Asymmetric cooperative multiplayer is such a poorly explored game mechanic, with such possibilities. You want to play with your girlfriend, but you like first person shooters, and she like real time strategy? No problem, have them play as your support, controlling the robots that help you and dropping supplies for you. Your four year old child wants to play with you, but the game is way too hard for them? No problem, have them control your pet, which can't die, but can follow and help.

You don't have to play the same game to play the same game.

More examples would be a flight simulator (or space shooter) with a pilot and a gunner. A platformer with a block-based puzzle. A dungeon crawler with a trading manager. A transport tycoon with a train simulator. A racing game with a navigator. A rhythm game with a dj mixing table. A beat-em-up with a tower defense game. The possibilities are infinite.

@deshipu battlefield 1942 had this idea, somewhat, in the b-17 crew positions you could sit in: it was very fun back in the day

@deshipu The newest WRC Rally game has a codriver mode where you read the corners to the driver.

@deshipu Artemis is a little like this, as a spaceship bridge simulator with consoles for all the typical roles.

@deshipu You don't even need to play at the same time (ie a trader and an explorer).

@Mek101 I don't know this game in particular, but it seems that both players play pretty much the same game with the same rules, so no.

Some military flight simulators allowed you to fly as a pilot and gunner.

Natural Selection 2 lets you play as a first person perspective shooter, or as a real time strategy for supporting other players.

Basically two completely different games, with possibly different controls, different mechanics and difficulty, and maybe even different goals.

@deshipu In SMG 1&2 the main player controls Mario, while the second player controls a mini companion that can gather some extra star fragments and throw them at the enemies as air support.

@deshipu @Mek101 one thing I always wanted from the WiiU was a Dungeons & Dragons like multiplayer game. Players controlling a single adventurer each with normal controllers on the screen (possibly looking like Diablo/Gauntlet), whilst the player with the gamepad played as a DM, using their separate touch screen to control/spawn enemies, set traps, draw the dungeon layout etc.

It was the biggest missed opportunity for the whole system imo.

@deshipu @Mek101 probaby 4-year olds shouldn't be playing computer games??

SpringRTS and presumably other RTS games allow controlling the same units together.

You could divide tasks, in my feeling it gets hectic quickly and splitting the job of making units counter any move and econ/other movements would soon be helpful..

@deshipu @Mek101 I've also wondered about if a city simulator in minetest. Citizens being NPCs with needs/wants etc. How they act.. not sure how to program.. (might also make doing some things more time consuming so you require help from the NPCs)

You could have natural disasters(or pandemics) and such to manage. It has the advantage of it not necessarily involving violence, and having lots of room for creativity.

@deshipu Sounds compelling! (Probably not great for marketing and sales until we discover the "most likely duo dynamics" or whatever they will be calling it, but definitely something that needs exploration.

@deshipu I guess we already had weird similar setups with the Dreamcast memory cards where you could play a tiny Tamagochi like game on them when you weren't playing the game, so in theory you could hand other people the game and say "play and develop this aspect of the game that I don't care for and then give it back to me when you're done" … it could be async, and it could be hardware coupled.

The original idea was to play a game on them. The reality was you could manage your savegames without needing the console...
The first idea is basically one I had years ago of an MMO where some players play RTSes and others FPSes as soldiers in the RTSes. I never made it though. The second idea is basically Tails in most Sonic games.

@deshipu holy shit, kids controlling the invincible pet is *such* a good idea


SO much. We don't play games a lot, but when we have it's me doing the controlling and my wife being navigator and support. She loves it, but has trouble with the actual gameplay and gets too frustrated.

@billyjoebowers @deshipu this is how I played Orbiter (the spaceflight simulator) with my little brother back in the day. He was Mission Control

@deshipu I'm throwing money at my screen to make this happen but it's not working

@deshipu This sounds like a fantastic concept! There is
But I never got around to really try it.

@deshipu imo especially the second type is rlly important
mario galaxy had that it was rlly cool :)

@deshipu A number of Wii games had this. For example, in Super Mario Galaxy the second player can aim and zap enemies to stun them, to help the main player.

The other game that springs to mind is Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime, where players have different roles depending on where in the ship they are, and can move around. Oh, and one of them is a pet dog.

@mathew Perhaps that's one reason why wii was so popular for families, and not hardcore gamers.

@deshipu Metroid Prime on the Wii made excellent use of the controllers if you chose advanced mode -- far better control than you can get with WASD+mouse. I think there just weren't enough games like it, plus gamer snobbery and obsession with graphics fidelity.

@deshipu Brilliant. Would love this in a sandbox game.


That's kind of the situation with my pen and paper (but over discord) near future traveler Mars colonization role play.

My players are very combat-adverse, which is reasonable because in Traveler weapons are very deadly. They have scammed, schmoozed, negotiated, and/or bribed their way out of every situation.

The only combat situation was a staged rousting of the bandits who had taken over the crawlie stop so they could go home to their boss without being executed for cowardice.

A great game that had this asymmetrical concept was „Savage: The legend of Newerth“.
One player was the commander, playing in RTS style. The workers for simple jobs were NPCs controlled by the commander. All of the fighters were players and the commander hat the possibility to give them commands, buffs or promote them as officers.
One or multiple parties tried to destroy the enemy’s stronghold.

It was an awesome game and I played it extensively.

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