2player games

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by Sparks, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. Sparks

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    Hi, my fellow indies !

    I would like to discuss the success of singleplayer vs 2player games.
    Do singleplayer games sell better, and if so, what's the ratio ?
    I am thinking of 2player splitscreen games, not over LAN and such....
     
  2. Raptisoft

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    Well... adding the multiplayer to Hamsterball didn't seem to help anything. :) Given the option, we wouldn't do that again.
     
  3. Sparks

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    :)

    So, I am wondering about the market's acceptance for games like beat'em'ups or racing games in the tradition of Amiga games (like Jaguar or Outrun).
    Playing vs a buddy that just came over to visit was great fun in the old days.
    Do casual gamers do that or do they really prefer playing alone ?
    I know some casual gamers who actually prefer to play with their partner but
    rather the "hot seat" way or by commenting the other's game....
    I also had always great fun playing co-op with friends against the computer...maybe that's an idea to build upon...could lead to new gameplay ideas...
     
  4. Hiro_Antagonist

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    Of the two casual games publishers I talked to about publishing my game, one considered my multi-player modes worthless, the other considered it harmful. (The latter didn't want the cost or reponsibility of hosting the lobby and game servers.)

    That being said, I feel it adds tremendous value to my game, and the publisher I ended up signing (*not* a casual games publisher) has been very supportive. I can't say how much it'll increase sales, if at all, because I'll have nothing to compare it to...

    -Hiro_Antagonist
     
  5. Martoon

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    I think it depends how it's done. From what I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong), Pocket Tanks is a pretty successful game with very little marketing invested in it. It requires two players at one computer to play, and this is the key to its success. Playing the game, by definition, builds community. You have to get your friend to play it with you (since you can't play alone), your friend goes home and plays it with his little brother, his little brother has his friends over, etc. I think an important factor with Pocket Tanks is that the "demo" version never expires, and is fun even if you never register (but the "full" version adds even more). This means that even the cheapskates who play it a lot but never register are still contributing by spreading the community. Once again, correct me if I'm wrong. This is all second hand info (I don't play Pocket Tanks myself).
     
  6. Coyote

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    Are you talking two players at the same machine simultaneously, a "hotseat"-style approach, play-by-email, and/or multiplayer over LAN / Internet.

    Void War is primarily a multiplayer game. While I don't regret that decision --- the game began life as a hobby project, not a business decision, and it was to make a game that I wanted to play. But if I'd gotten rid of all the multiplayer stuff and focused entirely on the single-player game, I could have almost doubling the amount of effort and polish I could have put into the single-player game, and I'd not have had to make so many compromises to it to accomodate the multiplayer mode.

    I wouldn't have gotten the multiplayer game of the year award from GT, but I probably would have gotten a lot more sales. Multiplayer just doesn't seem to be a big turn-on for the market segment we currently have access to. Granted, there was also a lot of community-building that could have been done from within Void War itself that would have helped get people together better to play the game with each other. That could have made a huge difference - or very little at all. For the immediate future, I'm seeing multiplayer as a nice 'feature add' to a game that's mostly just an extra bullet point in a features list, if you aren't doing it to satisfy your own game development hankerings.
     
  7. James C. Smith

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    [Sorry, I can’t help but focus on mass market games more than indie games, but there is enough crossover that I think it is still relevant.] Historically, there has been almost no multiplayer support in the “ultra causal†“mega hits†games that top the Real Arcade best seller list. I believe this is just because it hasn’t been done well enough yet as opposed to some kind of inherent dislike for multiplayer games. It is also just something that market isn't used to yet. We hope to overcome that. As long as the game has a good single player mode, adding multi-player should make the game great. But I would have doubts about the success of a multi-player only game. Not everyone has a friend to play with. I think if you can get them hooked on the single player mode, and tantalize them with multi-player, they will invite a friend over to play multi-player. (But only after they are already hooked). But other people will already have friends to play with and they will search out games with multi-player support.

    I reminisce about the good old days when I played head to head against my brother in Atari games. It didn’t matter how bad the game was, it was fun to play against someone setting next to you. It has been hard to get the same feeling in PC games. Hot seat multi-player is fun, but not as fun as simultaneous play. But the controls available on PCs just don’t lend themselves to simultaneous play on one computer. I think (hope) that is starting to change. Now it is cheap and easy to connect two mice to one computer and the Operating Systems are finally starting to allow you to read each mouse independently.

    See the Mouse Partyâ„¢ topic I started for more info on using two mice on one computer and the efforts we are making to standardize and promote games that do this.

    Big Kahuna Reef supports multiple simultaneous players in a single computer using Mouse Party™. So far we haven’t gotten a lot of feedback about the Mouse Party™ part of BKR. Many people love Big Kahuna Reef, but only a small percent of them rave about the Mouse Party™ mode. I think a lot of people just don’t try it because their computer doesn’t have two mice attached. But as more and more games support multiple mice, more players with have multi-mouse computers.
     
  8. James C. Smith

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    In his opening question, Sparks specifically said splitscreen not LAN.

     
  9. Jack Norton

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    I got some request for adding 2 player mode to my last game Supernova, but probably in the end I won't make it, because split screen would be impossible, and I don't want to spend 1 month to make a internet multiplayer game, there are too many troubles associated... :eek:
     
  10. tentons

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    My upcoming game is 2-player only (at the same computer), but I'll probably add some 1-player modes for spice and practice. I don't even think about what the market "accepts" or what other games are doing, because that tends to box you into artificial boundaries. Make your game fun, and it won't matter what other games do or what publishers think will work. The fact is, nobody knows until they try.

    So why create limits? :) I'm just going for it.
     
  11. Sparks

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    Yeah, that sounds right.
    After all, I had so many game ideas in the past that I didn't do because of considerations, while others just went ahead and did it, and were successfull.
    Build it, and they will play it, so to speak :)
     
  12. joe

    joe
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    I think a 2-Player only game that is fun could sell well. Of course you won't have the usual casual gamer as customer and you probably must change your traditional marketing-ways for such a game.

    But you'll have one big advantage: When it's real fun people would play it together, and they will invite their friends to play the game, so you will have a great word-of-mouth advertising.

    One last note: Last month a friend visited me at home and we tought we could play some games together. I searched for fun 2-player games on google, but my search wasn't successful.
     

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