Split-screen multi-player has been big in video games for a long time. Before online services hit it was often the ‘go to’ choice for competitive battles against your friends and I remember countless deathmatches with friends on split-screen, especially with first person shooters. Goldeneye, Timesplitters, Halo: Combat Evolved – the list is endless. Whilst it took a lot of skill to achieve victory, there were many times I would gain the upper hand by looking at my opponent’s screen. It’s cheap and frowned upon but hey, win at all costs, right?
How ironic it is then that we now have a game where the whole concept is based around looking at your opponents screen. That’s what Samurai Punk have created with Screencheat, a game where everyone is invisible and the only way to work out where your opponents are is by looking at their screen. Check out the trailer for the game below:
Looks great right? It’s good fun to play with a group of friends and it’s certainly a blast to the past with a focus on split-screen gaming, even if it isn’t frowned upon to look at your opponent’s screen this time!
We recently had a chance to speak to Samurai Punk about Screencheat and talk about the game, what titles inspired it and how exactly to get the upper hand over your friends in battle. Check it out below:
Q. Firstly, how would you describe Screencheat to someone who has never heard of the game?
Quite simply, “Screencheat is a split-screen shooter where everyone is invisible and you have to Screencheat” If you don’t know what screencheating is. It’s the bad habit gamers adopted back in old split-screen games where they would look at each others screens to find out where their opponents are on the map.
Q. Being able to see exactly where another player is based on their environment isn’t always that easy. What sort of design choices have you made with Screencheat to ensure that players will have an easier time working out where their opponents are?
We used a couple of core design elements in the level design to help this process. So the big elements include splitting all maps into four colour quadrants which is a brute force approach to simplifying space. After that we use the core level design and landmark elements to breakdown the space further.
Q. There’s a good variety of weapons available for players to use. What are your weapons of choice when playing Screencheat?
I really like using the wall_hacker because it lets me play to the strengths of the games core mechanic by using screencheating to let me kill enemies through walls. It’s really hard and takes a while to get good at but when you are it’s so satisfying to get kills through multiple walls.
Q. What type of game modes are available in Screencheat?
We’ve got loads of modes ranging from simple intro stuff like King of the Hill and Deathmatch to weirder stuff that we introduced like Murder Mystery where players are assigned a target player and a bonus card but no weapon. Players must kill the right target and get bonus points for using the right weapon, this creates a really weird flow to the mode where players are constantly hunting someone else whilst avoiding their hunter.
Q. The concept of the game is fantastic, bringing back memories of playing split-screen games with friends when I was younger and looking at their screens to get the upper hand. What sort of split-screen games would you say inspired you guys to create Screencheat?
100% Halo : Combat Evolved for the original Xbox. I got it when I was 10 and used to play it all the time with my neighbours who would come down the road and play with me.
Q. I’ve seen nothing but praise for Screencheat online. Did you expect it to be so popular among gamers?
Haha I wouldn’t say it’s nothing but praise, but yeah in general it’s been really good. I don’t think any of us expect it to be so well liked, maybe it’s just because it taps into something a lot of us who grew up playing games in the late 90s early 00s knew so deeply.
Q. What tips would you give to new players of Screencheat in order to beat their friends with ease?
Actually look at other peoples screens, you’d be surprised how many people play the game at events and say how much they struggled to break into the habit.
Q. Screencheat has been available on Steam for quite some time now, but you’re also bringing the game to consoles. When is the console edition releasing?
We’ve just released now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, we really hope you all enjoy.
Q. Finally, can you tell us something about Screencheat that noone outside of the development team knows?
Not really, we’ve actually been really open with development as we’ve been livestreaming infrequently at twitch.tv/samuraipunk
Screencheat is available right now on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac and Linux! Find out more about the developers Samurai Punk on their website through this link.