Multiplayer Tetris Is Ten Years In The Making (And Counting)

Alexey Pajitnov, creator of Tetris, may be semi-retired these days, but he still likes to dabble in a bit of game design from time to time. At the moment, for example, he's working on multiplayer Tetris.

"We are working on multiplayer versions for more than 10 years — I've been trying to design it. I should admit that we are not quite there yet," Pajitnov tells Gamasutra.

"It was quite a problem with Tetris that... the game is very intense, you know? If you play on the high level — and that's where you want to play usually. So, you play on the edge of your abilities, in terms of the speed and reaction, and everything. So, you kind of have no brain resources to observe what the other people are doing."

"That's the kind of measured theoretical problem which we need to resolve with multiplayer Tetris."

If you slow it down, it takes away the frantic thrills that make the game great. If you leave the speed and mechanics as they are, it doesn't work. Sounds like a rock and a hard place, but Pajitnov is optimistic.

"...there are still very promising ways to do it, so the version we have now is pretty good," he says. "I mean, when you send the garbage in the multiplayer to the other player, it kind of works."

"But unfortunately, my dream would be the game, when you could really see what the other people do and take their gameplay and their achievement and their status in the game really in account. That's what the main joy of a multiplayer game is, in my opinion."

Alexey Pajitnov - Tetris: Past, Present, Future [Gamasutra]