Co-op/multiplay FPS idea

I know, I know we all have design ideas for the HOT NEW GAME! that we spout about occasionally. But this is simply under the category of “minor tweak” that I think would add a lot to the FPS co-op/multiplay experience.

One of trends happening with multiplayer games with no respawn is watching the action after you are dead. That’s where a lot of the off screen talk happens. When you’re playing a multiplayer or co-op game (we’ll take GRAW for this example, but you could apply this to any FPS with no respawns during the round, such as Counterstrike), during talk in the “dead room” is where you start to get to know the other players. The focal point of these spontaneous conversations is watching and commenting on the performance of the other players.

During this time, the people who are alive step up their performance because they know they have a captive audience. The invisible influence is always there. So how can we make this more fun? The solution, I think, is to add some character to this facet of the game.

Allow people who are still alive to “ham it up” for the spectators. Allow more animated and voical taunts. For more action-y games (the Actin Half Life mod was great for this), add some flourishes, cool looking moves, and showboating. Watching someone set up and ambush and having it blow up in their face (or work) would be great fun, especially with color commentary going on the whole time. On the “dead room” side, it would be fantastic to allow people to “draw” on the screen or snap pictures of the action that you could send attached to a message to the group (you’d have to secure and failsafe this, obviously).

I think this is a minor tweak that would really add to games, give them that “next gen polished” feeling.

Your description has me seeing pre-school level penis art dominating my dead screen in counter strike source already.


Yeah, it does have that drawback. Maybe you could enable/disable it as a game feature, chosen by the host?

Wow, a postive comment about AHL! I haven’t heard one of those since beta 3 (well before the mess we made of AUT)

I was thinking the opposite actually- allow the dead to play UNO or some other live game while waiting.

There was one FPS that had this ability which was Kingpin: Life of Crime.

It was an absolutely blast taunting someone with the female character from across the hall before Heavy MGing them in the head and watching it explode. Then they patched it and the exploding head went byebye, so I quit playing it. But it was a lot of fun!

How about when a player dies, he takes control of an enemy character instead? That way, when things start to go wrong, they really go wrong in a hurry.

  • Alan

Hahah, I like that Idea. If you can’t beat them, beat your previous friends!

I also like the uno idea. Honestly, EVERY game should have Uno already built into it, along with a save ability, so that when you died, you didn’t ALWAYS have to watch your friends sit around.

Also, the drawing or audience idea is also good. I think that alive players should be able to hear us, as, well, as though we were inside their head. We could only see them from behind the shoulder, so that we couldn’t spout off enemy directions, but we could also see certain things they pulled off with ease, as, well, people tend to watch their own handiwork.

Great idea Guapo!

aliens vs predator, survivor mode was that: one alien, rest marines. as the marines die, the aliens increase in number.

Perfect Dark on N64 also had a competitive mode, which worked along the same lines, in that one person was playing as Joanna Dark, and the other person was spawning as enemies in that Single Player level. And the person playing Joanna had to finish the mission despite the bad guys being controlled by a real person. It was really fun.

I was playing some raven shield terrorist hunt recently; while waiting for some ultra-methodical slow guy to painstakingly crawl through the entire level, I wished I could use some sort of “ghost powers” to just nudge the AI terrorists his way to finish things up more quickly.

huh! that sounds cool, does the 360 version have that mode? I’d buy it just for that. (only for that? heh)

yeah and when J killed the “badguy” player didn’t that person then assume control of another random enemy in that level? good stuff right there.

They said that would bne added in an update, I don’t know if it was in the one already released though. There is a game mode where it’s everybody vs. one and if that one kills you, you respawn on their team until there’s just one person left alive.

PDZ on the 360 Infection mode is just that. Most of the players start as humans, and some as zombies with only guns, they are to infect (by killing) the humans who then respawn as zombies themselves. Humans have to survive for a set time limit with limited ammunition. It was “#&” Awesome to play… felt like I was in the Resident Evil movies, when they are stuck in the city with zombies chasing them. Definetively one of the high points of fps gaming.

It would be cool if the players that are dead would appear as ‘ghosts’ to the guys still playing… and that they could affect the environment once every minute or so… say, the terrorist are hiding behind a crate, and they can push it over with poltergeist powers. Course, they would not be able to identify any players, that is, all humans look the same to a dead guy – to avoid someone using ghost powers to help their team.

It would also require IN GAMe Voicechat that actually worked, instead of being shit, which would BLOCK communication with your team when you are dead, or even better, garble your voice so it sounded like coming from the dead and you were unable to decipher it… “oooOO ooOO OOooO ooOO!!”

More games should block mic-in etc when the player dies, so he can not talk with his team mates who are still alive. Going as far as blocking VEntrilo, Teamspeak etc…

Dear God that sounds fun. I will now need to suggest this idea on every board for every upcoming FPS :)

You’d have to balance it so the main character is way more overpowered than the enemies, or it’d be too frustrating. It wouldn’t work in say, COD2 or Red Orchestra unless you pumped the “hero’s” stats and health up bigtime or made his bullets more powerful or something.

You just have a “handi-cap player monster” slider. Better yet, you allow more than two people and simply put the weaker players on the monster side, or every time a player dies they join the monster team, etc.

Having all the players start on one side and then swapping them to the monster side is, IMO, the best method because it’s self-balancing, the best players stay human side because they survive.

They could get a bump on stats as as a survival reward for not dying, each time another team mate dies and goes to the other team?

This wasn’t in a video game but a paintball scenario I organized once I used a similar mechanic. I called it Kosovo. Basically most of the people were grouped into a UN Peacekeeping force that had to rescue a high ranking three foot inflatable penguin from Serbian militias. I told them that as UN forces died they would be sent in as Serbians after a short delay but I don’t think it sunk in because the UN didn’t protect their rear. Needless to say the balance started to swing toward the Serbians pretty quickly and the UN had to go run and gun to get the penguin and reach the extraction zone.

Dang that was a lot of fun to watch.

Meh… next gen polished feeling, you say?

Anything they could add would be window dressing on a double wide that was thrown across the nearest state line by a tornado.

The fact that the developers (in the case of CS, which is the most eggregious) are too lazy to evolve the game past the point of no respawn doesn’t mean we should give the dead players trivial things to participate in or observe.

They should be playing the game. EOD.

You could think up hundreds of stupid mini-games and collaborative sandbox events for spectating players, but it only serves to reinforce the dissonance between game states.

Back when I played a lot of CS (early betas) I had dreamt of the ability for each spectator to buy a $500 rock that could do ~15HP damage. Ignoring the fact that a bunch of stones flying into your skull from ethereal space would be perplexing, I would have loved to stone people to death as a ghost-mob. It would have shaved ~4 minutes off of the default timer of ~5 minute rounds.

Then I realized I was spending my time not only detatched from the game, but theorizing modes in which it would be excusable for the game to suck as bad as it did. The tail is wagging the dog here.