Thursday, November 27, 2008

multiplayer stand-ins

Another aspect of Left 4 Dead which should be considered by all designers is the option for an AI stand-in during multiplayer.

Most gamers acknowledge that gaming takes a backseat to other things, including everyday distractions like phone calls. In most multiplayer games, gameplay cannot be paused; and when gameplay can be paused, at least one person is left sitting idly in boredom. Left 4 Dead allows a player to call an AI substitute, so others can go on playing.

It's not a perfect feature. Any AI is imperfect, and a substitution can mean someone is temporarily playing by himself. But I'd still recommend a similar feature for almost any multiplayer game (excluding MMOs).

I'm enjoying Thanksgiving out of town this week, but hopefully I'll be able to keep posting stuff here 'til I get back. My thanks to God for all our many blessings.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think it would work very well for RTSes, at least with high level players, just because if you fall behind on your knowledge of your own micromanagement, you could loose while you're trying to get back up to speed.

    For cooperative games though, I think it's a great concept. Left4Dead so far seems to be a very well designed game, overall. (I've only played the demo though, sadly, due to financial issues.)


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