Co-Op without Co-Op

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by RickshawWatcher, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. RickshawWatcher

    RickshawWatcher Warper Member

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    Let me set the scene for you.

    The room is dark, but the ebony veil is not impossible to pier through. You can see the room around you, barrels and crates stacked up against the wall emitting a stench of rot and barren cupboards. On the far side you see a large wooden door with what looks like a electric lock, four glowing zeros feel like eyes staring at you and accusing. Between your slumped form and the timber portal lies a small object emitting the sound of static. Reaching forward to pick it up your hand accidentally presses a button and the static cuts out. Realizing what the object is you put the handheld radio up to your mouth and speak.

    "Hello?"

    In another room, this one is a bedroom covered in years of dust and cobweb, your word awakens another lone victim. He looks for the source of the sound and finds another radio similar in design to yours. He pushes the button and speaks into the microphone.

    "Is someone there?"

    So the basic design is simple. The whole experience is built around the radio (representing the real world Ventrilo, Mumble, or Skype call) bringing two people together in order to survive in a strange place. Of course they aren't really playing together, that capability is either beyond RPGMaker VX Ace or would be a pain to create. Instead the two would pass information back and forth through the radio / voice call in order to solve puzzles, exchange passwords, give directions, or anything else. Usually under duress as monsters begin to populate the facility.

    However, greed can come into the equation as both parties are tempted by an unknown figure that also speaks to them. Give him this code instead of that, maybe I'll give you some healing items. Send her this way instead of that way and maybe you'll get a weapon to defend yourself with. Sacrifice your companion and maybe I'll grant you freedom.

    That's one way I've been thinking of adding the ability to have another player's actions impact your gameplay, as crude as it is. What would be your suggestions on such a concept? It's just an idea I've been toying around with, rather half-baked if anything, but I've not seen it done before and I figured it would be food for thought.
     
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  2. Vance Raehart

    Vance Raehart Story writer/Aspiring Artist Veteran

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    weird idea for co op. then again sounds amazing.
     
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  3. HumanNinjaToo

    HumanNinjaToo The Cheerful Pessimist Veteran

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    I wouldn't call it co-op but, pretty cool idea
     
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  4. Ravioko

    Ravioko Villager Member

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    Sounds like a cool idea. I assume one person would be in control of both people?
     
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  5. RickshawWatcher

    RickshawWatcher Warper Member

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    It would just be a low tech way of introducing some kind of co-op, so I guess if they were so inclined a person could theoretically just run two instances of the same game. But it might not work very well if, say, I were to put a simultaneous run challenge in both games and take away the ability to pause on both paths. > :D
     
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  6. DancingDrake

    DancingDrake Random Lurker Veteran

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    Oh so the Skype call would be an actual Skype call and the players would have to choose which person to play as? Then they would physically have to tell each other information that the other person would have to enter in to their game to get certain responses? That sounds very interesting if I have understood you correctly.
     
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  7. Ravioko

    Ravioko Villager Member

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    Now, if THIS is the case, then it sounds like something that would be really fun to play  :D
     
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  8. aironneil

    aironneil Indecisive Creator Veteran

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    I've actually heard this idea before from a cracked article. The idea sounds awesome although the only real problem I can see with it is that it'd have to be played with two people all the time and it'd be best if it were the same two people throughout (course, if there was some sort of AI thing implemented well, it could work). I could see it work out how the game wants the two people to help each other in the first half, but then puts up the temptations later so that it feels like a more worthwhile moral choice system then other games have tried so far.

    Then again there are other problems like the fact that you need someone else to help you through the game, there could be situations where you get ahead of them in your area so that you have to wait for them to get what you need, or the other way around. I don't know, but if it were done right, it could be almost revolutionary.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
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  9. Erynn

    Erynn Villager Member

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    This sounds like a great way to play co-op. Yes, it'd have to be the same two people in the same save, but that's been done before (play by e-mail civ anyone?).
    It would take a LOT of work. But actually, I think I'd enjoy this. It's something that gets kicked around a lot in games - how to make games fun for people who like playing different games, or new for people who like playing the same kind of game. It's one way. Actually has more in common with old style play than new. Yea, a lot of work. But also, if you can pull it off, a lot of fun. Communication is something that is interesting to work with. Games are at their best when they explore facets of ourselves. How we relate to other people when other people have power over us and we them is interesting - especially if you can code in temptations to sabotage. Players will have to balance their own immediate needs with their long term goals - something which when correctly implemented makes game play much more interesting. Especially if these little decisions to betray the other player are seemingly small things that the other player will not know.
    Pacing would need to be heavily controlled, so people could work together.
    The work would be massive. Massive. But I would play this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2013
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