So you've decided to make a military shooter set in the modern and/or future era. You see how well "Call of Duty," "Battlefield" and "Halo" are selling and you want in on that sweet, sweet money hat. But launching a new first-person shooter is hard. Here's some advice from someone who's been playing them since the days of "Doom."
1. Modes. Lots and lots of modes.
If you've only got team death match, free for all and a Horde-mode rip-off just stop. I know you worked hard on that Horde-mode rip-off to make it your own but what else have you got? At this point, capture the flag, domination, kill that one guy with the special thing and hardcore are all standard. This is your beginning point. Come up with two to three modes that are not already done to death, in addition to what's already out there, and I'll check out your game.
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2. Short, but well made, campaign
We all know "Call of Duty's" campaign is short. But it's fun. Things blow-up, there are twists and surprises and sometimes you even understand exactly what is happening and why. Most people aren't going to check out your single player campaign beyond the first or second act in favor of getting started on the multiplayer grind. But if they do, it should be worth their time.
3. Lobbies as good as "Halo 2's"
When "Halo 2" came out in 2004 my friends and I wondered why everyone didn't just license their multiplayer lobby system and be done with it. We're still wondering that today. I should be able to easily party up, kick people and bring my party into someone else's lobby. Also, muting obnoxious tools shouldn't be a hassle. If you aren't as good as "Halo 2's" lobby, keep working.
4. Fast respawn
I stopped playing "Battlefield 3" because respawning after being shot took too long. As the seconds ticked by I found myself playing with my phone or thinking of other game I could be playing while waiting to get back to the game I was already playing. "Call of Duty's" respawn after death in multiplayer is nearly instantaneous. That's one of the reasons I'm still playing it. There is a portion of the internet that thinks long respawn times give you time to reflect on what you did wrong while you were playing. These people did not get enough love from their parents and are incorrect.
I'm not going to tell you to include a "Call of Duty"-style perk system because it's unlikely anyone will fund your generic first-person military shooter without one. But if you did manage to get funding without one, please, put one in. It's what all the cool shooters are doing these days.
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