Multiplayer games with glitches and overall technical problems upon release day have become an expected evil. Unfortunately many of us have come to expect this and although that might be wrong, that’s a topic for another day. On most occasions the biggest and most noticeable problems are fixed within the first week. Games that don’t fix their servers and gameplay in a timely manner see their numbers dwindle and their sales stall. Which brings me to the curious case of Friday the 13th the game.

 

Friday the 13th released digitally across PC, Ps4 and Xbox One on May 17th 2017. It released a physical copy of the game on October 13th 2017 (see what they did there). The game was developed by IIIFonic, an independent company that was able to raise $1,095,143.40 via Kickstarter and BackerKit. As of August 2017 it had sold over 1.8 million copies, being that it’s the end of November and Halloween has occurred, I would bet that number is potentially at the 2 million range by now. Take heed as all of these are impressive feats, especially for an independent developer. Which raises the question, how has a game that has been so successful still have so many in game issues?

 

A quick rundown of the gameplay in Friday the 13th. Up to eight players, one is randomly selected as Jason. The Jason player uses his overpowering strength and superhuman like abilities to hunt down and kill as many counselors as he can. Up to seven other players are dropped in the map randomly as different “counselors” and must get off said map by any means necessary, waiting out the twenty minute clock (good luck with that one), fixing a phone and calling the police, drive away in a car, drive away in a speedboat or the real unlikely one, kill Jason (seriously the recipe to do that one is bonkers). When the game works, especially with friends, it can be an absolute screaming and laugh inducing riot. Too bad it rarely works that well, even six months later.

 

The game suffers from things that seem easy to fix such as, one player of the game is host and if that host leaves then the entire match is shut down, with everyone getting kicked and receiving zero xp in return. How hard is it to do what other games have done in the past? Host migration was common in older games from years past, host leaves the game migrates to another host,  I’m not a game developer, but this isn’t a new concept. And yet they have yet to implement such a thing. Connection errors for days! Seriously I can’t tell you how many times friends and I have had to work out who will host the party for the game and who hosts the party chat, having one person do both usually results in it simply not working or crashing. Even still we’ve had problems where the party chat goes crazy, we lose people at times, some are kicked, others don’t make it to the actual game lobby once we start and all this is just the before process. The in game is even worse. Jason has grabbed someone across the room before, people cheating/modding has been a real problem and of course the many other little bugs of going through walls, hitting a trap you shouldn’t have, wonky controls etc. All this and over 1.8 million copies sold, myself included, amazing.

 

The problems and bugs plaguing this game this far into its lifespan is utterly insane, what’s more so is people like myself are still playing it. Why is that? Probably because there isn’t really a game out there like it. The only thing I could compare it to is a small horror version of PUBG. Problem is, someday, someone with a bigger company or simply a group that has their priorities in order will come along and do the same thing, but better. I do enjoy the gameplay when it works and I know many others do as well, but that seldom happens. I guess when you have a monopoly on a certain style of gameplay you get a pass, for now. Only time will tell if Friday the 13th will stand the test of time or if another will come along and give them the axe.

 

2 Comments »

  1. Totally agree with what you’ve said.

    I guess I’ll start off by saying that even with all the bugs, glitches, and bullshittery, I still have fun playing this game *if* I’m playing with friends. I can get over a lot of the problems because I can see that the devs are actively working on things and rolling out patches. Virtual Cabin 2.0 and single-player (aka offline bots) will be released soon along with another patch to address some glitches that are occurring. They will then be releasing a new game mode after that called Paranoia, which seems pretty interesting. But in the end, they’re a small company and it seems like maybe this got a little bigger than they intended. Maybe it’s time to outsource for help with the patches to get them out sooner? I mean, they are only just now sending out physical copies to their backers… even though the public was able to purchase them in October. So, I think they are definitely backed up for the time being. I don’t think this is what is going to kill the game, however. The increasingly toxic player base will take care of that.

    Unfortunately, as with many MP games, the community has changed a lot over the past couple of weeks and has gotten worse. I don’t know if it’s because there are a lot more kids playing now or what (and they are definitely kids since I can hear them on their mics), but it’s totally different than it used to be even a few months ago. For example, it’s a lot more common now to have people working with Jason (things like tricking you into getting in the car and basically hand delivering you to Jason, picking up fuses so no one can call the cops/hoarding keys so no one can leave, and then when everyone else is dead they just stand around and wait out the VERY LONG clock). Then, there was the problem with counselors killing other counselors with weapons on purpose. There’s no reason to do it other than to be a dick. You basically lose all XP when you do, and there’s no badge/trophy or anything for it. It became so much of a problem that the developers actually addressed it in a recent patch. Unfortunately they only removed the counselor-on-counselor weapon kills, so now trolls are just getting in cars and running people over on purpose. Again, no point other than to be a dick. And of course, the frustrating issue of no host migration. A kid is hosting a match? Cool. Oh Jason kills him first? Instant drop of the match, not so cool. But still, none of these issues would be that bad if it didn’t take forever to get into a match in the first place (sometimes over 10 minutes) and if you didn’t have to wait around for 20 minutes for a match to end. You shouldn’t have to choose between running around and not being able to objectives or having to spectate for 20 minutes in order to get your meager XP and progress in the game just because some immature trolls are trying to be assholes. That’s a lot of wasted time with very little or no payoff. This is definitely going to end up only being viable as game to play with friends in private matches, which as you know can be hard to organize at times. It’s such a shame, really.

    One of the only other viable alternatives is Dead by Daylight, but honestly, it just doesn’t have the charm of Friday the 13th. From what I played, it seemed to be a bit dull. I just ran around fixing generators. It could be that I just haven’t spent enough time with it, but in the end I missed being a goofy counselor in a Halloween costume throwing firecrackers around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow thank you Brittany that might be the best response I have ever seen.

      I agree with you on all fronts, my plays with this game have been spaced out, I’d say a little bit each month, or a lot one month and then nothing for a few. Every time I have returned to the game however I have noticed exactly what you said, it getting toxic.

      I’ve seen way too many counselors helping Jason and or just trolling other players, like you said to be a dick. Therefore I definitely agree about the toxicity. Still I think that will be only part of the reason they might be overthrown someday. I stand by that another game will eventually come along and dethrone them. Purely because there is toxic players in all MP games and they still thrive, such as COD, granted a bigger player pool, but still all the developers have to do is make a couple of changes to combat this.

      Anyways, I agree with what you said, maybe they are just overwhelmed and don’t have the staff. Definitely time to outsource patches, otherwise the toxic part of the community and the continued game breaking elements will be the end of this game. I hope things improve because as you’ve said it just has a charm to it doesn’t it? How many games can you run around in a bunny suit and get hacked to pieces by Jason?

      Like

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