It’s like Gears of War and Halo had a hyperactive love child.
“When the whole world map is won, the winning faction at the end of the season gets a special hat and the loser gets a paper bag over their head.”
—Caleb Arseneaux, producer, Hybrid
Hybrid has a world map which players fight for control over during what is known as a season. When asked if there were any special perks on offer to incentivize the factions that was his reply. Which frankly left me speechless; it’s such a simple concept. However, it’s something that most developers overlook quite regularly.
Players need a reason to kill the other team apart from just winning the game. An overall meta-game usually helps keep people interested for the long haul. Nobody wants to play with a bag over their head—because it looks ridiculous—so this gives a solid reason to always win. If you notice your team is behind then you are obviously going to jump on and play a few games to try and tip the balance—just to avoid the fate of the bag.
Bragging rights is a powerful tool in gaming. Players love having something over the opposing team, whether it is a new title, special weapon or even a hat. More games should use this method, imagine playing Call of Duty where the winning faction get special camo gear or weapon skins and the losers have to run around in bright pink outfits—terrible idea, but it’s just an example.
5th Cell are really on to a potential game changer for downloadable titles if all the pieces fall into place, only when thousands of players are in the game will we truly find out.