Designing Games for Teamwork

How would you design activities which emphasize team work in Coop games? Most team events in games are kind of boring (Usually it’s stuff like hold button to help partner open door or move block, partner does something while you defend him, or something else)

Compared to the questions you asked leading up to this one (how would I make multiplayer games deeper?), this one is a lot better.

In my mind, it’s a matter of giving the characters’ various tools more applications that can potentially help a team mate. Team recoveries in Smash Bros are built on the simple principle that hitting someone in the air always restores their airdodge and Up B (unless they’re Yoshi or ROB). Some Up Bs like ganondorf’s and falcons naturally reset if they grab someone, so they lend themselves to team recoveries.

Overwatch naturally has a bunch of team-work things too. It’s a matter of creating synergy between moves, and not having those moves on the same character. Skullgirls has a similar principle. You’ll never find a character with both a shoryuken and a good horizontal projectile.

Some basic uses for team mates are healing each other, reviving each other, buffing each other, getting enemies off one another (left 4 dead), holding enemies in place for friends to annihilate, opening paths for one another (tower of power, mei’s bridges), trading resources with one another, pushing each other around, sharing information

Perhaps some things can have special arbitrary bonuses if you do them on top of what a team mate does, or special effects for actions performed in synchronicity.

Of course creating the potential for team work is not the same thing as emphasizing it, or forcing people to work together, but if you do that then you probably end up with situations like you described.

L4D forces team work by having it so special infected can do really quick specials on the survivors that instantly disable them, which they can only be saved from by another survivor. If you die, you can only be pulled out of a closet by a team mate, you can only be revived by a team mate, you guys can all pass healing supplies and guns around.

And as usual, depth is about making sure everything has a niche, multiple uses, variable outcomes, and synergy with other elements.

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