Why Social Features Are Crucial in a Multiplayer Game

Why Social Features Are Crucial in a Multiplayer Game

ganbatte vr game group photo
Gone are the days when video games were made exclusively for single player experiences. With the advent of the Internet, it’s now almost a requirement for games to have social features, especially when it comes to multiplayer games. Although there are still great single player games out there, like the PlayStation 4 exclusive God of War, most modern games have some form of social capability.

That’s ultimately why people should stop assuming gamers have no social lives! We do have friends – just that they’re probably halfway across the world. Even if a person’s social connections exist in a digital space, they still serve to fulfill one’s need to belong, as well as to develop one’s social skills. As Venture Beat states, “The sociality of games helps players identify their place in both the fictional gaming world and real world.”

Several features would constitute a social functionality in multiplayer games. The most basic feature of course is the in-game chat, where players can send messages to each other. It’s the simplest way to communicate and give one’s in-game character a voice. Many online games have this basic function, especially if they host servers or “rooms”. For instance, leading online portal Foxy Bingo offers a catalog of simple yet highly targeted titles, which feature “rooms” where players can chat while they play. It’s a function that makes the games more compelling since players can engage in banter or simply talk about random things while getting into a game. Playing solo can be just as exciting, but shared experiences always seem to be more enjoyable.

Then there’s voice chat, which makes socializing easier, since it can feel like talking to a friend in person and leaves your hands free to focus on the game.

These communication options aren’t the only factors that make games social. The presence of a leaderboard can also be counted, because it encourages players to engage in friendly competition. It’s similar to how you would challenge a friend to an eating contest, which incidentally is also what Ganbatte is all about.

As a competitive multiplayer game, Ganbatte builds on social aspects. But there’s no sword-fighting or gunfire involved whatsoever. Here, players from around the world can enjoy a seemingly mundane activity: eating sushi as cats! With the help of VR tech, the task of eating feels real, and it’s a question now of who can eat as many pieces of sushi as they possible. Naturally, a game concept like this would not work if there were no social capabilities. Instead of in-game chat however, Ganbatte utilizes the motion functions of VR for players to express themselves. A player can make gestures to indicate if he or she is frustrated or happy. That’s why we also focused on developing facial and head expressions for Ganbatte, to further enhance the emotions felt by the player.

Because of VR’s potential for social aspects, Medium’s Scottie Gardonio predicts that VR is set to make a greater impact on social media in the near future. That’s not surprising, seeing as people nowadays like to stay connected all the time. It’s not hard to see why the future of multiplayer games will have social VR functions too.

So if there’s any question as to why we chose this particular genre for Ganbatte, it’s because we believe in the power of social gaming. Why not try it out and tell us all about it? We’d love to hear about the people you’ve met in the game.

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