No one wants a “solitary experience” anymore, says Conviction’s multiplayer director

Tuesday, 13th April 2010 20:06 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Patrick Redding, the game director for Splinter Cell: Conviction’s multiplayer, has revealed that the co-op portion of the game came about because no one wants a “solitary experience” anymore.

Speaking with VideogamesDaily, Redding said that co-op used to be more for the hardcore gamer, and now that it has become more mainstream, the developers felt the need to add more elements to the mode in order for it to fit the game.

“I see this co-op as fitting within a trend or a tendency that I think is emerging – actually it emerged a long time ago, but I think it’s just moved into the mainstream – which is that before, co-op was a relatively hardcore gaming paradigm for people,” he said.

“It tended to be the thing that people who were PC tactical shooter gamers were really obsessing over, or that sports gamers were really obsessing over, and I think now what we have is a generational shift, where the core of the mass market are people who both want to have a deep story, memorable moments and all of the drama and meaning and investment that we typically have always had in single player games, and they also want to be able to share it with their friends.

“They don’t want it to be a solitary experience, they want to be able either to sit on the couch with their girlfriend and play, or be on Xbox Live with their best friends and play, and feel that something is unfolding according to some design intention, and they’re getting a chance to experience that but it doesn’t have to be that alone.

“That was what motivated us to move in the direction we did. I think when we looked at what single player was trying to do with Conviction, it’s a more internal story, it’s less about the outside world going to hell in a handbasket and there’s one man who can go in and save the day, and it’s a lot more about Sam’s personal hell, and what he’s doing to get out of it, or go deeper into it depending on how you look at it, and how situations are being manipulated by outside forces who have their own agendas, and how he reacts to that.

“And I think that informs a lot of the game design choices we made, it informs the whole dynamic of this slightly more active mode of stealth, and the offensive qualities that come out of that: being able to strike at enemies with impunity, that sort of thing. And I think when we looked at co-op we thought, ‘we have to do the same thing’: there has to be a story there for the reasons I gave, but there has to be an extension of what the Splinter Cell universe is now”.

Splinter Cell: Conviction’s out in North America today, and the UK Friday.

So far, people seem to like it.

PC’ers get it on April 29.



  1. theevilaires

    GOW3 is a good solitary experience :D

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Tallon 4

    I do want some SP-only games. MP is great…but some recent SP-games are still worth it ( God of War, Heavy Rain, etc. )

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Stephany Nunneley

    You talking about the lady three-way bit being a “solitary experience” TEA? :D

    #3 5 years ago
  4. OlderGamer

    Not a good idea to generalize like that. For the most part I agree with him. A solid MP experience can make or break most games. However some people will claim that SP games are all they play or what they really want anyways. SP isn’t going anywhere and shouldn’t. But if a game is going to have gunplay it is a safe bet to make it MP as well as SP.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Hunam

    I love single player games and to be honest, I think the majority of players also do, it’s confusing why developers don’t realise that. I like Co-Op as much as the next guy but stuff like Lost Planet 2 and Resident Evil kill their SP game with too much Co-Op focus. I do give credit to Conviction as it is a separate mode.

    Why they don’t bring back mercs vs spies confuses me also.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Wakkum

    I wants mah singleplayergames. Although I absolutely LOVED Spies vs Mercs. Why the hell did they keep that out of Conviction :(

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Erthazus

    I looked at the reviews and i think it is bullshit to make statement like that.
    First of all in Conviction there is a co-op play and if you will not experience it, you will never know the full plot + some people just don’t pay for XBL and can’t experience full story buying Splinter Cell: Conviction + people maybe don’t like coop play – thats a little bit off topic.

    and to generalize like that is not a good thing. I enjoy singeplayer games more then Multiplayer games. I like Battlefield:Bad Company 2, but my most anticipated game of the generation for now is Final Fantasy XIII Versus. My most anticipated game previously in this generation was Metal Gear solid 4 for it’s singleplayer experience. I can’t play the game without storyline. Games like Battlefield is exception. Even when i played Modern Warfare, i still finished 5 hour campaign no matter what.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. OlderGamer


    Seems to me that game devs/pubs are looking at the numbers. Most the year end biggest sellers are MP games. Year after year. From Halos to CoDs to Gears to sports games, you can pretty much name it. That is all they are going to see, and they will cater to it.

    You named two Japanesse games as examples why co-op got in the way. Bad examples. Instead look at Gears, Conviction, and other western games. The JP games don’t handle Online or MP in general very well at all. Yea, there are a few exceptions. But, I could name a long list of bad examples, in general, look at the Wii.

    Also right now the market is almost over run with shooters, and they lend themself extremly well to the competetive nature of MP online.

    So long as games offer solid MP and SP, I am good.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. NiceFellow

    I know what he means, but with 3 million plus SP titles still going strong he’s also wrong : strictly speaking.

    What he means is he feels having MP is lower risk as a higher percentage of gamers like having some MP or coop today and when you’re making a big title it’s all about the risk factors vs likely sales.

    All he’s talking about are the market forces that dictate why each year there are lots of popcorn movies vs David Lynch films.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. MushroomStamp

    These days, the only multiplayer i like to play is Co-Op. I don’t like playing any multiplayer with people I don’t know these days. So not a fan of Large multi-player games.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. absolutezero

    I can’t think of anything worse than a multiplayer Half Life. Or Metro 2033.

    Fuck Resident Evil Outbreak proved that a multiplayer Survival Horror was a terrible idea.

    I kinda deeply dislike competitive multiplayer, well apart from a select few deeply special titles. Like TF2.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. revsoul

    It would lessen the atmosphere of some of the best games if I HAD to play it with another person.

    Uncharted 1 & 2 are perfect the way they are, even without multi-player.

    The list goes on and on…..

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Mike

    He’s wrong: I want nothing but: all the time. Mass Effect 2 sales prove him wrong, also. He’s wrong.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. hitnrun

    It sounds like he’s reading marketing hype and industry hot-talk from 2008, which isn’t a surprise considering how late this title is. Resident Evil 5 proved conclusively that focusing on co-op can kill a single player game, MWF2 showed that even a vanilla FPS can break records without it, while the booming popularity of Horde Mode/Firefight/Special Ops etc showed the likely way forward for incorporating co-op in titles without crapping all over the main campaign.

    Ubisoft needs to get with the times. There are next to no “people who both want to have a deep story, memorable moments and all of the drama and meaning and investment that we typically have always had in single player games, and they also want to be able to share it with their friends.” Videogame stories are a guilty pleasure at best; having a friend lol’ing into the microphone doesn’t improve them one whit.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Demiath

    While it may be true that a lot of gamers are needlessly addicted to MP (I’m sure as hell not one of them), we need to recognize that one of the primary sacrifices made by developers focusing on multiplayer and co-op is being forced to create much shorter campaign modes. Conviction is supposedly around 5-6 hours long, which is definitely NOT OK for a $60 game, irrespective of your personal game mode preferences.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Dannybuoy

    Errr. What a load of bollocks. I only play games on my own. Never play games online. Never. I may be a minority although all my PSN friends don’t play online either. So that’s 8 people I know who play solo games

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Blerk


    Half the time I think they just spin this line out to try and cover the fact that their single-player campaign is somehow substandard.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. frostquake

    Wow how out of touch he is!!! I rarely if EVER play MP…I hate it. The Last really Good Game I played that was co-op was Resistance 2. At least all the human players were on the same team, and the AI was the aliens, so none of the typical CRAP that human players do to cheat at the game. I am 99.5% SP only…

    I believe this stems from one thing and ONE thing ONLY…MONEY…If they can move games to MP only then the increment model of charging for maps, weapons and such becomes much easier, and development times are greatly reduced then focusing on a long SP development time.

    If this becomes a standard in the Business Model…I might just have to find something else to devote my time to!

    #18 5 years ago
  19. The_Red

    Sorry but I gotta say SHUT UP on this one. Many gamers (Myself included) still want and PREFER solitary experience to multiplayer. Sure, I deeply enjoy playing Left 4 Dead with friends or going wild in MW2′s Spec Ops but outside of that, nothing comes remotely close to the joy of playing single player Hitman, BioShock,Resonance of Fate or Fallout (any single player RPG J or W in general) and every other great single player game.

    There are a lot of gamers out there and they all have different tastes. For some its multi player > single player but also for some, its single player > multi player.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Dralen

    I have to agree with everyone here. That is a load of crap! I so want more single player games. The only problem I have, is alot of singleplayer experiences are too short. Multiplayer is great, but alot of developers work soo hard on it, that they sacrifice the single-player for it. I want more games like; Oblivion, Knights of the old republic, Doom 3 etc.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. simakperrce

    By his standards nobody will read a book anymore, because it’s such a solitary experience. Ludicrous. And totally against the evidence of some of the bigger games having been published lately (Mass Effect 2, Heavy Rain and the upcoming Alan Wake)

    I almost never play MP. Mostly because I suck at it, and I don’t have the time (and neither the patience) to practice enough to stay competitive enough for it to remain fun. And I don’t see much point in running around and being shot every 10 seconds, which is what happens when you suck at it.

    I can see, that the future will have more multiplayer experiences with all the social networking craze, but someone needs to figure out how this works without sacrificing a compelling story. And playing the same 6 maps over and over again in order to collect stats is not a compelling story to me.

    Until then I much rather invest the little time I have into immersing myself in a well told interactive playy that I can decide to follow at my own pace. So, SP all the way. And, like books, I hope this will remain with us for a long time.

    #21 5 years ago

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