Single-player video game

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A single-player video game is a video game where input from only one player is expected throughout the course of the gaming session. A single-player game is usually a game that can only be played by one person, while "single-player mode" is usually a game mode designed to be played by a single-player, though the game also contains multi-player modes. [1]

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Contents

Most modern console games and arcade games are designed so that they can be played by a single-player; although many of these games have modes that allow two or more players to play (not necessarily simultaneously), very few actually require more than one player for the game to be played. The Unreal Tournament series is one example of such. [2]

A console game is a form of interactive multimedia entertainment, consisting of manipulable images generated by a video game console and displayed on a television or similar audio-video system. The game itself is usually controlled and manipulated using a handheld device connected to the console, called a controller. The controller generally contains a number of buttons and directional controls such as analogue joysticks, each of which has been assigned a purpose for interacting with and controlling the images on the screen. The display, speakers, console, and controls of a console can also be incorporated into one small object known as a handheld game.

Arcade game coin-operated entertainment machine

An arcade game or coin-op game is a coin-operated entertainment machine typically installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games or merchandisers. While exact dates are debated, the golden age of arcade video games is usually defined as a period beginning sometime in the late 1970s and ending sometime in the mid-1980s. Excluding a brief resurgence in the early 1990s, the arcade industry subsequently declined in the Western hemisphere as competing home video game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox increased in their graphics and game-play capability and decreased in cost.

<i>Unreal Tournament</i> video game

Unreal Tournament is a first-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes. The second installment in the Unreal series, it was first published by GT Interactive in 1999 for Microsoft Windows, and later released on the PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast by Infogrames in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Players compete in a series of matches of various types, with the general aim of out-killing opponents. The PC version supports multiplayer online or over a local area network. Free expansion packs were released, some of which were bundled with a 2000 re-release: Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition.

History

The earliest video games, such as Tennis for Two (1958), Spacewar! (1962), and Pong (1972), were symmetrical games designed to be played by two players. Single-player games gained popularity only after this, with early titles such as Speed Race (1974) [3] and Space Invaders (1978).

<i>Tennis for Two</i> 1958 sports video game

Tennis for Two is a sports video game, which simulates a game of tennis, and was one of the first games developed in the early history of video games. American physicist William Higinbotham designed the game in 1958 for display at the Brookhaven National Laboratory's annual public exhibition after learning that the government research institution's Donner Model 30 analog computer could simulate trajectories with wind resistance. He designed the game, displayed on an oscilloscope and played with two custom aluminum controllers, in a few hours, after which he and technician Robert V. Dvorak built it over three weeks. The game's visuals show a representation of a tennis court viewed from the side, and players adjust the angle of their shots with a knob on their controller and try to hit the ball over the net by pressing a button.

<i>Spacewar!</i> 1962 space combat video game

Spacewar! is a space combat video game developed in 1962 by Steve Russell, in collaboration with Martin Graetz and Wayne Wiitanen, and programmed by Russell with assistance from others including Bob Saunders and Steve Piner. It was written for the newly installed DEC PDP-1 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After its initial creation, Spacewar was expanded further by other students and employees of universities in the area, including Dan Edwards and Peter Samson. It was also spread to many of the few dozen, primarily academic, installations of the PDP-1 computer, making Spacewar the first known video game to be played at multiple computer installations.

<i>Pong</i> early video game

Pong is one of the earliest arcade video games. It is a table tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics. The game was originally manufactured by Atari, which released it in 1972. Allan Alcorn created Pong as a training exercise assigned to him by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell based the idea on an electronic ping-pong game included in the Magnavox Odyssey; Magnavox later sued Atari for patent infringement. Bushnell and Atari co-founder Ted Dabney were surprised by the quality of Alcorn's work and decided to manufacture the game.

The reason for this, according to Raph Koster, is down to a combination of several factors: increasingly sophisticated computers and interfaces that enabled asymmetric gameplay, cooperative gameplay and story delivery within a gaming framework, coupled with the fact that the majority of early games players had introverted personality types (according to the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator). [4]

Raph Koster American video game designer and entrepreneur

Raphael "Raph" Koster is an American entrepreneur, game designer, and author of A Theory of Fun for Game Design. Koster is widely recognized for his work as the lead designer of Ultima Online and the creative director behind Star Wars Galaxies. From 2006 until 2013 he worked as the founder and president of Metaplace producing a Facebook game platform.

Asymmetric warfare is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly. This is typically a war between a standing, professional army and an insurgency or resistance movement militias who often have status of unlawful combatants.

Cooperative gameplay is a feature in video games that allows players to work together as teammates, usually against one or more AI opponents. It is distinct from other multiplayer modes, such as competitive multiplayer modes like player versus player or deathmatch. Playing simultaneously allows players to assist one another in many ways: passing weapons or items, healing, providing covering fire in a firefight, and performing cooperative maneuvers such as boosting a teammate up and over obstacles.

Although most modern games incorporate a single-player element either as the core or as one of several game modes, single-player gaming is currently viewed by the video game industry as peripheral to the future of gaming, with Electronic Arts vice president Frank Gibeau stating in 2012 that he had not approved one game to be developed as a single-player experience. [5]

The video game industry is the economic sector involved in the development, marketing, and monetization of video games. It encompasses dozens of job disciplines and its component parts employ thousands of people worldwide.

Electronic Arts American interactive entertainment company

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) is an American video game company headquartered in Redwood City, California. It is the second-largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe by revenue and market capitalization after Activision Blizzard and ahead of Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft as of March 2018.

Frank Gibeau is an American video game executive. Gibeau is best known as the CEO of Zynga, a position he's held since March, 2016. He also had a long career at Electronic Arts, starting in 1991 and ending in May, 2016. At EA he was most recently the company's head of Mobile. Before that he served as the President of EA Labels, overseeing a large studio organization creating games for the company's top franchises. Gibeau also held several senior positions in the company's marketing and publishing organizations. Gibeau's 2016 compensation as Zynga's CEO was $24.5 Million.

The question of the financial viability of single-player AAA games was raised following the closure of Visceral Games by Electronic Arts (EA) in October 2017. Visceral had been a studio that established itself on a strong narrative single-player focus with Dead Space , and had been working on a single-player, linear narrative Star Wars game at the time of the closure; EA announced following this that they would be taking the game in a different direction, specifically "a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency". [6] Many commentators felt that EA made the change as they did not have confidence that a studio with an AAA-scale budget could produce a viable single-player game based on the popular Star Wars franchise. Alongside this, as well as relatively poor sales of games in the year prior that were principally AAA single-player games ( Resident Evil 7 , Prey , Dishonored 2 , and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ) against financially successful multiplayer games and those offer a games-as-a-service model ( Overwatch , Destiny 2 , and Star Wars Battlefront 2 ), were indicators to many that the single-player model for AAA was waning. [7] [8] [9] [10] Manveer Heir, who had left EA after finishing his gameplay design work for Mass Effect Andromeda , acknowledged that the culture within EA was against the development of single-player games, and with Visceral's closure, "that the linear single-player triple-A game at EA is dead for the time being". [11] Bethesda in December 7, 2017, decided to collaborate with Lynda Carter to launch a Public Safety Announcement to save single-player gaming. [12]

Visceral Games American video game development studio

Visceral Games was an American video game development studio owned by Electronic Arts. The studio is best known for the Dead Space series.

<i>Dead Space</i> (series) series

Dead Space is a horror media franchise created by Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts. The franchise centers on a series of video games, and includes two films and a comic book series. The series began in 2008 as an eponymous video game aimed at creating, in Schofield's words, "the most terrifying game we could acquire"; the game was a success and spawned a prequel and later a sequel released in 2011.

<i>Star Wars</i> epic science fantasy space opera saga

Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise, created by George Lucas and centered around a film series that began with the eponymous 1977 movie. The saga quickly became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon.

Game elements

As the narrative and conflict in single-player gameplay is created by a computer rather than a human opponent, single-player games are able to deliver certain gaming experiences that are typically absent - or de-emphasised - in multiplayer games. [13]

Story

Single-player games rely more heavily on compelling stories to draw the player into the experience and to create a sense of investment. Humans are unpredictable, so human players - allies or enemies - cannot be relied upon to carry a narrative in a particular direction, and so multiplayer games tend not to focus heavily on a linear narrative. By contrast, many single-player games are built around a compelling story. [14]

Characters

Whilst a single game relies upon human-human interaction for its conflict, and often for its sense of camaraderie, a single-player game must build these things artificially. As such, single-player games require deeper characterisation of their non-player characters in order to create connections between the player and the sympathetic characters and to develop deeper antipathy towards the game's antagonist(s). This is typically true of role-playing games (RPGs), such as Dragon Quest and the Final Fantasy series, which are primarily character-nagato.

Exceptions

These game elements are not firm, fixed rules; single-player puzzle games such as Tetris or racing games focus squarely on gameplay.

See also

Related Research Articles

A multiplayer video game is a video game in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time, either locally or over the internet. During its early history, video games were often single-player-only activities, putting the player against preprogrammed challenges or AI-controlled opponents, which lack the flexibility of human thought. Multiplayer games allow players interaction with other individuals in partnership, competition or rivalry, providing them with social communication absent from single-player games. In multiplayer games, players may compete against one or more human contestants, work cooperatively with a human partner to achieve a common goal, supervise other players' activity, co-op. Multiplayer games typically require players to share the resources of a single game system or use networking technology to play together over a greater distance.

<i>Tribes 2</i> video game

Tribes 2 is a first-person shooter multiplayer video game developed by Dynamix and published by Sierra On-Line in 2001 as a sequel to Starsiege: Tribes.

<i>Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict</i> 2005 video game

Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict is a first- and third-person shooter video game in the Unreal series of games. It was developed by Epic Games and published by Midway Games for release on the Xbox games console as a direct sequel to the 2002 game Unreal Championship, which was effectively an Xbox version of the PC game Unreal Tournament 2003. Unreal Championship 2, much more than its predecessor, was designed from the ground up for the Xbox console and takes full advantage of the Xbox Live gaming arena.

<i>Burnout 3: Takedown</i> 2004 video game

Burnout 3: Takedown is a racing video game developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts. It is the third instalment in the Burnout series, which is characterised by fast-paced arcade racing. A staple of the series is the use of boost, earned through risky driving, to rapidly increase a car's speed. The central mechanic introduced in Burnout 3 is Takedowns, which allow players to slam their opponents until they crash. Takedowns work in conjunction with the boost system by filling up and extending the boost meter. Aside from standard circuit races, the game features modes focused on performing Takedowns on rival vehicles and causing monetary damage at a junction occupied with traffic. Each game variant is featured in a single-player campaign mode called World Tour, which serves as the primary method for unlocking new and faster cars. The game supports both online and split-screen multiplayer.

<i>The Crossing</i> (video game) video game

The Crossing was set to be a first-person shooter video game by Arkane Studios, which attempted to fuse single-player and multiplayer by threading its single-player campaign through live multiplayer games.

Far Cry is a franchise of first-person shooter video games, all of which have been published by Ubisoft. The first game, Far Cry, was developed by Crytek to premiere their CryEngine software, and released in March 2004. Subsequently, Ubisoft obtained the rights to the franchise and the bulk of the development is handled by Ubisoft Montreal with assistance from other Ubisoft satellite studios. The following games in the series have used a Ubisoft-modified version of the CryEngine, the Dunia Engine, allowing for open world gameplay. There have been five main games in the series, along with two standalone expansions; the first game, initially developed for Microsoft Windows, also saw a number of ports to video game consoles.

<i>Crysis 3</i> first-person shooter video game from 2013

Crysis 3 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Crytek and published in 2013 by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. It is the third main installment of the Crysis series, a sequel to the 2011 video game Crysis 2. The multiplayer portion of the game was developed by Crytek UK. Crysis 3's story revolves around Prophet, a Nanosuit holder who is on a quest to take revenge on the Alpha Ceph, the leader of the Ceph alien race. The game's story serves as the end of the Crysis trilogy. Gameplay revolves around the use of the Nanosuit, which grants players a variety of abilities such as being invisible. New features introduced in Crysis 3 include a new Nanosuit ability called "Rip & Throw", a compound bow and the "hacking" feature, which allows players to hack into enemies' equipment, drones, and security defenses.

<i>Star Wars Battlefront</i> (2015 video game) 2015 video game

Star Wars Battlefront is an action shooter video game developed by EA DICE, with additional work from Criterion Games, and published by Electronic Arts. The game, based on the Star Wars franchise, is the third major release in the Star Wars: Battlefront sub-series, and is considered a reboot to the previous games, instead of a sequel, to reflect the new Star Wars canon that Lucasfilm established after being acquired by The Walt Disney Company. The game was released worldwide in November 2015 and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its gameplay, visuals, musical scores and high production values, but criticized its lack of content on both single and multiplayer modes. More than 14 million copies have been shipped. A sequel, Star Wars Battlefront II, released on November 17, 2017.

<i>God of War: Ascension</i> third person action-adventure video game developed by Santa Monica Studio

God of War: Ascension is a third-person action-adventure video game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE). The game was first released on March 12, 2013, for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) console. It is the seventh installment in the God of War series and prequel to the entire series. Loosely based on Greek mythology, the game is set in ancient Greece with vengeance as its central motif. The player controls the protagonist Kratos, the former servant of the God of War Ares, who tricked Kratos into killing his wife and daughter. In response to this tragedy, Kratos renounced Ares, breaking his blood oath to the god. Kratos was therefore imprisoned and tortured by the three Furies, guardians of honor and enforcers of punishment. Helped by the oath keeper Orkos, Kratos escapes his imprisonment and confronts the Furies to be completely free of his bond to Ares.

<i>Need for Speed: Most Wanted</i> (2012 video game) 2012 video game by Criterion Games

Need for Speed: Most Wanted is an open world racing game developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts (EA). Announced on 4 June 2012, during EA's E3 press conference, Most Wanted is the nineteenth title in the Need for Speed series and was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, iOS and Android, beginning in North America on 30 October 2012, with a Wii U version following on 14 March 2013 under the title Need for Speed: Most Wanted U. The game picked up on the Most Wanted intellectual property, as opposed to the Hot Pursuit reboot that Criterion Games developed previously.

<i>Need for Speed Rivals</i> video game

Need for Speed Rivals is a racing video game developed in a collaboration between Ghost Games and Criterion Games, and published by Electronic Arts. It is the twentieth installment in the Need for Speed series. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in November 2013.

Worms 3 is an artillery turn-based tactics video game, in the Worms series developed and published by Team17 for iOS on August 8, 2013, and released for Android devices via the Play Store and Mac OS X computers in 2014.

<i>Alien Rage</i> 2013 video game

Alien Rage is a first-person shooter video game for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Alien Rage was developed by Polish developer CI Games, then known as City Interactive, using Unreal Engine 3. The game has single-player and competitive multiplayer modes. In its single player campaign, players are put in control of an elite soldier named Jack. Jack is sent to destroy a mining facility and the aliens within it after the aliens turned against and killed the humans that they had shared the facility with.

This is a glossary of video game terms which lists the general terms as commonly used in Wikipedia articles related to video games and its industry.

EVE: Valkyrie is a multiplayer dogfighting shooter game set in the EVE Online universe that is designed to use virtual reality headset technology. Originally launched for Microsoft Windows for use with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, CCP Games has announced they plan to enable cross-platform play between the three major VR systems: the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and the PlayStation VR. Released in March 2016, the game has two game mode options: Chronicles can be played in single player, while Combat allows eight by eight combat PvP missions. Reviews generally criticised the limited plot and limitations of single player mode, although the described "arcade experience" was praised for having intuitive controls and "exhilarating" dogfighting features, with PC Powerplay dubbing it "arguably the best VR experience currently available for the [Oculus Rift] platform."

<i>Videoball</i> video game

Videoball is a minimalist sports video game by Action Button Entertainment. Up to six human and computer-controlled players form two teams. Each uses an analog stick and a single button to control triangles that shoot charged projectiles at a ball and other players. The objective is to knock the ball into the opposing team's goal. Apart from exhibition matches, the game has a scenario challenge-based Arcade mode, and supports online team and ranked multiplayer matchmaking. Videoball has a simple visual style with bright colors, basic shapes, and many customization options.

<i>Titanfall 2</i> first-person shooter video game

Titanfall 2 is a first-person shooter video game, developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. A sequel to 2014's Titanfall, the game was released worldwide on October 28, 2016 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In Titanfall 2, players control Titans, mecha-style exoskeletons and their pilots, who are agile and equipped with a variety of skills ranging from wall-running to cloaking. Set in a science fiction universe, the single-player campaign follows the story of Jack Cooper, a rifleman from Frontier Militia, who bonds with his Titan BT-7274 after an accident. Together, they embark on a quest to stop the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) from launching a superweapon.

References

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  3. "Speed Race." (Game). N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2013.
  4. Koster, Raph (10 Feb 2006). "Are single-player games doomed?". Archived from the original on 8 Feb 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  5. "Is single-player gaming under-threat?". Computer and Video Games. Future plc. 28 Oct 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  6. Wales, Matt (October 17, 2017). "EA has shut down Visceral Games". Eurogamer . Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  7. Sarkar, Samit (October 18, 2017). "EA's Star Wars 'pivot' is a vote of no confidence in single-player games". Polygon . Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  8. Staff (October 19, 2017). "Does Visceral's closure prove AAA single-player games are dying?". Gamasutra . Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  9. Klepek, Patrick (October 17, 2017). "Today's Star Wars News Makes the Future of Single-Player Look Very Messy". Vice . Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  10. McCarthy, Caty (October 19, 2017). "The Rise and Fall of Visceral Games". US Gamer . Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  11. Purchase, Robert (October 23, 2017). ""I've seen people literally spend $15,000 on Mass Effect multiplayer cards"". Eurogamer . Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  12. Chalk, Andy (December 7, 2017). ""Bethesda kicks off a 'Save Player 1' sale for its single-player games"". PC Gamer . Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  13. "ThomasDaPsycho." : Video Game Story Elements. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2013.
  14. "Tales of the Rampant Coyote: What Makes a Great RPG - Mechanics." Tales of the Rampant Coyote. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2013.

Bibliography