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Op Ed

Gamasutra - Losing For Good.
If we talk about the idea of losing "permanently" in video games, the typical response is that players would never accept that kind of treatment. Oh sure, some people play roguelikes, but that's just a niche within a niche. But what if we're thinking about "losing" in too narrow a sense? What if a player could fail at a game's objectives and still be allowed to continue without a game over screen? What if failing was built right into a game's design?

IGN - Out of Characters. Thanks Ant.
A good 90% of playable characters fall into the Heavily Armed Badass category. You can faction that down to four types: Space Marine, G.I. John Doe, Semi-God of Whoopass, and Foreigner with Overcompensation Sword. Kind of a small pool to draw from, isn't it? Hell, most JRPGs are still riffing off the character archetypes set down by Final Fantasy VII thirteen years ago. Tetsuya Nomura (who designed those archetypes) went on record calling Lightning, his lead character for Final Fantasy XIII, a female version of VII's Cloud Strife. In other words, an uber-morose and largely self-absorbed man-magnet with a hidden past. Been there.

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11. Re: Op Ed May 18, 2010, 23:43 Jerykk
 
Yet, when you compare the amount of players on it during its peak on Steam versus the amount of players on servers, you would have seen that well more than 50% played the game solo rather than online.

I'm pretty sure UT and Q3 peaked long before Steam was ever released.

Yes, multiplayer is popular amongst the hardest of the hardcore, but there's an even larger segment just behind it that would rather play and win than play and get their ass handed to them on servers. They just want to have fun in bursts and not deal with the huge learning curve.

Fair enough. Still, I think it would be better to make two completely separate games: one for multiplayer and one for single-player. If you try to appease both parties with one game, you'll have to cut corners. My favorite MP games (Q3 and Tribes) both had single-player content which was a complete waste of time and resources. Better to focus on making one thing great rather than making two things only decent.
 
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