Gamers from around the world came together this past weekend in Man vs. Machine, setting a new world record of nearly 1000 players slugging it out on a single FPS battlefield.
Online shooters can be pretty awesome but even the best of them can’t really capture the epic feel that comes from being involved in truly massive battles. Storming the beaches of Normandy loses a little something when there are only eight guys doing it. So Swedish tech company MuchDifferent decided to see what it could do to improve that situation with Man vs. Machine, a chance for gamers to take part in a 1000-player FPS.
It all went down this past weekend and amazingly, it just about worked. The project fell one shy of its 1000-player goal but it still blew away the Planetside record of 600. Players were divided into teams “Man” and “Machine,” and while Team Machine spent the first half-hour of play getting massacred, some on-the-fly tweaking had the roles reversed by the end of the two-hour session, as Team Man was being mercilessly spawn-camped.
“Getting a game balanced is hard and our guesswork proved to be quite off the mark,” CEO Christian Lönnholm wrote on the MuchDifferent blog. “In the end, I think most people had an enjoyable experience of the sheer massiveness of it all and having the game run smoothly helped with that.”
Judging by the gameplay videos floating around on YouTube, Man vs. Machine was a bit on the primitive side, essentially a 1000-man game of Aussie Rules Football with energy weapons. But it still looks like a blast, and the point wasn’t to make a great game so much as to demonstrate that these sorts of large-scale, browser-based battles are feasible. That’s right – this whole thing went down in browser windows.
Derek Wise, an “independent industry expert” who monitored the game, is currently sorting the data for presentation to the Guinness World Record folks. MuchDifferent says its goal now is to make this technology available to game developers for more mainstream use.
UPDATE: The original report stated that access to the game cost $29 but that was actually the cost to reserve a spot and guarantee access. Non-paying gamers were also able to take part on a first-come, first-served basis. All proceeds raised by the event [MuchDifferent is a non-profit organization] were donated to Engineers Without Borders.
Source: Blue’s News