Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus"

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
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Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus"



Valve isn't giving up on single-player games, it's just adding social components to them.

A statement [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/109556-Portal-2-Probably-Valves-Single-Player-Swan-Song] made by Valve for Geoff Keighley's Final Hours of Portal 2 iPad app made it seem like single-player games were on their way out at Valve. According to an interview with Valve head honcho Gabe Newell (done by a high school student), this isn't true all all. In reality, Valve will simply be creating games that are "single-player plus," rather than just single-player.

The statement was: "Portal 2 [http://www.amazon.com/Portal-2-Playstation-3/dp/B003O6E3C8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304872166&sr=8-1] will probably be Valve's last game with an isolated single-player experience." Some took this to mean that either Valve wasn't going to make fully single-player games anymore, or that Valve wouldn't be dropping players by themselves into worlds with no NPCs.

Gabe Newell clears up the situation by saying: "What we're trying to talk about is the fact that, not that we're not doing single-player games ... It's more that we think we have to work harder in the future, that entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, by letting you play with your friends and recognizing that you're connected with other people. That's the thing we're trying to say."

"Single-player is great, but we also have to recognize that you have friends and want to have that connected as well," Newell added. "It's not about giving up on single-player at all, we actually think that there are a bunch of features and capabilities that we need to add into our single-player games to recognize the socially-connected gamer. Every gamer is instant messaging, every gamer has a Facebook account. If you pretend this doesn't exist you're ignoring the problems you ought to be taking on, so it's 'single-player plus,' not 'no more single-player.'"

I'm glad we have that all cleared up then. The statement primarily impacted the future of Half-Life, Valve's most popular single-player franchise, with a highly-awaited next title that Valve has told fans to hang in there [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/108821-Valve-Says-Hang-In-There-For-Half-Life-2-Episode-3] for. Valve changed the single-player game with the original Half-Life, so it would have been depressing to see the company move away from the craft.

The interview reveals that DotA 2 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/104353-Valve-Confirms-DotA-2-for-2011], a very not single-player game, is likely Valve's next big release. In fact, Newell says playing DotA 2 has him "by the scruff of the neck." The entire interview, which also goes over Newell's knife collection, can be listened to below.


Source: Reddit [http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/h5wag/here_it_is_my_interview_with_gabe_newell/]

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Aeshi

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Dec 22, 2009
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So they're ripping off Minions of Mirth now? First Prey and now this.
 

Arcticflame

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Nov 7, 2006
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What he says is true for me, even when playing a singleplayer game like oblivion, hl2 etc, I still can't help but talk to people about the game as I'm playing it or in breaks, It improves the game immensely for me.
Of course, that doesn't mean the social aspects they want to add will improve much for me, but I have faith in valve. :)

Aeshi said:
So they're ripping off Minions of Mirth now? First Prey and now this.
You realise narbacular drop predates prey, right?
 

The Hungry Samurai

Hungry for Truth
Apr 1, 2004
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Just no more stupid achievements/trophies like Professor Portal again please.Thanks to the PSN outage I'm NEVER going to find a person who hasnt played portal co-op to play with me.
 

Radeonx

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Apr 26, 2009
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Good. 99% of the time, when I play single player games, I'm interacting with other people anyways, and if this just makes it easier, then that's great.
 

repeating integers

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Mar 17, 2010
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Eh, I like to be focused on my singleplayer personally, rather than also chatting to other people - but it's a neat idea, and it'll be interesting to see how they work it into their future games.
 

bob1052

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Oct 12, 2010
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Tom Goldman said:
The interview reveals that DotA 2 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/104353-Valve-Confirms-DotA-2-for-2011], a very not single-player game, is likely Valve's next big release. In fact, Newell says playing DotA 2 has him "by the scruff of the neck." The entire interview, which also goes over Newell's knife collection, can be listened to below.
inb4 shitstorm about Episode 3 not being next.

Sounds like Single Player Plus is just Single Player with the steam overlay integrated to more than just steam chat (facebook, other instant messengers?). They've already built some interesting tech into the latest TF2 update. You can record, edit, render and upload straight to a youtube account that you link to your steam account all in game TF2.
 

Dansrage

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Nov 9, 2010
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"Every gamer has facebook account"

That sentance is everything that's wrong with gaming today.
 

Evil Moo

Always Watching...
Feb 26, 2011
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As one who is decidedly un-social, this will either not affect me or it will be an unfortunate annoyance in the midst of my single player game enjoyment.

It will be interesting to see where they go with this idea though.
 

Xanthious

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Dec 25, 2008
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I just don't get the infatuation about making everything more "social". This just screams to me as being another way to milk gamers out of money while making actual GAMING content thinner and thinner where it is ultimately held hostage as DLC. Leave social gaming, microtransactions and all that other bullshit the gaming industry has a hard on for lately to games like Farmville and their ilk but for fuck's sake keep it out of mainstream games.

Now as to the misguided and outright false assumption every gamer has a Facebook account. Well they don't nor should they. Facebook is a fucking plague on society as a whole. Most people's lives would be lucky to fill an entire haiku nevermind an entire webpage.

The whole idea of things like Facebook, Twitter etc is to give people the false assumptions their mundane lives are more interesting than they actually are. Seriously go look at any of your facebook walls, I'll wait. Do you actually give a shit what friend A is getting next from Netflix? Could you actually be paid to care about those pictures of friend B's snot nosed little brats in rabbit costumes? Of course not. The only people that find even a passing interest in that kind of bullshit is the person who posted it to begin with and the only reason they post that mundane garbage is to stroke their ego under the false assumption that other people give two shits.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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I'm not sure Valve have the bull entirely by the horns here.

Sometimes I love to be in multiplayer games, but sometimes I like the solitude of a game like Tomb Raider or Peggle.

And Bookface? Cold day in hell before I go near that virus.
 

Exterminas

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Sep 22, 2009
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I don't have a facebook account.
And If I had one, I wouldn't want valve to touch it.
Just like I wouldn't want company XY to touch it.
 

TheRealCJ

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Mar 28, 2009
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God no. I can't think of anything worse!

I play single player games because I HAVE no connected friends. I only have about 2 irl friends on Steam. The rest are either console players or aren't gamers.

Hell, I haven't even played the Portal 2 co-op yet, because my choices are that limited.

Dont get me wrong, I like multiplayer, but a multiplayer game where I can just dive right in and play, with having to "know somebody".
 

Xanadu84

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Apr 9, 2008
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Could be a great step forward. Could be a single player evolution like Demon's Souls. It could be an inconsequential tangent that doesn't interfere with a person who wants to play single player. Or it could be a minor distraction that's quickly forgotten, but inevitably still worthy an experiment. Regardless what this becomes, I'm not terribly concerned, and i'm glad for the clarification.
 

Ophiuchus

8 miles high and falling fast
Mar 31, 2008
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Gabe Newell clears up the situation by saying: "What we're trying to talk about is the fact that, not that we're not doing single-player games ... It's more that we think we have to work harder in the future, that entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, by letting you play with your friends and recognizing that you're connected with other people. That's the thing we're trying to say."
No. No it isn't. At all.

Can someone please explain this thinking? What's wrong with a fully single-player experience?
 

FoolKiller

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Feb 8, 2008
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I would hate this idea. To me, a game needs to be an experience that I can fully enjoy alone. I don't like the idea of not getting a full gaming experience without having someone else also playing the game.
 

koroem

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Jul 12, 2010
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Tom Goldman said:
Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus"
Every gamer is instant messaging
Not true. I don't IM when I'm playing single player games, nor do I want to. When I play single player games I want to be immersed, not constantly interrupted.

Tom Goldman said:
Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus"
every gamer has a Facebook account.
Absolutely not true. I will not touch Facebook with a 20 foot pole. It is a cesspool of filth and advertising that not everyone is so willing to give up privacy for.


Tom Goldman said:
Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus"
If you pretend this doesn't exist you're ignoring the problems you ought to be taking on, so it's 'single-player plus,' not 'no more single-player.'"
Such a situation doesn't exist, and from this comment it seems you are going to try to manufacture it. I enjoy single player games for their single player experiences. There are time when I don't want to be slowed down or rushed by randoms or friends in games. I shouldn't have to be forced to play online because a growing majority of people can't handle alone time and keep themselves entertained or occupied.

If I want to play a multiplayer game I'll load one up. I really don't want single player content being dumbed down and watered down because the "social aspect" is supposed to fill the gaps.

I'm not a shut in emo with social issues, but I certainly enjoy a certain amount of self exploration, discovery, and achievement on my own in gaming.