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No multiplayer is good multiplayer?
April 25th 2002, 20:18 CEST by BobJustBob

The release of GTA3 for the PC is almost here, and the hype is beginning to start. But a big surprise to fans of the series is that the game will feature no multiplayer option. From an interview we get that

we have to do something more than just death match

and

We have always had the attitude with gta that any new version must have significant advances on its predecessors and if a new feature is added, it must be as good and complete as everything else in the game.


I hear that a lot these days.

I remember the multiplayer in GTA2. It was basically just deathmatch, and it did seem marginally tacked-on, but it was fun. You try to crash into an opponent's car, then you crash into a building and your car bursts into flames. You jump out and run towards the street, hoping to jack another car before your opponent has time to make a u-turn and mow you down. All this with the same random motor traffic and innocent pedestrians. And cops.

But like so many other recent games, they say they won't release a tacked-on multiplayer mode. I hear that more now than "When it's done". From a gamer's perspective, wouldn't an average multiplayer mode be better than none at all? What about from a sales point of view? Would the multiplayer junkies buy the game as long as it featured any kind of multiplayer? Will they boycott it now? Will it matter?

It seems to me that whenever a game would have a complicated multiplayer mode, it goes single player only and we get this line. I imagine that GTA3 multiplayer would have taken a while to implement. And with GTA3 already around 6 months old, would even the addition of multiplayer cause it to sell as much as the PS2 version? It's just a port anyway. I think they calculated the cost of implementing multiplayer vs. the expected profit increase from sales, and then dropped multiplayer. But that wouldn't go over so well with the public, so they came up with the "noble developers unwilling to compromise the quality of their art" line.

So, are developers today really that worried about quality? Or are they just selling us an excuse and a leaner product because they know that we'll still buy it?
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#1 by Funkdrunk
2002-04-25 20:20:37
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
First post!
#2 by BobJustBob
2002-04-25 20:22:13
Nazi.
#3 by Funkdrunk
2002-04-25 20:22:15
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
Wasn't this discussed in a sub topic already?

Funk.
#4 by jjohnsen
2002-04-25 20:24:17
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Yeah a couple of threads back.  Everyone should have voted it in before the topic was spent.

Warez is naughty, saving your game is a personal choice and the coffee was just too damn hot.
#5 by BobJustBob
2002-04-25 20:26:10
Screw you all!

I brought it up when I wrote the topic, but it was only briefly discussed... it never really got past any of the points I made in the topic itself.
#6 by Matthew Gallant
2002-04-25 20:28:26
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Is everybody aware that when you put a topic into the bin, you can take it out again?

Because you can. And should.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#7 by m0nty
2002-04-25 20:34:08
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Hey kids, let's all see how long we can bitch about how crappy the topic is! My money is on at least 37 posts, what about you?
#8 by Bailey
2002-04-25 20:34:18
Yeah, I remember Bob kvetching because I mentioned a bunch of points he said was in this article... but I can't remember now. The bottom line: since I've finished the game on a rental, I'll not acquire the PC version. Were it to have MP, I might strongly consider it. While I'm not the everyman, I do think (as Warren mentioned?) that anyone who really wants to play this game already has.

So your mileage and all that.

Drinking is fun! It makes me feel horrible and sexy!
#9 by BobJustBob
2002-04-25 20:37:17
And then there's this, from gouranga.com about a possible multiplayer patch:
No. We're only interested in doing multiplayer right, so doing it unsupported is hardly going to do allow us to do that. If people are upset about this, we are very sorry, but the game is going to be very, very polished. We're just not interested in doing substandard unoriginal features.


I still feel that this is an excuse. The real reason has to be cost vs. profit, right?
#10 by Fugazi(werking)
2002-04-25 20:38:19
I have yet to play this game...so I will buy the PC version regardless of multi.





So there Bailey. :p

"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
#11 by Bailey
2002-04-25 20:39:05
You are the new everyman, Fugazi!

Drinking is fun! It makes me feel horrible and sexy!
#12 by Bailey
2002-04-25 20:40:35
I still feel that this is an excuse.

The problem I see with this, is that GTA3 was already a very, very polished game. The only shortcoming, as I can see it, was the firearms combat, particularly sniping, which can largely be blamed on the controller.

What's to polish?

Drinking is fun! It makes me feel horrible and sexy!
#13 by crash
2002-04-25 20:46:59
if a game has a single player component, i couldn't care less about the multiplayer component. if it has one, and it works, well, that's a bonus. if a game is built around multi, i couldn't care less about the single.

as for doing it half-assed, well, in the example above, i'd probably never even notice.

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
#14 by Funkdrunk
2002-04-25 20:48:35
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
BobJustBob

I still feel that this is an excuse. The real reason has to be cost vs. profit, right?


I dont agree with what you wrote.  The potential for GTA to be a big hitter with customers double dipping was very great.  I own a PS2 and a PC and when it had announced multiplayer, a few friends and I were all planning on buying it.  Now we're not.

There was potential for greater profits if it was added, given a caveat.  That it was fun.

Having neither seen it, nor played it, I have no idea if it's fun.

And to be honest, I would only be interested in playing multiplayer if it was something very GTA specific.  GTA deathmatch holds no interest to me.

Funk.
#15 by Neo-Reaper
2002-04-25 20:49:09
neoreaper@excite.com http://octobermoon.homeip.net
I think the number of people who made use out of GTA2's tacked on multiplayer mode can be counted on one hand.  GTA3 is a well-designed single player game.  I see absolutely no reason at all why a multiplayer mode has to be expected just because its coming out for the PC.  I also think that there our enough people without PS2s to warrant the PC port anyway.  The first two were quite successful on the platform.

So, um... yeah.

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#16 by Fugazi(werking)
2002-04-25 20:49:29
I AM EVERYMAN!

"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
#17 by BobJustBob
2002-04-25 20:50:34
Short list of additions. Maybe I'm just bitter, but it seems too short.

Add your own Radio station:
Les Benzies mentioned that all the MP3s you add will make up their own additional radio station that you can access just like all the other stations.
Two Control Methods
The PC version of GTA3 will include two control methods.  The first is just like the PS2 setup, while the other is more suited for PC gamers.  The new control style will allow for camera control and movement with the mouse.  This control style does not feature auto aiming and leaves it up to your own skill to gun down your opponents.
Graphical Additions
The PC version will be much more configurable allowing it to run nicely on a variety of machines.  Adjustments like draw distance and number of peds/cars on screen will be available allowing the PC version to run more fluidly than the PS2 version.  I can also see where it could make for some pretty interesting police chases with more cars around.  The PC version will also sport a much higher texture resolutions in full 32 bit color.   The GameSpy interview seems to indicate that there won't be any "card specific" features, like full screen anti-aliasing, but I hope they at least drop in some sort of texture compression support.
Replay
Another new addition to GTA3 is the ability to replay the last 30 seconds of gameplay from multiple camera angles.  You can then save these replays and view them later or trade them with friends.  I can think of many different occasions playing the PS2 version where this would have been very nice to have.
Audio
Full 3D audio is supported although no specific APIs were mentioned.  I would guess they are opting for DirectX 8.1's 3D audio support.


Also, they mention skin support for the main character so you can put your face on him, or something. I suppose some people would like that.
#18 by jafd
2002-04-25 21:07:24
I would much, much rather see multiplayer patched on after release, in nearly any single-player game, after enough sales have happened to show that it is justified, than to have the release and/or polish of the full game delayed just to tack on some crap.

OTOH, one person's "some crap" is another person's treasure trove. I heard a lot of people scoffing at Deus Ex's multplayer addition, but I enjoyed it a very great deal; not so much in the beginning, when the balance issues just about reached out through the screen and slapped your eyebrows off, but it eventually turned out to be pretty damn nifty.

I haven't looked at the mod scene around it for months and months, but I'm pleased as punch that such a "scene" is enabled to exist. Whether it "sucks" or not, in anyone's estimation - even the developers - is irrelevant.

I'd also prefer to hear developers "promise, maybe" a multiplayer patch "some time after release, perhaps" than have them come right out and say, "well, it sucks, so we're not going to let you have it." Uhm, excuse me? You're the developer, sure, okay. Does that also make you the Arbiter of Cool? I don't think so.

Ultimately, the product is their work, their creation, and their decision. Well, in theory, I guess, I suppose there are examples of multplayer getting scrapped against developer wishes because the publisher pulled the plug. The other side of that is the developer pulling the plug, not necessarily due to lack of money, but due to lack of... what?

I don't like it either way. My feelings are mixed on the subject. However, I know that I don't hear "we're not doing this because it sucks" and interpret that to mean anything more than an excuse crafted to appease the media public. I admit to some interest in knowing what the excuse is covering for, but I don't have much interest in hearing excuses in the first place.

This is no time for a slow PC!
#19 by Post-It
2002-04-25 21:49:43
keithlee@speakeasy.net
Since we've already covers this. . .off topic:

So does everyone have that one friend, who is really a fantastic guy, and fun to hang out with, whatever, but is at times, insufferably impressed with their own coolness? What to do about that? I've never found a way to bring it up without sounding insulting. And it's not that it happens so often that it's a real problem, especially since he lives a 1000 miles away or so, but we share a website, so there it is. Anyway, just wanted to vent.

Bad game designs are the new crates
-Greg
#20 by Matt Perkins
2002-04-25 22:01:20
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
On Topic without complaing about it (just to be different):

So they don't want to make a multi player addition to the game?  I'm confused why this is such a big deal?  I'd love to play it multiplayer if they had good modes, but do the developers of GTA3 owe us something I'm not aware of?  Excuses or not, it completely their call, they aren't beholden to us...

You make it sound as if they are trying to cut back on work they should be doing...  fuck that.  They get to make the game how ever they want...  Because I'm a gullible sort (maybe), I'll believe their reason for not doing it and go on with my life.

Change of business notice: New, pimping game love, from yours truly.  Want to advertise your game on PC, but want to hear the pansies complain about 'pimping'?  Just ask wzrd, your new neighborhood pimp...rates cheap, integrity not intact, no game to stupid!
#21 by EvilAsh
2002-04-25 22:02:09
evilash@eviladam.com www.eviladam.com
Egotistical friends?  Those that I do have generally get taken down a  serious peg.  And never again promote themselves around myself or the rest of the gang.  WE don't allow it. And the majority of my friends are the type that we don't take bullshit from anyone. And our attitude is.. a True friend Speaks their mind.  IF that person can't handle you telling him/her to STfu about themselves.. Then they never were a true friend in the first place.

On 2002-04-18 04:47:00  Some Sick fool said this.
"awww yeah, buzz baby, buzzzzz just for me."
#22 by Foodbunny
2002-04-25 22:04:23
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
"We don't let other people be egotistical, we have to keep all the ego to ourselves".

They're cute, they're cuddly and jam shoots out their heads.  I want 'em all!
#23 by BobJustBob
2002-04-25 22:06:55
Yes, yes, I am well aware that developers don't owe us anything. I'm just wondering if the reason they gave was the true one.
#24 by Post-It
2002-04-25 22:12:53
keithlee@speakeasy.net
On topic: It's their game, let them do whatever they want. More than likely, why spen all the extra work in sticking MP now, when they can just pretty much straight port it and still sell jillion copies. then they can just save all the work on MP for the next game and sell a gazillion jillion copies. So why miss out on that extra jillion?

Bad game designs are the new crates
-Greg
#25 by Duality
2002-04-25 22:14:20
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
I just smack em and tell them to "ditch the 'tude."

Or I would if I had friends.

Learning the Bailey Way of Social Sequestration one day at a time.

You're the new nazis.
#26 by Matt Perkins
2002-04-25 22:14:36
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
#23
So lets say the actual reason was what you suggested, the multi player portion wouldn't work with development time vs. money back from multi player...  this is a bad thing?

I can't see a bad reason for them cutting MP other than they just wanted to have us suffer....I'm going to bet that's not the case.

Change of business notice: New, pimping game love, from yours truly.  Want to advertise your game on PC, but want to hear the pansies complain about 'pimping'?  Just ask wzrd, your new neighborhood pimp...rates cheap, integrity not intact, no game to stupid!
#27 by EvilAsh
2002-04-25 22:17:33
evilash@eviladam.com www.eviladam.com
Well Wizard its just that the history of GTA series has always had Mp on the pc side.


As it is.. the GTA3 port is just that sadly..  a graphically tweaked and keyboard and mouse enhanced port.  And there were millions of people frothing at the mouth about the possibities of mp in  a GTA3 world for the pc. A balanced Dm game would still have been fun in the scope of the GTA3 world. And especially if they released mod tools for the game as well.

This is how they could have gotten away with a Dm mp only release..  Release Dm with the game.. release some good mod tools and allow the frothing at the mouth fans to create their own team-based mods in the GTA3 world.

IT would have solved both their problems. They could have racked up huge sales because of that addition over that addition.. And then from the learning experience of creating the dm mp code.. they could have taken the gta universe to the next level with their own Full-fledged mp Sequel.

I Don't believe the fans were expecting some Radical Mp GTA3 game. just a Deathmatch game to start would have been enough considering the free-flowing gameplay found in the game.

On 2002-04-18 04:47:00  Some Sick fool said this.
"awww yeah, buzz baby, buzzzzz just for me."
#28 by _Fury_
2002-04-25 22:33:37
ajhill@wi.rr.com
Well, I'll be buying it too, since I don't have a PS2.

I think that I'm probably the market they are looking to capture, don't you think?

Tacking on a crappy multiplay might have sold them an extra what, 50k copies? to the people who claim that they'd buy it again - especially considering it'd be 'crappy and tacked on' by the developers own admission. Why would anyone pay $50 for a bad deathmatch when you can get a good deathmatch out of the bargain bin?

Witty Quote
#29 by Bailey
2002-04-25 22:35:08
Post-It

You blog kids in general raise strange feelings and emotions within which I am not equipped to deal with. Most of them involve being unable to throttle someone over the internet, though I am drawing up plans for a prototype.

Drinking is fun! It makes me feel horrible and sexy!
#30 by Funkdrunk
2002-04-25 22:39:14
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
_Fury_

Why would anyone pay $50 for a bad deathmatch when you can get a good deathmatch out of the bargain bin


Agreed.

In order for multiplayer to add value to GTA, it would have to be something new that contained GTA's flavor.  A coordinated hit, where 3 different targets on 3 different islands all got hit within 45 seconds of each other, for example would make a insanely fun teamplay mission  (I know that was a bad example but it was the first that came to mind).  Or something.  Vanilla deathmatch when players can shoot at each other while jacking cars, although it could be fun, is still deathmatch.  

Funk.
#31 by mgns
2002-04-25 22:43:02
So, are developers today really that worried about quality?


But of course there are cut-throat developers willing to make a quick buck off "who wants to be a millionaire"-shit.

I'd wager a pretty they are heavily outnumbered by serious developer studios who, honest to god, just want to make the best fucking game in the history of gaming.

Enter the real world, as seen by publishers and bean-counters.
Exit "when it's done".
Enter compromises ad infinitum.
Exit "the best fucking game in the history of gaming".

professional philosophical level design monkey.
#32 by Greg
2002-04-25 22:50:37
Funkdrunk:

As has been mentioned before, the most potential in multiplayer games lies in cooperative games. But it takes discipline of the players to coordinate their activities, or it all boils down to a plain deathmatch. Especially if players can hurt their teammates. I know in every CTF session I play someone is good for knocking a teammate off a cliff or something similar. However, when everyone is hell bent on grabbing the flag, it can be a great time.

I would figure that any GTA-based multiplayer game would have to incorporate teamwork. Otherwise the game is basically the single player game, except occasionally you run into other players running around like you are.

Greg

-Swallow it all and be glad, for a shilling I've paid and a shilling's worth I'll be having!
#33 by Funkdrunk
2002-04-25 22:54:44
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
Greg

. Otherwise the game is basically the single player game, except occasionally you run into other players running around like you are.


And that doesn't sound too fun to me.

So, although I'm mildly disappointed, I'm glad they're leaving it out.

Funk.
#34 by Post-It
2002-04-25 22:58:00
keithlee@speakeasy.net
Bailey

Hey, no one is forcing you to go to my site and read my stuff. I didn't even ask for anyone to do so, I just wanted to vent about it for a minute and see if anyone had any suggestions. I'll admit, blogging is weird though.

As for throttling over the internet,
it's called deathmatch baby,
just bring it. :)

Bad game designs are the new crates
-Greg
#35 by BobJustBob
2002-04-25 23:07:31
Otherwise the game is basically the single player game, except occasionally you run into other players running around like you are.


That sounds incredibly fun to me. It's all the good of the single player game, and then some.

I guess it's like EvilAsh said. If this had been a PC-only or PC-first game, it probably would have had multiplayer. But Sony bought it as a PS2-exclusive for 6 months, and the PC gets shafted. Sony is the new nazis.

And once again, I am still buying it.
#36 by Warren Marshall
2002-04-25 23:10:16
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
People, come on ... I think was mentioned here before, but think about cross city CTF matches.  You move the flag in whatever vehicle you can jack or take it on foot.  You would show up on everyones radar so you wouldn't be too hard to track down.  It would be totally cool!

Round based DM would rock ... a free for all, using guns, vehicles, etc ... you die, you sit out until the next round.  Everyone shows up on everyone elses radar.  Beautiful!  Imagine the explosions and destruction!  *sniff*

And those are just fast examples ...  I think they should take 3 months and add in some cool multiplayer modes.  They have the necessary elements in there to make it fun.  Cars, guns, a living city ... ... such a disappointment.

WoT?
#37 by jjohnsen
2002-04-25 23:10:39
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Another new addition to GTA3 is the ability to replay the last 30 seconds of gameplay from multiple camera angles.  You can then save these replays and view them later or trade them with friends.  I can think of many different occasions playing the PS2 version where this would have been very nice to have.


Cool!!!!! Just like trading Pokemon cards.  


Do people really do this?

Warez is naughty, saving your game is a personal choice and the coffee was just too damn hot.
#38 by jjohnsen
2002-04-25 23:11:38
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Cool!!!!! Just like trading Pokemon cards.  


Do people really do this?


The above was not a quote.

Warez is naughty, saving your game is a personal choice and the coffee was just too damn hot.
#39 by BobJustBob
2002-04-25 23:14:30
I dunno about trading, but I know I'm going to save lots of replays.
#40 by "Evi|ivE"
2002-04-25 23:20:38
I'm with Warren.  A little thought put behind it and they would have a multiplayer goldmine on their hands.  The possiblities are endless.
#41 by Warren Marshall
2002-04-25 23:21:11
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
That feature would OWN in multiplayer.  :(

WoT?
#42 by snowcrash-22
2002-04-25 23:23:16
snowcrash22@excite.com
And those are just fast examples


Ahh... team based ambushes of a passing rival drug lord in an armored car.  If the ambush point is compromised or out right fails, radio the other team to fire up the Cartel Cruisers and ram the sunovabitch off the road.

Checkpoint based relay races across the cityscape.

Run! Forrest Run! Survivor mode where everyone is out to get Forrest (or Forrests).  Nobody appears on the radar.  If he stays still for say 5-10 secs(or in a very small area or alley) his radar priveleges are revoked for 30 secs and the bounty hunters can track him.  Of course he would have a visible cue to be able to tell if he was in a car that just zoomed past your post...he has to keep moving mind you.  Oh the mind boggles....
#43 by Funkdrunk
2002-04-25 23:25:12
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
Evi|ive

A little thought put behind it and they would have a multiplayer goldmine on their hands.  


But I think that's not quite the point.

Yes, a well planned multiplayer would be cooler than the other side of the pillow.  A rushed one would worse than horse turd on a sunny day.  

Funk.
#44 by chris
2002-04-25 23:39:29
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
round-based deathmatch is never, ever a good idea.

thank you,

-chris
#45 by Warren Marshall
2002-04-25 23:42:45
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
chris

If you're playing Quakeworld, you're right.  But there are places where it works ...

WoT?
#46 by Martin
2002-04-25 23:54:57
http://www.mocol.nu
Round based deathmatch is more or less what last man standing is.

-- Martin
Business as usual.
#47 by Bailey
2002-04-26 00:12:12
Post-It

As for throttling over the internet,
it's called deathmatch baby,
just bring it. :)

Your haiku-style blows,
Challenging you to SoF2, (pronounced "soff two")
No touch my briefcase.

Drinking is fun! It makes me feel horrible and sexy!
#48 by "Anonymous"
2002-04-26 00:34:44
GTA4:  MMORPG?
#49 by HoseWater
2002-04-26 00:36:24
barneyque@hotmail.com
After listening to so many people gush about this one, I can probably be counted on for a pc version of the game, given my recent track record, I am not terribly concerned about the question of multiplayer as long as the single player part is as fun as has been described.

Speaking in broader terms, since I know I am not the center of the world, multi would be the thing to snag the extra sales from those who unlike me, have already played it.  It would probably be in their best interest to see about making it happen.

1968-2002 Robert 'HoseWater" Lloyd
#50 by chris
2002-04-26 00:48:27
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
Warren -

I completely disagree. But that's clearly an opinion of mine, and not a fact, so okay. =)

-chris
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