[May 08, 2011, 4:29 pm ET] - Share - Viewing Comments
A Gabe Newell interview
offers a clarification of recent comments
that "Portal 2 will probably be Valve's last game with an isolated single-player experience." Here's word:
“I think what we’re trying to talk about is the fact that, not that we’re not doing single player games. Portal 2 was a pretty good example of what we’ve learned over the years in terms of how to create those experiences. It’s more that we think we have to work harder in the future, that entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, by letting you play with your friends, by recognizing that you’re connected with other people.”
“That’s the thing that we’re trying to say, is that, single player is great but we also have to recognize that you have friends, and we wanna have that connected as well. So, it’s not about giving up on single player at all, it’s like saying, we actually think that there’s a bunch of features and capabilities that we need to add into our single player games to recognize the socially connected gamer.”
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||Re: Valve Single Player Clarification
||May 9, 2011, 19:13
Creston wrote on May 9, 2011, 18:12:
Graham wrote on May 9, 2011, 16:46:
It's absolutely mind-boggling how you got there. This isn't jump-to-conclusions-mat level, this is Olympic scale triple-jump-to-conclusions or possibly high-jump-to-conclusions.
Relax Sparky. It's called sarcastic exaggeration. I'm under no illusion that Valve will actually make the next Farmville. That's EA's territory.
Easy there, Cresty. You said yourself: "So it's going to get linked to people's Facebook profiles? After all, look how fantastic that option was in Starcraft 2." Backing off simply because you were called on it and trying to cover it up as sarcastic exaggeration doesn't become you.
The panic over the form that this platform will take is unwarranted, especially considering the principal subject.
I don't see any panic. I see people saying that they're unhappy that Valve is apparently ditching Half Life like games in favor of whatever they come up, and I see a fuckton of apathy towards social gaming. (basically, everyone but you doesn't see the point.)
It's a far cry from that to panic. If Valve doesn't make the games I like anymore, I buy someone else's games. Not really a big deal, since I've given up on another Half Life anyways.
You see a lot of people drawing an inaccurate conclusion that Valve is ditching Half-Life-like games (they didn't say anything of the sort) and antipathy (not apathy) towards social gaming. The freak-out it pretty clear from the reaction; you don't jump to "we're looking to involve people more socially" to "ditching Half-Life-like games" without a little panic. /shrug - you don't see it, most likely because it doesn't support your argument.
You haven't given up on just Half-Life, though, have you? Reading through the comments here on a daily basis it's pretty clear that you've given up on most games. What on Earth DO you play anymore?
Finally: buried within those 100 million people are millions of gamers who just haven't found their game yet. This is their gamma-ray exposure, they can Hulk-out with us in the future when they find their trigger... which they're more likely to find if they're exposed to cool new games that their friends are playing.
Perhaps you don't get this, but a ton of people here enjoy SINGLE PLAYER GAMES. Me playing a single player game isn't going to require one of my "friends" to "hulk out" with me in order for me to tell him about how cool it is. I can actually do that myself, without EA or Valve or whoever creating a "social network" page where other gamers can "see" what I've "done" in the game. (which reached a truly ludicrous height in Dragon Age, because three million people had "achievements" up of "finished chapter 1" with a stupid automatic screenshots.)
That's the kind of stuff you're excited about?
It's fabulous that you're self sufficient. Perhaps YOU don't get this, but the "ton" of people here is a drop in the bucket, and that drop really holds an antiquated view. The example that you've given with Dragon Age is the nascent form of what will be the future of social integration. They've got to start somewhere, and it's only the truly blind that will insult an artist's first sketch.
It's not just gaming that's becoming social, it's everything that we do. We have a (relatively) new forum for discussing and consulting on all forms of entertainment. Both the Kindle and the Copia app allow people to discuss books as they read them. Demon's Souls offered an amazing social experience in a mostly single player game by letting users leave messages for one another to help or hinder. THESE are creative uses of social, not just your reduction to the vanguard of achievements et. al.
Social integration is a good thing.
Really? Why? So far, I've seen ZERO benefits to social gaming. It's mostly been a whole bunch of retarded crap that I've fortunately been able to ignore, and in some cases it's been of the kind where a lot of people had to cry out against it or it would have meant things that few of "us" would have enjoyed. (think the RealID thing in SC2, and automatic friending of your friend's friends.)
Reductio ad absurdum, and a phenomenal example of "stop liking things that I hate". Again, you're not the target audience, and because of this it appears that your entertainment options will be reduced to a more manageable number in the future. Unless, of course, some developer hears the clarion call of the solitary gamer and wisely attempts to monetize it.
It makes us bigger as a group, it makes us more cohesive, and it means that there will be more developers working on projects, giving us more choice.
But what good does that do me if those projects don't interest me? Social gaming is never going to lead to bigger and more interesting single player games. So it all serves no purpose to me. You enjoy hanging out with your "friends" on facebook, great. More power and friends to you. I don't. I like my single player games. So do many people here. There is no benefit for us in one of the main PC developers of the last ten years to go "social." And so therefore we complain about it, and lament the fact that even the great PC stalwarts apparently decide that it's more fun to do social shit than make another kick-ass single player game.
It does you absolutely no good at all. This is the worst possible thing that could happen to gaming for you. It's the death of your hobby as you know it, and you'll never derive any pleasure from it again.
Oops, there's that sarcastic exaggeration... but I think I've made my point. While you've been a loyal customer in the past, it may be that developers that you've supported will change their business model to something you don't like.
You have, however, created a very efficiently deconstructed false dichotomy here. You (and others) are suggesting that a kick-ass (single player) game can't exist in a world where developers are creating new content with a socially connected mindset. This remains to be seen, and I think you're both foolish to a) focus on that conclusion when it has yet to be demonstrated and b) getting angry at something that hasn't happened yet, and according to a flip of a coin that I just conducted won't happen at all! (My coin flip is just as accurate as your baseless assessment )
The only downside here is that some folks who prefer to play alone might feel upset that there's an added feature in a game that doesn't cater to them, or that the gaming experience might be moving away from their preference of play-style. As I said before, I hope it's not the case, but if it is, the minority (no matter how vocal) will be left behind.
If it's strictly an added feature that doesn't cater to the SP crowd, eh, then that's fine. I happily ignored all the Dragon Age idiocy, and was even more happy when I found I could turn all of it off. But like we originally saw with Blizzard's SC2 plans, not all of devs' social ideas start out (or turn out) so innocently.
I do agree that it'll mean we get left behind, however. The money is in social shit, and that's where lots of developers are flocking, because after all, MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY.
As a gamer who enjoys games made by developers whose staff are content and well-paid (I would include those at Valve in this number) I am pleased to see that they are. That said, I think you've reduced this to a single element equation again. While the pursuit of capital may be an auxiliary point, I honestly think that these developers are aiming to create an innovative game experience.
What's more, I think they'll do it too. It may simply come down to optimism versus pessimism. Look at it this way: if it's terrible and people don't like it, the social aspect will find itself dead in the water and we can go back to the good old days of silent protagonists perched behind over-designed weaponry, with nary a pop-up or gamerscore to be seen.
Graham - signing his post for the very first time!