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Defining the true appeal of offline multiplayer
Defining the true appeal of offline multiplayer
March 11, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

March 11, 2014 | By Christian Nutt
More: Console/PC, Indie, Design

"When you get together to play games with friends, the space you're in becomes a ritual space, like the stage at a concert or the altar at a wedding."
- QWOP creator Bennett Foddy, in a new opinion piece on Polygon

These days, multiplayer games that dare to not include online play are dinged by the press and players. But developer Bennett Foddy explains that things are not nearly so simple in an opinion piece that's half a basic explanation of how networking for games works, and half an impassioned explanation of the art of in-person multiplayer.

In the piece, Foddy defends games like Samurai Gunn, Towerfall Ascension, and the upcoming Sportsfriends, his current project, from detractors who say they ought to have online modes.

"As a designer, I'm looking to recreate the sense of occasion and ritual and importance that I have felt playing local multiplayer games," Foddy writes. "The best local games aren't just offline versions of online games -- they are designed to intensify these social dimensions of gameplay."

The full piece is well worth reading, and you can do so at Polygon.

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Ron Dippold
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The piece is excellent. He's got a very clear vision and simplifies the technical issues fairly well.

Just don't let the comments depress you too much.

Christian Nutt
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Yeah I don't read them on the consumer sites.

Towerfall is GREAT btw. Wouldn't trade my Sunday playing it in-person for a year of multiplayer online gaming.

Jarod Smiley
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I've heard great things about it, also back a Kickstarter for Sport Friends, hopefully that releases soon.

Getting TowerFall on PS4 this month, is it just as fun with only two players? Likely, only my wife and I will be playing frequently unless i have friends over.