SUSPECT: RE: [casual_games] multiplayer?

Alex Amsel tuna at
Fri Oct 27 09:50:48 EDT 2006

This isn't a new solution. It's been tried and supported many times, I 
think even back to my Amiga days. However, you aren't going to get a 
significant mass of people using 2 or more mice on one computer. Apart 
from anything else, there's space considerations, especially when 
computers are used at home.

Having more than one person sit around a computer is uncommon even on 
games supporting joypads. People don't want to do this, they want to 
play on their TV or over the net when it comes to multi-player.

Some board(ish) games can get away with it, but I'd say that's despite 
the game being on PC more than anything. These kinds of "multi-player" 
titles will become more and more popular on interactive video - such as 
DVD-Extra, broadband game solutions, and set top boxes.

Finally, a multi-player game over the net means there is always a game 
to be had, day or night. This isn't true on one machine, as much as it's 
great fun to shout and rant at your opponent (or is that just me?).

I do agree with much of what has been written regarding internet 
multi-player problems, but to some extent they're solvable with 
sufficient grouping and design. Several sites out there seem to make a 
significant income with their multi-player web games, put it that way.

k f wrote:
> The idea germinated when I first saw some kids at a console and they 
> were screaming away at each other in excitement. And I thought to 
> myself, why don't I ever see a kid scream when he is playing alone at 
> the PC. And it suddenly struck me that it was because he was "alone". 
> The missing element was the most important, the "physically present" 
> human opponent. Give two kids a crumpled paper ball and they are 
> likely to have as much fun, if not more, than sitting at a AAA title.
> Every time I have tried to log in to play real-time multiplayer games 
> I have either been unable to join, because of network lag, been unable 
> to play in real-time, or just plain kicked off the server because of 
> excessive lag. That's hardly the type of multiplayer experience anyone 
> would like to return to for a half hour break. Which is why most of 
> the multiplayer games are turn based.


Alex Amsel
Tuna Technologies Ltd (Sheffield, UK)
Cross Platform Game Development
Tel: +44 (0)114 266 2211  Mob: +44(0)7771 524 632

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