In response to "Crossplayer Is the Future" from The Escapist Forum: One thing that bothers me about this article is how it treats "crossplayer" (now there's a term that needs to be changed) as a new idea. It's not, in fact it's one of the oldest ideas in gaming.
Let me give you a little history, back when Spacewar was still blowing minds an in-depth, story-driven, multiplayer, cooperative RPG with human-controlled opponents appeared. It was called Dungeons & Dragons. Not long thereafter an electronic videogame genre quite similar to D&D was invented. They were called Multi-User Dungeons, or MUDs, which were done entirely via text. As technology advanced a little title called Everquest popularized the MMORPG genre and I'm sure your aware of the rest.
The article defines "crossplayer" as a story driven game that switches seamlessly between single player/cooperative/competitive mode. Don't buy into the hype, this is not a new idea.
Introducing a pervasive multiplayer element into a single player game has the problematic effect of almost completely destroying a sense of pacing. As the article says, one needs experience to enjoy multiplayer. An inexperienced player fighting human-controlled enemies in multiplayer mode will die very often unless fighting similarly experienced opponents, and even then the usual one-vs.-many paradigm common to single player games will have to be changed.
I am very interested in seeing MMO aspects competently integrated into genres other than RPGs.
Really interesting. I like the idea of playing a single player campaign (say, Halo) in which a level contained enemies controlled by other players online. The only problem is that there would be no reason for all the players controlling enemies to not simultaneously charge the single-player guy. How can he survive!
I can see it working in a slightly different situation though, and maybe this is what the devs in the article were referring to: imagine you are playing a single player game in which your character is a lone wolf, a third party trying to survive during a war between two other races. Maybe you're an undercover marine or brit trying to assassinate some middle eastern terrorist leader say, and to get to him you must make your way through the streets, strife with civil war between the locals.
But these locals are actually real players playing an online deathmatch game. To them, as you wander the level, you always look like an enemy avatar - or maybe the match is a free-for-all and you look like just another enemy online. (And in real life, that's probably what you would be in that situation.) They try to kill you all the same, but they're not ganging up on you - they don't even know you're experiencing a single player game.
I think it could work, and could be really fun. Even more so if there were huge maps with a bunch of players on each side, big enough to sustain a reasonable single player level. What do you guys think?
Regarding "Muslims in My Monitor" from The Escapist Issue 269: I would like to thank you for printing the "Muslims in My Monitor" article in your most recent issue. While I am neither Arab nor Muslim, I found the article printed to be a huge step forward in the world of gaming journalism.
I applaud your magazine for printing such an article and hope to see future articles such as that one.
I greatly value your website and magazine because of your willingness to explore issues that many other sites refuse to. Hosting such excellent comedy videos (Such as Unskippable and the famous ZP) and your recent addition of Extra Credits (to which I've found am immense liking) has made your magazine far superior to any other. In the future, I would love to see more articles that continue to delve into the serious matters at the core of our community, even if those topics aren't "Happy" or "friendly". It is my belief that articles and topics such as discussed in "Muslim in My Monitor"
must be brought to the front of our culture in order to move us forward and away from the racist stereotype.
So thank you for your willingness to host these supposedly dangerous discussions and topics.