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Why is 2-4 player co-op so exceedingly rare?

#1XialohPosted 4/30/2014 11:06:10 PM
I'm just curious as to why this aspect of gaming is largely ignored. There's always this big focus on social features (i.e. Rockstar Social Club, Uplay in AC4, etc.), but no co-op. Just pointless social features that really aren't necessary or interesting at all.

It's not like it shouldn't be feasible. AC4? Let friends play as assassin henchman (like in Brotherhood), raise the AI level or make the patrols more active. Maybe even increase enemy spawns if you're on PC. LA Noire? Let them play as that secondary character you run around with. Mass Effect? You have an entire ****ing squad. Shouldn't be that complicated to let someone control one of those characters, or just let them play a custom character that gets to participate like your main character. Skyrim? Well, all those mods would be an issue, but the base game should have had co-op with virtually no effort. Player 2 is a follower without any sort of leash. Done.

So really, why is this always left out? When I started gaming when I was like 7 on my sega genesis or whatever, all sorts of things were co-op (or the games I played were, at least). Now it seems to be disappearing, despite all these social things that would make you think the opposite were true. Do gamers actually not want co-op in the first place, and I'm just in a minority?
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#2ClouddxPosted 4/30/2014 11:09:06 PM(edited)
If you're talking about online co-op.

Coding is hard man, to add online to every game would require them to write netcode and a ton of other stuff. Some engines are terribly hard to write netcode for, just look at the people trying to make that Skyrim Online mod.
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#3DoramiPosted 4/30/2014 11:12:34 PM
I believe there is plenty of co-op in the often maligned Call of Duty series in the campaign. Actually, I often see the emphasis on co-op based campaign to be a point cited against CoD. I suppose this tells you the type of gamer that tends to give publishers feedback on what they want.
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#4Xialoh(Topic Creator)Posted 4/30/2014 11:46:59 PM(edited)
Clouddx posted...
If you're talking about online co-op.

Coding is hard man, to add online to every game would require them to write netcode and a ton of other stuff. Some engines are terribly hard to write netcode for, just look at the people trying to make that Skyrim Online mod.


Isn't the Skyrim Online mod practically trying to make the game into a small MMO? That's a group of amateurs (presumably, I haven't kept up with it since the year Skyrim launched) trying to make the game work with numerous people. All I'm talking about is 2-4 people.

I had assumed that given that MMOs exist, and that most of these games have a multiplayer pvp mode, that it would be easy to make MP work in singleplayer on a small scale. However, I know nothing about netcode, so I cant really comment on the difficulty from a point of experience.


Dorami posted...
I believe there is plenty of co-op in the often maligned Call of Duty series in the campaign. Actually, I often see the emphasis on co-op based campaign to be a point cited against CoD. I suppose this tells you the type of gamer that tends to give publishers feedback on what they want.


Well, I can see how that might ruin things
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#5CatToyPosted 4/30/2014 11:48:50 PM
Dorami posted...
I believe there is plenty of co-op in the often maligned Call of Duty series in the campaign. Actually, I often see the emphasis on co-op based campaign to be a point cited against CoD. I suppose this tells you the type of gamer that tends to give publishers feedback on what they want.


CoD doesn't typically have co-op campaigns, no. The only one that did was World at War. Most of them with MW1 and on have co-op of some sort with zombies or challenges, but not campaign.
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#6DRAGON07891230Posted 5/1/2014 6:03:59 AM
If you want co-op, Far Cry 3 has some. As to why there isn't more, that's just laziness.
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#7SinisterSlayPosted 5/1/2014 6:08:55 AM(edited)
Co-Op is hard.
You have to design your game so that two players don't make mince meat of the enemies. But how do you do that without just adding more of them, or doubling their health?

The only successful co-op usually has it's own separate story/levels, like portal does.

Skyrim is already so easy that's its basically a walking simulator.
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#8Xialoh(Topic Creator)Posted 5/1/2014 6:30:57 AM
DRAGON07891230 posted...
If you want co-op, Far Cry 3 has some. As to why there isn't more, that's just laziness.


Isn't that mostly small missions, completely separate from the main game?

SinisterSlay posted...
Co-Op is hard.
You have to design your game so that two players don't make mince meat of the enemies. But how do you do that without just adding more of them, or doubling their health?

The only successful co-op usually has it's own separate story/levels, like portal does.

Skyrim is already so easy that's its basically a walking simulator.


Well, it isn't like they really need to do balancing in a game like Skyrim.
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"Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be." - Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game
#9phy2jshPosted 5/1/2014 7:50:00 AM(edited)
DRAGON07891230 posted...
If you want co-op, Far Cry 3 has some. As to why there isn't more, that's just laziness.


I keep seeing this assertion that devs are 'lazy', and it's annoying. Their job is to weigh up the time and cost resource associated with implementing a feature, against the corresponding return they get from it.

If a feature is uncommon, it's because it isn't popular enough or it's too expensive to implement - 'laziness' has nothing to do with it.

Edit: To witness this, try going to the Wii U board. I'm always seeing people say that a 3rd party dev isn't bringing their game to the console because they are lazy. Yeah right, that's the reason...
#10JKatarnPosted 5/1/2014 8:29:38 AM
Xialoh posted...
Clouddx posted...
If you're talking about online co-op.

Coding is hard man, to add online to every game would require them to write netcode and a ton of other stuff. Some engines are terribly hard to write netcode for, just look at the people trying to make that Skyrim Online mod.


Isn't the Skyrim Online mod practically trying to make the game into a small MMO? That's a group of amateurs (presumably, I haven't kept up with it since the year Skyrim launched) trying to make the game work with numerous people. All I'm talking about is 2-4 people.

I had assumed that given that MMOs exist, and that most of these games have a multiplayer pvp mode, that it would be easy to make MP work in singleplayer on a small scale. However, I know nothing about netcode, so I cant really comment on the difficulty from a point of experience.


Dorami posted...
I believe there is plenty of co-op in the often maligned Call of Duty series in the campaign. Actually, I often see the emphasis on co-op based campaign to be a point cited against CoD. I suppose this tells you the type of gamer that tends to give publishers feedback on what they want.


Well, I can see how that might ruin things


The thing is, even with a few players, the game will have to keep everything synced up for each player, so say in Assassin's Creed, if one player stirs up a commotion, the game has to synchronize the motion of the crowd etc. for every other player, which involves sending state data for the objects etc. to all other players/keeping it synced. It's not impossible to do, but depending on the engine it could be very difficult.

An engine really has to be designed with MP in mind from the get-go, and even then it can be a difficult proposition. Grafting MP onto an engine with no provisions for it to begin with is even more difficult. Then there's also the fact that devoting time/resources to an MP mode detracts from time that would be spent balancing the SP. Not that I don't enjoy co-op play, merely stating that there are good reasons for the limitation of Co-operative gameplay modes.
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