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So say you have a 2 player game, taking Chess as an example (except it's an original game with no ready-to-go AI available).

Let's say there's also a social-aspect to the meta-game, so let's say it's a Chess game on Facebook where you can challenge your friends.

How important is it to have a single-player mode, knowing that an AI will need to be created (I've done minimax AI for tic tac toe, but nothing too sophisticated)?

Is it important enough that it should be in the initial launch of the game?

Can it wait for a future iteration (knowing that being hosted on the web means the game can be updated at any time)?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It's going to depend on how your users are going to find opponents.

If they need to pick off a friends list (say) then you need to have mechanisms for players to invite friends etc. In this case when there might not be a lot of players having an AI opponent will at least allow someone to play the game.

However, if they can pick a player at random (or get assigned a player at random) then having AI is less important as (hopefully) there will be enough players on line so that someone will be able to find an opponent.

Having said all that, having a computer opponent will allow players to practice the game.

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Your should be careful launching a game that will not be able to please the user right away. Your game idea and -play could be fantastic but if your initial user base cannot get the game started because they don't have a friend sitting next to them, or because not enough players is queuing the your match making system then the user be dissatisfied. Moreover there is little chance the user will recommend the game or come back to try your game once you improve the game or add the ability to actually get into a match.

So, if you're launching a MP game, then you have to make sure that it will have enough players available so that people always can get into a match. In case of a Facebook game this is not so much an issue since you have the ability to invite the users friends to the game.

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