by Benjy Boxer
With games adopting the benefits of the internet for multiplayer gaming, one of my favorite parts about gaming has disappeared. When we were all younger, we’d share gaming with our friends on the couch. These moments in front of the TV with your friends were a very significant part of our childhood. Many new games allow for this, but also make it easy for gamers to engage with friends or strangers across the world on massive maps with hundreds of players.
One of my favorite game development stories comes from the late 90s when the developers of GoldenEye were just about to release the game.
In these last few months of development, they decided to add multiplayer mode. This decision had a huge impact on my life, and it was by far and away the best way to play the game — bringing friends together for hours of gameplay and bragging rights. Steve Ellis, one of the developers of the game said:
One of the things that always strikes me as crazy in retrospect is that until something like March or April of 1997, there wasn’t a multiplayer mode at all. It hadn’t even been started. It really was put in at the last minute — something you wouldn’t dream of doing these days — and it was done without the knowledge or permission of the management at Rare and Nintendo. The first they knew about it was when we showed it to them working. However — since the game was already late by that time, if we hadn’t done it that way, it probably never would have happened.
That’s some cool shit, but I’ve lost out on that experience in the past few years because as we’ve gotten older, my friends and I have moved to different parts of the country. We’d like to relive those memories and play GoldenEye, Mario Kart, or jump into a new co-op or couch game together. At Parsec, our goal is to make gaming anywhere on any device possible through game streaming. We’re also building functionality to let you connect multiple devices to one gaming machine to play games “together” virtually and open up more social experiences in gaming.
We’re excited to show off some new functionality for multi-device connections, available to any Parsec user. As a host, you can share your server with friends, any number of them can connect, and up to 4 users can have controllers. The limits are the up bandwidth on the server. It will lower the quality of the video for everyone as more clients connect.