You are crazy. This has nothing to do with fun or quality.
This has been the most common reaction to my article titled Multiplayer Strength Assessment.
I am not offended or surprised.
In this post, I will explain why I think these questions matter. Let’s get right to it…
Will your game support voice chat between team members?
Well, this particular question should not need an explanation. Multiplayer games that require teamwork need to allow players to coordinate their actions.
Will your game allow players to mute other players?
Let’s face it, there are players out there who couldn’t care less about teamwork. They will often spoil any communication channel you give them.
Therefore, players who care about teamwork must have a way to silence them.
Will voice chat be open channel or push-to-talk?
Open channel or full-duplex chat promotes immediate, spontaneous communication, but often reduces the signal-to-noise ratio on the communication channel. It’s probably great for casual and party games.
Push-to-talk or half-duplex chat asks players to speak in turn, which leaves them time to actually internalize what they intend to say. It’s probably better for games that require tactical coordination.
So, depending on gameplay, push-to-talk may be more suitable than open channel or vice versa. There is no wrong answer to this question.
Will your game feature a spectator mode?
A spectator mode is useful for 2 reasons:
- New players can learn from experienced players by watching them play.
- Cheaters can’t hide for long when you can spectate their every move.
For competitive gaming, it is beneficial if a referee is able to join a match and monitor its progress. It eliminates a lot of disputes. Let’s not forget that a lot of matches end up in cancelations, disputes or forfeits. It is essential to be able to either witness what happens during a match or review what happened after the fact.
Will your game feature a match recording option?
A match recording option pretty much serves the same goals as a spectator mode:
- You can learn by watching others play.
- You can easily make a case against cheaters you come across.
It is very useful for competitions and e-sports, where it is often necessary to be able to prove that you won a match, or that your opponent violated a rule, or that your opponent cheated, etc.
It is also good from a marketing standpoint, as players will generate millions of videos that will promote your game better than any viral marketing campaign.
End of part 1.