Archive for February, 2008

Open letter to Sony: Why the limited multiplayer game modes in Singstar?

February 29, 2008

(Sent to Sony’s London Studio, makers of the Singstar games.)

Dear London Studio,

thanks for bringing us Singstar – a great party game. After having played Singstar for a long time I do, however, have a couple of issues with your game’s design that I believe you should address.

The 2-8 player Pass the Mic game mode is a good idea: Let people team up and play against each other. But why cap the number of players at 8? I can see no technical reason why you should have to place a limit on this number. It is very frustrating to have 9 or 10 people to visit – but only 8 can join, because of an arbitrary limit you set. Yes – having 20 players might make for boring games, because you would have to wait for a long time – but give the player that choice. How we set up our parties is our business.

My second issue is with the forced randomization of songs. It is no secret that not every song on every disc is a crowd pleaser. The random track selection should have been optional. I cannot see any reason why you should continue to force players to sing songs they don’t like. (Sorry – the 5+5 shuffle tokens do not solve the problem.)

Interestingly, 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 customizable gameplay is a consequence of lacking competition – it would not require much code to add the functionality described above, yet the Pass the Mic mode has remained largely unchanged for the previous 10-12 Singstar titles.

I sincerely hope you will address my concerns in future editions of Singstar – and maybe with a patch for the PS3 version.

Best regards,

Singstar fan Are Wold

Oslo, Norway

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