The theme of the Dev Night this month is: Frenemy.
Playing games together raises the stakes of those games. People are deeply social animals, and winning, losing, competing and cooperating with one another is powerful and compelling element of multiplayer games.
Games like Towerfall, Chess and Poker pit us against each other and play to our need to win. Games like Portal 2, Pandemic and Space Team know that we are wired to work together. Some games, like Evolve or almost any sport or sports game, combine cooperating with some and competing against others.
And then a very few games try to model the nuance and complexity of our actual social relationships by combining competition and cooperation within individual relationships with other players.
In Resistance, we don't know who are friends and enemies even are. In Dead of Winter, players work together but also have hidden agendas that may make them work against the common good or against each other. In Super Mario Bros Wii, it's generally in everyone's best interest to work together, but some of the funnest moments come when pitching a friend down a hole because they're hogging power ups, or maybe just because you want to throw them down a hole.
Combining competiive and cooperative elements in these ways is as challenging as it can be amazing.
If you're looking for inspiration for this month's theme, we challenge you to make a game that does this.