Didn't think anyone would actually talk about game design on this forum.
Consider resources. Did you know every single player map in the original Quake was also a multiplayer map? Call it cutting corners, but it allowed for some incredibly unique level design and a cohesive experience between single and multiplayer. Not to mention everything they were doing at the time was pushing technology to itsl imits.In the age of online gaming, devs need to come to the point where they stop pretending that online combat is a part of a game's lore. With the exception of licensed games (Star Wars) or single-player focused games (Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood), trying to get the online to mesh with pre-made backstory is hindering to the final product.
I think everybody already knows this. Gamers have nobody to blame but themselves. People criticized bioshock for not having multiplayer. I wish I could simply say those people were idiots, but apparently they were the majority.Too many developers feel pressure to include both single and online play into games. When online was starting out, this was understandable. However, with the online scene booming as it is now, games which wish to focus on multiplayer need to shed half-baked campaign missions that people will only play through for achievements or to get a handle on the game. This can be risky considering if game's online community dies then the game essentially becomes unplayable, but can be remedied with options such as bots, offline multiplayer, and the popular "horde mode" complete with leaderboards which often doubles as a co-op option.
It's gotten to the point where they are having two completely different developers develop the single player and multiplayer modes for games. Bioshock 2 did this, I believe, as well as Dead Space 2. This is because our generation of game players equate time with value, when ironically, the communities (and servers in EA's case) die out quicker than most multiplayer centric games.
I don't even know what is going on here. Are you saying developers should sacrifice theme for mechanics? I'm not outright disagreeing with you because I'm not sure you have thought this through all the way.Further more, online game "atmospheres" need to stop sticking to cookie-cutter concepts that ultimately hinder the game itself. Halo is a good example. If the developers didn't need to worry about maintaining the idea that you are a Spartan in a war (rather than a player in a competition as you actually are), they could cater better to the online crowd. Other games also apply a modern, historic, or futuristic atmosphere and then must try to maintain a sense of plausibility when creating abilities and weapons. Forget it; if a feature will make the game better, add it.
Would bow and arrows make Halo better? I fucking love bow and arrows. Though I submit even if they were plausible mechanically, they would not fit into the theme of the game.
I hate to be THAT GUY but these games exist. Did you ever play Shadowrun. The best competitive shooter nobody ever played. Didn't even have a single player. Was it without theme? No, it had fucking elves and shit in it. But the focus was on a game that was balanced out of the box.Don't get me wrong, there are tons of great online games from many genres. However, I would very much like to see a dev release a game with an online focus based on the theme of: "You are gamers competing in a virtual arena." Focus completely on providing a fair, balanced, fun, challenging online experience with as many effective features and interface options as possible. Get rid of "storylines" and inflexible lore; let the gamers create their own history.
So I don't get what you're asking for here. Please elaborate.
You want a themeless game? So what would the graphics be like, how would the world look. Would it just be blank boxes and stick men? YOu want a game without story. That's fine, we can focus on emergent gameplay. But in a first person shooter?