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mpipe

story mode and multiple players!

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I'm making a top-down shooter and the main emphasis is fun. Realism can be sacrificed if it becomes more playable and entertaining, but I do want the game to be somewhat coherent. I'm working on story mode right now. Right now, story mode is a one player thing, but I'm thinking of ways to incorporate multiple players. I'm not to keen to just add more players and enemies to the story while disregarding the hero-clone fact (ala Halo), but that means I'll need to write a second story for multiplayer. The other option, of course, is to do it Gears of War style where there's *always* multiple characters, and that if there is only one player the other characters are all AI controlled. What are your thoughts? What would you like to see? A different story for two players, weird clone stuff, or what?

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My favorite implementation was the Sega-Genesis Mech-Warrior system. One player controls the mech legs, and the other controls the mech guns. That was somewhat tricky and confusing, but extremely fun.

In any case, I wouldn't put much effort into a seperate story. From my gaming experience, I would say that games being played with multiple players probably don't even require a story. A unique plot-action arc that's different than the single player mode would be good, though. Leading from a rooftop to an alley, to a bad guy in the junk yard, and etc. But I doubt you'll want much dialog or character detail in there. Just toss action and gameplay at them, continuously. Contra style.

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Shooters are definitely the easiest game play style to add multiplayer too, since as you said, all you really need to do is add more enemies. But, since your focus is on the story in this aspect, it becomes a bit more challenging.

I think first off when making this decision, you should find out how far you are willing to go with this. Are you up to making an entire unique storyline and in game action for multiplayer? Or would you be content with adding an unexplained black guy-clone of your main character to the game, a la Resistance: Fall of Man.

Another thing to think about is how difficult would it be to implement everything it takes to make a unique multiplayer campaign. Is your story told through dialog boxes at the bottom of the screen, or through cinematic movies with full voice acting? For the latter, you might want to settle for keeping the single player storyline.

But who knows. You have to figure out how much you are willing to put into it.

As far as actual ways to implement a realistic multiplayer scenario, it depends on your story idea. What you could do is:
Have 'throw away' characters (foot soldiers, mercenaries, town guards, ect.) that join you in each level, depending on where you are. So, say the level starts with you in a fire fight inside of a night club that was started by an opposing gang member. In single player, it would simply throw you into it. In multiplayer, the set up of the scene would go a bit further, where after the gang member starts the fight, the bartender pulls out a shotgun and yell over to your first player that he wants to help defend his bar. There is your second player for that level.


I've got a few more ideas that I'll try to write if you are interested, but something just came up and I've got to stop here.

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Quote:
Original post by mpipe
The other option, of course, is to do it Gears of War style where there's *always* multiple characters, and that if there is only one player the other characters are all AI controlled.


Kane & Lynch does this, and it works pretty good, so in my opinion this is the best way to implement it.

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Having a good story is important to have. what's the point of having story mode if the story is shit?

I'm all alone developing this game, but I was thinking of getting some voice actors for dialogue since I know a lot of actors and performers already.

Oh, and FartherThanLife, I'd like to hear more ideas if you have them!

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