Transistor will have multiplayer elements - players will feel connected in a "subtle" way
Transistor, Supergiant's lovely looking sci-fi successor to Bastion, will feature multiplayer support. Obviously deathmatch is right out - Logan Cunningham's talking sword is sure to be an atmospheric touch, but an entire arena full of his sultry sounds would just devolve into a nightmarish headache of overlapping babbling. Like being on a train full of kids who inexplicably can't afford headphones.
Instead, they have something subtler in mind. In an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Supergiant's Greg Kasavin explains what they're planning. "The combat maybe could work in multiplayer, but I don’t see this game having deathmatch arenas or whatever. I think I can say that pretty safely. Something we’re more interested in is a sense of feeling connected to other people who are playing in a subtle way. You can still have your personal experience around the story, but you always know you belong in a larger [world]."
"For example, players can sometimes see traces of other players’ paths moving around. Things of that nature," Kasavin revealed. "What’s interesting to us about this world is that it lends itself to some interesting things like that."
Kasavin admits that the team had tried multiplayer before, adding co-op into Bastion. That plan, he said, was scrapped pretty quickly - noting that when three players got together, they'd start "goofing off," and messing up the narration.
For Transistor, Kasavin doesn't want to implement anything that might ruin the tone. "We also want the narrative and atmosphere to be important in Transistor, so having two characters running around at the same time would come at a heavy cost. It may open up some interesting gameplay opportunities, but at the expense of other areas. It’s not in the cards for us right now."
"But again, the part where you don’t feel alone in the world is very important to us. Solitude can be a very powerful feeling in games, but we want to use it intentionally. We don’t just want it to be the default mode of being in the game. We’d rather play around with it and use it purposefully."
Transistor isn't due out until early next year, giving the team plenty of time to lock down their plans. Cassandra Khaw recently spent some hands-on time with the game at PAX East, and you can read her impressions here.