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Trust, and Dry Gunpowder

15th October, 1600

It was a day when young men felt old, and old men felt young.

Following the precise discipline, the Eastern Forces under Tokugawa Ieyasu had hacked trees throughout most of the night, constructing earthworks and palisades to protect their gunners from the Western cavalry.

The Tokugawa forces would seem to be in poor position - surrounded on three sides. They had superior firearms, but the driving rain of the night had soaked much of the gunpowder and the prowled the air like a stray dog on a stone street.

Fires. Light fires. Get that gunpowder dry. We're dead without gunpowder.

Adding Left 4 Dead Co-op Mechanics to Classic Isometric Party-based RPGs

On StratX

I played Left 4 Dead 2 for the first time ever, recently. I was immediately tickled by the way it handles players going AFK and leaving the party. It was near seamless, near-zero interrupted fun whether a player left or just took a break.

Beau Hindman invited me to an online co-op room, which is typical procedure in most online co-op games. Someone creates a room, and then invites friends or makes it public for anyone to join. In L4D2, up to 4 people can play together, with an NPC taking the place of any real player not present.

My first experience with this was half-way through a level. Beau said he'd be right back. After a short spell, his character had the word (idle) appear next to it. It did take quite a few minutes of just sitting there, but suddenly the AI kicked on and it was as if I was the only one playing the game with 3 NPCs. I could then go about playing the game as if I was just playing in single-player. Beau, however, did return and immediately was able to resume control of his character; I imagine by simply moving his mouse or pressing a button.

I would love to see the same mechanic in a party-based, Isometric RPG. I could imagine playing Avernum 4 and having a friend contact me on Skype or by phone, ask him if he wants to jump in and regardless of what I'm doing or where I'm at, he could take control of one of the four party members instantly.

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