SUSPECT: RE: [casual_games] multiplayer?

Cameron Owen thecoffeeboy at
Thu Oct 26 20:47:49 EDT 2006

It's an interesting idea, but I'd be more inclined to call this social-play
than multi-play though, and some casual game developers have tried to work
multi-mouse play into their games already but the are a lot of inherit

1) OS support for multiple pointing devices is lacking. It is possible but
the solutions aren't always perfect.
2) Very few people have a second mouse just lying around. The casual game
player is more likely to use the mouse that came with their system and only
consider getting another one when their current pointing device breaks. It
is rare that a single AAA+ PC title will inspire someone to upgrade their
hardware (it usually takes a handful of games running poorly or not at all
before most people upgrade) and I  suspect casual games would be even more
reluctant to purchase additional hardware for your game simply so they can
play it with their friend.
3) Making a game exclusively for this kind of social play may limit it's
scope. Making a game that adds this as an optional extra will require
special attention, consideration and development time which may limit the
titles' ROI.
4) The lounge room is generally the stage for multiplayer console gaming,
computer desks and home offices aren't the most comfy or accommodating areas
for social play.

The last issue, I think, is the biggest hurdle with this idea. Social gaming
sessions work with consoles because they're generally designed to be used in
a very social area, the living room. Computer games are most often relegated
into some dark dingy home office space or the kids bedroom corner. If you
wanted to pursue social gaming then Interactive TV, mobile phones, hell even
those Computer/LCD TV Fridges would make better platforms as they are
inherently socially orientated or situated in areas that make them much more
'socially accessible than the personal computer. Provide engaging play and
enrich the gamers' social experiences by weaving rules into the players
social networks through their everyday devices.

On 26/10/06, k f <mamaji4 at> wrote:
> Before the computer game all games were essentially multiplayer, except
> for
> a solitaire or two.
> All traditional ball games were "casual" - Easy to learn and difficult to
> master. So what has changed? Nothing. People enjoyed it then and should
> enjoy them now.
> The only problems I see with current multiplayer is:
> 1) Broadband penetration isn't yet where it should be.
> 2) Other than network lag and instability, I see a lack of human-human
> physical interaction. How long can you play against a dumb machine before
> defeating the predictable AI. And would you rather type "Pass the ball
> dumbo" rather than shout it out in the middle of an engrossing game? So
> what's the next step in the evolution of multiplayer? Remove the network.
> Learn from the traditional ball games model and put both players at the
> same
> PC. But is the keyboard even remotely a gaming controller? I don't think
> so.
> So how do you get two people to sit in front of the PC and make them
> believe
> that they are playing on a gaming console. Put two mouse controllers in
> their hands. The mouse is the ultimate PC gaming contoller. It allows for
> intuitive movement in the
> XY plane and has all the necessary fire buttons, and a scroll wheel to
> boot,
> for 3D movement. Plug another mouse into the free USB port and you have
> just
> transformed your plain vanilla PC into a gaming machine.
> Multiplayer has just evolved to the next logical step. No network lag. No
> dumb, boring AI. No opponetnts who dare to shout profanities over a
> network
> because they are free to do anything they wish in anonymity. And suddenly
> you have the 35+ female demographic calling each other
> over for an evening of tea/coffee and some good one-on-one gaming fun.
> And you won't have portal developer conflicts, because the multiplayer and
> the single-player downloadable are one and the same now.
> I know its radical. I know its outside the grain. But then I've never been
> a
> conventional thinker. Lateral thinking leads to progress. Just my humble
> opinion, which we have tried to implement in SOCCERnPOOL.
> On a side note, I wonder if mouse manufacturers realise that mouse sales
> would double.
> Kurosh Fallahzadeh
> >From: Jónas Antonsson <jonas at>
> >Reply-To: jonas at,IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List
> ><casual_games at>
> >To: "'IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List'" <casual_games at>
> >Subject: SUSPECT: RE: [casual_games] multiplayer?
> >Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 20:42:07 -0000
> >
> >My money is on your last point. I think it hasn't fully broken out yet.
> Of
> >course this whole discussion lacks a proper foundation - a solid
> definition
> >of what we're talking about when we say "multiplayer casual games". We
> have
> >a pretty wide target.
> >
> >If we include lotteries or casino games as casual games then we have a
> lot
> >of very successful multiplayer games, for example.
> >
> >But - back to the point - I think we're pretty much talking about the
> same
> >thing. With that in mind I think that a multiplayer model for casual
> games
> >will be a logical extension to both the main distribution canal -
> internet
> >-
> >and the nature of a lot of casual games - web based. A solid
> architectural
> >approach can introduce new dimensions, game-play aspects and social
> >structures that relate to, interact with or are a direct part of casual
> >games. In fact this is a center of study for me so it hits close to home.
> >
> >As far as portals go, I have not been under the impression that
> multiplayer
> >models aren't something they'd consider - if done properly and in a
> >beneficial way to both developer and portal. In fact I've had talks with
> >portals about a game concept that we've been working on (gogogic) which
> is
> >multiplayer based and, so far, the dialogs have been positive.
> >
> >Jónas B. Antonsson
> >COO (ChiefOperating Officer)
> >--------------------------------
> >Gogogic ehf.
> >Fákafen 9, 108 Reykjavik, Iceland
> >Mailjonas at
> >Mob+354664 8600
> >Tel+354 534 7700
> >Fax+354 534 7701
> >
> >blog
> >--------------------------------
> >
> >
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: casual_games-bounces at [mailto:casual_games-bounces at
> ]
> >On Behalf Of Matthew Ford
> >Sent: 24. október 2006 20:28
> >To: 'IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List'
> >Subject: RE: [casual_games] multiplayer?
> >
> >Ahh, I'd love to hear discussion about this one. Last time I heard this
> >discussed, it was said that portals often prohibit apps from connecting
> >users to the developer's server for fear the developer will steal their
> >future business-- for example wean them off the portal and start to sell
> to
> >them directly. But I don't recall an extended discussion of this and I'd
> >really appreciate any more info on the subject.
> >
> >As well as recounting the situation as it stands now, I'd appreciate any
> >speculation on how this may change in the future, and how a developer can
> >build a game in a way that allows multiplayer connections among players
> but
> >avoids whatever the portals may fear.
> >
> >Or in fact is the market ready now for multiplayer-oriented casual
> gaming,
> >and it simply has not broken out yet?
> >
> >
> >Matthew Ford
> >matthew at fordfam dot com
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: casual_games-bounces at [mailto:casual_games-bounces at
> ]
> >On Behalf Of John Falconne
> >Sent: Wednesday, 25 October 2006 1:31 AM
> >To: casual_games at
> >Subject: [casual_games] multiplayer?
> >
> >One thing that surprises me is how few multiplayer options there are for
> >casual gamers. Why is that? My friend, another game developer, said it's
> >because there's no way for a casual game developer to make money on
> >multiplayer games. Is that true? Are there no viable business models
> around
> >that make multiplayer game development appealing to casual game
> developers?
> >
> >
> >
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> >
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