Monday, July 1, 2013

Multiplayer games and the gaming media, or 1 million plays can't be wrong

Last November I added a counter to the master server for each time someone joins a game of Sub Rosa, Hockey? and A New Zero.  That counter is now over 1 million, without a single website that I can think of mentioning any of those games since then.

Multiplayer games are the most difficult to get press coverage for, I think there's a few reasons for this.  The person might try to play when no one else is online, there might be griefers on the server, they might only try it singleplayer and think there's not much to it.  The experience can vary greatly.  Linear singleplayer games can be tuned so most people will have the same experience.  That's also why I'm so bored with linear singleplayer games.

I've had more drama in one round of Sub Rosa than the entire 8 hours of watching Bioshock Infinite.  I've ripped people off, been ripped off, had smooth deals, intense shootouts, and car chases.  I've won and lost overtime games in Hockey?.  It's not always fun, there can be griefers, or days where I play terrible hockey, or times where I accidentally shoot a teammate, but it's almost always interesting.

It does require an investment however, Sub Rosa is brutal and confusing world at first, Hockey? has probably the steepest learning curve ever, and A New Zero has a lot of complexity that isn't explained very well or at all.  And with most game journalists being bombarded with games I can see why they would want a simple experience they can play for a bit and just "get it".

But I don't want to make those games.  Luckily some fans have helped organize things like subrosagaming.com and Friday Night Hockey, and there's enough people playing to make it (hopefully) worthwhile to keep working on the games I want to make.  So just like when I started out with Bridge Builder (which didn't get on any of the gaming websites at the time), word of mouth is a powerful thing.

18 comments:

Tom Purnell said...

You're a shining beacon of hope and integrity in a dark, gloomy night

This Guy said...

You do good work here. Best multiplayer games I have played. Show the entire AAA industry how its REALLY done!

jayce losey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joshflip30 said...

You're a cool guy and you should keep making games.

Ben Hymers said...

Bridge Builder is amazing, by the way.

Algirdas Palubinskas said...

You make maybe not the most polished or easy-to-play games, but what can I say is that your games are awesome in their own way. Please don't stop making them! And don't forget to update A New Zero, if you could make the map bigger and give more fuel it would be good without any complicated stuff you've been working on.

KnX said...

Even thougt i love single player well narrated stories some games just offer an open canvas for creating your own and i think its much easier to get involved in the stories you create than the ones someone did.
SubRosa is the best multiplayer shooter i ever played.
Just like minecraft it offers a world for you to mess up with.
I always have a very intense rush when i manage to get the disc/money case and cross the park battlefield to get to a car to return home. Cant remember many games that gave me that.
CrypticSea, i sincerely think your way of making games will someday find its way to the market.

Ray said...

I sincerely hope that you finish Sub Rosa soon.

I also wish to sincerely express that I am willing to pay dollars for it. Your ideas are worth money, Alex.

Richard Winter said...

While corporations develop multi-million dollar projects that you forget in a couple of days cryptic sea makes games with a never seen before gameplay. You made a sport game that goes ahead of our time. I can remember no other multiplayer game I spent so much time playing it. Keep up the good work!

Makke f said...

There Will be Light.

Tyler Kelley said...

perhaps the lack of coverage is due to a lack of releases. Seeing how the latest ANZ is the tank demo, and the one on your site is from a few years ago, perhaps there just isn't much to cover?

Slagathor15 said...

A New Zero shows so much potential. I played that game for hours with my friend and became a force to me reckoned with. I've tried Sub Rosa and was amazed at how much freedom it had. The outcome of everything depends on you, awesome. Please keep up the good work, I'm highly interested in what A New Zero becomes in the future. CHEERS!

Goran said...

In a way you're an anti-Phil Fish. Or he's an anti-Alex Austin. You create an amazing game in what seems like a week or two, play with it for a month and then move on to something new. Leaving us to play and spread the word. Phil spends five + years making a single game and then never lets go. Even after we moved on to something new. Perhaps lack of coverage is par for the course?

Ronald Nichols said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Ronald Nichols said...

I'm thinking how and what dedicated game server most of the games used. It must be a high end one since a lot of user is accessing it.

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