PDA

View Full Version : Is Episodic Gameplay dead?


nVidi0t
07-31-07, 08:39 PM
With Episode 2 still in slippage central and Sin Episodes indefinitely postponed after the Ritual buyout, can we declare episodic gameplay well and truly deceased?

I wonder if Valve can get away with releasing an episode every 1+ years. They have already turned to offering purchase incentives such as Portals and Team Fortress 2 (can't complain there) but these additions are progressively increasing the development cycle for HL: Episodes. There's no doubt the EP2 release will be successful, although I would largely credit that to TF2.

Sam and Max has maintained a loyal following and Dreamfall: Chapters is on the drawing board but I think generally the amount of logistics involved and the development crunch required for episodic gameplay ( in FPS games at least) was vastly underwhelmed when the idea was conceived.

Can we have more original IPs now?

jAkUp
07-31-07, 08:41 PM
It's not dead yet, the Penny Arcade game will be episodic as well.

WeReWoLf
07-31-07, 08:42 PM
I would say bring out the new IP's/Sequels with a proper Dev cycle. This episodic gameplay was a good idea, poorly executed though.

CaptNKILL
07-31-07, 09:00 PM
I think episodic games have promise as long as people don't expect the developers to all of the sudden pump out kick ass games in 1\10th the time it normally takes.

I'm not trying to down play what Telltale games has done (I loved sam and max and I have the DVD of the first season right here on my desk) but adventure games like Sam and Max are relatively easy to put together compared to games like HL2 or Sin.

When people stop comparing episodic games across genres and remember the kinds of games that are pumped out yearly (like EA's sequel fest), they'll realize that episodic games really aren't doing too bad if HL2 episode 2 comes out this fall\winter. Regardless of what people think of Valve, HL2 (and even more so, Episode 1) is an extremely detailed and complex game, especially for a genre thats normally all corridors and no dialog.

HL2 came out in 2004. Its been less than 3 years since it was released, and we've already had Episode 1 and the mini-add-on Lost Coast. Its only been a year since Ep1 was released. If they can put out another game as solid as Episode 1 by the end of this year we should all be really freaking happy.

I'd rather have that than have to wait another 2 or 3 years to get a longer game, and then another 4 or 5 for a sequel.

SH0DAN
08-01-07, 12:55 AM
If they are not dead as of yet,they are certainly on life support. :)

Chubz
08-01-07, 01:05 AM
Episodic games suck in my opinion.

Just look at the Half Life Episodes - they're taking forever to make and I fear that this will drive a lot of people away from the concept. I just can't stand paying for a game that I know will only last for a few hours, then many months later I get to play the rest of it.

Rakeesh
08-01-07, 02:02 AM
Episodic content isn't going to work over any electronic distribution method. The reason why is because they are going to have a hell of a time trying to compete with retail stores who generally loss lead with low priced items, such as these. The only way they can compete is by increasing the price.

Valves method of justification for that is including the whole previous set of games along with that episodic content, which defeats the purpose of it completely.

nutcrackr
08-01-07, 02:39 AM
valve and episodic gaming doesn't work, they can't get simple community features out on time for goodness sake. Valve should just rename them expansions and not have them taint the episodes.I think episodes have promise but only when treated like small expansions and priced correctly. I do not think we will see a flood of them though.

Airbrushkid
08-01-07, 04:27 AM
Well Valve and there Orange Box says something. I have episode 1 and wanted to get episode 2 but now you have to buy everything over. No way. If they sell just episode 2 separate they ok but it doesn't look good. I think there rethinking it. With episode 1 they where selling it on Steam for $20.00 and the retailers where selling it for $8.00 And for Sin Episodes, its been back shelfed. Who really knows.

Fotis
08-01-07, 06:27 AM
I'm personally in favor of a complete product.Playing a 1 hour episode and waiting like forever for the next one just kills my interest in the game.
In conclusion I hope episodic games die a horrible death.:kill:

SH64
08-01-07, 06:31 AM
Ep gameplay is good for certain type of games IMO.
adv games for exmaple (Sam'n Max) are pretty good for ep , action games however are not! thats why HL & Sin Ep didnt catch my interest.

DRen72
08-01-07, 07:59 AM
When I first read about the concept I liked it. I was reminded of the Doom days in the mid-1990's when people where putting out self-made remakes of the game in just a few months or less. Some of those were excellent. I had similar hopes for episodic content thinking that they would make no changes to the game engines, just add more levels and gameplay. Episodes were supposed to bring new content every six months. Frankly, I think its potential failure in that regard can be traced to a money issue.

ClosetFanBoy
08-01-07, 07:11 PM
To me it's still basically an expansion being called an episode. Maybe they shouldn't have gone about it that way and just announced they would be doing expansions on different perspectives on the game, which they kind of did with Half Life. But Valve is Valve and by the time Blue Shift rolled out, well, that was less then stellar to say the least.

I think if your going to do episodes, you would need to practically make a full 25 hour game and break into three pieces with beginnings and endings. And have say a 6 month release period between them (the pieces). But even for that to work they would have to start on the "episodes" immediately. Even as HL2 would be going gold to have the project rolling to meet plausible time frames. Otherwise things get too dated and mostly the hardcore fans will take interest.

Episode 2 looked like it would be more fun then Hl2 and EP1 combined, but with the delays and lineup of games it's facing, I think it lost a lot of steam. Add TFC2 multiplayer component, worthy purchase, interest.

It sounded cool, but until they can come up with a better formula, I think sticking to the expansion label would be a good idea.

3DBrad
08-01-07, 08:04 PM
In order for something to be dead, it has to be alive first, and I don't think Episodic Content ever became an industry standard ("alive").

Besides, episodic content is like that "automatic foaming soap," you pay MORE for less, and you think it's a better deal until you sit down and "count the cost" (I kid you not, that auto-foaming soap is less thick/dense than regular soap, yet costs about 2x as regular stuff). :p

ahheadlock
08-01-07, 09:15 PM
I'm personally in favor of a complete product.Playing a 1 hour episode and waiting like forever for the next one just kills my interest in the game.
In conclusion I hope episodic games die a horrible death.:kill:

I heartily agree.

I'd rather wait 3 years and get a game than wait 1 year and get a level.

I'm also pretty un-impressed that we have to buy the whole package just to get Episode 2. I already own HL2, why would i want another copy? to give away? pfft.

Rakeesh
08-02-07, 12:16 AM
Well Valve and there Orange Box says something. I have episode 1 and wanted to get episode 2 but now you have to buy everything over. No way. If they sell just episode 2 separate they ok but it doesn't look good. I think there rethinking it. With episode 1 they where selling it on Steam for $20.00 and the retailers where selling it for $8.00 And for Sin Episodes, its been back shelfed. Who really knows.

The fact that they were selling for $8 is why episodic content can't work if you are trying to have online distribution compete with retail sales. The retail sales are just going to kill any hopes of making a decent profit from online distribution.

The only way you can avoid that is by making the whole package become more expensive. Valve saw what went wrong with episode 1 on steam, so now they are going to remedy that by charging the same price for episode 2 as a full blown release. But at a $50 or greater price point, nobody is going to buy 8 hours worth of content. So they solve that problem by bundling it with a bunch of "extras."

Mazztadawn
08-02-07, 08:41 AM
I thought the sam and max episodes were great. I looked forward to them just like my favorite TV shows. That's been the best execution of the concept IMO.

The release times between other episodic franchises has been too long.