PS: Don't try to play Outward with your novice gamer kids.
Some co-op games ones you might enjoy are Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, Magicka, overcooked, hammerwatch, Trine, Rayman Legends or human fall flat.
There's also a really big back catalog of arcade or earlier console emulatable local multiplayer co-op games, many of which have gotten ports like Chronicles of Mystara or Gauntlet if you don't want to mess with emulation.
Makes me feel like an old man, and I'm still in my 20s.
Not affiliated, seen the talk from GDC about it.
The biggest issue is that only one XInput controller can work at a time, so you have to use something like JoyToKey to utilize a second controller unless one of you is okay with mouse and keyboard. Happy to save someone the headache if they need a JTK configuration.
My GF and I played Overcooked 2. She loved it, but honestly I found it way too stressful for me (I felt like I was at work during a Sev1!). I've always played FPS & RTS, and so entire genres of games are just so unfamiliar to me, but I'd love to explore some and see what else fits.
Just the other day, we tried Stardew Valley. I never thought that kind of game would interest me, but it's fun walking around the world, going into town, interacting with NPCs. I think those "slightly-more-structured-than-Minecraft" games would be cool.
(2.1) What's the game State of the Art for "a group of friends commanding a space ship"? I experimented with Pulsar: Lost Colony a few years back, and heard that Elite Dangerous has some new coop stuff in it. I'd honestly love a "first person perspective" version of Homeworld 2. You and some friends are manning a frigate, battling it out with NPC ships, etc.
(2.2) Other small group of friends games? I've got a friend who is setting up a minecraft server to play in, but I'd rather have some other small group game where we could team up and either build something (e.g. minecraft clones, or other open world things), or even perform adventures/quests together (I've never played any RPG, and am not particularly interested in the magic/fantasy genre). I know it's a bit dark, but I've always thought a multiplayer/co-op version of This War of Mine would be absolutely incredible.
Anyway, if anyone has strong opinions on this, please share!
Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator is a really good one I've played with friends before (albeit that was about 5 years ago since we last played). The graphics are fairly dated, but IMO the gameplay is there, and when you include 5 other friends playing in the various positions as well, it can make for a lot of fun.
Star Trek Bridge Commander? (Crew?)
though it can get kinda stressful.
If you have a ps4 Unravel 2 is pretty fun light platform for two people.
My GF plays fortnite with her cousins husband and his brothers. This like it. The voice chat is pretty decent and the game is lite for a shooter.
Plus the occasional Fortnite concert/DJ set is an interesting break.
I also recommend getting the Epic Store free games, since all your friends can get them. Not all of them are multiplayer though.
This week GTA5 is free, you might want to try the multiplayer with your friends.
I realize this isn't state of the art, but "Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime" is a very approachable take on this concept. Very couch co-op friendly and you aren't 100% reliant on your crew so you can carry the game if you're playing with people who don't usually play videogames.
> Other small group of friends games?
Terraria is a 2d-minecraft-like game that AFAIK also has some RPG-like elements. I haven't played it a ton but it seems more approachable than minecraft.
It's hilarious with the right group of friends.
Unrailed is an early access game on Steam. Short but not bad. A bit like Overcooked in terms of task management.
We've tried Borderlands and Diablo 3, but quickly became a bit bored of them and dropped off. Lots of loot and not a ton of substance I felt.
1. Halo: MCC is out for PC and will include six titles for $40 - though you need two copies for co-op play. Halo Reach, Halo: CE, and Halo 2 are out currently. Others coming in 2020)
It's relaxed, beautiful, tons of fun to play, and exactly the kind of game to play with an inexperienced co-pilot.
Also, Gran Turismo or any racing game (if your partner is into these kind of games).
For anybody who's unfamiliar, the game is thus: one person is stuck in a room with a bomb. They can pick the bomb up, manipulate it, and interact with it, but a clock is ticking and the bomb is going to explode. On the phone with you are the Bomb Defusing Experts, who are armed with a Bomb Defusing Manual for the bomb in question (free PDF, www.bombmanual.com if you're curious). Unfortunately, the manual was written by somebody who loves inscrutable graphs and hates the person reading it.
The person with the bomb has to describe the modules on the bomb, e.g. "I see three red wires, a blue wire, and a white wire". The people with the manual then need to instruct them on which wires to cut in order to defuse the bomb correctly, e.g. "Three red wires? Cut the second wire. Wait, hang on - does the bomb have a parallel port? Okay, cut the third wi-WAIT, how many batteries does it have? Did you cut the third wire? thank god, definitely don't cut that one."
The bombs can get hard and stressful, but it's a fun asymmetric game that works really well over voice chat.
I had an intellivision growing up and playing sports games with my brothers was a great memory. Back then, all multiplayer was couch based...
Dungeon crawling with the kids would be incredible. Hearing their screams as they get surprised by their first cave skeleton, and then hear them fall over backwards over the coffee table.... nothing would make me happier right now.
Up to 4 player Co-op. Incredibly fun games.
Source: I play co-op and versus games with my kids. We've incorporated casual video game play into our family time for the past few years.
Bubble Bobble is another obvious choice, but really there are thousands of 2-4 player coop games.
You can usually set the difficulty directly in the arcade machine setup, or by proxy by limiting yourselves to a certain number of coins.
A warning that unlimited coins can just make a game a never-ending grind because you don't have that failure/reflection loop to skill up between attempts and you can end up way beyond your ability to succeed by just feeding coins in.
FIFA / NBA 2K for older kids.
Castle Crashers, Children of Morta. A little more violent, things like risk of rain, chaosbane, diablo 3, inquisitor martyr.
Buy two consoles....
My sons both had one when they were both at home. The older one bought one with his own money.
It’s like the old days when people use to lug their gaming rigs to each other’s house for LAN parties.
The industry isn't recession-proof though. A lot of folks I know on the events, marketing, and game dev side have been losing jobs at an absurd pace. It's one of the clearest examples of a double-edged sword that I've seen
But it doesn't really make sense for an industry that is seeing increased revenue to have a downturn.
I'd also be skeptical of that survey, there are a lot of people with game side projects that will do just about anything for exposure.
Anecdata: I personally have been laid off from 3 different game studios, each time it was just after one of the games I was working on had shipped. I finally decided my dream industry was a little too dysfunctional to stay in it, and left it after the third time. I only make video games in my spare time, now.
Although I've worked for a few enterprise organizations since then, and so far I've seen nothing but dysfunction in them, too, so maybe it's just endemic all over. Like at my current company, which managed to drop from its all-time-high stock price a whopping 93% over the past year and a half, for many good reasons. But at least I get paid more.
This article also discusses the tendency, and how infuriating it can be: https://kotaku.com/why-game-developers-keep-getting-laid-off...
It's had record views and subscriptions. On the other hand ad revenues have dropped as well as, of course, newsstand revenues.
It's been interesting.
Big name, but random googling says Half Life Alyx sold 50k vs.... Animal Crossing at 11 million+ by March 31.
I'm not sure Half Life Alyx has any relevance as far as volume of play goes ;)
You really don't. I have a 3ft by 3ft playspace (at most), and I played through Alyx (as well as tons of other VR games) just fine. Sure, having more space would've made it a little bit better, but the overall experience is just as great.
Most companies when they introduce a platform do try to push it with some of their own high profile content. Valve not so much until recently.
It's only been the past several years that Valve has completely stopped making games, and started working on other things.
It's easy to estimate roughly from the steam data that is publicly available.
Much like music, movies, pretty much all media.
Not that you are wrong, but i feel like it would be more interesting to see those numbers in the context of the entire install base. Like, number of sales compared to the number of those devices in people’s hands.
I saw a news article a couple of weeks ago that in my city, Xboxes, Switches and PlayStations are very hard to come by. I don't think people are dropping hundreds of dollars mid-cycle to buy new machines for the games.
To a much lesser extent, I have done this, too. My local used video game store started doing free home delivery, and I picked up a half-dozen Atari 2600 carts that were missing from my collection. But for me, in addition to needing the distraction a game provides, I need the comfort and familiarity of the big wood-grain beast and simple joysticks.
I haven't played games in 10 years. But during lockdown here in South Africa, the only way to stay in touch with my friends 20km away is to have a fat chat on Discord and play some games.
One friend even mentioned he hasn't been nearly this excited about video games since childhood.
There's a few new releases I'd like to get, but I'm too busy with the games I already have, so I'm holding off.
Lockdown has increased video game consumption beyond newer releases, the price of Wii consoles and Wii Sports has increased, for example, which shows an increased demand for a console that came out 14 years ago.
So it's a combination of a strong new releases, a big reduction in options for other leisure activities, and literally millions of newly unemployed people.
It's still not SOR2, but one of the best sequels ever.
Playing lately Phoenix Wright, Cities Skylines, Alien Isolation (snagged it at $2), RDR2.
Actually, I understand exactly what you mean. I spent yesterday trying that game. I ended up getting it for free. In the beginning it was fun, I was excited to watch the city grow. By the time I finished, I felt like I'd just wasted hours doing absolutely nothing. Everything was shallow and pointless. Didn't help that all the stuff I wanted to do and thought I might be able to do was stuff that was locked behind a bunch of dlc, that I didn't find out about until I'd gotten kind of sick of it and read a bit about the game.
But then I also started playing Minecraft again on server set up by a friend of a friend. And the feeling is completely different. While most of us (5 players) spend out times doing our own thing much of the time, just the occasional visit (and surprises left behind) makes all the 'pointless' home improvement feel worthwhile.
And it actually is, to a degree. I'm chatting with the other players (some of whom I've never met IRL) about strategies, what to get where, and interesting things to do. And while our homes are far apart and we rarely visit each other, we're working on a massive railroad project to connect all of these homes.
I forgot how much fun this 'pointless' stuff can be when there's a social component to it!
Beyond that, I've been sharing an island with my partner, and it's just been a joy-filled adventure getting to see the work each day that the other has done on the island and their house.
That being said, I do agree with the emptiness of the accomplishments feeling. I suspect that it comes from putting a lot of effort into creating something only to realize that it has no value outside of the game itself.
I suspect Amazon's numbers for this quarter are going to surprise a lot of people
So yes, Amazon may well be a winner because of the shift, but they are winning a larger fraction of a smaller pie.
I never thought I'd have child-like excitement for an upcoming game again until I entered the world of Paradox.
Paper Mario: Origami King was announced yesterday.
Personally, I'd forgotten there was a MS store until I looked this up just now.
All this on top of the fact that my c:/ drive is tiny and I want to install my games on an external harddrive. In fact I think I had a double install going at one point.
Long story short the microsoft store sucks.
Lately I’ve been playing Wolfenstein Youngblood in co-op with a friend on the Left Coast, and Phantom Doctrine also (neither of which are new games), and having a blast with both.
Animal Crossing... I just don’t understand the appeal
It's basically The Sims mashed up with Minecraft mashed up with a cute animal aesthetic. Those things are insanely popular, but it's totally understandable that they're not universally appealing either.
Doom 2016 v Doom Eternal: same shit
Valorant: it's in beta so I'll give it some slack but it's pretty boring
Half Life: Alyx: a VR game. lol Valve. Much rather get a Source 2 update for CSGO
Atleast GTA V is free on the Epic store.
Gears 5 was CoDified, still happily playing Gears 4 though.
MCC for PC just came out. Can't believe I can play Halo 2 again!
As I age and my family grows it's becoming obvious I'll never complete many of them. But that's OK too.
I'm starting to do the same thing for my Switch. I've just gotten a fat 500gb microSD card for it. I'm even rebuying games I already had on PC just because the portability factor is nice.
My partner says it's bad money management. I dunno, it's a hobby I think. My only concern is that Steam kicks the bucket one day.
Spending 3 or 4 hours on a game that cost a dollar or two feels fairly economical. I got Alien Isolation for $2 recently. That probably would have just gone into my collection unplayed. But I did give it a shot. And would say it's probably worth full price.
(All the while, there's a little voice in the back of my head snickering and calling me a liar.)
Same with books. So far it has kept the pile of shame from growing.
Tetris, Civilization, XCOM: UFO Defense, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Spelunky, Brogue, CDDA, and now Slay the Spire.
There have been a lot of other games, but those are the ones I've really played in my life. Others are pretty much relegated to 6 hours maximum, and that's just for games I really enjoy.
I do wonder if me getting bored with it will occur at Ascension 20, Ascension 20 with Heart, or sooner.
I tend to stick with games for a long time.
I just learned that cavalry sucks. I probably have 1000 hours in EU4. Though Paradox needs to patch it.
Steam claims I've got 3000 hours in the game (I think much of that was paused while I was doing something else), and I'm just doing my first complete iron man game. Possibly the first time I ever got past 1700, or at least the first time in a very long time.
This is true of a lot of things. A weird effect of having so very much excellent work available in so many media is that my quality of life probably wouldn't suffer noticeably if they just... stopped making new art of those kinds, entirely, for the rest of my life. Novels, games, movies, recorded music. I don't have time for all the good stuff that already exists, as it is.
I pretty much bought a PS4 only for Rocket League and Gran Turismo and that's all I've played in the last years. Plus a few SNES platformers. Perfect for 20-30 min gaming sessions without too much involvement
We have all these hundreds of games we've paid for, and somehow just end up playing free co-op tower defense mods in Dota 2.
Nothing wrong with continuing to play those type of games forever. I've been playing counter-strike for 20 years now. Some games just have endless play and replay value.
Currently I'm playing Stardew Valley on my FireHD10, I never played a mobile port that had THAT good controls.
I also got Terraria and Minecraft and they are pretty bad to play with awkward on-screen controls.
Does anyone here know of games that have good mobile ports? Or even good mobile games to start with? Most "native" mobile games just were really basic, full of in-app purchases etc. so I was looking more into ports, but if you know something good, let me know :D
It's like factorio but more tower-defense and round-based. Much more approachable while still being really fun.
* Star Traders Frontiers is a new old-school game that's also quite excellent
* There's a large number of old-school adventure games ported or created for mobile such as TimbleWeed park or Gemini Rue
* 80 Days is a beautifully written steampunk narrative travel adventure
* Out There and Out There Chronicles are modern classics
* Also & Oddysey are single-button games that are extremely simple but quite beautiful and peaceful
Did the controller story for mobile get better?
The XBox controllers on desktop work like a charm, even with browser games.
Are there any stats on how many Android games are playable with such a controller?
The controls are actually not half-bad.
There's also A LOT of board game ports of varying quality.
I've been enjoying Through the Ages. Ticket to Ride is competent. Splendor, Race for the Galaxy, and Twilight Struggle also pretty great.
It's a fork, but some nice quality of life upgrades and tweaks imo
One question I have is, is this revenue rate sustainable or it is an unnatural pump that will die out in a couple of years? Once people can go outside without fear I'm thinking that it won't be a long term investment.
[^1]: The casual/hardcore gamer distinction is a really weird dichotomy that doesn't make any sense because there's probably a set of axis akin to Bartlet types that more accurately describes videogame consumption
Maybe we should find a different description for them than “game” which tends to indicate competitive elements and does not describe sandboxes or interactive narration / exploration very well. Unsure what to call them but people definitely crave them.
I'm not sure how I feel about this statement in general, but I find it funny that the actual latest "graphics whore zombie shooter" happens to be Doom Eternal, which has its own depth and richness that elevates it above the mainstream FPS games you're referring to.
The situation is better than that of toiler paper. One human being consumes the same amount of toiler paper during a pandemic that in other circumstances. So, an increase in purchases now means a decrease of purchases in the future.
For video games the increase can be real. During a pandemic, and quarantine, people needs to pass the time in some way. Movies, and video games are popular ways of doing so.
After the pandemic, thou, the need for recreation will go back to normal with the decrease of available time (corrected upwards by the amount of new players that keep on with the habit and downwards with less available income during a recession).
Aren't types of toilet paper important too? I would assume the average household is literally going through more toilet paper now than before; since before they were partially using industrial toilet paper at their employers.
The paper employers buy is usually not the same types that consumers buy.
With that said, I don't doubt we were out of toilet paper due to hoarding. Just adding a little asterisk that it's not purely hoarding.
At least enough to take a few users away from Netflix and Youtube permanently.
The revenue rate already isn't sustainable for anyone who isn't Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft (and as the story notes, Nintendo won the quarter in part by taking enough business this quarter from Sony and Microsoft for them to end _down_ even with some big announcements and releases).
There's a real fear in studios that between the pandemic, unemployment spikes, expenses in moving to remote work coming before savings from getting rid of offices, and the broader economic malaise, this represents the last bit of inflation before wallets close for years and the games industry bubble pops for many, many studios.
I never watched any movies or tv until I met my partner. It just wasn't a thing I even thought of doing. Now, I suspect I would still watch things on my tv even if we separated.
Once you're addicted to sugar, you crave it.
Dopamine is habit forming.
I expect the same to hit the games industry this time around too if the economy isn't able to 'open up' to some degree in time.
If anyone has a good source for parts online that isn't backordered to next year, let me know!
They might invite you to some gaming session on the spot, or some time later, which is huge for maintaining connection.
Even if they don't, the weak-ish bond of having a common interest is stronger if you're interested in the same specific game, than if you're just interested in gaming in general.
Now you could say, "there are already other versions of these sorts of games out there". True, but this brings them all under one roof, so to speak. One consistent interface through which you can play Connect 4 or Yahtzee or or whatever you choose. It's also developed by Nintendo, so there's going to be a certain level of polish you don't usually find in some random indie developer's release. I think it's going to be a killer title, especially if lockdowns continue to drag on. My only question is why they didn't try to accelerate the release date on it to catch more people stuck at home (though maybe it was considered and they had a good reason not to).
You actually use your phone as an input controller into the game server (Quiplash and drawful they like). Check the setting for "child friendly". Its ends up being pretty fun. (We've been playing a couple hours the last 4 weeks)
A brief description of the game here:
Not if you’re living in an apartment.
> personal or side development projects
I write enough code at work, thanks.
> online courses, playing music
Sure, those are good options.
> the utter stagnation that is television and video games
The fact that you decided to lump watching television (passive) with playing video games (active, engaging, sometimes social) tells me that you have no idea what you’re talking about.
I've done all those things AND have spent more time gaming than ever before (well at least since college). Don't hobby shame, celebrate your differences and support those who have unique interests.
I have three game sessions for the upcoming week and we are supposed to be starting Startrek at half term.
The benefits of implementing play are vast and are emphasized in evolutionary psychology. Video games are just one means to leverage play.
I definitely would love to put my focus more on something harder like a side project or blog but it can almost feel like a side job at times. I'm trying to tackle those projects by just chipping away at them. Latest has been a blog. I started with Hugo, didn't like the templates, then went for a straight HTML approach to do it bare bones. I'm starting to get ideas of just making my own personal Markdown parser since I start seeing patterns in my HTML that can be generated. I think this way will be more fun!
To each their own.
Preferring gaming is one thing, getting offended over suggestion it is actually possible to be happy at home without gaming is ... odd.
I personally find narratives in games actually detract from the experience, and many games are better from having no or only minimal story built into it, and more like being sandboxes:
-Just Cause 2
-Kerbal Space Program
-Sins of a Solar Empire
-Dungeons of the Endless
-Sonic Allstars Racing
Literature has immensely more complex narratives than it is likely possible for films and games can hope to achieve. But to be able to provide interactive sandboxes with unlimited possibilities is perhaps one that only games can provide.
If anything I think games with the right attention can have better narratives than literature because they aren't limited to words in assisting the narrative with visualization and depiction of events / emotion.
Much like pulp fiction and early sci-fi were treated as second class literature games range the spectrum as well. I think we can likely both continue to find examples to fit our points and it just shows the range games have as a medium.
Take witcher for example, the games offers a single model of Geralt of Rivia, while someone reading the Witcher novel is free to construct their own model, their own landscape,..etc.
My point is that narratives are not a strong point of games, rather it might even be a weak point; they are not what makes games unique or different from other forms of culture. The more games move away from a narrative structure, the more unique and compelling experiences they are able to offer, is my view of the matter.
Or maybe I should edit to sound less dismissive because that wasn't my intent.
How little can you say and how much work should the reader/viewer/player have to do before we stop really considering it a narrative? And if those gaps exist, couldn't we argue they aren't really part of the narrative? Unless, of course, the gaps are intentional but I'd argue as one example that vague character descriptions are a lack of fidelity in written language rather than intentional.
I also enjoy the visualization and imagination involved with reading books, but if you are limiting the definition of "narrative" to how much visualization is involved, then I don't think it makes sense to directly compare books to movies and games.
There is complete mechanical proof of the player's knowledge and understanding of the narrative and there is no wrong way to play. You simply get a different interpretation of the story depending on how curious you are and how closely you examine the textual evidence they elude to.
The storytelling can seem obtuse. I argue it works in support of the world design. You are the narrator.
I can't attest to Destiny and my memory of Deus Ex is hazy but all the other games you listed are firmly in the second category.
Not to mention that just equivalence of narrative content does not mean anything in terms of work of art's quality - i.e. one could write the most wretched version of Brothers Karamazov, with technically the same content, but just no substance... The true value of work of art reveals itself in how deep it is - i.e. how much it can deliver to its reader (in terms of richness of characters, jumping points for philosophical thought etc.). BK were studied for over a century now, with countless articles and PhD theses from different angles written about it - a true testament to its richness. One can wonder how deeply "Nier Automata" will be studied.
Maybe because I feel like his examination of human nature or the bleak reality of things feels less impactful now that its such a common thing to write about. I can recognize his historical importance but in modernity his work I believe falls behind.
I'd agree they're not wildly better. Though if I put as much time into one of those activities as I have into games I'd probably be really really good at them, which I bet would open up some doors if I went looking for them, rather than just being alright at games and knowing some stuff about them, for whatever that's worth (nothing at all).
That said I'm a workaholic with my job and 2 active projects outside of that who likes to lift and go outside so I can't really take fault with that mode of thinking since I've never quite captured my own idea of how I should be doing leisure.
I kind of dont see how you could play The Witcher while working overtime and having two side projects and going outside.
I don't have that much time off that I could take week off for the game.
I take multiple walks every day (I have a dog), but I also live in a 500 sqft rental apartment in Manhattan which limits the kind of activities I can engage in.