Don’t Starve Together is a great example of balancing basic mechanics for a multiplayer game.


Indie games like Unpacking by Witch Beam and Stray by BlueTwelve tend to attract public attention as often as AAA games. However, popularity is not always achieved at launch: “Among Us” InnerSloth became a phenomenon amid the COVID-19 pandemic two years after its release in 2018. The multiplayer analogue of Don’t Starve Together and subsequent console ports have retained the relevance of the survival bagel.

Clay had extensive industry experience before Don’t Starve in 2013, working on games such as Shank and Mark of the Ninja. However, the survival game with Tim Burton’s creepy art style has become a breakout hit, perhaps standing alongside many indie Renaissance games like Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac as examples of what a small team can achieve. Although Klei Entertainment has moved on to Oxygen Not Included and Griftlands, Don’t Starve still attracts a lot of attention.

This is largely thanks to Don’t Starve Together, a standalone multiplayer expansion that added tons of content to the base experience after being released in 2016. New content in any game is a huge plus, but the ability to survive with a group of friends makes the experience much better — and the Don’t Starve Together player base expanded due to the Nintendo Switch port in April this year. These players have had a good look at the game, which seems to have been created for a multiplayer game that seems to be balancing itself as new users are added.

The basic structure of Don’t Starve Together

Don’t Starve Together is a survival game similar to Minecraft or Terraria; players find themselves in an unforgiving desert and must learn to keep themselves alive (probably by looking at the fan wiki). However, its roguelike elements often take center stage, as The Constant, its procedurally generated world, harbors dangers at every corner that literally change with each season. Players must maintain their health, hunger, and sanity scores by battling antagonistic forces ranging from spiders to bosses like the Deer Bug, and even the darkness itself every night.

The game cycle comes down to fulfilling Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Players must make sure they have a stable supply of food so they can focus on building a base, and then experiment with various scientific and magical pursuits designed to make survival more sustainable. It’s a stressful experience that can turn into zen as players spend every day collecting meat and other resources to build up supplies for the harsh winter and other difficult seasons like summer if they can stand the cold.

How the multiplayer Game Don’t Starve Seems Balanced

Don’t Starve Together thrives compared to its single-player predecessor due to the fact that it encourages teamwork. Although there is a lot more content in the game “Together”, the ability to distribute tasks between four players makes even the simplest survival tasks more interesting. One player can catch rabbits while the other builds bee boxes for honey, and both of these ingredients can be combined into more satisfying dishes using a slow cooker designed by someone else. What could have been three days of individual work becomes a community effort, facilitating survival.

However, the distinctive design of Don’t Starve Together balances the relative ease of survival with multiple players. Unlike the Monster Hunter series and similar cooperative games, where several people in the lobby artificially inflate the difficulty by increasing the enemy’s health, in Don’t Starve Together almost everything is the same, regardless of whether one user or not. The difficulty arises from a more realistic survival task with multiple people, such as burning food faster and creating resources.

This is not to mention the fact that each character in Don’t Starve Together has a different distribution of characteristics and innate traits that affect how they survive. For example, Wigfried is a strong fighter who starts with weapons and armor to tank opponents, but can only eat meat, which makes early food sources such as berry bushes useless until he builds a slow cooker. Meanwhile, Wendy is a weak girl who has better control of her mind due to her experience with her dead sister Abigail, an entity that can be summoned to fight on Wendy’s behalf. Players can enter and exit, allowing some characters to complete tasks that may be more difficult for others without completely interrupting the flow.

Having developed a game that almost completely balances itself due to complex mechanics, Klei Entertainment has clearly found gold. During 2018, the studio continued to expand the list of characters and actions of Don’t Starve Together through additions such as “The Power of Giants”, “Shipwreck” and “Hamlet”. like Switch, and a recent crossover with Terraria.


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