Telltale’s narrative-led slant on Batman arrives tomorrow, bringing with it Crowd Play—a new local multiplayer feature the Californian developer hopes will turn its games “into an event that you host at your home”. Starting tomorrow, it was revealed last week that the feature will appear in all of Telltale’s forthcoming games, however won’t support 2,000 players as first thought.
Instead, between four and 12 players can huddle round the same screen and directly vote on game choices using their own devices, in turn “tailoring the story" as they play together. Phones are likely the best method of input, reckons Telltale, however laptops and desktops are also viable options.
“By default, the crowd decides: the choice with the most votes is selected,” reads an updated blog post on the Telltale site. “[Crowd Play] is designed for everyone to be watching the same screen, at the same time, in the same room and works best with 4-12 people. Technically, it can support thousands of players, but they still need to be watching the same screen at the same time. This is mind blowing in a theatre full of fans, but we don’t expect you can fit 2000 of your closest friends in your living room so we've designed everything for smaller groups.”
Telltale suggests players should leave larger group sizes to it, hinting at “special events” in the future aimed at bigger crowds. Interestingly, Crowd Play isn’t designed for streaming at this point—something it, on the face of things, seems cut out for.
The post continues: “Crowd Play is not a feature intended for use over streaming services. There is latency introduced by services such as Twitch. This means that everyone isn't seeing that game at the exact same time, which means that everyone doesn’t see the choices at the same time.
“We are working closely with all the streaming services to address this problem, but it certainly won’t be ideal for streaming out of the box. For now, everyone needs to be in the same room, watching the same screen.”
Batman—The Telltale Series launches its first episode tomorrow. Until then, check out Samuel’s early impressions. You might also be interested in this, the first episode of Batman: Unmasked—an official series that plans to discuss episodes as they happen: