Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

Multiplayer Point and Clicks?

Do you think a point and click adventure game with multiplayer functionality would ever work out?

Or has it been done already? If so, please let me know. I’m a big fan of Portal 2’s co-op multiplayer and had a really great time figuring out puzzle solutions with a friend. I think working as a team to solve adventure game puzzles could be an absolute blast.


I think that if the puzzles are designed to be solved by multiple players cooperating with each other, it might work.

Some Thimbleweed Park puzzles require multiple characters, so it seems to me that if each character is played by a different person, the resulting experience might be fun.

1 Like

We talked about this idea before, Ron even liked the idea.

Day of the Tentacle could be an interesting experiment in that regard.

I really like the idea (I also loved Portal 2’s co-op). I think it would take a lot of figuring out in terms of the design and functionality (as discussed in the other thread) - for example I think everyone would have to play at the same time. It would be fun to have little ‘side missions’ (like the flashbacks in TWP) for individual characters/players though, so there’s some independent play mixed in with it.

The only puzzle from not so classical 2D point-and-click because 3D that I can think of is an example form Myst Online: Uru Live. The puzzle was changed to fit single-player design in the Path of the Shell expansion, as the original Uru was made singleplayer-only by Ubisoft.
For Myst online it was restored and you need somebody else to help you solve the age. While it’s quite short puzzle and the whole Myst game universe is kind of different from classical 3D point-and-click, it’s nevertheless a multiplayer puzzle.

1 Like

Right, but he said it made his developer brain explode. I’m guessing we would be more likely to see a beand new game designed specifically for multi-player if he went that route, but I still love the idea of running around the original Mansion and seeing friends walk by.

For that purpose it might be interesting to be able to see the whole housemap at once ala Little Computer People and be able to zoom in and out at will. Of course that wouldn´t have been possible back in the day but I´m pretty sure somethin like that would be doable now.

(bad example as the rooms on this pic are not connected)

1 Like

But not mine. :wink: There are at least two possibilities to do a multiplayer PnC. (And if I had enough spare time, I would develop some prototypes…)

You can’t “connect” them in one (flat) picture because a) the camera perspectives are changing and b) the architecture of the house is weird (for example some of the upper floors and rooms have to be in the air).

1 Like

Of course you can´t connect them directly but there are maps out there that connect the rooms the way they work and that would be enough.

I tried often enough to figure out what windows might correspond to what rooms but that of course never worked out. It´s like the house in The Shining, which also doesn´t make any sense, and what better comparison could you make?

1 Like

At least the picture included the Jaggi monster from the telescope. I never really tried to work out the exact layout, but there must be a big gap between Edna’s attic and the telescope.

If you play the ending where you (or just generally) send out the Edsel into space you can see that the Mansion has several tower rooms. My guess is that Green Tentacles room above Fred´s room, the safe room above Edna´s room, the tentacle room and the room behind the paint blotch are such tower rooms.

1 Like

Cool that does make sense now. After seeing the intergalactic police on the collage, I keep thinking of Spacecataz.

My last attempt at MM I managed to get completely screwed with dead ends (partly because I was just messing around). Accidentally used the paint remover so could not get in the wire room. Bernard pulled the tube out then put it back in the radio making it stuck forever, and Razor started the rocket engine with nothing in the trunk. So I thought a fitting ending would be to kill the man-eating plant with her stranded in the observatory.

1 Like

Oh, that sounds like a bad glitch! Didn´t know that was possible.

I had missed this. Glad to see someone else thought the same. Parallel puzzles.

The only problem I can see is that it’s difficult to have a story with many parallel puzzles. I’ve never seen an adventure game with more than a few of them. Except Gobliins 2, but that does not have a “story”. It’s more like a sequence of gags. You see funny animations, and you need to find a cooperative way to “hijack” them.

This suggests that a multiplayer adventure game could also be parallel story-wise. I.e. you walk around a fantasy world, or a village, like a normal MMORPG, and you meet families of characters, each offering a separate (timing based) puzzle. Like a lot of sidequests without a central quest.

The added bonus is you never get stuck: if you can’t solve a puzzle, you move on to the next one.

I spent quite some time thinking about how one could design a “classic” PnC multiplayer AG.

The main problem with multiplayer games is that you have to coordinate the presence of said players. In a MMORPG, if a teammate isn’t there, his own fault - he’s going to lose all the exp and stuff in the quest. In a competitive game, who cares - I’m going to challenge another player.

But in adventure games, if we want to be as classic as it can be, either you block the player’s advancement as long as someone isn’t playing, or you allow players to lose part of the story if the teammates solve stuff while he’s not there.

You could make parallel lines, where the interaction between different characters is restricted to some puzzles which can be solved anyway by a single player so they don’t get stuck if someone stops playing… who knows.

Or you could make it competitive :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

The Witness is like a non-adventure version of that. The story isn’t that intertwined, but it could be by having elements that all come together at the end (which in retrospect is probably what happens in The Witness - I haven’t finished it yet :smile:)

I like that idea - a combination of single and multi solvable puzzles. That would be less restrictive in terms of all needing to play at the same time (which is my concern with this style of game). You could also have puzzles that have to be solved by a particular player.

I liked the base idea of games like “Ingress” (kids: read “Pokémon Go”, the software house, concept and mechanics is the same), where there are 2 opposite factions (you choose one of them at the very beginning), and each team work together to defeat the other, by conquering hotspots scattered around the (real) world.

A very big multiplayer point’n’click adventure, could be forged from this idea. Two teams, and puzzles to be solved, involving pieces/objects/whatever found from various locations scattered around the world.

One problem are the objects: If Alice picks up the chainsaw, Bob can’t use the chainsaw. And if you don’t show Bob the inventory of Alice, he will never know that there was a chainsaw.

It’s a good approach, but if Alice is able to solve all the puzzles, she could solve the whole adventure (accidentally) alone. If both players have to solve some puzzles together, you have “gates” in the puzzle design: Alice have to wait for Bob until he is at the same place with the needed objects.

You just have to establish that each character/player has a specific profession and that his/her profession decides what kind of tasks he/she can execute.

The game provides multiple chainsaws and Alice can take one of them, if she wants, but to cut the tree she needs the help of a lumberjack, so she needs to find any lumberjack in the game.

In this way nobody is ever blocked, because the game provides both multiple instances of an objects and multiple instances of a character with a specific profession.

1 Like
Official Thimbleweed Park Forums powered by Discourse.