Evolve: why Turtle Rock feels four players is enough

Saturday, 25th January 2014 17:04 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Evolve, like Left 4 Dead before it, will feature a team of four players battling it out against enemies, and for good reason: Turtle Rock found through trial and error that when you add more players, they become harder to keep track of.

Speaking with Game Informer, creative director Chris Ashton said when the team was working on Left 4 Dead, Valve wanted more players added to the initial team in the game. When Turtle Rock told the company it “wouldn’t work,” Valve decided to test it for themselves before agreeing with the original assessment.

“One of the first things that the Valve guys did when they started playing Left 4 Dead and they really enjoyed it, they were like, ‘This is great, but we could make it work for five guys or six guys,’” relayed Ashton. “They changed the code on their side and they tried it, and eventually they came back to four.

“What happens is, there’s a weird thing in that most people I think are able to track three friends. I can know that you’re over here and you’re in front of me and you’re to my left. And I can keep that in my mind, and I can keep in my mind that you have 50 health and you have 80 health, and I can keep track of that and fight another team.

“But if it’s four guys, it feels like I’m always losing one. I always don’t know where someone is, I don’t know where somebody’s health is – keeping track of four other friends is too much.”

The firm’s Phil Robb said it was also easier for a team of four to split into two groups to accomplish a goal, whereas with five, the “fifth player would run off and do something stupid and get himself caught.”

“It’s kind of weird,” he said. “There’s kind of some strange voodoo-type magic there. We’ve sat down and tried to figure it out from a scientific point of view, but there’s something about four guys.”

Evolve will be published by 2K Games and is slated for a fall release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.



  1. Major Mayhem 70

    WHAAAAAAAAAT?!?!? Just 4 players? You mean to tell me they couldn’t get 500 players? Preorder cancelled… (Yeah, I’m being an ass 👹)
    “Speaking with Game Informer, creative director Chris Ashton said when the team was working on left 4 Dead, Valve wanted more players added to the initial team in the game. When Turtle Rock told the company it “wouldn’t work,” Valve decided to test it for themselves before agreeing with the original assessment.”
    Wow, testing player count to see what works best. Respawn could learn a thing or two from Turrle Rock and Valve concerning Titanfall. Oh wait……

    #1 11 months ago
  2. Major Mayhem 70

    @1 Still being an ass 👹

    #2 11 months ago
  3. OlderGamer

    Apples and oranges.

    Not to mention the problem some have with TF is that there is a preception of what it means to be “Next Gen”. It isn’t about the game being balanced or not. It is about it not coming across as a next gen experience.

    And it further solidified because in truth TF isn’t a next gen game. It is a xb360 game, also on X1 and PC.

    64 Players in BF4 isn’t somehow a new thing. It has been 64 players for years on PC. The next gen consoles now finaly have enough power to offer the same type of experience that the PC has already been delivering. So in that sense it seems “Next Gen” because it has reached beyond what was offered on PS360.

    TF doesn’t do that. Again it has ZERO to do with gameplay balance. It has everything to do with being the same offerings console gamers have had for several years on current/old gen systems.

    And pure numbers are misleading.

    A game like Battlefield thrives with large numbers of players, because it is trying to recreate a battlefield(a field of battle). It needs scope, including players and space. It needs Tanks, Hummers, choppers, plans. It isn’t about four players tip toeing into a quiet and dark building. It is about throwing your team, your army against the other one. Imagine if you removed everyone from a soccer match except the goalie and one kicker? You might have a tight one on one intimate match. There is clearly balance. But it is no way close to the same experience as a large(what we think of as full sized)team vs said same.

    Apples and Oranges.

    A game isn’t going to be great just because it has more players. Just a game isn’t going to be bad just because it has fewer players. Words like balance and scope are just cover ups that convey if not attempt to justify their numbers. But a game with fewer players will be a different experience then a game with more players.

    A lot of people looked at TF as a next gen offering and expected a game that couldn’t be done and an experience that couldn’t be had on stuff they already owned. They expected Oranges and are being offered Apples.

    #3 11 months ago
  4. Legendaryboss

    Let your alter ego run free, embrace the dark side.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. Legendaryboss

    And to add to what OlderGamer or to put the LB spin on it: Evolve is a fully next gen game and Titanfall is as much as people want to believe is an Xbox One exclusive that will define next gen gaming is a cross-gen game available on three platforms. It can still define cross-gen gaming however, well just judging based on the reception but still undetermined. Well actually it will define gaming on whatever platform you play on, but overall its cross-gen gaming.

    The only similarity i can think of thus far between the two is that both games have developers with a former big heritage: Call Of Duty and Left 4 Dead.

    #5 11 months ago
  6. Major Mayhem 70

    @4 and it feels goooooooood!!!!

    #6 11 months ago
  7. Major Mayhem 70

    My point wasn’t to say that the games are similar, but the fact that both companies tested out their games to see what would make the player count the most enjoyable to play. One tested and came to the conclusion that it was 4, another company put their game through the motions and confidently decided 6v6 was the perfect combination. Both companies make games, both companies tested their games, both companies concluded what their player count will be due to the testing. Damn the apples and the oranges, that is fact.

    #7 11 months ago
  8. Panthro

    Why do you all still refer to the new consoles as ‘next gen’?

    They aren’t ‘next gen’ any more; they were last year but they are here now, you all sound like you are talking about the PS5 and Xbox One 2 < LOL

    #8 11 months ago
  9. Major Mayhem 70

    I don’t get caught up in all that “next gen” talk. I’m all about playing games that are fun and interesting. If a game is 1080p 60fps but dull as hell, what good is it to me. I’ll take 720p 30fps all day as long as it’s a blast to play. Because I feel so strongly about having the most fun when I game is why I appreciate the fact that Turtle Rock and Respawn took the time to test their games player count to discover the maximum head count for the most enjoyment, over “this is next gen so we should deliver what others believe next gen should be. It’s their work of art, who are we to tell them how to stroke the brush. I just tell me when the masterpiece is finished so I can enjoy it.

    #9 11 months ago
  10. Major Mayhem 70

    Sorry for the broken up English, been working overtime and I’m tired. Goodnight y’all.

    #10 11 months ago
  11. RussellGorall

    Might as well try and make the EXACT same game as Left 4 Dead, huh?

    #11 11 months ago

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