Devs Answer: What are your favorite emergent social interactions in games?

Dark Souls 3 is reminding us how players can reinvent multiplayer mechanics to suit their own unconventional ends. We polled game developers for their favorite multiplayer social interactions

When somene invades your game in Dark Souls 3, they're, in theory, dropping in to duel you and destroy your hard-earned progress. But what happens when a player wants to challenge their enemies in a more unconventional fashion? As you can see below, here's what happens when a Dark Souls player decides not to invade another player's game in the traditional hack-and-slash way, but decides to judge them on an entirely different basis altogether. This makes it a sort of Dark Souls by way of Project Runway experience. 

This story (and others like it) reminded us that though multiplayer games are ostensibly pure combat games, players will discover surprising interactions existing in the game, and turn them into new kinds of gameplay of their own. We polled our Twitter followers to see what some of their favorite emergent multiplayer interactions were, to see what other ways players could upend expectations in multiplayer gaming. They're quirky, amusing, and sometimes the foundation for developers setting off to make games for themselves. 

Emergent multiplayer interactions can consist of anything from players choosing not fighting each other, to using the combat mechanics as a strange form of communication, to pursuing alternate objectives that aren't counted by the game's scoreboard. We polled our Twitter followers to see what some of their favorite emergent multiplayer interactions were, to see what other ways players could upend expectations in multiplayer gaming.

Remember, if you're interested in participating in these conversations in the future, make sure to follow @Gamasutra on Twitter. The questions usually go out on Fridays in the late morning, Pacific time, alongside Tweets of our regular news, blogs, and original writing. 

Dark Souls multiplayer duels are actually frequently stories of strange encounters, since they can intersect with the game's co-op features, or get interrupted by encountered with the game's monsters. Here, one designer describes the social interaction of turning Dark Souls duels into an observational affair, not a free for all brawl. 

Another story, from Halo 3's forge mode isn't too far out of what's expected from custom game creators, but it's worth remembering that custom game tools can lead to goofy and fun player adventures and in the same breath, be the foundation for a whole new genre of game. (As MOBAs and other game types were born out of the custom creators of Warcraft III.)

This next moment of unexpected social interaction could just be best summed up as "oops."

While "killing people in Quake" isn't EXACTLY an unexpected interaction for that game, "comeuppance" definitely might be.  

And finally, one reader reminded us that even Super Smash Bros can be reworked into a classic game---specifically, ping pong. 

We'll leave you all with a little video of this unexpected minigame playing out---maybe it's worth including this at next year's EVO?


Latest Jobs

Xbox Game Studios

Redmond, Washington
Technical Lighting Artist


Hamburg, Germany
Game Designer - Elvenar

Six Foot

Houston, TX
Six Foot Director, Player Relations

Hometopia Inc.

Lead Engineer
More Jobs   


Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter


Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more