Approaches to Support Teamwork in Games

The guys over at Krawall pointed out an interesting study published by Tobias Baumann, student of Multimedia Arts at the SAE Institute in Zurich, Switzlerland. He wondered about the aspects that make teamwork in o­nline games more or less enjoyable and put up a poll. About 4,700 players participated in the survey and stated their take o­n the games they played. Tobias then evaluated the feedback and tried to analyse and explain the results.

Not too surprisingly, the most frequently mentioned title was Counter-Strike. The Half-Life mod received many votes in 'worst teamwork support' as well as in the 'best teamwork support' category. The latter seems to be a result of a notable number of clan members who took part in the survey. A game like Tribes 2 'scored' in both 'worst support for teamwork' and consequently 'worst teamwork experience'. Also covered: WWII o­nline, PlanetSide, Battlefield 1942 and Day of Defeat among others.

Analyzing the features in the games mentioned the author concludes that - since you can't change the players - teamwork has to be promoted by technology. He then describes and elaborates o­n a variety of elements that could efficiently work in a 'Battlefield Operation System'. Voice communication appears to be a standard requirement. A central commander role like in Natural Selection supports the team aspect as well and received positive feedback. However, an unskilled commander might destroy the team experience as indicated by the votes for S2's Savage. A stats system the way it's implemented in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory doesn't seem to hurt either since Activision's free FPS is quite popular among the participants. PlanetSide got a honourable mention for the Squad Leader element. You may or may not agree with some of the suggestions he makes, but overall it's an inspiring read if only just to see the survey results. Might take a bit though, the document (PDF) consists of more than 70 pages.

Comments

People are maniacs. Thats just about it .

Teamwork is fun if it can be coordinated, most of the time, it cant. I have to admit, i myself dont cooperate much while playing DOD or CS, i prefer to be Rambo, and blow everyone up .. muahahahh :=0

but when there is teamwork, it really does make the whole online game environment much more fun.

I find that mmorpgs have more teamwork that fps games. Probably because the gameplay is different.

I don't have much experience with FPS's but I played Enemy Territory for awhile mostly because it does involve team play. You have a medic class, soldier, engineer, field ops and covert ops. Each has a role and when a side plays well as a team they're unstoppable. Even if they're outgunned or outskilled by the enemy.

When you win a map because of excellent team work it's a beautiful thing.

Things like the galaxy transport and most of the heavy tanks in Planetside are mechanics that should be analyzed and expanded upon in games to liven up team work.

Playing gunner is a lot of fun. It might be cool if MMO games would have pirate ships on a fixed rail path and all the player passengers had to battle enemies manning cannons/turrets.