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Multiplayer Bodycheck

Talking about the multiplayer aspect of Bodycheck.

A couple of weeks back, there was some chat on Twitter about why indies (generally) shouldn't make multiplayer games, culminating in this article of sage advice from Dan Marshall regarding his experience with the most excellent Gun Monkeys.

Clearly, as a sports game, our upcoming PS Vita game Bodycheck is inherently multiplayer: there are always at least two teams on the field of play, so it's in our interests to offer some sort of multiplayer aspect. The fact we're only targetting Vita certainly helps with our plans for the game, because it has multiplayer support built-in, allowing us to focus on a game where we have up to four teams on the pitch at once. I hasten to add that it's certainly not "free" to add that support though!

The primary multiplayer aspect is essentially local multiplayer, with the exception that everyone will need a Vita on the same network or within Bluetooth range in order to play rather than gathering around an OUYA or PS4.

For "true" online play, though, we mitigate a couple of key points from Dan's article through the nature of the game:

  • We'll only support head-to-head matches across the big bad internet, to alleviate the hanging around waiting for a couple more players to become available.
  • We're not going to fragment the player base by having lots of different servers (a lesson learned from working on the original XBLA version of Quarrel).
  • We'll have some player ability comparison system so that you won't necessarily be paired with someone who is somehow better at the game than you.
  • Finally, we have to build AI for the game anyway, so if all else fails, we can just drop you into a regular match versus a bot.

Since the game is still in production, all of the above may change to some degree, but I doubt it will change markedly. 

[Original version posted at Ludometrics.com.]

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