Escapist Podcast: 098: Multiplayer or Singleplayer

098: Multiplayer or Singleplayer

This week, we discuss two developers who have decided to not make singleplayer or multiplayer sections to their respective games.

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On the Star wars battlefront thing. As I understand it the game will be developed by the Dice offices in LA but until recently there wasnt any Dice offices in LA. So some people have made an educated guess (which I think was later confirmed but Im not 100% sure on that) that this office is really whats left of Danger close games. AKA the guys who made the Medal of honor series.

If it is the same guys behind Medal of honor warfighter then Im quite skeptical since Ive never played a MoH game that I liked. However maybe a new and well known franchise is just what they need. Only time will tell if it turns out to be good and I hope it does

56:24 - Supporting projects with creators who don't share views with you and physical vs digital distribution in the years to come

Often times when someone goes against a project it's because the persons views is in a higher up position (lead designer, creator, etc). I'm curious at how far people actually this stance.

Would you no longer support a game if you learned that an Art Designer felt a certain way about a subject?
Does your answer change if they were on the localization team?
QA Tester?
Would you boycott the developer's project simply because they associated themselves with a publisher?

I'm of the mind that I can support what has been created and not the views of those involved in it's creation. For this reason I can listen to a ton of music without feeling as though I support artists who have used drugs or have certain political leanings.

Well, it's a good thing I don't hold people's views against them on principle, otherwise I'd have to boycott The Escapist (my favorite website) because they employ Josh Vanderwall.

I realize I'm saying this before even watching, and will edit upon watching if I have any reason to, but -- WHY do multiplayer and singleplayer HAVE to be EXCLUSIVE? I hate this mentality everyone has that multiplayer and singleplayer can't be in the same product and/or that one of them is useless whether included or not. It's based on personal preference, that is all. You can't judge your audience without missing what someone liked. You know what? I enjoyed both the singleplayer and multiplayer in Bioshock 2 despite faults in each. I can say the same for Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Killzone 3, Resistance 3, Star Wars: Empire at War, Mass Effect 3, Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, Dead Space 2-3, Red Faction: Armageddon, Spec Ops: The Line, and even FEAR 3.

I'm probably going to need a huge flameshield for this but you know what: I'd rather enjoy a game trying new things no matter what it's motivation is. Some of the best and/or most popular books, movies, music, etc. have been produced because of scummy or less than creatively motivated reasons. X-Men: First Class, anyone? The Timothy Zahn Star Wars novels? Just Cause 2? DotA 2? LoL? The clusterfuck of tower defense hybrid games made on zero dollar budgets to fund other projects for indie studios? Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood? Uncharted in general? So if Dead Space 4 has a sandbox survival horror competitive multiplayer with elements from DayZ -- then go right ahead EA, I don't even care if they still charge bloody microtransactions, it'll be something different. If the next follow up to TF2 is a singleplayer focused turn-based strategy game I'll be curious. If the next Persona game is a F2P multiplayer MMO shooter I'm going to want to know what is going on and see if it interests me.

I'm not saying everyone has to feel this way, but... FFS I feel like far to few people actually just get to the heart of the issue and instead try to throw names and make it so personal and based on just their preference (I've even had trouble with this) that it's getting in the way of pure pragmatic logic. I'm tired of these bloody battle lines. If you don't like the singleplayer, then just don't play it. If you don't like the multiplayer, then don't play the multiplayer. It's simple as that. Raging and telling people how "horrible" the multiplayer is if you haven't ever liked multiplayer in that series is like me saying Assassin's Creed's platforming is broken just because I don't like it. For you it might not be broken and you know what, yeah, that multiplayer mode might be loads of fun for me. So lets enjoy what we enjoy and move the hell on with our lives because there are far bigger issues at stake.

Also, Mike Krahulik: Wimp of the week.

I loved that 15 second ending... Everyone was thinking it.

I how Greg Tito always says "x" is a game. Or Ellen Page is an actress.

Parakeettheprawn:
I realize I'm saying this before even watching, and will edit upon watching if I have any reason to, but -- WHY do multiplayer and singleplayer HAVE to be EXCLUSIVE? I hate this mentality everyone has that multiplayer and singleplayer can't be in the same product and/or that one of them is useless whether included or not.

Yeah, I'd suggest watching the podcast as it'll probably give you a better understanding of the issue.

I, for one, appreciate the guys in the podcast taking the fair and balanced approach. Just as you have to respect Bethesda for saying "Look, we're pouring everything into the Singleplayer campaign of Wolfenstein to make it as good as we possibly can" you also have to respect Respawn for saying the same thing bout Titanfall, only in regards to multiplayer at the exclusion of single player.

There's plenty of games out there that focus on nothing but single player and people get upset when a multiplayer aspect seems to get forced into it. The studio set out to make a singleplayer only game so that's what they're going to do. In the same way, why can't a developer say "We're focusing all our resources into making a multiplayer game so that we can bring you the best multiplayer experience we possibly can"? Why are people demanding that a singleplayer aspect be forced into a game that's specifically being designed as a multiplayer?

There will always be games that have both aspects, but just as there's singplayer-only games, there's absolutely nothing wrong with multiplayer-only games. As they point out in the podcast: Team Fortress 2 is purely multiplayer and people absolutely love it...there's no NEED for a single player, so people don't ask for it.

So to answer your question, they don't. There isn't some big fight here about singleplayer vs multiplayer (at least I'd say there shouldn't be), it depends on what the studio wants to do with their game. If they want to make a singleplayer only game: well that's just fine, I hope it turns out well. If they want to make a multiplayer only game: well that's fine too, I hope it turns out well. The argument is between splitting up your resources to do both or focusing your resources to do only one. They're two different - but both equally acceptable - practices.

RJ 17:

Parakeettheprawn:
I realize I'm saying this before even watching, and will edit upon watching if I have any reason to, but -- WHY do multiplayer and singleplayer HAVE to be EXCLUSIVE? I hate this mentality everyone has that multiplayer and singleplayer can't be in the same product and/or that one of them is useless whether included or not.

Yeah, I'd suggest watching the podcast as it'll probably give you a better understanding of the issue.

I, for one, appreciate the guys in the podcast taking the fair and balanced approach. Just as you have to respect Bethesda for saying "Look, we're pouring everything into the Singleplayer campaign of Wolfenstein to make it as good as we possibly can" you also have to respect Respawn for saying the same thing bout Titanfall, only in regards to multiplayer at the exclusion of single player.

There's plenty of games out there that focus on nothing but single player and people get upset when a multiplayer aspect seems to get forced into it. The studio set out to make a singleplayer only game so that's what they're going to do. In the same way, why can't a developer say "We're focusing all our resources into making a multiplayer game so that we can bring you the best multiplayer experience we possibly can"? Why are people demanding that a singleplayer aspect be forced into a game that's specifically being designed as a multiplayer?

There will always be games that have both aspects, but just as there's singplayer-only games, there's absolutely nothing wrong with multiplayer-only games. As they point out in the podcast: Team Fortress 2 is purely multiplayer and people absolutely love it...there's no NEED for a single player, so people don't ask for it.

So to answer your question, they don't. There isn't some big fight here about singleplayer vs multiplayer (at least I'd say there shouldn't be), it depends on what the studio wants to do with their game. If they want to make a singleplayer only game: well that's just fine, I hope it turns out well. If they want to make a multiplayer only game: well that's fine too, I hope it turns out well. The argument is between splitting up your resources to do both or focusing your resources to do only one. They're two different - but both equally acceptable - practices.

When I was saying there was a fight, I wasn't referring to the Escapist Podcast. Outside of one brief bit months back where Susan and Greg sort of ripped on games like Bioshock 2 for their multiplayer, I've always found the Podcast to be rather balanced (at least when it comes to games). I'm referring to everyone else and... wait, you're essentially saying the same thing I was. Did you read the rest of what I wrote? Because you're basically saying it in your own words. I've got no problem with that, it'd just be a bit appropriately ironic.

Parakeettheprawn:
Snip.

I read it all, but apologize as it seems I might have misinterpreted. It seemed to me like you had a problem with games being specifically one way or the other. Sorry about that for misreading. ^^;

Look I like the Escapist Podcast, even though I don't watch the video. Kinda' defeats the point of having a video when people upload this to their MP3 devices so they can listen to it on the go, but anyway...

As I said, I like them. But this one needs to be renamed. I listened to the whole thing and they only talk about Multiplayer vs Single for like...20mins. The rest they just gab on about Kickstarter and Penny Arcade and feelings about homophobia. No seriously, they really do. and I kept drifting in and out of the conversation wondering when they were going to get back to the topic at hand...

I was actually curious about the Call of Duty number, so did a quick look at the Steam page for Black ops 2. The achievements indicates that 5.1% of Steam users completed the campaign on Hardened or Veteran, 36.1% of people completed on any difficulty(Death from Above Achievement); Modern Warfare 3 has a 57.1% total completion rate, 12.0% on Veteran or Hardened.

Obviously not a scientific or complete sample, but given the demographic that actually buys CoD games, I'd say more people care about the single player than the folks at Respawn want to give it credit for, if they actually put the time, resources and talent into creating a great experience. xD

Edit: added more information, cleaned up sentence structure

I honestly cannot wrap my mind around the concept of playing CoD exclusively in single player mode. Who the hell shells out 60 bucks or more for a 5 hour campaign...
I've been saying for years that the developers of those games should kick single player completely and launch those kinds of games with more maps, gametypes etc.

Kudos to the escapist for boldly experimenting with the podcast format, and to our commentators for making the supreme sacrifice of putting on pants this week.

WarpZone:
Kudos to the escapist for boldly experimenting with the podcast format, and to our commentators for making the supreme sacrifice of putting on pants this week.

I put on shorts. I'm bold and innovative like that.

Thuggych:
I was actually curious about the Call of Duty number, so did a quick look at the Steam page for Black ops 2. The achievements indicates that 5.1% of Steam users completed the campaign on Hardened or Veteran, 36.1% of people completed on any difficulty(Death from Above Achievement); Modern Warfare 3 has a 57.1% total completion rate, 12.0% on Veteran or Hardened.

Obviously not a scientific or complete sample, but given the demographic that actually buys CoD games, I'd say more people care about the single player than the folks at Respawn want to give it credit for, if they actually put the time, resources and talent into creating a great experience. xD

The achievement numbers for MW2 and Black Ops 1 also indicate the number is around 50%

Good podcast as always, but I can't believe nobody has pointed out that Battlefront ALREADY had an Ewoks Vs Imperials mode.

It was in Battlefront 2 on the endor map. I believe it was called versus (it's been years since I played BF2). You could be either Ewoks or Imperial scouts, and despite the imperials having the firepower advantage you could still win as Ewoks if you played smart. BF2 also had other cool versus modes on other maps. There was Jawas vs Tuskan Raiders, Hero Free For All (everyone was a "hero" character like Darth Vader, Boba Fett, etc), and, my favourite, Rebels vs Wampas on The Hoth map. Damn that was a good game. I have to say though as much as I love it if it's online only with no bots or AI then I'm flat out not getting it.

Like a lot of the podcast crew I'm not a big online gamer mainly because I hate the competitiveness of it. I just want to play what I want and how I want without having to worry about finding a group, or playing a particular role in a team. Also I want to be able to PAUSE. I hate playing online because if the phone rings, or I need the bathroom, or I want to take a break I have to quit the match an mess up other people's game (and vice versa). When I do play online I play casual co-op with my boyfriend or friends I know personally. This is the reason I stopped with Call of Duty after MW2. Like a previous commenter said "Who the hell shells out 60 bucks or more for a 5 hour campaign?".

Funny thing. Map copyright is apparently a huge deal. Map companies used to, and still do, put in false landmarks in their maps, so that if they find that landmark on another map, they can make a copyright claim.
Also, even if the Boston map is something that sounds logical to have public, cities are often concerned with publicity, so they might want to keep their copyrights to keep them from being used by activists and similar stuff. Also, according to LRR, landmarks are often copyrighted (or whatever it's called when it's about showing the image of a thing) to the city because they'll often be used in movies, tv-series and similar as establishing shots and cities make lot's of money leasing those rights. Could be a similar thing with the train-maps.

so they said "i will feel like im missing something i paid for if theres multiplayer".
well i wont. i dont play multiplayer in shooters, it is not interesting to me in any way. any multiplayer in a game that is not designed to be multiplayer only is a wasted space to me. an exception would be a hotseat mode in games like civilization that i used to play with 1 guy. I will loose NOTHING by the game not having multipalyer, if anything i will gain from it because there is more space for sigleplayer assets.

47_Ronin:
I honestly cannot wrap my mind around the concept of playing CoD exclusively in single player mode. Who the hell shells out 60 bucks or more for a 5 hour campaign...
I've been saying for years that the developers of those games should kick single player completely and launch those kinds of games with more maps, gametypes etc.

well for one they probably play it for free if their met with reviewing it. but really these kind of people usually buy it a bit later when its more like 30dollars because these 5 hour campaign games drop in price extremely fast because peopel want to sell them back the next day. also there indeed are these kind of crazy people who would buy say crysis 2 for singleplayer of 6 hours and think they got their money value. they also tend to replay said singleplayer because, and to quote one of such players "it looks amazing".

 

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