Among the various features that MultiVersus could copy from Super Smash Bros., a Stage Builder may actually be the most impactful.
MultiVersus is in a somewhat dry season right now. The Warner Bros. platform fighter is still not technically out, even though it has spent over half a year in open beta. It already has battle passes available, and is slowly building its roster while tweaking game balance. According to developer statements, there are some big things planned for MultiVersus in the future, but there’s no telling when they or the game’s true release date will arrive.
Nobody knows what exactly is coming for MultiVersus, but something needs to arrive soon before the title’s momentum is drained. The expected fighting game post-release drop in players hit MultiVersus fairly hard, and judging by Steam numbers it’s doing alright but not as well as it could be. MultiVersus needs more features and fixes to bring people back in, and adapting more parts of its inspiration Super Smash Bros. could help. In particular, a Stage Builder may work well in the context of this free-to-play platform fighter.
The Stage Builder Has Been A Major Part of Super Smash Bros.’s Appeal
Stage Builder had its humble roots in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, serving as a side mode that allowed players to create their own simple stages. Right from the get-go, players had a wide variety of platform types and special objects that they could place in three different size templates. While these stages were visually plain, they contributed to Super Smash Bros. Brawl‘s inherent replay value. Sharing these stages online was also possible, but became somewhat easier in later entries.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U brought the feature back, and while some of the special objects were lost, the trade-off was worth it. Players could now use the touch screen to draw their own platforms, enabling near-infinite creativity. It took a few updates for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to get its own Stage Builder, but when it did, it offered multiple layers for placement and drawing and then allowed players to make their platforms out of many different materials. Stage Builder has turned out to be a massive success for the Smash franchise, and other platform fighters would be wise to learn from this.
MultiVersus Is An Ideal Setting For A Stage Builder
A couple already have, with those being Rivals of Aether via Steam Workshop support and Fraymakers through its FrayTools. MultiVersus would get a boost in player attention and retention if it adds the ability to build and share stages. There has been some early tension between MultiVersus mod fans and the game’s security measures, so adding an in-game way for players to make their own content would help smooth things over. Designing for the controllers of most gaming systems might leave MultiVersus‘ Stage Builder less versatile than that of Smash Ultimate, but plenty can still be done by mimicking Brawl or the Super Mario Maker titles.
Speaking of doing something similar to Brawl, MultiVersus can also bring back one unique trait that the game’s Stage Builder had. A few items would require players to play a handful of matches on custom stages or make several stages to unlock. Ideally, any Stage Builder progression in MultiVersus should be framed like this. Tying stage parts into battle passes or anything else would be asking for trouble. Adding the base form of a modular-but-still-flexible feature like Stage Builder could also give MultiVersus‘ developers time for bigger modes and content drops. Hopefully, something like a Stage Builder is in the cards for MultiVersus and can help make the game even better for all types of players.
MultiVersus is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.