Hybrid Multiplayer Mess

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Of course, this definitely wouldn't work as a triple-A game, but just as a fun little downloadable indie thing. Which is just as well, because if it were triple-A the publisher wouldn't release it until we worked in some quick time events and got Nolan North to voice a wacky sidekick.

yes... oh dear god yes, why does every developer and its dog have to HAVE things others had??

seriously, I remember AC:Brotherhood when the first thing you are shown is a battle, cannon fire spreading left and right!! EVERYTHING looks AMAZING, you see the assasin jump and "QTE!!!!!"

i almost dropped the controller!!

and then.. Nolan North... hahahahaha

the qte didnt even helped, and as the Unskippable bunch said "so what, if i failed the qte it would have being game over right there???"

yeah...

On the video game idea - check out some mods.

Half-Life 2 Mod called "Overwatch" is exactly that. One places things and makes combine and headcrabs show up while the other four players act as resistance.

Natural Selection 2 should be something like what he's talking about as well.

His idea actually sounds very appealing. I don't think I've ever seen a survival-horror game done in that kind of way (unless you count Maze Action, which wasn't survival-horror or any good), and mixing that kind of multiplayer genre with something in the style of, say Amnesia or Call of Cthulhu, could be great fun.

Also, I have played Mindjack now. I didn't even bother looking into the multiplayer part (mainly because my Xbox isn't hooked up to the internet), but you know what? As a simple, mindless sci-fi shooter (no pun intended there), it wasn't that bad. In small doses at a time, I actually had some good fun with it. While it wasn't the Damnation kind of quality where the game is so bad it ends up being more awesome than most big-name titles on the market, I did actually enjoy it for what it was. Then again, I went into the game with zero expectations.

Essentially exists already as a Half-life 2 mod.

Games like this exist in droves as WC3 (and presumably SC2) custom maps. The usual problem they have is that maybe one or two players with an idea of what's effective can absolutely destroy the other players.

mjc0961:

snowman6251:
I really wish Yahtzee played enough Demon's Souls to get to a point where he'd be invaded. If he hated the hybrid format of multiplayer in Mindjack I can't even imagine how much he'd hate having someone raid his world and kick his ass right before the boss in Demon's Souls, sending all the way back to the start yet again.

From the sound of things in the review, he was dying too much to have to worry about that one.
I do too. Honestly I don't know why I bother suiciding in the Nexus after every boss, I'm just going to die anyway. But whatever it takes to keep other players from coming in uninvited and ruining my game.

Or you can avoid the problems by simply not logging into PSN. All the trophies can be collected offline, so by staying online you're basically asking to be invaded. Oh sure, you'll lose the messages on the ground and the bloodstains but that's a small price to pay as far as I'm concerned.

OT: I have two things to comment on. First of all, great article. And second:

the release of generic mediocrities like Mindjack

Are you praising the game, Yahtzee?

I do wonder why the horror genre hasn't experienced more multiplayer as it does seem a near perfect fit. Heck, the blending of stealth and momentary action in AC:B is almost a horror game multiplayer template already, all it needs is to be reskinned. Of course, this, just as with AC:B, would rely on players playing the game properly to begin with so it may not be worth the bother.

Interesting article but I can't help but feel that basing your game's design by genre is needlessly restricting yourself. If it's fun, if it's a good game, it really shouldn't matter where it fits into currently established genres.

Also Brutal Legend's gameplay was badly explained, not badly designed. It actually worked very fluidly once you got over the initial spike of the learning curve.

Right, ok so you think; that if the developers cut down on production values and spent a little longer on actually designing the thing that they would actually make innovative AAA titles rather than attributing AAA quality to having the most refined nick-naks, okay doke.

Personally Im inclined to call Minecraft AAA meself. Its not got a realistic physics engine, but it does do something which is more or less otherwise impossible in a way which is easy for the average anthropoid to get into their heads.

Quality is not defined by HD graphics, but by the concept of the design, like a car which uses less fuel, produces little noise and goes fast but doesn't look like something you'd ever actually drive. Serves the purpose, but isn't astatically pleasing like.

/Two pennies

I want that game o.o

Sounds good :o

although I do like the sound of a human director in L4D 8|

WanderingFool:

Klumpfot:
Someone start a Facebook campaign for the video game idea proposed at the end there. Facebook's the only way things get done these days.

And I still think its evil... but an interesting idea, just like the RTS/FPS hybrid idea.

see: Savage 2.

the Commanders of the teams play it much like an RTS, everyone else plays it much like a tps/fps, and while there are some AI builders, players are able to mine and build faster than their AI counterparts.

But I would so love playing a game like what was described, a 4 v 4 or such survival horror game [because I hate all incarnations of 1 v 1 games, fucking Splinter Cell Conviction] where one team controls spawn points of monsters using the system Yahtzee described.

only thing that would make it better would be a persistent character system that let you make whatever kind of player you wanted to be [damage, healing, melee, ect.]

WanderingFool:

Klumpfot:
Someone start a Facebook campaign for the video game idea proposed at the end there. Facebook's the only way things get done these days.

And I still think its evil... but an interesting idea, just like the RTS/FPS hybrid idea.

Reminds me of an old PS1 or PS2 game where you set up traps in advance of the AI showing up and you needing to lead them around 1 of 3 types to injure/kill them with no direct combat from you but the AI could be knights, thieves or crossbowman etc. making you need to be versatile.

Grouchy Imp:
So the basic proposal at the end there was for a Space Crusade/Space Hulk type of game? Well I suppose a modern reboot couldn't hurt...

Overall though I'm not a fan of crossover/hybrid games, simply because they tend not to include enough of a genre to satisfy the fans of the genres involved. An RPG/FPS game (lets say Fallout 3) doesn't have enough RPG elements to cater to the RPG crowd, and the combat mechanics aren't tight enough to appease the diehard FPS gamer. Compromise just sells both sides of the arguement short.

And yet a metric fucktonne of praise and money was heaped on it.

I think there's a flaw in your argument.

random_bars:
Interesting article but I can't help but feel that basing your game's design by genre is needlessly restricting yourself. If it's fun, if it's a good game, it really shouldn't matter where it fits into currently established genres.

Also Brutal Legend's gameplay was badly explained, not badly designed. It actually worked very fluidly once you got over the initial spike of the learning curve.

I'm surprised people who've played Brutal Legend never bring up Sacrifice. I can only figure it's because it's a long lost Shiny classic doomed along with Giants: Citizen Kabuto and MDK to be forgotten.

All the same, it did the same type of gameplay Brutal Legend tried to do, mixing third-person spellslinging with RTS tactics and building summoning. Not to mention they are stylistically quite similar


The only thing Brutal Legend does different gameplay wise is add meleé combat for the player character and the ability to upgrade your units (Though -how- you cast spells in Brutal Legend is a very nice touch that I enjoyed immensely). That and brutally (heh) force what is essentially one game long escort quest ontop of us. Good thing the cast and humor mostly make up for its failings.

To continue the refutations, an FPS/RTS hybrid that worked: Battlezone. Not the original mind you, but the almost completely unrelated Activision Battlezone for the PC, you know, before they went all evil. You start of most missions as a commander piloting your hovertank but are able to give orders to other units, set up buildings, build defenses and units and harvest resources. All in first person. And, you can even jump out of (or eject if the need arises) your tank and snipe an enemy vehicle or call a friendly unit to pick you up. What's interesting is that the true base building elements don't actually come in to play until much later in the game, and your initial buildings for most missions are actually large specialised vehicles themselves that need to be docked on geothermal vents in order to start producing units and weapons.

I really wish they'd make some more RTS + Something else hybrids, because they can work.

The balance of power idea between tradition heroes and traditional villains when both are being played by a player is tricky one. Some board games have done it well, like Descent: Journeys in the Dark in which one player is the evil Overlord and up to four players are the heroes. It balances the four buffed-up heroes against the Overlord's fodder monsters quite well. (Does less well with fewer players, though, it's really optimized for a 5 player game.)

GothmogII:
-snip-

I had heard of those games, actually. I guess I just didn't really think enough other people had to make bringing them up worth it. I'm confused though - are you saying Sacrifice and Brutal Legend do the action/RTS thing well or not?

random_bars:

GothmogII:
-snip-

I had heard of those games, actually. I guess I just didn't really think enough other people had to make bringing them up worth it. I'm confused though - are you saying Sacrifice and Brutal Legend do the action/RTS thing well or not?

Sorry...got lost in a sea of nostalgia. But, yes and no: I think Sacrifice did it well. And Brutal Legend did it less well.

GothmogII:
Sorry...got lost in a sea of nostalgia. But, yes and no: I think Sacrifice did it well. And Brutal Legend did it less well.

Ah right. Hmm, less well how? I haven't played Sacrifice, but I'd definitely like to once I get a computer that would run it (I'm using a netbook right now). I think Brutal Legend did the genre mix pretty well, though - what's better in Sacrifice?

EDIT: Also you forgot the double teams from the list of differences, which IMO are the most fun part of Brutal Legend. I've heard they're kind of similar to the whole vehicle piloting mechanic you mentioned in Battlezone? Sorry I sound clueless - although I'm interested in these games (Sacrifice and Battlezone), I don't really know much about them.

WanderingFool:

Klumpfot:
Someone start a Facebook campaign for the video game idea proposed at the end there. Facebook's the only way things get done these days.

And I still think its evil... but an interesting idea, just like the RTS/FPS hybrid idea.

The game your wanting is Zombie Master. An EXCELLENT sourcemod that put a player in control of zombies and traps. Alot of the maps are very well made so the chances of each team winning is about 50/50.

Go download and play it now. If you don't have a PC, buy one, the OJ box and then download it and play it. It is a TON of fun.

Edit: Empires (another sourcemod) also does FPS/RTS cross, But its more like Battlefield 1942 crossed with CnC generals. It is also very good.

mjc0961:

snowman6251:
I really wish Yahtzee played enough Demon's Souls to get to a point where he'd be invaded. If he hated the hybrid format of multiplayer in Mindjack I can't even imagine how much he'd hate having someone raid his world and kick his ass right before the boss in Demon's Souls, sending all the way back to the start yet again.

From the sound of things in the review, he was dying too much to have to worry about that one.
I do too. Honestly I don't know why I bother suiciding in the Nexus after every boss, I'm just going to die anyway. But whatever it takes to keep other players from coming in uninvited and ruining my game.

I used to enter other people's games as a black phantom, gain their trust and help them plow through the stage cuz the enemies wouldn't attack me. Good times. We're not all bad!

i haven't ever gotten a chance to play dungeon keeper, but from what i recall the heroes are only AI, so if you could hybridize that where the hero is also a player and the dungeon master was the player, that would be pretty sweet.

shadowmazer:

MasAcERd:
that sounds alot like the haunted mod for unreal tournament 3

Or the Zombie Master mod for Source (though I guess both have multiple players against the enemy commander, so they're not quite the same.)

that (http://www.moddb.com/mods/zombie-master) or Overwatch (http://www.moddb.com/mods/Overwatch)

Natural Selection, anyone?

Okay, not quite, but the idea is similar. Just more team-based than one vs one.

Your idea sounds a lot like Zombie Master, which was a RTS/FPS hybrid where one player summons and controls zombies as well as spending points to trigger traps on the map.

Unfortunately, it suffers from severe balancing issues, which were never resolved as the developers abandoned it.

Yahtzee should play some HL2 mods like Zombie Master - In that, there's a group of up to 15 survivors that have to run through the maps and accomplish objectives, while 1 player is chosen as the Zombie Master, who gets points for killing the survivors and spawns zombies and activates traps in the map. A lot like the game he described wanting.

Really, people keep saying Zombie master, but while that was a decent concept and i had fun for a while, the survivors were WAY too strong, or the zombies had WAAAY too good positioning at points in maps, for it to be of any consequence...so anyway.

He was talking of a game where its one on one...and really, this idea sounds AWESOME to me, a one on one game of surviving human versus...whatever it is (zombies are cool, but you might want something more versitile...)

It was mentioned you have settings, medieval dungeon...sci-fi spaceship...alternate plane of existance...hell, these are all things you could do, with varying monsters and weapons available to both players.

Say you're in a medieval setting, lets say the player is playing a jack-of-all-trades type fighter, thus he can use weapons like: Swords, Bows, Crossbows, Flails, Axes, maybe a flintlock pistol depending on how "medieval" we're talking, and magic. and the enemies could be something like: Knights, Wizards, Assassins, Pirates, Zombies, Vampires, and Dragons, hell look in a 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons rulebook at random, you should come up with SOMETHING interesting.

and of course, in a sci-fi spacecraft you would have different weapons, and enemies to fight. maybe you want something more survival-horror like, but...if you gave the player the right lightings and settings, you wouldn't be too bad off.

this would be awesome in my book :D

Brink is based around this whole idea.

Dammit Yahtzee, this already exists. It's called Battleswarm.

http://www.battleswarm.net/game/

How about this? Take Dungeon Keeper, but let the heroes be playable. Add an LFG mechanic to help move things along. Let the hero characters be upgradable and customizable. I could see people getting into such a game for either solely the hero or solely the dungeon side of things. I would try both, because I honestly cannot tell you which experience I would prefer more in such a game. I could, however, tell you I would thoroughly enjoy either.

There is acutally a mod to half-life 2 called Zombie master that made was a mix of rts and... "zombie survial FPS"? One guy had an rts view over the whole map and dropped zombies of diffrent kinds at special locations. And the other players tried to survive and complete diffrent tasks given on the map. It was actually really fun, and the whole rts part worked well, I even preferd playing that part. Was really rewarding to outsmart all the other players and watch them die. But L4D sort of killed the whole thing. Doubt there is many servers left playing it.

RebellionXXI:
Dammit Yahtzee, this already exists. It's called Battleswarm.

http://www.battleswarm.net/game/

yup, the sypnosis to the game says it all "Battleswarm: Field of Honor is a breakthrough new Combat Strategy game that pits First-Person Shooters against Real-Time Strategists in epic online battles."

good find :)

While the idea is sound, all you'd have to do is drop everything you've got round the first corner, wait and then flood the player.
Then again, that's just from a basic point of view. With time and money, and a lot of rush-filters, this game would be excellent!

NO WAY
Nolan North would be voicing the whacky main character, DUH!

lol but I'm interested in a campaign/multiplayer cross
if I'm done and bored with the single player, I can hop into someone's game (if it's open) and try to screw with them...that does sound really fun

essentially like in L4D if I got to control one of the zombies (from the lowest to the highest)...which it sorta had??
but zombies done carry guns

I'd just like to chime in with the "I'd play that game good sir, why, I would even pay with it with some sort of currency. That sounds like a jolly good game."

Atmos Duality:
There's another hybrid game: The Nolan North Career Simulator.
You do QTEs to make your copy of Nolan North say the right one-liners, and then the console prints out a paycheck at the end of the session.

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