shoehorned in. It just comes down to making a decision on the type of game you want to produce and to make sure that you do it right all around. I play Borderlands solo pretty regularly, for example, but I could be playing with friends any time and it would be a relatively seamless experience. Putting multiplayer into Bioshock 2, however, I thought was a horrific waste - it just doesn't "fit" the game, the environment, the atmosphere. It seems like it cheapens the experience. Gamers aren't right about what they want all the time, and this was one of those times. (I don't know what invisible horde it was that was clamoring for multi in bioshock 2, but thanks a lot guys. that's time and money they could've put into making the single player game actually better than the first.)

What more can be said? Multiplayer and single player both have their places. I played Fallout 3 and loved it, very much a solo game. On the other hand I play Team Fortress 2 like a maniac, and conceptually it's the very core of multiplayer.

Re:both are good (1)

ffejie (779512) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037976)

Mod parent up.

Bioshock was a phenomenal game, that had absolutely no multiplayer (if memory serves) and it was wonderful. Sure, I would have loved a kick ass multiplayer component, but not at the expense of the rest of the game. Bioshock 2 has a bolt on multiplayer component and I haven't once even thought to load it up. I know it's bad. I know it's an uninspired waste because it doesn't "fit the game, the environment, the atmosphere" as the parent says.

Co-op. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038042)

It is possible to use some single-player game design techniques, and possibly even the game's existing single-player scenario, for cooperative multiplayer. If the players don't stray too far apart, or the game takes the Super Mario Galaxy approach of having player 1 do all the work and player 2 do minor things, you don't even have to split the screen.

Online sux!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33037724)

I hate online games or should I say online gamers. I don't get to pay that often so when I do play I don't want a bunch people that have nothing better to than play games all day giving me crap for it. I think we need to focus on single player games more instead. I can't tell how many times you watch a review on a game just to hear that the single player sux and the multiplayer is great. I didn't become a geek to meet people.

Demon's Souls is very well balanced (3, Informative)

F34nor (321515) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037728)

This game rocks BTW. On one level if you attempt to get multi-player coop help you are abducted by the level end boss and become his unwitting proxy. You must fight another person playing the game. This makes that level very hard as equipment, tactics, and skill are all essentially random. This is really just the cream on the top of the almost transparent but pervasive and enticing multi-player world. Demon's Souls is the shit.

Re:Demon's Souls is very well balanced (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038000)

Great game. Challenging but not nearly as hard as I expected given some of the whining, and I'm not even one of those weirdos who think dying 1000 times per level is just the bestest fun. But eventually I had to go offline with it to finish it. For those who have not played, you can, given certain conditions, be sent into the game of another player online and attack them without any permission on their part other than the fact that they are playing the game. It seemed at some point I had interlopers coming into my game to attack me every two fracking minutes, and I didn't want to have to play in soul mode all the damn time (which prevents attacks). The occasional challenge was fine, but I think it got to the point where a lot of people finished the main game, so you had legions of OCD guys sitting in their dorms just attacking other people all day. It supposedly connects you to another player at random, so how many people had to be playing that way for that frequency of attack? Sheesh! So, neat experiment, but maybe for Demon Soul's 2 they should have a checkbox that disallows that, or separate the single and multiple player a bit more. The "tips" left by other players were rarely useful.

Don't multiplay much (4, Interesting)

BlueBat (748360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037770)

I rarely ever use the multiplayer parts of the games that I own. I don't like griefers and the such. I just want to play the game and complete the quests and such. I don't need the harassment and bother that these jerks bring to the games. I buy games to have fun, not be frustrated.

And where are the bots?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33037772)

I have become less and less interested in multiplayer because of the increasing number of people who can't seem to just sit down and enjoy the game for what it is. They're so busy trying to get their experience points and their multiplayer bonuses (not to mention just being overall rude) that the fun is no longer there for them. I've restricted myself almost exclusively to single player games or PC multiplayer games that still allow bots so that friends and I can log onto my server and we go against the bots in co-op mode. Fortunately, there are still games that don't have a useless multiplayer mode wedged in, such as Pandemic's swan song, "The Saboteur" or games that have a very satisfying single-player mode, like "Red Dead Redemption".

But for the most part if my PC gaming buddies and I don't have bots that we can go against together, we'll just stick with older games like R6V, R6V2, Ghost Recon, and the Unreal Tournament line.

Time sink (5, Insightful)

Bruinwar (1034968) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037786)

For me, multiplayer games require time to learn to be functional in it. Maybe too much time. Time to learn the maps, the strats, to not be a noob. It's not fun to be frag meat.
With all the extra time I put in these days at work, not to mention stress, my gaming time is more limited.

I prefer single player more now. Single player means just moving along at my own pace. No pressure, no matches, no expectations.

Re:Time sink (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038314)

For me, multiplayer games require time to learn to be functional in it. Maybe too much time. Time to learn the maps, the strats, to not be a noob. It's not fun to be frag meat.
With all the extra time I put in these days at work, not to mention stress, my gaming time is more limited.

I prefer single player more now. Single player means just moving along at my own pace. No pressure, no matches, no expectations.

I agree wholeheartedly. I dont have the time or inclination to not be the noob. I work, I go to school, I have a life. Yes I enjoy playing video games, but if you dont play for hours on end you never leave the noob status. Most of the elites or experts or whatever on the games are young teenagers who apparently have nothing better to do but spend hours and hours and hours playing the game.

Multiplayer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33037792)

Why, whatever do you mean? Multiplayer hasn't been in most games for ages.
It is all "ONLINE ONLINE ONLINE" these days. If anything, there is a lack of ACTUAL multiplayer, not online..

People want to play multiplayer with friends at house quite often.
Not everyone has a decent connection for online play, nowhere near even half of them do. (via several reports from the actual companies themselves!)
Online is, quite literally, the lazy multiplayer, but significantly more expensive in the long run unless you are running advertising in-game, which very little companies do surprisingly. (especially on PS3 and Wii where it could actually be used with the web browser)

I'm not trying to say that online is shit, it isn't, i play it every so often as well, hell Lead & Gold was a favorite of mines for a while to kill some time.
But developers rarely focus on multiplayer these days.

Also, i wish people would stop grouping online and multiplayer, it is annoying.
Multiplayer is offline, "console connect" and LAN, online [word] is WAN / internet.
In before the dictionary Nazis come flying in on their blimps, neither of them have been grouped together until online play started becoming the norm in console games, now every idiot mixes up multiplayer and online.
Online is only multiplayer with respect to remote play. It is not multiplayer within the scope of the gaming unit.
Yes, i do hate MMO and MMOG terms too. Most annoying gaming terminology EVER.

Re:Multiplayer? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33038032)

Chill out, gramps and welcome to the 21st century, where you don't need to set up your own network to play with other people.

Multiplayer grew up and encompasses more than just you and your circle of console friends. You can still have your little LAN parties and enjoy Bagel Bites and Mt. Dew while the adults expand their social circles.

I wouldn't say the problem is with multiplayer (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037800)

I'd say the problem is the preponderance of squeaky-voiced racist children. Multiplayer games need better filters to keep out the riff-raff.

Re:I wouldn't say the problem is with multiplayer (0, Troll)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037896)

I know! Require them to use their real names. That'll fix it.

Re:I wouldn't say the problem is with multiplayer (4, Insightful)

demonbug (309515) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038130)

I'd say the problem is the preponderance of squeaky-voiced racist children. Multiplayer games need better filters to keep out the riff-raff.

That's one of the things that is driving me away from multiplayer games. This problem used to be more or less solved; I'd only play on servers with active admins that would kick/ban people like that. Sadly the major developers/publishers seem to have decided that this is somehow bad, and instead like to match me up with random fuckwads with no way of getting rid of them or choosing a specific server to play on. They all seem to be taking a step backwards in this respect, apparently thinking that a server list is way too complicated for us "consumers", allowing people to set up their own dedicated hosts is evil, and generally sacrificing my ability to play where and how I see fit in the name of idiocies such as global "accomplishments" and stat tracking (seriously? Does anyone actually care about that crap?).

As long as I can opt out (5, Insightful)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037810)

I go for single-player games. For me, gaming is about escapism -- and the story / plot. This is why I love playing Oblivion but won't touch WoW or other MMORPGs. Sartre said it best: "L'enfer, c'est les autres." ("Hell is other people.")

Re:As long as I can opt out (2, Interesting)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038172)

I firmly belive that I am among the very few people who have played the entire half-life series, and yet have spent less than 10 minutes playing any source or goldsource multiplayer game.

I play RTS games solely for the single player campaigns. I would get bored with the skirmish mode very quickly, and have zero interest in the multiplayer mode.

Playing local multiplayer with friends is indeed fun, but I don't have any friends over (pretty much ever), so I generally find that pretty worthless.

coop (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037824)

I enjoy multiplayer games, but it needs to be a cooperative mode play, i.e. "together against the AI". I tend to play with the same people, my RL friends, and usually we have a few people which are very good at one game, while the others are less awesome. Competitive games tend to be quite boring when you have always the same people winning. A cooperative game on the other hand allows everybody to enjoy the game, because you work together in a team, and it does not really matter that much if one player has more skill than the others. That's why we like games like the Diablo series, the Baldur's Gate series, Command&Conquer, shooters like the old Battlefield ones which allowed you to play cooperatively against a computer-controlled enemy team and so on. But for some reason many game companies think it is totally awesome to publish games in which you can play multiplayer, but only AGAINST each other, and not together against the computer.

Good game is good game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33037832)

I don't think multiplayer matters. Whether it be multiplayer or single player, as long as the game can deliver an enjoyable gaming experience then I think it is a success.
I do feel that there is too much focus on multiplayer. When will the powers-that-be figure out that a good game is still a good game, whether it has multiplayer or not?

They don't have a choice now. (4, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037834)

Making a big part of the game online is the only way publishers (developers tend not to care as much) can ensure they can have some sort of effective copy protection (since DRMs don't work because they don't control the client...but they sure as hell can control the servers).

Obviously that doesn't apply to peer-to-peer multiplayers that don't require any interaction with a central server. Sure, you can have an independent server to bypass the need of the main one, but then you lose a big chunk of the community. Not 100% effective, but sure as hell more effective than 99.9999% of DRM out there, so publishers go that route.

How many time do you hear hardcore pirates going "Bah, im gonna buy this game, I want to play online". I know I do almost daily... (yes, daily)

i never player single player or multiplayer (1)

dicobalt (1536225) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037868)

When it comes to FPS games I play thru single player once then I only use multiplayer. When it comes to strategy games I never use multiplayer because it's always boiled down to a rush for resources - which is boring.

Re:i never player single player or multiplayer (1)

shemp42 (1406965) | more than 4 years ago | (#33037964)

I agree with this to some extent. It really depends on the game. FPS games I really only like the MP. SP seems to be so repetitive and boring. The AI just sucks compared to a real person. On a game like GTA the single player was the best, although the MP was fun. I was pleasantly surprised with Dirt 2. The single player was fun, but wow the MP just blew it away. After 200 hours of MP, if I try to play SP then I have to turn it up to the hardest difficulty and even then I just smoke the AI. I still think MP is where it is at, no matter how good AI is it will never compare to playing against "real" people. And I use the term never loosely, because I am sure one day it will be able to compete.

Why is it always competitive? (1)

TomXP411 (860000) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038002)

I've played a lot of games on consoles, PC's, handhelds, and in the arcade.

I keep seeing the same problems with multiplayer: they often ARE added in as an afterthought, and on too many games, the multi-player play is missing some vital element of the single-player mode. A big problem for me is when a game doesn't have a co-op mode, or when co-op is somehow gimped.

For example, Doom was probably the first effect multi-player game with deathmatch and co-op play, but co-op mode would suffer when you ran out of ammo: you'd spawn at the start point and try to take down massive monsters with the shotgun. Despite that, my friends and I loved playing through the game in co-op.

On the Playstation, I loved the Need for Speed series, but I got frustrated by the fact that I had to play through and unlock tracks in single-player mode before I could compete on them in multi-player mode. Mario Kart on the Wii is the same way. Why is there no multi-player quest mode that lets my kid and I unlock new tracks by playing together?

On the other hand, when you get in to MMO's, they tend to require multiple users in order to complete objectives. You can't do everything there is to do in most MMO's if you're not part of a regular group.

I think there are places for both styles of play, and they often overlap. Diablo is a good example of a game that handles both MP and solo play well: you can play co-op, PVP, or solo and have a good experience in any of the three modes. It could be better (I can think of better ways to scale difficulty than the way Diablo does it, for example), but it may be the only game I can think of that has balanced game play in any mode.

I'd like to see more developers follow this example.

Single Player is key (4, Interesting)

ceraphis (1611217) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038060)

Devs need to have multiplayer be an afterthought after designing a core, solid single player experience. Either that or have an established user base or famous IP behind the multiplayer.

Take Halo for example, it started as a great single player story with a great combat system (and a second buddy allowed to bum around with you but not shown on cutscenes), and local multiplayer that became extremely popular.

Halo 2 followed the story (but was considered a story flop compared to the first) but turned the multiplayer into quite possibly one of the most thriving multiplayer systems in at least console history. Halo 3 comes around and incorporates even more multiplayer into the campaign, and again continues the multiplayer. It all started with a core single player experience.

COD4, that started the whole FPS as RPG experience, had a comparatively short story mode, but, what a surprise, they started the franchise with COD that was primarily a top notch single player experience. So again, they built upon a successful single player franchise to create a very popular multiplayer experience.

Starcraft, just to point out this isn't limited to FPS, built upon a solid single player experience and was also the first of the craft games to have multiplayer, unsurprisingly it became a crazy hit. Everyone who is interested in Dragon Age has probably mused about how fun multiplayer could be if it was done right. GTA followed this to the T as well, and unsurprisingly most fans liked the multiplayer. Portal was a primarily single player experience that was lauded like crazy. If they come out with a great multiplayer mode in part deux it will possibly be the next big thing. Plan multiplayer for the sequel seems to be the most direct way to make cash moneys. Or at least focus on the single player first.

The only thing is, there do seem to be some exceptions. Counter Strike, Team Fortress 1+2 for example, but those could be attributed as the "real" multiplayer modes of half life and HL2. Shadowrun was completely multiplayer and was a hilarious flop (even though the gameplay wasn't bad).

Are there any extremely successful multiplayer games that either didn't have a extremely successful single player experience that preceded it, a strong pedigree or were popular PC mods?

Multiplayer = Longer game lifespan (4, Insightful)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038118)

Multiplayer mode is one of those features that relatively few players use, but almost everyone surveyed say they will use. Go figure.

However, one conclusion is very clear (as seen at various discussions on Gamasutra and at GDC Austin): multiplayer is seen by developers as an excellent way to extend the lifespan of a game. Multiplayer is essentially free content. The idea is that a player will keep coming back for multiplayer, thus keeping the title fresh in their minds, and making it more likely they will buy expansions or sequels. Is this true? Case-by-case basis.

I suspect that until multiplayer gaming is cleaned up (something done to lock out griefers and cheaters, and deal with bad behavior generically), many people will quickly find that multiplayer play loses its sparkle. As the industry is starting to realize, if a game is associated with nothing but a bad experience due to a cretinous few, it won't matter that it's not the publisher's fault. A player will say "Crysis, yeah, that's where the aimbots are at, and that's where I get called a fag every five seconds", then go off to TF2 (which enjoys a better reputation for being more supportive towards n00bs like me). In a situation like that, someone will be more likely to buy TF3 than Crysis 2, because of the negativity surrounding the one and the positivity surrounding the other. Fair or otherwise, that's reality.

Multiplayer and Nintendo Friend Codes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33038166)

I just want to mention the fact that Nintendo has been doing everything in its power to ruin multiplayer for its games (friend codes). I believe that Nintendo views multiplayer as a threat to its business. If people put 1000's of hours into a good multiplayer game, they won't need to buy any other games.

This is something that Nintendo does not like - hence friend codes, and making the system so awkward that less people (other than the dedicated) use it.

Many potential great multiplayer games have been ruined by friend codes.

If it's a FPS (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038210)

It better have good multiplayer. I haven't even touched the single player campaign of MW2 but I play online daily. Play the Medal of Honor beta that's out right now and then say multiplayer doesn't matter. DICE doesn't seem to think so with the crap job they did on MoH's multiplayer.

I agree with OP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33038238)

I totally agree with the OP. I almost never play multi-player and games which feature a multi-player only demo get promptly ignored. I feel that there has been very little added to multi-player games since the early days. Almost everything (with the exception of RTS) is just a rehash of capture the flag, [team]deathmatch, guy with the ball, guard the base, attack the base, etc... You get the idea. After 7 years of UT, CoD, Halo, MGS4 online, etc... it all just feels the same. I want games with a plot, with engaging concepts and visuals, bring on the action (but lets make it some bitchin AI, not some 12yo douche).

I gravitate toward multiplayer nowadays (5, Interesting)

Jay Tarbox (48535) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038274)

I no longer enjoy playing against 1's and 0's once I've played against humans. It's much more challenging and satisfying as well. Nothing beats making a headshot across the map and just KNOWING that someone is pissed off. When hit by said shot, I'm both pissed and admiring the shot as well.

And the real reason is... Money ! (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33038312)

The real reason for writing multiplayer games is that you can force people to pay every month to have access to your server.

Frankly, every game developer knows that doing a multiplayer game takes a lot more time than doing a single player game, and also it's pretty boring to code (yes, I wrote several multiplayer games several years ago).

But when you realize that the most successful games are multiplayer because of the subscriptions, it would be dumb to miss this opportunity.

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