darkSpyro - Spyro and Skylanders Forum > Skylanders: SuperChargers > Tbh, they shouldn't have bothered with online.
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Tbh, they shouldn't have bothered with online.
Drawdler Emerald Sparx Gems: 3825
#1 Posted: 16:06:54 16/02/2019 | Topic Creator
Well... I guess it's a very standard feature for racing... but at least for the campaign.

There. I said it.

Disclaimer, now- of course we don't know, maybe online was something Activision wanted... but... SI didn't have it. And that seems unlikely given they took the servers down so quickly.

Besides its swift discontinuation, online in this game:
  • Was probably a nightmare to get working given the toys. They would have to be synced in properly and proper writes to them would have to be maintained.
  • Worked fairly poorly. There was the infamous (and thankfully patched) glitch where you fell through the world if you tried one of the lock puzzles. Game generally became glitchier. Both players ranking up at once hardlocked the console, and I remember an experience where Stratosfear never ended, I was stuck looping on the track- this wasn't really for any apparent reason, or any glitches that seemed to lead into it.
  • "Waiting for other player to skip" was also annoying and buggy sometimes- and you still get it in single-player in places you just can't skip, for some reason. Although the latter thing isn't exactly a problem with online, was it related to it?
  • Was extremely poorly designed in places. Menus across the game were very poorly mapped, not exclusive to online components, but they are not an exception. There were never Overdrive random matches or such which was a wasted opportunity. And MOST EGREGIOUSLY, no voting for or choosing maps in races, even with friends.
  • As an aside the online on the 3DS didn't have "look for friends", completely random matches (maybe prioritises friends? But I never had a full room, there were always one or two bots- 3DS online was DoA, which is a shame because it was actually pretty fun, arguably better than the console racing from what I remember). Also with completely random tracks. This isn't to blame the console version, nor does it matter for it, I just thought it was funny both have such a stupid flaw.
  • ****ing. Tying the DLC mods to servers. Why. The vehicles have far less personality without them, and they're gone. This isn't the fault of online modes being in the game, but I feel in previous games that didn't have them, this **** wouldn't have been considered. However, given that the DLC mods were kind of a vessel for microtransactions, I feel this was something Activision wanted to do with them and may have been forced in regardless. But it was easier to slip in for sure when OH OTHER FEATURES ARE TIED TO ONLINE ALREADY, and I think that shows when barely anybody cares about this feature being gone and barely anyone bought up the inevitable loss at the time. FTR I called it.

And I remember a couple of people saying to me "well online adds a ton of replayability!", and even if you did get way more value out of it- although I never hear anyone say they remember the online really vividly, or remember SC for online- here we are with hindsight. Next to nobody played it and it was gone far too soon, and this is especially awful because Skylanders is expensive to really get into and SHOULD be replayable for years. Aye... Told you so. :(

Maybe they shouldn't have even bothered with a racing mode. Now I know that sounds like a really glaring omission, and there should be A vehicle mode in the main version, but... SCRacing, the Wii/3DS game, was able to do way more than the console games. And again, I remember it actually being better- a lot faster, a lot more goals.
I think a lot of people would hate this decision, but I also imagine VV could've done a lot in place of racing- and it just isn't very good. It feels a bit sluggish (it's not the worst, though, I just... I feel like it's ALMOST there but the pacing "lags" very often), very poorly balanced, has pitiful track count, and almost every mode feels the same. And obviously... It's superceded by Mario Kart... It's superceded by its 3DS/Wii counterpart... and those are also superceded by Mario Kart games (WI STILL THE BEST BAYBEE), but they're also budget spinoffs and probably ate... like... no dev time from the HD game.
But I digress- I just thought of this because, if racing were cut, online would probably have been less of a priority... We never had online in the campaigns, that's okay. But add racing with no online and the game would have been blasted for it.

I feel this game could have been far more complete, generally tighter and had many of its blatant design issues ironed out if there hadn't been dev time wasted with online. Within a couple months it became very inactive, and it was discontinued within two years. Awful.
I can't help but wonder how much the developers wanted to do this versus Activision... or if they just added online for the campaign as a "bonus" or something, like, couldn't finish anything else they saw as worthwhile within that dev time. That sounds very unlikely.

I wouldn't know the logistics of this at all- maybe they had some tool that actually made it much easier- but it seems like it would've been quite the undertaking and it still didn't work out anyway.

There's Activision's deadlines and attitude, there's the work developing vehicles with their radically different gameplay, there's even the work behind the art/story- I think people do consider all those- but nobody mentions online as a reason stuff was cut and the game was rushed. I imagine it must have been a factor and seeing how it was trashed just makes it sadder.

On the off-chance any developers still ever lurk, would you know anything about this? If not this game in particular, just how developing the online probably would've gone...
also please watch when i stream swap force : (
Edited 1 time - Last edited at 16:17:16 16/02/2019 by Drawdler
Muffin Man Emerald Sparx Gems: 4628
#2 Posted: 13:07:48 17/02/2020
You're gonna stream Swap Force? Do you have your own let's play channel now or something?
Still looking for Mrs. Man.
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