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Valve Talks Next Step: Expansion To "Single-Player Plus"

A little while ago, Valve spoke about Portal 2 being their last "isolated single-player" game.

Many have thought about exactly what they meant with those words and thankfully, Valve boss Gabe Newell has helped to clarify. In an amateur interview, Newell explained the aims of his team; it's not about "no more single-player," as he says, but an attempt at "single-player plus." After citing Portal 2 as a good example of a fantastic single-player experience, Newell continued:

"It's more that we think that we have to work harder in the future. That entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, by letting you play with your friends, by recognizing that you're connected with other people. Single-player is great, but we also have to recognize that you have friends and wanted to have that connected as well.

It's not about giving up on single-player at all. It's saying we actually think there are a bunch of features and capabilities that we need to add into our single-player games to recognize the socially connected gamer. Every gamer has instant messaging, every gamer has a Facebook account. If you pretend that that doesn't exist, you're ignoring the problems that you're taking on.

It's single-player plus, not ‘no more single-player.'"

While we can't deny the popularity of social networking sites, I have extreme difficulty in going with that idea that "every gamer has instant messaging, every game has a Facebook account," etc. ...I understand what you're saying, Gabe, and I understand the need to implement features that will appeal to a bigger crowd. But you know what? I don't have a Facebook account. And I only IM for work, and that's rare.

For the record, that's the same for everyone I know who also plays games. Maybe it's just because we're all over the age of 30 and we're not so fascinated with this Twitter/Facebook/YouTube stuff. But obviously, we're in the minority.

Tags: valve, gabe newell, portal, games industry

5/8/2011 8:59:46 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (33 posts)

Kiryu
Sunday, May 08, 2011 @ 9:54:38 PM
Reply

That's y Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch is on top of the game.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, May 08, 2011 @ 10:52:44 PM

and ahead of the curve

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Riku994
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 12:36:31 AM

And they have their eye on the ball.

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Qubex
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 1:21:21 AM

...and bent over backwards...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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TheCanadianGuy
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 5:56:15 PM

I Hate All That Facebook bs. Honestly I Can't Understand Why People Even Brother With It. Theres Not Much Anyone Can Be 100% Sure Of In Life But Theres 1 Thing I Know I Can Be I'll Never Use Bloddy Facebook!!

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BikerSaint
Sunday, May 08, 2011 @ 10:04:31 PM
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<<<<<every gamer has a Facebook account>>>>
Sorry to break it to you Gabe, but not everybody has facebook.....nor wants it, me being one of those.

I sure hope this social stuff isn't going to be mandatory to the game-play & trophy system.

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Beamboom
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 4:27:03 AM

Of course it's not. It's guaranteed just an added thing, just like psn adding posts on your wall when you get new trophiers etc.

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Drake_RB3
Sunday, May 08, 2011 @ 10:28:12 PM
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As Conan O'Brien predicted, Twitter/Facebook/YouTube will eventually join together to become "You TwitFace."

Last edited by Drake_RB3 on 5/8/2011 10:28:24 PM

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mike rlz
Sunday, May 08, 2011 @ 11:14:10 PM

a comedian said he would combine myspace and facebook and tell people to "come on myface"

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Lord carlos
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 7:08:40 AM

Mike
Thats what she said last night

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, May 08, 2011 @ 10:56:58 PM
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What is it with this stuff? I'm fine with adding features and the whole plus idea but is it really so bad for me to chill out and enjoy my games by myself? Maybe I don't want any random nutcase to drop into my game. Is it so bad and anti-social to be disconnected now and then?

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Dancemachine55
Sunday, May 08, 2011 @ 11:16:56 PM
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I actually think it's a good idea.

Think about it, the single player is still there when your internet or online service is down, but if you have friends online, they can join in on your adventure or you can join theirs, eg. Fable 2 style.

It's not doing away with single player, but adding to it. When it comes to adding stuff instead of taking it away, I'm all for it!!

But I think he's being a bit sterotypical of all gamers being connected. Not everyone has a Facebook account, and even if they do, not all use it on a consistant basis. I certainly don't have Twitter, and only use Facebook for creating events or inviting people to parties.

However, I might be just out of touch and everyone younger than me could be Facebook and Twitter whores who spend everyday on those services.

I've also noticed a distinct drop in Gabe and valve hatred around here recently, there's an alarming low rate of fat jokes. Has everyone forgiven Valve now that they're supporting Sony?

Next stop, Half Life Episode 3 for PS3!!!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, May 08, 2011 @ 11:30:19 PM

We haven't forgotten those evil times, but Sony fans are a forgiving bunch when things are rectified properly. We probably wouldn't forgive a 30% failure rate in our console, but when Jabba the Newell is forced by his corporate overlords to cow-tow to PS3 fans then we get sense that he has been properly punished and now has to pay his debt to true gamer society by recognizing that he was wrong and fat.

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Fane1024
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 2:05:22 AM

He was man enough to stand on stage and admit that their assumption that M$/360 would be a better fit for their games was wrong (e.g., Sony is willing to allow Steam functionality). That's good enough for me.

A willingness to eat crow is rare in today's world; most people persist in wrong opinions even after being proved wrong.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, May 08, 2011 @ 11:27:45 PM
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Brink does this.

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THEVERDIN
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 12:16:23 AM
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I'm all for adding more add 5 to 6 hrs more of quality gameplay.

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Shiva369
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 12:27:43 AM
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Meh, meh and again meh to all this social network douchery. I absolutely love Portal 2, but definitely don't want the great giant squid that is fb invading my space, there or any other game. And I don't want to have to disconnect my PS3 to avoid intrusion by whoever is on my friends list or whatever they have planned... I do have a fb account, and regularly visit YouTube, but fer crying out loud, keep them in their place. Dear Zuckerberg/ Google et al, I like your little toys, but I will play with them when I want to, not when you say so!

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Jed
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 1:28:45 AM
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Damn. Half-Life was one of the best single player experiences I've ever had. I would cry if they implemented some sort of feature that makes you play with someone else to get the full experience of HL2: E3. That is of course, if episode 3 ever comes out.

I don't see anything wrong with single player minus, mmkayy? If I want multiplayer I'll do that, if not, LEAVE ME THE FOCK ALONE!!

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Lawless SXE
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 3:08:48 AM
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It does make sense, given the popularity of the social networking phenomena, but it's not really adding anything. So what, Youtube replays? Facebook updates for attaining trophies? It's been done before, but guess what? I don't care. The time I spend on Facebook is for the people that are on there that I am unable to talk to IRL. And that is the only SN tool that I use. I'm not interested in having my games update my status, or (theoretically) using it to invite people into my game of Left4Dead 3, or whatever it is that Valve decides to make the first game to implement this.

Games like Mindjack and Brink have a better idea in this, through implementing the multiplayer into the single player experience, but still keeping the core of the game itself. Sorry Gabe, next time, eat a few donuts to clear your mind before saying something as silly, stereotypical and superfluous as this.
Peace.

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kraygen
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 3:14:21 AM
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I hate to break it to Gabe, but I'm a loner by heart and so my gaming time is mostly done alone.

Any game that requires social interaction is a game I want nothing to do with, because most of the time if you're not my wife, don't bother me.

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Beamboom
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 4:37:38 AM
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This has to be an american thing, this extreme aversion against anything social on the web that you guys display here.

I'm 42 and live in northern europe, and *every* friend except *two* guys are on Facebook. And those two are good friends but to be frank they are not generally social at all, one being slightly paranoid about the entire internet thing.
My parents at 60+ are on Facebook. My kid at 12 is. My girlfriends family are there.
Being on Facebook really is comparable with being listed in the "white pages" back when phone numbers were published in big fat books.

Regarding msn, well, again, *everyone* has a msn account except the said guy with the paranoia (he insist on Skype). Of all conversations I do during a day I'd say 9 out of 10 are via text (msn, facebook, sms), vocal communication via the phone is only used by unknowns, like sales people or job related.

To sit here and read about a ton of guys who all seems to call them selves "loners" is just totally weird, like some twilight episode where everyone turned like the complete opposite of who they are in the real world.

But then again, the times I've been in the states I've always wondered why they almost only play very old music in the shops, even clothing stores.
Maybe this explains all the articles about the long gone games too. All of a sudden it all makes sense! You really *are* living in the past, aren't you? :D

Last edited by Beamboom on 5/9/2011 4:48:09 AM

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Beamboom
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 6:10:00 AM

I realize in hindsight that my joking above could be taken as being elitish, that was not intentional.

My point is, that when Valve talk about integrating the internet into their games they relate to the entire world, not just USA. And there are other parts of the world, like most of europe, where the internet already *is* integrated in their lives. And for those, this only is a natural direction for games to evolve, and much welcomed too.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 10:00:22 AM

Everyone is obsessed with social networking here, too.

But to make fun of people for not constantly, blindly, stupidly adopting every new entertainment trend seems a little silly.

Teenagers can lose sleep over who might or might not "friend" them on Facebook. They can concern themselves with such trivialities in life. In all honesty, most adults who have lives have better things to do, regardless of where they live.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/9/2011 10:01:17 AM

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Beamboom
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 11:38:22 AM

I don't understand what you're saying here, I don't worry about who "befriend me" or not? Is that really all you think Facebook is about?

Like I say, in my surroundings being on Facebook is just as natural as being listed in the white pages. It's no "teenager fab", no "entertainment trend". It's a tool, like a mobile phone.
My mother is on Facebook, for crying out loud :D

Last edited by Beamboom on 5/9/2011 11:40:50 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 12:20:41 PM

I don't understand why you think that means everyone likes it, everyone does it, and all games should feature that support.

You seem to think that if someone doesn't have a Facebook page, they're "living in the past."

...maybe we just find it idiotic. That's okay, isn't it? ;)

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Beamboom
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 12:42:08 PM

Well, "everyone" *are* using it here, it's merely stating a fact, hehe! Man, we should have had this discussion in real life somewhere here in Norway, at a pub or something, and do an impromptu hearing of some random people there. I believe that would illustrate my point well.

And that every game would support it I see no problem with at all. PSN supports facebook now, posting a message on your wall when you get new trophies or download something from the store. Is that a problem to those not using facebook? I would think not.

The "living in the past" bit was a joke though, and I realized how that could be taken. So I retract that part.

... although, you guys *do* play a lot of old music in your stores. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 5/9/2011 12:44:16 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 3:15:34 PM

Quite possibly because the artificially generated, no-talent-required crap that passes for music now is intolerable to those who remember what music was like before auto-tuners, voice-changers, and the drive to place package and presentation over musical quality. :)

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Beamboom
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 @ 4:26:35 AM

Hehe! You do realize you sound like my dad now, right? ;)
Oh well I don't have time for this. I am too worried about why this guy has not added me as a friend on Facebook! Does he not like me anymore? Is he flirting with my girlfriend? Omgz the pressure the pressure!!!

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___________
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 4:43:05 AM
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no thanks!
what about us who just want to play our games without constantly being interrupted?
im so happy PSN is down, because for the first time in years i can actually play my games without having to pause them every 2 minutes to answer a message!

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Beamboom
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 5:49:33 AM

Just log off psn then?

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___________
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 10:17:17 AM

i cant always do that otherwise they start thinking i hate them or something.

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Beamboom
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 11:42:02 AM

Naaah - don't worry too much about it. They'll probably just think you're doing something else. :)

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Lairfan
Monday, May 09, 2011 @ 8:16:30 PM
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Single player plus 6 quality hours would be nice. Especially for all those 5 hour FPS's.

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