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Co-op specific wads

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...And nay, I'm not simply referring to single player wads with co-operative support having been thrown in as a workable afterthought. I'm referring to wads that actively encourage co-operation, and even, perhaps, require it in order for the maps to be played through properly. Wads that are "not intended for single player".

The standard setup for player starting positions seems to be - at least in so far as I have seen - to have all the players stashed very close to each other such that they're practically rubbing thighs. But is this the case with every map? Having 2 or more players start out at opposing ends of the map for instance, or at the very least in separate rooms, might encourage an interestingly non-linear sort of progression as well as more dynamic gameplay. Each player could have multiple objectives to achieve in order for everyone to progress or for the level to be exited; perhaps having to meet fellow players half way through the level after the accomplishment of certain goals; flipping switches, collecting keys, altering the map layout and piecing everything together... the usual jazz. There would be plenty of pressure on each player to get their tasks done, and it would probably create a better sense of purpose, location and co-ordination. ...Of course, everyone needn’t be cut off from each other, seeing as any one of the players could easily die. If one were to be killed off by rampaging demons, it would fall to the other players to then venture into that player's quadrant and pick up where he left off, their workload having been increased by the floundering carelessness of their buddy in arms.

Anyhoo, my question is this: Do such maps exist? And if they don't, or at least not in the sort of way in which I have described above, do you think this sort of design philosophy workable for Doom and Doom mapping? Is creating an exclusively co-operative map a good idea?

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Yeah, map23 from coopbuildlm sounds similar to what st. alfonzo described. Also, map03, map04, map06, map10, map11, map14, need more than one person.

I like the idea of making a wad coop-only, except that you'll always need mutliple people to play it. When I made coop maps, I made the puzzle parts also possible in single player (but they were harder in single player), even though it meant you couldn't do stuff that required multiple people.

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There are other coop-leaning wads (eg drown in blood, destination unknown, dbzone, probably more that I don't know about). However these don't necessarily 'require' coop in the same way that coopbuild does (eg, by forcing players to make bridges with themselves, needing multiple players for a switch combination). I'm assuming this is what you mean by 'encouraging co-operation'. Of course, you'd be hard-pressed to do the other wads in single player without dying much, and it's sometimes quite easy to troll other players, so I guess they would also encourage co-operation.
I think while it's quite possible to make wads that require co-operation between multiple players, it is difficult to make it like you suggest, or at least I haven't heard of any such wad yet.

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Both A41_Coop and Coopbuild seem to match what I was looking for, even if the former is somewhat old and the latter maybe a little too conceptual/encounter focused. I guess, if I wanted to be even more specific, I'm kind of referring to co-op wads that are similar in layout to single player yet still account for what was described above. Many maps from Ultimate Doom or Doom II could be made to work with this kind of setup as the design there is already pretty non-linear.

stewbow said:

I think while it's quite possible to make wads that require co-operation between multiple players, it is difficult to make it like you suggest, or at least I haven't heard of any such wad yet.

Maybe I've put too much emphasis on requiring each player to do their part. I'd be happy merely to have players start out in different positions and ditch the whole flipping switches, building bridges, "I'm an asset to the team!" sort of mentality.

Regardless, it certainly seems as though there aren't nearly enough of these wads lying around.

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FWIW, my Heretic episode Curse of D'sparil was aimed at SP and Survival Coop. There's nothing in it that you need to coop to do. But it's been exstensively tested in Survival (no extra lives) and IMO it plays really well. Coop in it allows you to employ a lot of different strategies that you otherwise wouldn't be able to.

Like for instance, if one of you are low on health. There's several new options for the players to bump that player back up, without him having to venture into enemy territory to find health.
A few ideas are that another player goes in and collects some Quartz flasks or whatever. Or shares an urn. But the absolute favorit has to be to morph your friend into a chicken and wait for him to turn back to human (read elf) and find him back at 100 health.

The inventory system in Heretic opens up to a number of added cooperative tactics as well as it is in SP.

Also, the open layout allows you to advance on your enemies from different directions at once, making concerted pushes.

I've always found Coop harder than SP too, so it's also a bit more trying.

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