For a game I haven’t even played yet, I’m a bit obsessed with Monaco. My backlog is preventing me from springing into a new game just yet, but soon I hope to be plunging the depths of Monaco’s heist-based, co-op driven goodness. With friends, of course.
One of the more fascinating things I’ve read about the game recently has to do with its community design. The creator of the game, Andy Schatz, faced an interesting challenge — how do you promote good behavior from your online community? While most online games do excel with a bit of proper teamwork, co-op based multiplayer always has a bit of a risk. Once players stop working together, the game breaks down. That’s why most games offer a bit of a chance for players to become a lone wolf, running and gunning as they see fit, with no care of what their team is doing. So how did Schatz address this issue in a way that few have accomplished before?
It seems the most important factor for Schatz turned out to be intimacy and community responsibility. In terms of intimacy, players in Monaco are always within each others’ view, they’re required to be close, and you have to meet up in intervals to accomplish certain tasks. He likens this to Journey, where you can see the other player and can work together to fly with one another. While I haven’t played Monaco yet, I remember that Journey actually felt like another human that I connected with, rather than a bot, even though I couldn’t even speak with them.
But the more interesting thing that Schatz highlights in the article is how they promoted it within the community, and gave excited users the responsibility to build its foundations from the ground up. They made sure to bring the right people in early, and let those people develop the tone of gameplay and what was expected from other players. It’s an interesting approach to a beta, like the way betas run in the social media age, thanks to places like Reddit.
If you’re at all interested in the way certain factors influence game design, and how creative dudes tackle those, I highly recommend checking out Andy’s piece over on Kotaku.
Have any of you guys played Monaco? What are some other games that incorporate good design decisions that influence player behavior? What multiplayer games have you played where people actually work together?
Source – Kotaku