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Misleading game description info- LIVE players

Last post 3/20/2010 5:57 PM by The ZMan. 28 replies.
  • 12/30/2009 4:58 AM

    Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    I am concerned with some of the apps coming out that advertise themselves as allowing 2-31 players for "online multiplayer". These apps in actual fact ONLY use live for sharing a customized asset with friends. Their argument is that technically speaking the program could share assets with 31 different people at once, but I think that this is very far removed from the intended meaning of "online multiplayer".

    I think that most gamers would feel mislead using one of these apps, after reading that it supports 2-31 online players. Not only this, but it detracts from games that actually *do* support some kind of online play. I think that it is far clearer if they just mention in the game description that you can share your asset with friends over LIVE, and leave the online multiplayer box unchecked. I would go further to say that if they do tick online multiplayer, it is misleading game information, and a violation of the submission rules, and hence should be failed.
  • 12/30/2009 5:14 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    It should definitely be a fail. I haven't come across any games doing this yet though.
  • 12/30/2009 5:16 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    I would take your beef up with Microsoft on Connect. Since until Microsoft makes a differentiation between an app & a game and therefore supporting either Live MULTIPLAYER GAMING versus Live NETWORKING, it will all fall under that one category. Now that MS looks to get more into the APP business on Live, I think splitting up the service into apps & games got a lot more closer to being a reality. This like the ratings system makes more sense on a system wide scale.

    Tommy McClain
  • 12/30/2009 5:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    LocoPuyo:
    It should definitely be a fail. I haven't come across any games doing this yet though.


    Definitely? How's that? The app is using the Live service to communicate with other people using the same app. The service does not differentiate between gaming or networking on Live. The user needs to know that the app does use Live in order to function. Without checking the option you'd have more of a case for failing than the opposite. There is the potential an app could talk up to the max number of players allowed on Live(31) & the buyer needs to know that.

    Tommy McClain
  • 12/30/2009 5:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    AzBat360:
    Definitely? How's that? The app is using the Live service to communicate with other people using the same app. The service does not differentiate between gaming or networking on Live
    If it's not multiple people playing together, it's lying about its offering. It's pretty easy to see that a game exchanging scores is not the same thing as 30 people playing a game together.

    AzBat360:
    The user needs to know that the app does use Live in order to function. Without checking the option you'd have more of a case for failing than the opposite.
    Put it in the trial mode or description; supporting multiplayer over LIVE is not the same thing as using LIVE networking to exchange scores, regardless of whether the underlying technology is the same. They are very much different to the end user.

    AzBat360:
    There is the potential an app could talk up to the max number of players allowed on Live(31) & the buyer needs to know that.
    The user doesn't need to know that number and I highly doubt end users realize that the online leaderboards even use the same LIVE networking to do the syncing of high scores.

    If I could review games, I would fail any that claim any online multiplayer support unless they actually have an online multiplayer mode. Exchanging high scores does not count as online multiplayer.

    EDIT: You should list any games you see on Marketplace that do this. There is a Report Abuse button on their Xbox.com page and we could use that to voice our complaints against any of those games.
  • 12/30/2009 5:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    Nick Gravelyn:
    If I could review games, I would fail any that claim any online multiplayer support unless they actually have an online multiplayer mode. Exchanging high scores does not count as online multiplayer.


    I would agree with this sentiment: a simple data exchange does not make a game multiplayer.
  • 12/30/2009 6:02 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    Ditto for me... High Score and other data sharing is not what people expect when they see the 2-31 designators. If you find a game tht makes those claims then feel free to fail it in review or report abuse if its live.

    If you want to tell the world your game has level sharing or high score shring then the place to put it is in the description. (and add the usual note about a gold membership being required).
  • 12/30/2009 7:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    Nick Gravelyn:
    You should list any games you see on Marketplace that do this. There is a Report Abuse button on their Xbox.com page and we could use that to voice our complaints against any of those games.

    Off the top of my head I can think of:

    myFishtank (on marketplace)
    Graffiti Live (in playtest)
    iris 2.0 visualizer studio (in review)

    I'm sure there's others too, these are just the ones I've noticed without looking.
  • 12/30/2009 12:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    It looks like the iris 2.0 game is no longer in review. That'll be something to keep an eye on if when it's resubmitted.

    edit: actually, it looks like it hasn't been in review since July, but it's in playtest right now. Posted a note in the game's thread.
  • 12/31/2009 5:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    Jim Perry:
    It looks like the iris 2.0 game is no longer in review. That'll be something to keep an eye on if when it's resubmitted.

    edit: actually, it looks like it hasn't been in review since July, but it's in playtest right now. Posted a note in the game's thread.


    I was unaware that this was an issue, as I was taking that option in the description to mean that your game technically allows users to connect to 2 to 31 other players, which Iris 2.0 allows to share visualizers over Xbox Live.  However, if the community frowns upon this technical interpretation of this, I will remove it from my game's description.  I will update the option with the next binary I upload.  Thanks for the heads up on this!
  • 12/31/2009 5:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    I think this is an unfortunate side effect due to the fact that we don't get access to leaderboards or any kind of online storage. The community had chosen to use live networking to emulate those things which nobody ever really thought of when the descriptions were put out there.

    But I think its fair to say that most gamers when they see 2-31 players are going to assume online play and not online sharing of data. In your description text I would add the network sharing as a textual description instead.
  • 12/31/2009 10:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    The ZMan:
    But I think its fair to say that most gamers when they see 2-31 players are going to assume online play and not online sharing of data. In your description text I would add the network sharing as a textual description instead.


    Agreed, it should be online play
  • 1/15/2010 4:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    Now added to a new section in the evil checklist http://forums.xna.com/forums/t/19525.aspx
  • 3/19/2010 10:55 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    I'm about to push a game into Playtest that sort of straddles these rules. It's essential a trials-HD type style thing, but with ghost bike replays from other players.

    Does that count as multiplayer? I'm loathe to describe it as single player, as one of the major hooks in the game is the fact there's no AI, and that you *only* play against other players.

    Conversely, whilst you're technically playing against other player in *exactly* the same way as you would be in a multiplayer game, their data is essentially time-shifted realtime data.

    Thoughts on a postcard...
  • 3/19/2010 12:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    That's not multiplayer IMO. I expect to be able to interact with other people in a multiplayer game. You can describe it as player against saved races from other people, but it's not multiplayer.
  • 3/19/2010 2:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    By that definition, would TrackMania not be multiplayer? (given that there is no collision or direct interaction of any kind between players) Apart from the time-shifting, there's very little difference between the multiplayer component in this game, and TrackMania's.

    The same applies to, day, Demon's Souls - there's no DIRECT interaction, yet other players influence your game heavily and directly. It's not a multiplayer game, but it's also not a single player game.

    The game, as it stands, would be decidedly weird if classed as a single player game, which is why I'm raising this - having to fit into pigeon holes can be difficult :)
  • 3/19/2010 2:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    I wouldn't consider it multiplayer either... if I'm not directly playing against another human then its similar to a high score table that happens to have game state stored along with it.

    Put the game in playtest and ask the question again. Maybe when we see it we will feel the same way. But given what you have said customers won't think of this as multiplayr - they want to be able to play against their friends now.
  • 3/19/2010 2:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    ProjectorGames:
    The game, as it stands, would be decidedly weird if classed as a single player game

    I disagree. It's no different than playing against AI. There's no direct interaction with other living people.
  • 3/19/2010 11:57 PM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    Jim Perry:
    ProjectorGames:
    The game, as it stands, would be decidedly weird if classed as a single player game

    I disagree. It's no different than playing against AI. There's no direct interaction with other living people.


    While your definition of Xbox Live Multiplayer might have meant real-time interaction with other players, it seems Microsoft has now added another definition. With the launch of the Windows Phone 7 Series platform Microsoft introduced a new kind Xbox Live multiplayer called asynchronous multiplayer. This would best describe the experience in the ghost bike replays mentioned by ProjectorGames. He might not be able to claim more than 2-player multiplayer, but I think that now that Microsoft have changed the definition, I think he should be able to claim Xbox Live multiplayer now.

    Tommy McClain
  • 3/20/2010 12:12 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    Except this isn't on the phone... and I don't think the customers are going to get this. Its a ghost replay feature, not a live multiplayer experience.

    Bottom line is that right now the game is likley to fail if he checkes Live play. Time for some risk analysis....

    Feature: Game will sell more if it can be tagged as having Live Multiplayer.
    Risk: Game could fail peer review due to non realtime live play
    Mitigations:
    1. Post in forums - maybe community will agree with me
    2. Post a playtest - maybe community can be convinced
    3. Go to playtest anyway and keep fingers crossed.
    4. Contact Microsoft for clarification of the rule
    5. Add REAL multiplayer
    6. Do not tag game as multiplayer

    Now you can work out the efforts involved in each of these and have a plan no matter what happens.

  • 3/20/2010 1:47 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    I would be pretty angry as a customer if I bought a game that said online multiplayer and all it did was let me play against downloaded ghosts.

    It's a cool feature, but listing it as online multiplayer is misleading. Put something in the game description about it if you want to let people know it's there.
  • 3/20/2010 2:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    LocoPuyo:

    It's a cool feature, but listing it as online multiplayer is misleading. Put something in the game description about it if you want to let people know it's there.


    Agreed. I would rather see something to the effect of "some features require online access" mentioned in the game description.
  • 3/20/2010 2:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    The ZMan:
    Except this isn't on the phone... and I don't think the customers are going to get this. Its a ghost replay feature, not a live multiplayer experience.

    Yet everybody on Facebook gets it? ;) The popularity of Farmville & other asynchronous games on Facebook is probably the whole reason why it was added to WP7. Direct support for asynchronous mutiplayer is not necessary on the Xbox because I thought it was already subset of the framework? It's just not called that. The only thing missing is just a checkmark that says "Asynchronous Live Multiplayer" or just "Live Multiplayer" with no mention of how many players.

    Tommy McClain

  • 3/20/2010 3:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    Yes becuase thats how people play games on facebook. Thats NOT how people play games on Xbox Live. If we were talking about a facebook game then sure... but this is Xbox land. When customers see N player game they expect to be able to use invites, chat etc. Thats the Xbox live experience.

    Maybe when the phone is prevalent and *if* there are turn based games that cross over from Phone to Xbox that will be better understood and maybe have a checkbox but right now I don't think Xbox consumers have expectations of a network game that is live.

    AzBat360:
    Direct support for asynchronous mutiplayer is not necessary on the Xbox because I thought it was already subset of the framework? It's just not called that.

    What subset of the framework supports this? The only networking in XNA is live always on. The async stuff for phone is something thats coming soon. The only way this game can work is by secretly setting up and sharing data in the same way as we do high scores. There's no way for them to play a game alone and somehow have that data waiting for a friend next time they log on.







  • 3/20/2010 4:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Misleading game description info- LIVE players

    I have to agree with ZMan, there's no point comparing it to facebook games, iPhone apps, pencil and paper role playing games, or any other foreign form of "multiplayer" experience. On XBOX when you use the term "multiplayer", gamers have expectations. And those expectations are live, interactive multiplayer where you can see, communicate with and assist / defeat the other gamers in a direct and tangible manner.

    If you bought an XBOX 360 game because it advertised "cutting edge graphics", only to find that they meant it in comparison to C64 games, you would scream dishonesty. These terms only have meaning within the context of the platform they are referring to.
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