Dynamic Duos

One of the great joys of WoW is how cou­ple-friend­ly it is. My wife and I are suck­ers for some coop­er­a­tive mul­ti­play­er, and we haven’t looked back since we set up her account. We play togeth­er all the time, doing dailies, farm­ing mobs, instanc­ing and raid­ing (although we’re learn­ing that being new par­ents isn’t real­ly con­ducive to raid­ing, so that’s trail­ing off). Also, lev­el­ing alts.

We have some expe­ri­ence lev­el­ing a num­ber of duos.

Con­tin­ue read­ing Dynam­ic Duos

The Pleasant Surprise

In The Incred­i­bles, Dash is the young son who can run and move very very fast, like the Flash. There’s a scene where he’s run­ning away from some mer­ce­nary vil­lains, through a jun­gle. So he’s zip­ping between trees and jump­ing over logs, but his vis­i­bil­i­ty ahead is lim­it­ed because the jun­gle is so thick. Sud­den­ly the for­est ends and there’s a tiny bit of beach before a large bay of water, with him bar­rel­ing towards it far too fast for him to safe­ly turn away. Dash clench­es his eyes closed, expect­ing to wipe out spec­tac­u­lar­ly… and then opens them to learn that he can run across the water’s sur­face. Sur­prise! He lets out this mis­chie­vous, joy­ous, relief-filled laugh, then zips away. It’s a great scene. (Brad Bird for over­lord)

In World of War­craft, my wife and I have had that laugh many times.

Con­tin­ue read­ing The Pleas­ant Sur­prise

Game Riding Shotgun

What hap­pens when you’ve got two gamers (me and my wife) who can’t play a game togeth­er, but you both want to play? Some­one rides shot­gun. This can be due to the game being sin­gle-play­er, or more recent­ly, due to the need for some­one to hold an infant.

The per­son who rides shot­gun does­n’t have to focus on con­trols or the repet­i­tive tasks that take up a lot of time on gam­ing. They focus on the big pic­ture, missed details, and so on. If the game is some­thing you’re both inter­est­ed in, you com­bine to become some­thing of a super­play­er. For exam­ple, I can’t spot those hid­den flags in Assas­s­in’s Creed for the life of me, but she’ll pick out one that’s under a pile of hay, which is itself under a tarp… three miles away, through dense fog, around the cor­ner. She spots the tiny cor­ner of that flag, and we get clos­er to com­plet­ing the game. In Pix­eljunk Mon­sters, I point out that she tends to stand next to mobs, wait­ing for them to die, when she could be three steps away, upgrad­ing a tow­er while she wait­ed. And we get clos­er to get­ting a rain­bow on that lev­el. (Yes, you can play PJM with two players–and we often do–but when I get home from work and she’s play­ing, I don’t say, “Drop that and let’s play togeth­er.” I fix myself a drink.)

Con­tin­ue read­ing Game Rid­ing Shot­gun

Cooperative multiplayer overview

My wife loves games as much as I do, and luck­i­ly we love play­ing games togeth­er. We laugh and cheer when we do well, we groan when we can’t get past a cer­tain point. Play­ing togeth­er is the most fun part of video games. It’s a great social thing that we can do.

Con­tin­ue read­ing Coop­er­a­tive mul­ti­play­er overview