How to ensure game is always in a "playable" state

So I’m making a vehicle combat game like armored patrol which you can see here as a solo dev for now maybe.

I was thinking of making the game mode primarily be pvp multiplayer however I’m really concerned with the 0 player barrier which you see often in #help-and-feedback:cool-creations as the game won’t be fun without anything to shoot at initially hence not playable so yeah here’s my question.

How can I overcome this issue without diverting my player base and maintain focus?

Currently I’m thinking of implementing game modes which the player can choose to pvp or do something like wave defense like what @somedeviser which can be single playable has done which I really liked.

But then that would detract from the primary multiplayer gameplay where the player interaction is the real fun part which I want to achieve with the limited resources I have as a solo dev. So yeah I’m pretty stumped what to do.

TL:DR, How to incorporate single player into multiplayer? Is it even a concern and the 0 player hurdle is accomplishable with ease?

Please lemme know your thoughts on the issue with the context given. IRL case studies will be greatly appreciated.


I’m trying to think of a reference point for the idea I have, however, all examples I could think of revolved around tasks which were unrelated to the game itself that would simply keep the player pre-occupied, such as a short obstacle course for in-game currency.

First, I’ll start off by explaining the main idea I have and then I’ll provide specific examples afterward which might be useful for determining its applicability to your project.

Main Idea

You could potentially incorporate a temporary free-roam/sandbox mode which players will automatically be placed into during intermission periods (which could be when not enough players are there to start the next game, in-between games if you have a reset period, etc.)

I was originally going to reference the good old Roblox Derby because I thought that it had this sort of mode but it appears that I didn’t recall it correctly.

Temporary Free-Roam/Sandbox

  • Pros

    • Allows players to familiarize themselves w/game mechanics

    • Could act as a playground for players to experiment on their own without being confined to a limited amount of required & specific tasks from a tutorial (tutorials are still good, though)

    • Enables you to provide crucial information to the player that they might’ve only been attainable from experience/trial and error against other players

    • Upkeep would be low-maintenance/you wouldn’t need to update it often if players don’t spend much time in this mode if they aren’t the first two players in the server

    • This could end up being a fantastic way to incorporate new content that players can provide feedback on before implementing it into normal gameplay (such as a beta test without placing it in a separate game or something)

    • For players that join and never end up having enough people to experience the main gameplay, this mode might give them a good enough idea if they would consider rejoining in the future when more users are online

  • Cons

    • Some players might get attached to the mode and prefer it over the primary gameplay – this could be mitigated if the mode is only accessible during intermission periods

    • Might not be very engaging (this is heavily dependent on what aspects of your game are transferrable to a sandbox, however)

    • If implemented incorrectly, it could provide a poor impression of actual gameplay

    • Unintended consequences could come from having too many players in this mode under the assumption that they could attack each other’s vehicles and etc.


Considering you’ve made a comparison to Armored Patrol, I’ll utilize that as an example for what you could include in this gamemode.

Let’s say you have a variety of different vehicles (jeeps, tanks, helicopters, etc.) – these different vehicles could be included in the sandbox mode for players to freely use and see how they could be used.

For example, you could have distinct ranges for each of those vehicles that contain the environments in which those vehicles thrive the best in. While the tank section could have various targets and structures that they may be specialized to attack, the jeep section could have marked zones where players would need to transport supplies that would be used to build those structures in the first place.


As I’ve never created a game within this genre before (and I’ve never made a full game at all), the perspective I provide here is a mix between the knowledge I’ve gained from a player-standpoint and the intuition I have from my experiences with development. I absolutely loved playing Armored Patrol in my early years of Roblox so I’m very excited for the prospects that your game could end up having!


Wow what a nice in depth response and just what I was looking for!

Now that I think about it critical strike had also had a similar sandbox mode where you can test out the classes before the round starts and yeah the experimentation is what really keeps players hooked especially with anticipation on how it would actually work out in actual real combat. I guess I was too stressed with the multiple gamemode concept and the difficulty of making, maintaining, and managing those gamemodes.

Hopefully I’ll find a way to incorporate it into my game at the right amount👍.

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A sandbox is a great addition to have if done right in your game and @StrongBigeMan9 does a excellent job in explaining the pros & cons of what it could do. I still get constant questions about when a sandbox will be included in my own game.

I’ve also seen other games on roblox accomplish single multiplayer by adding bots into their own game for a temporary round: games like Wizard Cats does this well and there was a point where the guy who was remastering Armored Patrol tested out a alternate bot account and was able to make fight players pretty competitively. Doing this is not more than likely timeconsuming and easy though.

For the most part though you shouldn’t have a problem in keeping the game at a playable state, the biggest thing you should focus on is keeping the player’s attention by making your game as awesome as possible. Players will inevitably invite their friends to play the game even if the game is not very playable in a single player and if you have a representable visual page more players will see the recommended/friend playing page and will become interested and join it.