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The Unifying Force: combining co-op and PvP


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#1 Budgernaut

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:38 PM

  I've seen a lot of people voting for a game that supports both co-op and PvP. I admit this would be nice so that everyone can be happy, but it seems to me like there's no way to make this work well. Does anyone have any ideas how you could possibly design a game to support both? I'd love to here what you all have to say.


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#2 Grudunza

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:49 PM

It's not easy to do well, but there are several examples of co-op games that include PvP versions, perhaps most notably the Sauron expansion for Knizia's co-op Lord of the Rings game, and the new Black Secret expansion for Ghost Stories.  Basically, you could have the existing co-op system which automates the Empire side, and then in addition to that, some means for an Empire player to control that side of things, presumably with some additional functions and components. 

So it could be that they are working to add something like that out-of-the-box, as if the Sauron expansion had been included with the base game of LOTR.



#3 herozeromes

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:42 AM

The ONLY way I can see this working is to have the option to play Solo/Co-op against either an Empire or Rebel Alliance AI deck. A Solo player can choose to go against either side, you could do Co-op against a super AI deck, or you could do PvP.  Then, the expansions would either alternate Empire only/Rebels Only OR 50/50 expansions.



#4 Grudunza

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:13 AM

I haven't played it, but someone elsewhere mentioned that the WoW CCG allows PvP and co-op play.  It definitely can be done.



#5 Vase

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:35 AM

 What about the old board game idea (Hero Quest, etc.) of having, say, 1 player who is the empire, while 1-4 others are the Rebels and have cooperative play against him?  



#6 spalanzani

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:21 AM

I think it can be done quite easily, I think, though I'm not a game designer, so maybe there are flaws that I haven't foreseen.

Taking LotR as a starting point, the encounter deck has enemy, location, and treachery cards (and often objectives, though leave them aside for now), which could be easily thought of as character, location and event cards in a player-deck. The card would need to have a cost for playing it as a player card, but that could easily be ignored for an automated system. For characters, hit points and damage are needed for both, of course. Keywords aren't a problem, either. For traits/special abilities, some will easily work either being played by a person or automatically. For example, "When Darth Vader is in the battlefield zone, damage dealt to him is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0)". If a trait/special ability wouldn't work like this, then something like the shadow effects of LotR could work well enough, I think. So if there is a special ability written normally on the card, that is used when playing the PvP game, but if it is in italics, it is to be used when that deck is automated.

Locations could have something like the shadow effect telling you where to place it when it is part of an automated deck. So maybe something like "Imperial Throne Room" must always be played into the support zone, or something. Attachment cards are something that aren't included in the encounter decks in Lord of the Rings, but could be automated without much difficulty - something like "Sith Lightsaber: when revealed, attach to a character with a Dark Side rating of x or higher" or "attach to a character named Darth Vader or Emperor Palpatine", maybe. Even just "when revealed, attach to the highest-cost enemy character in play".

The problem with automating a deck is, of course, that it it doesn't have a "hand" to play from. To get round this, though, they could just put in a dozen or so cards in the core set for use in an automated deck, quite generic "when revealed: shuffle the encounter discard pile back into the deck", "when revealed: search the encounter deck for the first attachment card and play it, if able", "when revealed: search the encounter discard pile for x enemies and add them to the battlefield zone, if able". Rather than producing cards with each expansion that PvP players will never use, they could just make these few and leave them at that.

As for quests/scenarios, herozeromes has already pretty well covered that in "The bone has been thrown..." thread.

Such are my thoughts, anyway - I'm sure someone who does this for a living could come up with something so much better...


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#7 herozeromes

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:29 AM

spalanzani said:

As for quests/scenarios, herozeromes has already pretty well covered that in "The bone has been thrown..." thread.

Wow, I've never been mentioned on a message board before. Neat!



#8 qwertyuiop

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:22 PM

Vase said:

 What about the old board game idea (Hero Quest, etc.) of having, say, 1 player who is the empire, while 1-4 others are the Rebels and have cooperative play against him?  

See also Middle-Earth Quest.



#9 spalanzani

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:15 AM

herozeromes said:

spalanzani said:

As for quests/scenarios, herozeromes has already pretty well covered that in "The bone has been thrown..." thread.

 

Wow, I've never been mentioned on a message board before. Neat!

Hey, if you're gonna go coming up with good ideas, you'd best be prepared for this kinda thing!


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#10 Shub-Niggurath

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:51 PM

Some examples:

Middle Earth CCG was PvP but had a solo option against a prepared deck that worked well + various specific solo scenarios for more variety.

Race For the Galaxy is a card game for 2 or more players but also has a solo option with a dice based AI, which works very well.

It's definately possible.

 






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