Multiplay Or Not (Take 2)

I’m currently on an exploration venue. I started thinking of new game ideas for the next project, built first prototype (threw it away). Then started working on idea #2, which evolved into a prison escape themed stealth game.

I’m now in the edge of “multiplay or not“, a theme which I mentioned couple of months ago. The idea of Great Escape remake is a nice one, but there’s one thing that’s lacking: multiplayer. The more I tested the game, the more I thought about it, the more I was drifting away from multiplayer.

And regarding multiplayer, I’m presenting myself a question which the game concept must pass:

“Would I enjoy playing this game?”

That’s the solution. That’s the answer to “multiplay or not” question.

The answer for single-player “Great Escape” remake is “yes, like once”.

If it was a multiplayer, probably a lot more often.

And how to make it multiplayer? Well, that’s the challenge. I’m doing some circling around and listing what kind of multiplayer games I enjoy and how I could present these concepts in a multiplayer game in a fun way. I think I’ve found the art style (minimalistic) and (possibly) a theme (prison/escape seems fine for now, although if I find a different one, this might go – samurai theme is still in the back of my head).

Next step: digging deeper in the ground of “what I enjoy in multiplayer games”.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. What about dual play? Someone playing with his/her friend/spouse/whoever? Sounds like fun. As we had playing Lego Star Wars or similar games.

  2. 2 totally different answers. sort of underlines the point in my blog post.. :)

  3. No way. Those games are all about patience and planning and such. I can’t imagine a good multiplayer game that takes advantage of that. Opposing players would ruin it by focusing too much on the players (knowing that they’re actively planning a breakout) and teammates would ruin it by acting too impulsively or making it too easy by serving as sacrificial lambs to distract the guards.

    Escape type games are incredibly cerebral. Moving it to a social model detracts from that.

  4. If its a prison break, you basically need several persons with various sets of roles or skills – making it a cooperative break-out. Diplomacy (getting goods from the guards), Electronics (disabling alarms), Mechanic (disabling engines), Brawler, etc.

    Try to make a playthrough take 30 – 60 mins, and coming up with randomizations each time; what kind of structure the prison has, what kind of tools are available, the prison guard schedule, what alarm system, how many inmates / guards. Make the players draw down plans – you only get one chance :) No room for a Leeeeroy Jenkins.

    Maybe have persistent characters in the game (“I’ve broken out of 3 prisons already – damn enemy keep tracking me down again”), although the question is what you earn from actually surviving on the the next game.

    You could even try to make it two teams, one for the inmates and one for the guards, although I’m not sure how to handle the last :)

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