Open letter to Relentless Software regarding Buzz: The Mega Quiz and 5-8 player multiplayer support

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(Sent to contact@relentless.co.uk.)
Dear Relentless Software / Buzz design team,

I recently purchased your latest Buzz game, “The Mega Quiz”. A few of the game design choices you have made baffle me and my friends, and I would very much like to hear your rationale for them.

1) The standard Buzz game, which can be played on easy, standard or hard difficulty, does not include all the new game modes. Our favorite, Countdown, is not included.

2) The standard Buzz game concludes with cake throwing, which tends to result in one player (the leader) being singled out for punishment and rapid removal from the round by the other players. Very unsatisfying – the extra 1000 – 2000 points the leader might have before that round typically counts for just one extra life. Compared to the final rounds in the previous games, where the skill of the player was the only factor, this is a big letdown.

3) These two objections to your game design would be less of an issue if we could create our own custom game with just the game modes we want. And we can, but just with 2-4 players – not with 5-8 players. Why?

This is the main issue with Buzz; the same problem affected “The Big Quiz” and frankly, it is difficult to understand why you still restrict some game modes to just four players. Considering that it means the extra controllers are less useful and that the potential of the game is not exploited, this annoys me quite a bit.

I would welcome an explaination for the 4-player limitation, and hope that this problem will be solved in the next iteration of Buzz!

Best regards,

Are Wold
(e-mail address)

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4 Responses to “Open letter to Relentless Software regarding Buzz: The Mega Quiz and 5-8 player multiplayer support”

  1. Are Wold Says:

    A couple of days ago, I received this response from Jez Harris at Relentless Software. Many thanks for your reply, Jez! I am looking forward to your next game.

    Thanks for your comments, Are.

    From the perspective of Relentless Software (not Sony), the answers to your questions:

    1) Final Countdown was omitted from the 5-8 Player version of the game for a couple of reasons. With a maximum of 8 players, the round would become less engaging for those with less ability; it’s a long time to wait once you’re out when there are seven more people still playing. Whilst Pie Fight arguably suffers from the same problem, the number of questions is at least fixed; something we need to be considerate of with a finite – large, but finite – number of questions available.

    2) The 5-8 player game is really an additional game mode. The majority of users won’t get to experience it, through either not having two sets of Buzzers – we can only guarantee an owner of the game has one set – or rarely having an opportunity to gather 8 people together to play. When such a gathering does take place, our expectation of how people will want to play is that a less competitive atmosphere is likely, that such a large group will be more interested in having more light-hearted, laidback fun. Feedback like yours goes some way towards suggesting that there is a demand for a more competitive 8-player game, and as such it’s something that we’ll have to consider in the future.

    3) Again, the 5-8 player game is very much a bonus feature. In fact, with the Mega Quiz we extended it far beyond what was available in the Big Quiz; you can now play a ‘full game’, with 5 consecutive rounds and have an overall winner. Not all rounds lend themselves to such a large group of players – not with the less-competitive intentions that we made the 5-8 player mode with. Also, for example, a round such as ‘Point Picker’ really falls down; with 8 people picking subjects – that’s all the subjects on the wheel – why bother picking at all? The other factor is game time. Rounds inherently take longer to get through with more players, yet the goal for any game of Buzz is to be playing for no more than 45 minutes.

    It’s very interesting to hear from someone for whom the 5-8 Player mode is such a large part of the Buzz experience; to our knowledge right now that’s something reasonably rare. However, as the number of sets of Buzzers in homes increases, there’s more and more reason to assume more people will want to try it out, giving us greater cause to expand the mode further. Up until now we’ve focussed on the 2-4 Player game – which we will continue to do – and the rounds within it; any that we feel will work with more players will make their way into the 5-8 player game. The largest alteration we’ve made to anything solely for 5-8 Player is using Pie Fight as the closing round. Perhaps there’s reason in the future to dedicate more attention to it, if enough people express a desire for us to do so.

    The more feedback such as yours we receive, the more we’ll be able to please players with future iterations of Buzz. Many thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    | Jez Harris
    | Lead Designer
    | Relentless Software
    (removed contact information)
    | http://www.buzzthegame.com | BAFTA Best Social & Casual Game 2006 | Develop Awards Best New Console IP 2006 | Develop Awards Innovation of the Year 2006 | MCV Soccer Fives Plate Runners Up 2006 | Develop 100 2007: #20 |

    —-

    I sent a reply to this email, further emphasising the importance of the 5-8 player mode is to me and my friends, and received another good reply. Again, thanks very much to Relentless Software for taking feedback seriously and taking the time to craft a good response. I am crossing my fingers for a full-blown 5-8 player mode in the next Buzz.

    If you too have opinions on the subject, do post here or contact Relentless directly; you will find contact information at http://www.relentlesssoftware.co.uk/contact.htm

  2. Neil Says:

    Well done!
    I agree entirely.
    I always have grumbling people who don’t want to team up.
    Email sent.
    Let’s hope the PS3 one has full support for 2 sets of buzzers throughout the entire game!

  3. Open letter to Sony: Why the limited multiplayer game modes in Singstar? « Are about everything Says:

    […] this sort of unnecessarily restrictive game design is also present in the Buzz series of games – another social gaming giant. It is tempting to suggest that your common failure to provide […]

  4. abdullh albiih Says:

    اعانى من مشكلة فى المديم لان الكمبيوتر يباع بدون (CD) لتعريف المديم

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