One of the most common questions that is asked when a new game is announced is, “Will it have multiplayer?” Some games like the Call of Duty franchise are built so that gamers will spend the majority of their time in multiplayer. Battling it out against other gamers online or being able to join friends in a cooperative effort can be a very enjoyable experience. However, some games simply tack on a multiplayer element to satisfy some perceived requirement.
Valve project manager Erik Johnson is convinced that every games does not need multiplayer and that using community features can create a connected experience in the absence of the multiplayer component.
“[It] could just mean that you want to be able to chat with other people who are playing through the same part of the game as you, or the fans can write commentary nodes in the game and everyone can experience those to take advantage of the fact that there is a huge community of people that want to interact with each other.
I still think the analysis that every product needs to be a competitor in multiplayer, or an MMO, is incorrect. If there are as [many] players that want single player experiences, you should go build that. I think there are plenty of people that still want to have single player experiences.”
Every game concept is not built for multiplayer. Tacking on a multiplayer element is a waste of time if the game was not meant to be in that realm. There are many gamers who love variety and immerse themselves in a single-player role-playing or strategy experience with as much passion as others, who dive into first person shooters and sports games. All games need not try to compete with other games multiplayer. There is more than one way to create a connected, shared gaming experience.
In 2011, Valve will be releasing Portal 2, the sequel to the wildly successful single-player puzzle platformer. It will feature a separate co-op campaign. Many are anxiously awaiting the next installment to test their skills, especially after seeing the co-op gameplay in action. Valve strives to provide a quality experience that will satisfy fans of the first game without being a mere copy of its predecessor.
“I think if you are telling players that the core of the story is ‘you are going do again what you did last time,’ for most people that is pretty unappealing. That’s not what is going to happen in the game, but there are definitely some things that are similar to the previous game.” … “In implementation, they end up being fun and different. You’re still going to have a testing relationship with GLaDOS.”
Portal 2 will be testing your puzzle solving skills on February 9, 2011 on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360