I’ve been drawing the first level for my co-op stealth prototype, and there’s one major gameplay issue I started pondering: replay value.
The multiplayer games I’ve played are all about replay:
- Zombie Panic (or other Half-life zombie mods): I kept playing the same 2-3 levels over and over.
- L4D: Versus or co-op mode, but I did spend some time playing the same levels.
- NHL ’10 (and of course ’95) is pretty obvious: skating on the ice with bit different teams doing the same thing over and over.
This got me thinking whether I should try find ways to offer replay value for the first level by various systems (such as randomizing the places of important objects, guards, guard AI, and so on) or whether I should focus on doing a totally handcrafted level where guards, objects, and everything are found from the designed locations.
Since stealth games are different from action games, adding the replay value might become tricky as the levels are somewhat “puzzles to be solved”. Once you know the route to complete the mission, the replay value is close to zero.
I know I’ll just start with simple system: I’ll design a map that needs to be “solved” cooperatively and see how that works out. Better not try make things more complex than necessary.
Your take on this?
If you’ve played online multiplayer games, what has been the most useful elements that have got you back to play the game over and over? To me, the biggest replay value has been people – the multiplayer gaming experience in itself. Even a simple game of Risk becomes much more fun when playing against Real People instead of AI.
Note for self: there’s tons of material about “replay value” in the net and design books. Re-reading some resources might bring more ideas on how to handle this.