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KoolHndLuke

Is Single Player Mode Dying in Modern Video Games?

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36 minutes ago, winny257 said:

Yes exactly, ten years ago, in a year, I bought between 40 and 60 singelplayer games, worth 2000-3000 euros.
the last few years only 2 games, a loss of 2900 euros for the game companies! 
If these companies do not need money then I will keep my money.
I hate multiplayer with low singleplayer section and I will never buy such games. :classic_wink:

I guess it could also be due to the longer dev time modern games require? You don't see many AAA games developed in two or three years anymore. It seems more like 4-5 years now at least. Some of that could be attributed to building massive open worlds and adding more things to do in it that gamers pretty much expect now. Plus, some are focusing on going back and remastering old titles, which cuts into time they could be spending on a new game. Not that I mind playing the RE series again-for example- with updated graphics, but a new game (with some of the old appeal) would be much better imho.

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At least in my overall favorite genre, strategy games, and mainly grand strategy, imho everything is still ok.

 

Almost all games by Paradox Development Studio, Creative Assembly and Illwinter have strong single play.

Sure, the ai always makes mistakes, but given the complexity of the games it is ok, and you can adjust with tons of mods or your own small tweaks in the settings/gamefiles.

 

Eu4, Hoi 4, CK 2 and Dominions 5 are very fun in MP too, but given the lenghty nature of those games, their complexity and the difficulty finding enough people who get along well enough with each other and who are not apart too much in their game skills playing them in MPs is difficult.

 

 

My only minor gripe in that genre is that those 3 mentioned companies have almost a monopoly. A few other titles come out every year too but they are usually much worse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, xboronx said:

At least in my overall favorite genre, strategy games, and mainly grand strategy, imho everything is still ok.

 

Almost all games by Paradox Development Studio, Creative Assembly and Illwinter have strong single play.

Sure, the ai always makes mistakes, but given the complexity of the games it is ok, and you can adjust with tons of mods or your own small tweaks in the settings/gamefiles.

 

Eu4, Hoi 4, CK 2 and Dominions 5 are very fun in MP too, but given the lenghty nature of those games, their complexity and the difficulty finding enough people who get along well enough with each other and who are not apart too much in their game skills playing them in MPs is difficult.

 

 

My only minor gripe in that genre is that those 3 mentioned companies have almost a monopoly. A few other titles come out every year too but they are usually much worse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stragedy is my fave too. And no- that's not a typo. I think of strategy games as both fantastic and tragic due to the limited ai in most of them. But, I have to admit that ai in most of these types of games has gotten significantly better in recent games. I've played Civ so much that I can anticipate from the beginning which leaders will do what in the game. For instance, everybody will gang up on Gandhi because he built the pyramids and adopts pacifism. The ai simply looks at the # of troops you have and goes to war if you are weak. It must be very difficult to program comprehensive/analytical/dynamic ai in strategy games or otherwise since I haven't seen enemy ai be anything but predictable after awhile.

 

Another thing that bothers me about ai is that they don't seem to be affected by conditions like weather. I can't see shit in fog or heavy rain, but the enemy ai can spot me a mile away.

 

Now think for a minute. Is it easier for me as a game dev to make a game for multi-player/coop? Or is it easier for me to make a complicated ai? The answer seems obvious to me.

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9 minutes ago, KoolHndLuke said:

Stragedy is my fave too. And no- that's not a typo. I think of strategy games as both fantastic and tragic due to the limited ai in most of them. But, I have to admit that ai in most of these types of games has gotten significantly better in recent games. I've played Civ so much that I can anticipate from the beginning which leaders will do what in the game. For instance, everybody will gang up on Gandhi because he built the pyramids and adopts pacifism. The ai simply looks at the # of troops you have and goes to war if you are weak. It must be very difficult to program comprehensive/analytical/dynamic ai in strategy games or otherwise since I haven't seen enemy ai be anything but predictable after awhile.

 

Another thing that bothers me about ai is that they don't seem to be affected by conditions like weather. I can't see shit in fog or heavy rain, but the enemy ai can spot me a mile away.

 

Now think for a minute. Is it easier for me as a game dev to make a game for multi-player/coop? Or is it easier for me to make a complicated ai? The answer seems obvious to me.

Deciding what's easier between programming AI and having a multiplayer game is comparing oil to water, I don't think it's fair to put them on a scale at all especially since you need AI online too if it's a co-op game. I don't know much about programming or setting up servers for games but if you want a multiplayer game there's a lot more to it than taking the time during the dev cycle to make it behave realistically or make the right decisions based on current numbers on a board. Keeping up an online game there's server costs that persist beyond the release of the game, balancing tweaks for a fair playing space, and squishing online-specific bugs or exploits not present in the main game, among other things. It's added difficulty to the game's development, it's not "easier," a game's developer could just as easily not have an online mode at all and keep the game strictly offline for example but they still have to code AI for their single-player game, multiplayer and multiplayer related content, as well as multiplayer AI, balancing, etc. is added on top of that, a game is absolutely not easier to make just because it's got an online mode, or is mostly online. 

I think you dismissed this somehow as if games didn't have AI during online play, the full game still has to be made before the online interactions can be, even in online-only shooters. Moreover, among other things, desync in a co-op game can ruin an experience in the blink of an eye, even more so if it's a PvP mode or game, you also gotta consider some form of anti-cheats, the MHW Arena and Xenoverse PvP leaderboards for example are totally broken because of cheaters, that's something else to account for and I'm not gonna get too deep into Dark Souls hackers, or how easy it is to modify your save files if the game doesn't have a way to check for tampering or isn't keeping them server-side, that's something that always have to be maintained as people slip around the game's measures against it. As far as I know, and I don't know a lot, there's a lot more unforeseen problems developing a game to be played online than there can be when you're just building an AI which is why a lot of indie devs don't do it, it's a lot of money and a lot of maintenance added on top of the game you have to build to begin with.

I mean unless you're making a barebones puzzle game or one of those infinite runners, if you have any intention of making a full game you need some sort of AI, it's not like you can replace coding characters or enemies with coding an online co-op mode, what are you gonna interact with?

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7 hours ago, winny257 said:

Yes exactly, ten years ago, in a year, I bought between 40 and 60 singelplayer games, worth 2000-3000 euros.
the last few years only 2 games, a loss of 2900 euros for the game companies! 
If these companies do not need money then I will keep my money.
I hate multiplayer with low singleplayer section and I will never buy such games. :classic_wink:

Why would the publishers care if they lose you as a customer when they can milk kids with microtransactions which bring much more money to the table AND cost almost nothing to produce?

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10 hours ago, KoolHndLuke said:

I guess it could also be due to the longer dev time modern games require? You don't see many AAA games developed in two or three years anymore. It seems more like 4-5 years now at least. Some of that could be attributed to building massive open worlds and adding more things to do in it that gamers pretty much expect now. Plus, some are focusing on going back and remastering old titles, which cuts into time they could be spending on a new game. Not that I mind playing the RE series again-for example- with updated graphics, but a new game (with some of the old appeal) would be much better imho.

is not quite right, Ubisoft between Assassin's Creed Orion and Assassin's Creed Odyssey 1 year development time.
then 2 singleplayer games were released, this I with joy would have bought, if there not a small handicape would be!
I hate subtitles, especially where different dialogues are crucial to the game!
Red Redemption 2 and GreedFall, these two games are only available in English speech output.
the funny fact, GreedFall is from a French studio and they have an english voice published.

 

for me a punch in the face! :classic_wink:

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Single player games are gonna be rarer, but they will never die. On the contrary. They will be the gems that everybody is waiting for. Just take a look at God of War.

Big companies will try to go after money with those moltiplayer games, but you can never fit as much depth and story into a multiplayer game as you can in a good single player game.

In my opinion, there will be many multiplayer titles, but they will all be the same. Then there will be less ambitious single player titles, which will not do so good or be kinda indie. Then there will be the gems i mentioned, pulling better sales than the mutiplayer games, but ofc they dont bring as much money because of missing macro transactions, ingame shops etc...

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12 hours ago, MoBetray said:

Single player games are gonna be rarer, but they will never die. On the contrary. They will be the gems that everybody is waiting for. Just take a look at God of War.

Big companies will try to go after money with those moltiplayer games, but you can never fit as much depth and story into a multiplayer game as you can in a good single player game.

In my opinion, there will be many multiplayer titles, but they will all be the same. Then there will be less ambitious single player titles, which will not do so good or be kinda indie. Then there will be the gems i mentioned, pulling better sales than the mutiplayer games, but ofc they dont bring as much money because of missing macro transactions, ingame shops etc...

-Call of Duty: World War II(shocking I know), Destiny 1/2, Bloodsouls(The franchise), Gears 5, Doom(2016), Borderlands(all of them), Divinity(franchise), Titanfall(1 and 2) are all games that have a big focus on multiplayer but have a ton of content and depth regardless of that, they also often have fairly lengthy single-player campaigns and stories to tell on their own right for those interested and I only mentioned mainstream AAA releases I could remember off the top of my head but avoided fighting games as that's a niche market. If you're going to make some sort of vague assertion at least try to be right to some capacity. And obviously Bloodsouls only partly counts.

-Strictly single player games that are interesting and ambitious come out all the time, where are you getting this data? Horizon: Zero Dawn, Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption, the Uncharted series, most of Assassin's Creed, Breath of the Wild, Bioshock, Sekiro, Far Cry, Dishonored and its standalone Expansion, the Witcher series, Subnautica, Bayonetta, the Arkham Games, Spider-Man, MGS5, Fallout 4, and so on, and again this is off the top of my head and obviously I'm counting up more single player games because that's more of what I play than multiplayer, like... how can people say these things so matter-of-factly despite being so incredibly and demonstrably wrong.

 

All you gotta do is look at the Single-Player tag on Steam, or the Multiplayer tag and see how many actually interesting and well-received games exist for either and continue to come out, granded my list is a little outdated because I'm focusing on beating my backlog but it's not that difficult to research such an easily countered assertion. Ugh.

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Most of Namco-Bandai's recent releases are either single player or co-op as are those from Tecmo-Koei as are their upcoming games. Even Lab Zero, creators of Skull Girls released Indivisible, a single player RPG. Greed Fall is a recent release from SPIDERS. I'm not seeing the increasing rarity of single player content at all.

 

One need not worry that single player games are going any where soon though individual game developers might make the shift to what they perceive to be more lucrative markets.

When that happens, just move on the the next one which provides the experiences that you are looking for or fund them yourself on KickStarter, IndieGogo or Patreon.

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On 10/12/2019 at 3:30 PM, winny257 said:

Yes exactly, ten years ago, in a year, I bought between 40 and 60 singelplayer games, worth 2000-3000 euros.
the last few years only 2 games, a loss of 2900 euros for the game companies! 
If these companies do not need money then I will keep my money.
I hate multiplayer with low singleplayer section and I will never buy such games. :classic_wink:

 

you think game companies care that they lost a customer, especially those that uses micro-transactions? No they don't care cause they will just drain money from kids/teenagers even adults that spend money through micro-transactions and just re-coup there loses

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Blizzard attempted to kill the single player mechanic with Diablo III. Well you know what? I beat that game, in Inferno, SP, no trading. No AH. It was brutal, but I did it.

 

If BL3 is any harbinger of the future, solo play is here to stay. Solo build guides are all over YouTube already.

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People, mostly greedy ass publishers, have said this for over a decade 'We're focused on the multi player campaign because the single player market is a dying niche' Then someone makes a single person game and sells several million copies with good critical reception. It's the same nonsense they trot out for Horror or JRPG's and they been proven wrong so many times.

 

No one tired of single player games. There isn't a drop in interest or sales of SPG. They're tired of lazy design, weak story, poor game play, bug out the ass with patches that break it worse (hello Betheseda and EA) and over-monetization where you're encouraged to pay for 'time savers' and Slot machine mechanics ($100 dollars to actually get that rare sound good? No, well fuck you pay me anyway.) to get anywhere without hours if not days of grind they programmed to stat with. 

 

If they were right DOOM, God of War 4, Sensua, and Horizon Dawn, among plenty of others, should been terrible flops with poor sales. They were not. Now they're unhappy when a game sells 1.8 Million but they told the shareholders it be 2M so it's a failure. I have no idea how you can have enough profits to literally drown in it and not be happy about that because of a made up number. If they had made all the money in the world they'd expect the next game to sell better somehow. It's just unrealistic that growth like that is going to be sustainable.

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On 10/12/2019 at 6:56 PM, KoolHndLuke said:

I guess it could also be due to the longer dev time modern games require? You don't see many AAA games developed in two or three years anymore. It seems more like 4-5 years now at least. Some of that could be attributed to building massive open worlds and adding more things to do in it that gamers pretty much expect now. Plus, some are focusing on going back and remastering old titles, which cuts into time they could be spending on a new game. Not that I mind playing the RE series again-for example- with updated graphics, but a new game (with some of the old appeal) would be much better imho.

We see a lot of them doing this. God of War 4 was done in little over 3 years. AC: Odyssey was done in 3 years (Mid to late 2015-Mid-late 2018) given both it and Syndicate, it's previous Quebec designed installment, released Oct of those years.  Unless you're building a new game engine or switching over to a new console you don't spend five plus years developing a game unless something gone seriously wrong. Anthem was developed for seven years. It wasn't actually worked on until the last 18 months or so and that hurry and and get it down attitude tanked the game and put Bioware on the block for EA.

 

Problem is no one but the companies itself expects that, forgetting a giant sandbox where nothing happens and has barely any content to it is a waste of time and energy and becomes a chore to deal with. Another problem you as a the player have to deal with. It's like Arizona, huge land, Three places you actually even want to be and the rest is giant literal wasteland you endure to get somewhere else interesting. Size is nothing without content in said area.


Publishers are also risk adverse so it makes sense they take a game that made money last gen or two and pop it out again. I love FF7 and 8 but fuck me if we need a remaster of 7 that's going to be split into episodes. RE at least did change up the game play and content so it;s not the same thing in a new coat of paint showing Capcom can still make good games when they can be bothered and aren't just making literal slot machines.

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On 9/30/2019 at 6:32 PM, KoolHndLuke said:

Jeez, could you just stop beating around the bush and give a definitive answer?!! :classic_tongue:

 

And there is no such thing as a "dead" topic as long as it is still relevant (and isn't right on the heels of a similar topic). Also, as a game developer yourself, you might have a particular agenda to push..... vested interests and all.

I wouldnt bother with replies such as that. Doesnt specify where he works, whether its a successful company, or what metrics he is reading from to offer up said proof in defense of his theory.

 

Less does not technically mean "lack of" but when you are talking about an industry that moves like technology and gaming, that is in a nutshell what it means.

 

Also, simply because they are "tired" of seeing a topic, doesnt mean it is a dead topic as you had pointed out.

 

Anyhow, while I may not work in in the game design industry professionally, I have played many games, in many different genre's and categories. I also keep up on gaming news about what is being released and by whom. I have noticed a steady declination of single player games over the last ten years or so. It IS safe to say that companies are producing either less single player games, or, at a much slower rate than they used to. This can be due to a number of things, but that does not change the facts.

 

More MMO-style games, and app games, are being made today than single player games. Not to stand on a soap-box, but, anyone whom says differently just isn't aware of the trends, mountains and valleys of gaming over the last decade or more.

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I miss NOT having to patch a bought game.... at all. But that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far away....

 

Seeing my game library CONSTANTLY needing updates, for games 'completed and sold' 10 years ago just makes me wonder. Don't get me wrong, I understand patches/etc. needed for new hardware, and the such means NEW installs may need some love, but when my old programs ran fine 5-7 years ago.... why do I need patching?

 

And given the number of hacks and whatnot for 'modern' multiplayer games, exactly why do I want to play these anymore?

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20 hours ago, Ankahet said:

at a much slower rate than they used to. This can be due to a number of things, but that does not change the facts.

 

Your myopic view consisting of AAA is pretty indicative of how this topic keeps coming up mean while three new darlings of the month are all single player games, same for last month.

 

A wikipedia page is unnecessary where a sentence will suffice.

 

A far more salient tenet is "game I like" versus "games that exist" and it's pretty telling which demesne you're traipsing through and isn't an objective marker on any planet.

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1 hour ago, 27X said:

Your myopic view consisting of AAA is pretty indicative of how this topic keeps coming up mean while three new darlings of the month are all single player games, same for last month.

 

A wikipedia page is unnecessary where a sentence will suffice.

 

A far more salient tenet is "game I like" versus "games that exist" and it's pretty telling which demesne you're traipsing through and isn't an objective marker on any planet.

I really could care less what you think. I've had a run-in with you before. You were an ass then, you are an ass now. Have a nice day.

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The real problem is that AAA and most AA were like able to make more money form MTX multi-player platform's whales paying up and with alot less cost form designing story, voiceover, props, character rigging, AI and so on, so why make single player games?

Unless that we consider current model of multi-player gaming with MTX as hard drugs and ban every single one of those filthy lootbox/gamble mechanic money, its not going anywhere.

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On 10/13/2019 at 12:30 AM, winny257 said:

Yes exactly, ten years ago, in a year, I bought between 40 and 60 singelplayer games, worth 2000-3000 euros.
the last few years only 2 games, a loss of 2900 euros for the game companies! 
If these companies do not need money then I will keep my money.
I hate multiplayer with low singleplayer section and I will never buy such games. :classic_wink:

yes due to this i hardly buy any new games lately.

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Me when browsing Steam Games:

 

- Single Player

- Single Player

- Single Player

- Single Player

- Single Player

- Single Player

- Single Player

- Single Player

- Single Player

- Single Player

- VR

- VR

- Online Coop

- Online Coop

- Sidescrawler

- Sidescrawler

- evtl. some MMOs...

 

What I really miss is some classic Shooter style games. They are really rare :P 

 

 

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If the big publishers move away from making single player games, the Indie developers will happily swallow up that market and all the money that goes with it. And Indie games are getting really good. And sure, in ten years a lot of those indie developers will become big developers and try to squeeze some money out of the over-saturated multiplayer market. Circle of life.

There will always be lots of players who want to game solo and not have to deal with being griefed by TrollNutz420 and his friends.

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I guess it also partly comes down to "sex sells" 😂  Have you looked into Subverse hype? The game isn't even out yet and it's definitely going to be singleplayer. But that doesn't stop it from becoming propably the most wanted Steam game soon enough.

 

Not to mention World of Warcraft is planning to open its first ever solo dungeons in coming expansion as its i guess main selling point.

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