Posted on March 14, 2008,

The Co-Op Bill of Rights – What Do You Want in Your Games?

halo.jpgSome games come along with innovative features that seem like a no-brainer; think online matchmaking and the party system in Halo 2. Yet, even years later, games still used archaic methods to find a match online, leaving us wondering why developers don’t swallow their pride on the issue and ripoff Bungie.

The same can be said about any number of things in co-op games. Some games get certain practices right, while others refuse to adhere – out of ignorance of stubbornness, I don’t know.

A recent post on Penny-Arcade reads:

Army of Two is forward thinking in that your equipment and cash persist, no matter where you are playing or who you are playing with. Where it is less forward thinking is that you can’t join a friend’s game unless you have already beaten the level they have selected. In many games, but especially in co-op, people are going to be traveling through the game at their own pace, and players should be enabled in their efforts to play this cooperative game cooperatively however they like. It’s as though we need to create a kind of Co-op Bill Of Rights, so delineate in clear terms what we consider bedrock in terms of functionality. In essence, we’d like the games to cooperate with us.

Expanding on that, Ozymandias (AKA Microsoft’s Andre Vrignaud) started working on a rough draft of a co-op Bill of Rights. Among the features that every co-op game should have is the ability to join up with a friend, regardless if you’ve made it as far into the game as they have – and you should get achievements, too, without having the ones that lead up to them – as well as support for local co-op.

There’s more to it, all of which you can read at Ozymandias’ blog.

With that in mind, what do you think are some necessary (or at least much appreciated) features in co-op games, or even games in general? I’ll be pulling some of the responses from the comments into a new article with my own personal wishlist.

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5 Comments on The Co-Op Bill of Rights – What Do You Want in Your Games?

William

On March 14, 2008 at 10:19 am

How about not splitting up your party in matchmaking? That is one that really gets on my nerves with Halo.

Handshakes

On March 14, 2008 at 10:24 am

I hate matchmaking in games. Just give me a list of servers and let me choose which map/settings I WANT TO FRIGGIN’ PLAY. What a concept. All these dumb upstart console devs forgetting that us PC devs have been doing this MP thing, better and with support for more people, for over 15 years now.

Didn’t read any other part of the article :smile: .

somewhat

On March 14, 2008 at 11:36 am

@ William
God yes ! What’s the point in playing in a prty if it’s just going to split us up ? Why not include a prty option along the likes of :
”Do you mind if your party is split into opposing teams to speed up the chances of a match?”
I know I’d rather wait a little bit longer to keep my party on the same team. :evil:

erathoniel

On March 14, 2008 at 2:06 pm

One problem with matchmaking is that single-player is rarely (if ever) factored in, so the skill levels are massively incorrect at the bottom, and at the top you only find professionals, hackers, or cheap players who got up to the top by a glitch or cheap strategy.

Also, not enough games have bots to allow a team of players to stay together, so that the teams can be balanced and fair, with only one human on one side and three on the other.

The twin

On March 15, 2008 at 10:24 am

I love co-op. I dislike when someone puts in some crap levels with crap AI and dumbs the players (GRAW2, though that has been forgivable). SOMEONE GIVE US GOOD CO-OP!