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Why do you play single player games?

1235

Posts

  • 043043 Registered User
    edited May 2009
    One of the games I play, that this thread reminded me of, is Splinter Cell.

    Mostly because I enjoy the challenge. There's nothing like going through an entire mission without ever raising an alarm, and playing it by the seat of your pants. If the mission is weapons-free, I can kill whenever I have to, and I do just that. Don't take out everyone, only the enemies that give me trouble.

    You'll see me constantly reloading saves, unless I already know the level (which is not true for the XB1 version of Double Agent that I just started), just so I can finish with 100% stealth.

    Last night, I was almost done, and Lambert radios in to pull me out. I walk into the next to last room and I see two guys. So I sneak into the corner and accidentally bump into a third I didn't see with my optic cable. He stops, turns, and reaches back for his AK when I draw my pistol and cap him in the head. Then sweep and hit the second on in front of me, sitting on the back of a truck. The last guy sees his buddy slump backwards, and jogs over, only to get a bullet too.

    I am standing completely still during all of this. I give it time, shoot out the lights above the truck, hide the bodies and move on.

    It was a small moment, but it felt so real to me. Having to react, instantly, and stay on my toes to make sure I'm not caught in hostile territory. And this is just the first mission.

    Also: Holy shit, is Double Agent so much better on XB1 than 360. They refined the light/sound meters, while still keeping it just minimal enough. The 360 version's concept of a stop light on Sam's back as "stealth" pissed me off.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    It really depends on the game. Though it all ultimately comes down to "because it's fun". For something like Civ 4, the fun comes from working out strategies and achieving goals and such. Something like Half-Life or Prey is all about insane actions though.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • mspencermspencer Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I highly recommend the OP (and anyone else curious about this) read A Theory of Fun For Game Design by Raph Koster.

    Going from memory, he says that in game design, player boredom is always your signal to let you know you have failed. A good game, then, is one that teaches you everything it has to teach you before you stop playing.

    In effect that's what games are doing: teaching you things. They aren't academic things -- the things you are learning can be strategies, controller-input skills, plot mechanisms, clever stories, or anything else. As long as you keep finding it interesting, your hungry "feed me more interesting things" monster keeps satisfied, you want to keep playing.

    What causes boredom, and makes people stop playing? When humans learn, a lot of how we learn involves pattern matching and extending previous models with new input.

    If a player gets bored and quits because the game is too hard, it could be because their mental model hasn't been keeping up with the changes. Things look too different compared with what they expect, and the differences look like random noise. They are failing for what seems like completely arbitrary reasons, so they get bored.

    Some players get bored because a game is too easy. They found the pieces easier to digest than the game designers expected, but the game keeps presenting them with things with not enough new information.

    Some players get bored because the things the game is teaching them seem irrelevant, or they have no interest in learning them. This is from memory, but I think (John or Johann or something) Huizinga's foundational book Homo Ludens (Man the Player) from like the 1930's talks about meaningful play. This was expanded on by James Paul Gee in a book released a couple years ago, but essentially as we're playing a game and learning things, we need to feel like what we're learning has some significance to our interest group (or semiotic domain or whatever). If we self-identify as FPS gamers, then we have a built-in social motivation to be conversant in and skilled with FPS games. If we self-identify as people who hate JRPG's, games that present us with information that would tend to remove us from our social group triggers this internal 'immune response' and we don't want to learn more of that.

    All of this is horribly paraphrased, as I don't have any of these books with me here. I have been living and breathing these books last semester because I had to write a research paper about some principles of game design for school.

    But did I whet your appetite? Or was this TL;DR?

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  • jonny_digitaljonny_digital Registered User
    edited May 2009
    I play single player games because I don't think there are 50 people waiting online to play slow moving zombies trying to capture the president's daughter while I'm the only one in the room with a shotgun.

  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Faffel wrote: »
    It strikes me as interesting on a cognitive level. I wonder how Faffel relates to 'real' people that he only knows from reading about them or hearing someone speak about them, because he experiences them exactly the same way he'd experience a character in a novel - the only difference being that he's told by someone that they're real.
    I'm not being told by someone that they're real - either the person at the keyboard exists, or he doesn't. There's no Schroedinger's cat via fibrewire here.
    Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I'm not talking about people online, I'm talking about the people in the world whose existence you know of by exactly the same means as the ones used by fiction: people mentioned in the news, in history books, people talked about by others.

    Eagles on Pogo Sticks: Musings of a Goofy Beast
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  • slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I play single player games because I don't think there are 50 people waiting online to play slow moving zombies trying to capture the president's daughter while I'm the only one in the room with a shotgun.

    And the response is generally, "But why is it fun to shoot a lot of slow moving zombies when you could be playing against people that are thinking, making decisions, planning attack etc.?" Why is it fun to shoot something so basic, knowing that it's just some simple AI routine telling the brainless zombies to shamble towards the player?


    That's the kind of perception I think the OP has..

    The answer is that it's a different kind of fun. It's hard to explain, but you're absolutely right on a practical level - there's no real way to do Resident Evil 4 (or whatever) in multiplayer in pulling off the type of satisfaction derived from the single player experience. Except perhaps cooperative. But that's different than what the OP is referring to because you're still shooting brainless AI controlled enemies...

    But that's not always what everyone wants in their goal to have fun with games. There are different ways to have fun. The Human element is just one of many avenues.



    I'm not saying the OP is dumb for feeling the way he does. Just that perhaps he's not grasping how there are different ways for things to be fun to different people, and that even after explaining the reasons, perhaps some people just won't be able to perceive how or why...

  • yzzlthtzyzzlthtz Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Well, I'm never skilled enough to feel useful in a multi-player frag game, nor do I want to put in the time to be that skilled. I do love me some co-op, though. But I also like nuanced game-play that lets me creatively brain numerous foes....

    .O
    * \m/
    U
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    why do you watch movies instead of collaboratively making up stories with your friends?

    bad analogy but single player games are self contained artistic experiences (in theory but lets not go there) while multiplayer games are more like...games.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Why does anyone do anything by themselves, when you could be doing it with someone else?

    3DS Friend Code: 0989 - 1731 - 9504
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  • DeMoNDeMoN Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    because sometimes being with someone else at the time can pull you right out of an experience.

    It's like when you are getting super engrossed in a favorite television show and your asshole relative comes in and starts blabbing about nothing.

    PSN: Toxic_Cizzle Steam id : Toxic Cizzle
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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Why does anyone do anything by themselves, when you could be doing it with someone else?

    i think you're being facetious but just in case you're not, having more than one player sort of precludes the narrative and intended aesthetic experience.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Because the singleplayer experience is a fundamental cornerstone of any video game, and without it, the game suffers dramatically accordingly?

    And because the whole world is not covered by intersecting fields of infallible wireless broadband internet? In that case, having a good singleplayer experience is pretty much just common sense...

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Because the singleplayer experience is a fundamental cornerstone of any video game, and without it, the game suffers dramatically accordingly?

    i dont know its pretty pointless playing Street Fighter in single player

  • yzzlthtzyzzlthtz Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Why does anyone do anything by themselves, when you could be doing it with someone else?

    Depending on your range, none of us actually does anything alone.

    .O
    * \m/
    U
  • yzzlthtzyzzlthtz Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    Because the singleplayer experience is a fundamental cornerstone of any video game, and without it, the game suffers dramatically accordingly?

    i dont know its pretty pointless playing Street Fighter in single player

    unless you suck.

    .O
    * \m/
    U
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    Because the singleplayer experience is a fundamental cornerstone of any video game, and without it, the game suffers dramatically accordingly?

    i dont know its pretty pointless playing Street Fighter in single player

    I'm not really a big SF fan, but I still disagree. If SF (or any 2D or 3D fighter) had absolutely zero options to play against scalable AI opponents, I would be pissed as hell and probably wouldn't buy them (as oppose to rigorously playing 2D/3D fighters over and over again for years).

    There isn't always someone around. Or, if you're cash strapped for any number of reasons, a second controller. A singleplayer option, as meager as it may be, still serves an important function--perhaps a temporary one if you're not as repetitious as me, but still a crucial one. What's the alternative? I buy a game, say, SFIV, and since I haven't played SF in more than 15 years, Capcom tells m "Suck it up, find someone else, and learn how to play pussy!" until I start enjoying it. At least a singleplayer option helps you orientate yourself to the characters and combat system. This is why tutorials are always a single-player experience, even in online games.

    Besides, there's nothing wrong with more choices. Don't like the singleplayer? You are not in the least obligated to play it (beyond unlocking things to whatever extent you would like).

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Recreation always seems pointless if it's not the kind of recreation that you personally enjoy. The best thing to do is just live and let live.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Recreation always seems pointless if it's not the kind of recreation that you personally enjoy. The best thing to do is just live and let live.

    Games, are, of course, created not to have the most narrow market possible. Not everyone is online, so purely online play is going to seem pointless to a certain portion of people.

    Which is not to say I don't like multiplayer--I think it's a great addition.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • akuteakute Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Vegan wrote: »
    You're right, maybe he does. But soooo many people claim to have it, it's always hard to take seriously when you hear it.

    Yeah because I sure know a lot of fuckers going around saying [they have Asperger's disease]. /sarcasm

    br
    br.

  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Basically, op: Go play simcity.

    This is a game which is impossible to play as multiplayer. It doesn't involve a complex story which you're going to get bored with. It does allow for a lot of creativity, planning, and customization.

    If you play that and still don't get why people play single player games, well then...I'm just going to say you have add.

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Because the singleplayer experience is a fundamental cornerstone of any video game, and without it, the game suffers dramatically accordingly?

    And because the whole world is not covered by intersecting fields of infallible wireless broadband internet? In that case, having a good singleplayer experience is pretty much just common sense...
    Team Fortress 2 is a wonderful game for which the single player experience is not a fundamental cornerstone of the experience.

  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Sam wrote: »
    Because the singleplayer experience is a fundamental cornerstone of any video game, and without it, the game suffers dramatically accordingly?

    i dont know its pretty pointless playing Street Fighter in single player

    I'm not really a big SF fan, but I still disagree. If SF (or any 2D or 3D fighter) had absolutely zero options to play against scalable AI opponents, I would be pissed as hell and probably wouldn't buy them (as oppose to rigorously playing 2D/3D fighters over and over again for years).

    There isn't always someone around. Or, if you're cash strapped for any number of reasons, a second controller. A singleplayer option, as meager as it may be, still serves an important function--perhaps a temporary one if you're not as repetitious as me, but still a crucial one. What's the alternative? I buy a game, say, SFIV, and since I haven't played SF in more than 15 years, Capcom tells m "Suck it up, find someone else, and learn how to play pussy!" until I start enjoying it. At least a singleplayer option helps you orientate yourself to the characters and combat system. This is why tutorials are always a single-player experience, even in online games.

    Besides, there's nothing wrong with more choices. Don't like the singleplayer? You are not in the least obligated to play it (beyond unlocking things to whatever extent you would like).

    Singleplayer in SF4 does suck though.

    One thing that I can say for SNK and Aksys is that they at least program somewhat enjoyable fighting game AI.

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • capnricocapnrico Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Why does anyone do anything by themselves, when you could be doing it with someone else?

    :winky:


    And to add some actual content -- OP, I think, is pretty much just overthinking it. They're games, we play them to have fun. Some people have fun with the single player portion. Some people have fun with the multiplayer portion. Some people don't have fun with one or the other, some people enjoy both. You don't enjoy single player, so trying to convince yourself you do by reading about how other people do is not really going to work. You just don't dig it. I think most of us don't go around obsessing over the fact that "omg they're soulless AI and I KNOW they are", we just kind of accept it for what it is, and play. In that regard, I do think there's something a little "off" about OP, though, especially with the being unable to engage in books, art or movies the same way.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Singleplayer games offer a more story-driven experience and they don't have to make compromises to accomodate other players.

    JKKaAGp.png
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Basically, op: Go play simcity.

    This is a game which is impossible to play as multiplayer. It doesn't involve a complex story which you're going to get bored with. It does allow for a lot of creativity, planning, and customization.

    If you play that and still don't get why people play single player games, well then...I'm just going to say you have add.

    Never say never. Why not have a split screen competition to see who can build their population the fastest, or the ability to sling disasters at your opponent? it's the same thing as 2 player Tetris.

    3DS Friend Code: 0989 - 1731 - 9504
    Nintendo Network ID: unclesporky
  • MegazverMegazver Registered User
    edited May 2009
    I have no idea why you're still arguing with this guy.

    Chief Tyrol. Academician Megazver of the Jol-Nar Universities
  • HaikiraHaikira Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    By far my favorite thing about good single player games, is discussing them with friends that have also completed the same games. Its sort like a book club, i guess. Also, i love returning to retro games i know like the back of my hand. It can be nostalgic, like listening to certain music.

    The atmosphere of a game, is a big thing for me also. I'm a pretty big fan of horror. While i love stuff like Left 4 Dead. There'll never be anything that'll match the feeling of Silent Hill 2 in multiplayer.

    Theres also no need to upgrade single player games, to keep playing. But if you dont buy expansion packs for the likes of World of Warcraft, you're fucked. Not to mention everything you've obtained up to that point, isn't even worthy of a peasant.

    steam_sig.png
    PSN:Hakira__
  • FaffelFaffel Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Megazver wrote: »
    I have no idea why you're still arguing with this guy.

    Arguing?

    Also, I haven't been around to read the posts here, so I can't actually respond. Maybe tomorrow.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Uncle_BalsamicUncle_Balsamic Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I like all single player games, just the same as I don't like all multiplayer games. The ones I do like, I play because I enjoy them on an individual basis; based on their own merits.

    PQdy61j.jpg
  • VeganVegan Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Megazver wrote: »
    I have no idea why you're still arguing with this guy.

    Everyone loves a freak show.

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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Haikira wrote: »
    By far my favorite thing about good single player games, is discussing them with friends that have also completed the same games. Its sort like a book club, i guess. Also, i love returning to retro games i know like the back of my hand. It can be nostalgic, like listening to certain music.

    The atmosphere of a game, is a big thing for me also. I'm a pretty big fan of horror. While i love stuff like Left 4 Dead. There'll never be anything that'll match the feeling of Silent Hill 2 in multiplayer.

    Theres also no need to upgrade single player games, to keep playing. But if you dont buy expansion packs for the likes of World of Warcraft, you're fucked. Not to mention everything you've obtained up to that point, isn't even worthy of a peasant.

    This is an excellent point. Comparing experiences in multiplayer games usually doesn't work as well--if only because the sheer variables involved, and the fact that multiplayer matches only last a short time by comparison. You can really only share experiences and compare techniques and methods--not the actual gameplay though (unless you two were playing the same short game).

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • yzzlthtzyzzlthtz Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Megazver wrote: »
    I have no idea why you're still arguing with this guy.

    This should be its own thread.

    But there's nothing wrong with problematizing something in order to produce a discussion.

    I think about the OP's topic here and there. Since my free time is dwindling in my adulthood, I feel that game time is best spent with a friend. But there are still those single-player experiences in which I love to indulge.
    And some people just gotta pwn n00bs.

    .O
    * \m/
    U
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    yzzlthtz wrote: »
    Megazver wrote: »
    I have no idea why you're still arguing with this guy.

    This should be its own thread.

    But there's nothing wrong with problematizing something in order to produce a discussion.

    I think about the OP's topic here and there. Since my free time is dwindling in my adulthood, I feel that game time is best spent with a friend. But there are still those single-player experiences in which I love to indulge.
    And some people just gotta pwn n00bs.

    Not to say you're wrong (you've just described what you prefer, which is perfectly rational), but the same argument could be used against multiplayer games.

    Say I have dwindling time to play video games. Rather than losing time to the issue of loading, matchmaking, connecting, getting dropped--potentially after every round of gameplay, depending on the game--singleplayer offers a lot more 'game' for your time (at least the first time around).

    Basically, I'm just saying that's also a possibility. If it isn't for you, that's also perfectly reasonable.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Hockey JohnstonHockey Johnston Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Another wrinkle to this thread: how do you explain people who turn off voice chat in multiplayer? They're essentially acknowledging that they like the challenge and unpredictability of real people, but have no desire to engage with them in any way other than in the context of the game.

    In other words, if the AI was interestingly designed enough, they'd probably pick playing with the computer over real players. But it's not, so they take the experience a la carte, muting the parts that ruin immersion while retaining the fun of playing against human brains.

  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Basically, op: Go play simcity.

    This is a game which is impossible to play as multiplayer. It doesn't involve a complex story which you're going to get bored with. It does allow for a lot of creativity, planning, and customization.

    If you play that and still don't get why people play single player games, well then...I'm just going to say you have add.

    Never say never. Why not have a split screen competition to see who can build their population the fastest, or the ability to sling disasters at your opponent? it's the same thing as 2 player Tetris.

    www.citiesxl.com

    Upcoming city simulation game, it's got multiplayer.

    steam_sig.png
  • langfor6langfor6 Registered User
    edited May 2009
    I play single player games because the internet has shown me that everyone is better at video games than me and I hate constantly losing.

  • LamoidLamoid Registered User
    edited May 2009
    langfor6 wrote: »
    I play single player games because the internet has shown me that everyone is better at video games than me and I hate constantly losing.

    This. I like playing single player games because I get to feel super great at it, whereas in multi player I get destroyed.

    Damnit, internet, I want my fake self esteem boosts.

    Laymoid.gif
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Lamoid wrote: »
    langfor6 wrote: »
    I play single player games because the internet has shown me that everyone is better at video games than me and I hate constantly losing.

    This. I like playing single player games because I get to feel super great at it, whereas in multi player I get destroyed.

    Damnit, internet, I want my fake self esteem boosts.

    That's pretty much why I only play team mutliplayer games--that, and coming over from things like RTCW and Red Orchestra on PC. Minimum four people on my team (and even than, I'm pretty upset). I flat-out refuse to do one-on-one matches (I used to play a lot of DOA4 online, until I realized at B+, people were way better than me). I never tried SC4 online, simply because I've never been good at it and know I will get stomped.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • yzzlthtzyzzlthtz Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Synthesis wrote: »
    yzzlthtz wrote: »
    Megazver wrote: »
    I have no idea why you're still arguing with this guy.

    This should be its own thread.

    But there's nothing wrong with problematizing something in order to produce a discussion.

    I think about the OP's topic here and there. Since my free time is dwindling in my adulthood, I feel that game time is best spent with a friend. But there are still those single-player experiences in which I love to indulge.
    And some people just gotta pwn n00bs.

    Not to say you're wrong (you've just described what you prefer, which is perfectly rational), but the same argument could be used against multiplayer games.

    Say I have dwindling time to play video games. Rather than losing time to the issue of loading, matchmaking, connecting, getting dropped--potentially after every round of gameplay, depending on the game--singleplayer offers a lot more 'game' for your time (at least the first time around).

    Basically, I'm just saying that's also a possibility. If it isn't for you, that's also perfectly reasonable.
    i see what you mean. i mostly play online co-op games with a buddy of mine. no hassle there, since we have, you know, phones.

    .O
    * \m/
    U
  • yzzlthtzyzzlthtz Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Another wrinkle to this thread: how do you explain people who turn off voice chat in multiplayer? They're essentially acknowledging that they like the challenge and unpredictability of real people, but have no desire to engage with them in any way other than in the context of the game.

    In other words, if the AI was interestingly designed enough, they'd probably pick playing with the computer over real players. But it's not, so they take the experience a la carte, muting the parts that ruin immersion while retaining the fun of playing against human brains.
    human opponents are much satisfying to beat or lose to (more often the case), but there are other reasons not to listen to them. while some games are much better played with the ability to speak to people, more often than not the people who do say anything aren't saying anything useful - at best, if you know what i mean.
    i haven't played games like COD4 or Halo because FPS' make me barf, but I know, in Warhawk, it was great when someone just hung out with the map telling people what was going on. Still, things would change so quickly that by the time you've coordinated one maneuver with voices, a bunch aggro l33t players have already flanked you and taken a base from under your nose.

    .O
    * \m/
    U
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