Why play as one character when you can play as three?

14th October 2004

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3

The last three novels I’ve read have had three stories running simultaneously that join towards the end of the book. Each story has a different main character. I think this may be interesting to use in an FPS game. I believe the important point would be to have three different stories that are clearly linked (maybe not at the beginning) not just three different characters/settings. Each story/character should provide some insight or forewarning about the other storylines.

The books of course don’t normally write from a first person perspective and it may be difficult to adjust each time but if it was part of a well thought out story that required some guess work on the part of the player it may be fun.

Towards the end of the game the player would reach a point where they have to choose one character to finish the game. The main character could then control the other two characters or they each go their separate ways and have slightly different endings, thus encouraging some replayability.

Although not vital to the basic idea, each character could have different skills and abilities.

In some ways you could say that Valve have already done this with Half Life, Opposing Force and Blue Shift. The difference was that they were three separate games, each with different outcomes.

Of course the three characters wouldn’t need to be human, in fact a human, an alien and a robot may prove a good combination. The difference in movement, perception and interaction could be included within the story line giving each character a unique perspective on events.


  1. SnowBall

    Interesting! Sounds like a good mod idea. ;D
    Now I know why your interested in our mod. I’ll admit I’m impressed with your writing skills.

  2. I know I’m digging up an old article here, but I found it while looking for something else and was left wondering why no one asked the obvious question; wasn’t this essentially done in Half-Life/Opposing Force/Blue Shift/Decay(and if taken further, maybe also add the mods of Visitor/Azure Sheep/Point of View to that list.

    1. No, because I am talking about playing as different character WITHIN the same game or mod.

      1. Grey Acumen

        geeze, why did I only just see the 2nd to last paragraph now? I don’t know why the heck I missed something as blatant as that.

        Anyway, I kind of get what you’re saying then. It’s certainly interesting, but I can’t help but feel like it would be combining the worst aspects of single player and multiplayer games.

        With multiplayer games you get to interact with other living people, but in order to enjoy those games, you are dependent on those other people being available when you want to play.

        With single player games you can play whenever you want, but you don’t get to interact with real people.

        This idea seems to require that you have other people in order to be able to play the game, but for the majority of the game, you won’t be interacting with each other. It’s like a coop game that for 90% of the time you don’t really cooperate.

        I suppose if you had it set up so that player actions constantly influenced what was happening for the other players, even without being able to affect each other directly, then you could have some sort of game theory setup so that player A’s decision could make things harder or easier for player B, but would then make it easier for player B’s decision to make things harder for Player A (and vica versa)
        But with that, you’d almost need to dissallow any type of lan play so that players specifically couldn’t communicate with each other or you’d have players essentially telepathically communicating(from the perspective of the game) with each other in order to get the best result or something.

  3. Kasperg

    Wasn’t this sort of done with two characters in Half-life:Decay’s singleplayer mode? It’s not the same thing of course.

    The main problem I’d have implementing such a thing for a game like HL2 is that it would need actual coding and DLL modifications or have all three players be exactly the same type of character. I don’t think there’s an option to change the arms and hands holding a game’s weapons and that’s something that would need to be dealt with.
    Other parameters like player speed etc can be easily tweaked though. Even the field of view for each character could be slightly different.

  4. benw2492

    Sounds a bit like Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, or Alterego, but could work well.
    I’ve always wanted to see a Counter-Strike SP story, where each chapter you alternate between a character on each side.

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