SUSPECT: RE: [casual_games] multiplayer? (Face to facemulti-player options)

Christopher Natsuume natsuume at
Fri Oct 27 19:15:11 EDT 2006

Has anyone tried approaching a mouse manufacturer or reseller with the idea
of bundling a mult-mouse game with a mouse as a “special bonus”? I remember
when the PS was pimping the Dual Shock they had Ape Escape/DS controller
bundles, for instance








From: casual_games-bounces at [mailto:casual_games-bounces at]
On Behalf Of James C. Smith
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 4:08 PM
To: 'IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List'
Subject: RE: SUSPECT: RE: [casual_games] multiplayer? (Face to
facemulti-player options)


I am a huge fan of what I call "face to face multi-player".  On game
consoles it is sometimes call "same console multi-player" and for PC games I
call it "Mouse Party™".  Being in the same room with your opponent is such a
better experience than being across the internet from him.  Not only is the
latency and bandwidth issue non-existent, it is just a better social
experience.  It is just more fun to be sitting next to the guy you are
playing with (or against).  This is what I loved about my experience with
the Atari 2600.  This is what I try to incorporate into every new game I


OS support was a problem years ago but today it is hardly an issue.  Mac OS
X and Windows XP have very reliable support for reading independent input
from multi mice. The only issue is if you want to try to support Windows
9X/ME/2000. Those platforms make it harder but still doable. I opted not to
support them.  


I would not make a game that requires multiple mice just like most games
that support Internet based multi-player modes do not require it.
Multi-player is a great optional play mode to add to many types of games
whether it is added a networked multi-player or face to face multi-player.


I believe most players already have a second pointing device and those who
don’t can buy one for less money than a second controller would cost them
for their PS2 or Xbox.  


All the Big Kahuna Games support Mouse Party™. (Face to face multi-player
with multiple mice).  This includes the Mac and Windows version of Big
Kahuna Reef, Big Kahuna Words, and Big Kahuna Reef 2: Chain Reaction.  


I plan to include Mouse Party™ play modes in all future casual games I
produce including the current game I am working on. (which is NOT another
Big Kahuna game).  


If more games would include this optional play mode you would find more
users who are willing to pull that old non-optical mouse out of their closet
and hook it up to their PC.  


James C. Smith

Producer / Lead Programmer

Big Kahuna and Ricochet brands



-----Original Message-----
From: casual_games-bounces at [mailto:casual_games-bounces at]
On Behalf Of Cameron Owen
Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 5:48 PM
To: IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: SUSPECT: RE: [casual_games] multiplayer?

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
>-----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?
>Casual_Games mailing list
> Casual_Games at <mailto:Casual_Games at> 
>Casual_Games mailing list
>Casual_Games at

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