Drop The High Scores

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Drop The High Scores

"Asynchronous multiplayer" can mean so much more than "I'm da bes."

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Gratuitous Space Battles relies entirely on asynchronous multiplayer, where you can set up a fleet and tactic for it and upload your scenario to the multiplayer server. From there, other players can access it and try out their own fleets against your scenario. In turn, the creator recieved feedback about how many tried their scenario, how many won and how many lost etc.. All in all, it is a great way to bring the community together without forcing a lot of interaction.

I'm not going to completely agree with the idea of the title to just remove the high score list, but I do see an opportunity for a lot of outreach and marketing tie ins for even just that basic function.

If I had the talent and equipment, I would probably record a song or two for Audiosurf, and allow the distribution through the community. Think about the ability to get free, brand new songs from the community.

You actually do get a benefit for leaving messages in "Dead Souls." If other players up-rate your message you will receive a precious humanity, which is a very (very) valuable reward in that game.

Wouldn't it be nice if Dragons Dogma was just a tick. The NPCs from someone else were just randomly generated, and the "gift" yours came back with was just Randomly assigned from a loot table.

Would you know the difference?

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Drop The High Scores

"Asynchronous multiplayer" can mean so much more than "I'm da bes."

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I'd like to point out that your examples of good asynchronous multiplayer were entirely cooperative. Even the supervillain one. You're not really attacking their base, as much as you're acting as one of those "To Catch a Thief" security consultants pointing out weaknesses they can then improve upon.

Gaming is better when people work together, almost every time.

On a high score list, the only spot that matters is #1. And only one person can be there at a time. And only about 10% of your player population has the ability to unseat that person. Which means 90% of your audience really doesn't care about high scores.

And that top 10%? They don't care either. Because that's not how it works.

The people who aren't competing with you won't be impressed by your high score, because they are uninterested in the high score. The people who are competing with you won't be impressed either because, by and large, they'll assume you're cheating or using cheap tactics.

It's like cotton candy. Looks great, smells great, so you give the man your money... but as soon as you actually have it and take a bite, it vanishes.

I think that numbers must drop out of gaming review , votes and such .
Its art right ? Not math . Games arent like a machine , you can`t just tell if something is better by a dry list of requirements .

Disgaea 4 ventured into multiplayer with this kind of multiplayer. Fighting randomly uploaded pirates for bonuses, or calling them in to assist when things go ass up really make things fun.

Sorry, but High scores are nothing more than a dick measuring contest. How else can young boys compare schlong sizes without appearing teh ghey?

I would love to get rid of them too, but some gamers need them.

as a kid I'd always put 'BEN' and feel inordinately satisfied with myself

Nothing like having a 3 letter abbreviation for your name, at least in those days. And yes, when I punched LEN onto a table filled with MCAs or EJMs, it made me feel better than getting the high score table itself did.

Then, as a side mission, you're randomly given other players' bases to raid with your gang of goons. The other player doesn't lose anything from this, but they get some kind of bonus for each of the intruders' goons their security measures manage to block or disable.

This one's tricky. "Pick from a variety of layouts" would make them very samey - dead ends would be ignored by to a seasoned player - but it would negate the risk of people just walling off the goal or making crackhead-insane mazes that require foreknowledge of the route to beat in any reasonable timeframe. I don't know if there's a good balance to this problem.

From the headline I thought you would have read the recent Spacechem Postmortem on Gamasutra and its discussion of the histogram high score model as being vastly superior to numbered leaderboards. Frankly, it's astonishing that there aren't more games that use a simular model.

I know I hate it when I play some of the Flash games on Kongregate and think I've done really awesome only to find out I'm ranked something like #256th in the world. Talk about a buzz-kill.

Reminds me of the dungeon creator thing that exists in City of Heroes/villains/rogues where you can create your own dialogue, bad guy spawns, size and i think layout of the dungeon for other players to romp through and you get bonuses based off participation and feedback from those who get bonuses from completing the player made dungeons! it was a novel idea at the time and i enjoyed making a new Goldbricker base with actual RPG dialogue worthy of King Midas since they are forgotten and tossed aside after lvl 20 like a discarded doll :/

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Nobody one would want to spend any time with trapped near the buffet table at a dull party gives a shit about who has the best score in the world.

Was that sentence supposed to make any sense?

I Have No Idea:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Nobody one would want to spend any time with trapped near the buffet table at a dull party gives a shit about who has the best score in the world.

Was that sentence supposed to make any sense?

Yep. Rephrased, it goes something like this:

'Nobody that you would want to talk to at a party cares about highscores.'

I Have No Idea:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Nobody one would want to spend any time with trapped near the buffet table at a dull party gives a shit about who has the best score in the world.

Was that sentence supposed to make any sense?

It's a bit of a run-on but it makes perfect sense.

Start with "Nobody gives a shit about who has the best score in the world."

But that's not quite true - hideously boring people might give a shit.

So qualify the "nobody" to "nobody that you'd want to spend time with", class up your English a bit by using "one" instead of "you", and make it a more entertaining image by specifying that you still wouldn't want to spend time with them, even if you were trapped near the buffet at a dull party.

Actually the "extra ammo" and "healing" options are found in Battlefield 3 and Bad Company 2's mulitplayer.

In fact, its rare to find any game that doesn't reward you for sharing stuff.

Although not asynchronous, your example reminds me of Journey. Its amazing how much intimate an experience feels when the interaction doesn't include "shoot in the face".

hermes200:
Although not asynchronous, your example reminds me of Journey. Its amazing how much intimate an experience feels when the interaction doesn't include "shoot in the face".

I thought the same thing, though I attribute it more toward you really can't interact in any over way than assisting each other. If you could talk with each other that whole illusion would just be broken.

OT:

Can you get someone to pick up this super villain game, Yahtzee? I know it started as a joke but it could work.

SSX did this pretty well with the GeoTag system. Drop a collectible item in a hard to reach place. Other players will see it on their runs. If they get it, they get money and exp... but if they don't, that money and exp is yours.

I'm going to write a solitaire type game soon and was planning on a global high score system. But this article changed my mind about the interface.

The game end screen will show your local high score with an option to view the global high score list. If you happened to place in the top 1000 on that list a message would say "Grats, you made 782nd place on the global high score list."

It would be like the steam global achievements percentage list. Never the first thing you see but still present if people are curious.

Idea: What if there was an online multiplayer mod for Evil Genius? It would have other player's lairs appear on the world map. And give you the option to send minions there like any other territory. Then your minions appear on the other player's island in the same way as enemy agents. I mean, the appeal of Evil Genius is the ability to cause mischief and mayhem at other people's expense from the snug safety of your childish tree-fort. This appeal is doubled if you're victimizing actual human beings.

I Have No Idea:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Nobody one would want to spend any time with trapped near the buffet table at a dull party gives a shit about who has the best score in the world.

Was that sentence supposed to make any sense?

Took me a second to figure it out, too. I think he means, "Nobody that anyone would want to spend any time with trapped near the buffet table at a dull party gives a shit about who has the best score in the world."

Captcha: Sun Tzu says

Are the captchas quoting TF2 videos now?

As much as I enjoy single-player games, I like the idea of the presence of other players. I love Star Wars: the Old Republic for the ability to play by myself, but the other players lend to the depth of the game. I feel like I am part of a community. Seeing so many players struggle towards the same goal endears me to a title all the more.

Community level designs are a great thing. The problem is that in games like inFamous 2, there were players that made missions impossible and they loved to brag about it. That is literally the same thing as being an asshole and admitting to it. Or being like Spock.

LTK_70:
From the headline I thought you would have read the recent Spacechem Postmortem on Gamasutra and its discussion of the histogram high score model as being vastly superior to numbered leaderboards. Frankly, it's astonishing that there aren't more games that use a simular model.

I was going to mention SpaceChem, it's got the only high score system I've ever paid any attention to. When a game tells me I'm number 4000 in a big list, well, ok, that is certainly a number, but point at my position on a bell curve and suddenly I can actually evaluate that information.

So simple and so obvious, why was it not invented the day after the online leaderboard? It's not like the visualization of a large data set is a cutting edge problem.

This is exactly what has been bugging me and I've mentioned it numerous times on the forums and maybe elsewhere too.

Ditch 'em

Yeah, the high score thing has got to be bogus. My wife and I like to compete to see who can get the highest score on Bejeweled's Butterflies mode. I finally had a pretty zen moment and hit almost 4 million. Then I decided to check out the high scores table and I'm to believe that four people have reached the apparent maximum score of 2,147,483,647. That's two billion points. That's either outright hacking or 4 very OCD people who spent hours if not days reaching that score.

Secondly, my first experience with asynchronous gameplay was a now defunct game called Duels. (Duels.com, but the website, which stayed up for a good year or more after the dev team abandoned the game seems to be gone for reals now). It was actually a really great game with a very loyal fanbase, but the devs inexplicably just dropped all support. The game itself was great. You had a "duelist" who you could send on click based quests to start. You earned gear which you could assign to slots and each class had special abilities.

Eventually you would have your duelist outfitted and send it to the arena to compete with other players. You'd challenge someone, set your loadout, pick ten actions for the round and then wait for your opponent to respond. Once they accepted, set their player up and clicked fight, the duel would play out. You'd come back, watch it play out and then move on to your next challenge.

Great fucking game. Unfortunately it really had a component of "get out the spread sheet and optimize" which was what you had to do if you wanted to top the leader boards, but it wasn't too bad. I think I eventually climbed to spot #24 before I started dropping again and then devs began withdrawing supports- bug fixes, ability nerfs and boosts, etc. - and then I kind of faded out. Checked back a few times to see if the promised support had ever returned, but it did not. Too bad, because as I said, it was a really well done game and the asynchronous play was a great model. I still miss it every now and then.

Leader boards are actually a REQUIREMENT for XBLA certification. All XBLA must have some form of leader board or competitive competition.

Most people can't even imagine themselves in top 10 in any worldwide rank and that puts anyone off but I still like having them around, world wide ranks should be on the background and the main rank should be your friends scores and yours like Facebook games do.

"Another example that comes to mind is Demon's Souls and the ability to leave messages for future players, but the missed potential there is that there's no incentive to write the things."

Iīm not really sure if there really needs to be any benefits. In Demonīs Souls people gladly try to help each other, even though they donīt have any reasons to do so. They help and they try to trick people, just for the heck of it, maybe because players enjoy reading the messages, that gives us a reason to create our own. Apparently it works without an incentive, other than: "if you help me, i might help you". I would be concerned that if you implemented benefits for helping, the tricksters might dissapear, unless ofcourse that they also had some benefits. Hmm

Personally i also hate the world spanning leaderbords, i really prefer the classic top ten, where you type in your name when you rank high enough. Itīs fun to compete against your own scores, but also possible to compete against scores made by friends. I hate that it has become standard to bind the score to the profile, makes it more complicated than practical.

I don't know. I remember myself being very high on PS3 Bulletstorm echo leaderboards (first 10) and my friend was number 1 at some point, just loved this game so much...
Truth be told I don't mind worldwide leaderboards but only care if I absolutely worship the game.

For some reason I thought he was going to talk about high review scores. I don't really mind leaderboards.

High scores is just way to measure how well you did in a game. I rarely check global high scores when I play Audiosurf but it's fun just to compete with your friends.

High Scores can provide an 'impossible challenge' to keep people playing...though in some cases they really are pointless. Dungeon Defenders is one of those 'all about drops and numbers' things, but its scores couldn't mean less...even on the official servers people still manage to hack, so the 'best' scores tend to be literally impossible...and blatently so. 13 million points by the third wave of the first level? Who are they kidding?

As someone who plays Shmups and other arcade games it saddens me to see folk hating on highscore. Reading that article just made it obvious that Yahtzee is one of "those" people. Older gamers who played arcade games as a kid and now thinks of them as old fashioned, something which gaming should grow out of because they have. To me it's the same idiotic thinking as bro gamers who think that any game other than a FPS is a waste of time and shouldn't be made because they don't like them even if others do.

Highscore especially in arcade games is the purist form of just about every competitive game, And like other types of measurement is basically all stats and numbers.

Removing highscore from arcade games is just like saying a football game should remove score, Diablo should remove stats or a FPS Deathmatch should remove its score system too.

While I agree that some games could move away from score to something else, however imo most games need stats and score to keep them interesting and give them depth. Maybe in the future when we are plugging a cord into the back of our heads that games could see more real world goals and objectives, however atm most games need them.

"or someone who has the necessary brain defects to want to play the same bloody game all bloody day"

That's a fallacy tbh, many arcade gamers play their games in short 1 or 2 hour sessions, its the fact they play these games over a number of years that they master them. That and the fact that because arcade games are hard and played in short bursts makes many players bring their best A game rather than just grind away while half asleep for hours so many other gamers do.

OFC to be at the very top you probably need to put in more time at the sacrifice of other games but that's just like anything competitive, However some arcade gamers might go to extremes like the Donkey Kong World Record players, but those games tend to be very early arcade games like space invaders that never end rather than game over in 30-60 mins, those types are more of an endurance marathon than anything else.

EDIT
sorry if my post come off as been dickish however arcade highscore is a hot button topic with us types

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