Episodic Gaming

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  • Stuz359 19 Jan 2013 02:50:56 32 posts
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    How do you guys feel about episodic gaming?

    We have seen a great example in the form of 'The Walking Dead' recently, but have also seen examples in the Monkey Island series and Sam and Max series be successfully produced (others less successful as well).

    But how would you feel about a split in the industry?

    You would still have blockbusters such as COD and Assassins Creed.

    But I would love to see a shift to episodic gaming come to light. It could actually (as long as the majority used middleware) free up the industry to produce some really amazing games.

    What struck me about 'The Walking Dead' was the brilliant storytelling, if not necessarily the gameplay.

    I would love to see more of these storybased experiences, but I feel the current console market is preventing them from happening.

    How would you feel for example, if a 'Heavy Rain' were to be produced into a season, much like a tv show? It could even work on a similar principle to tv shows, which, seemingly, are cancelled after only a few episodes, and that would minimise the risk, to a certain extent, of publishers sinking too much money into a venture they would believe would succeed.

    The entire Uncharted series blew me away for their story telling prowess (mainly because they were so much better than what had gone before it), but so did 'The Walking Dead.'

    Surely there is a place for both types of games? The blockbuster and the tv show equivalents.

    To me, gaming comes of age when it can produce experiences equivalent to Babylon 5, or even has the (inevitable) breadth to emulate something like the Sopranos.

    Technology is not an issue anymore, with the online infastructures in place, we should embrace it.

    Edited by Stuz359 at 02:51:23 19-01-2013
  • Dirtbox 19 Jan 2013 09:21:58 88,378 posts
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    Valve wanted to release an HL2 episode every few months. Fell a bit flat due to taking over a year for each one and by the time the second came out, the game engine was dated and ugly.

    The stress it puts on dev teams is too much to be truly viable and will forever be the domain of souless publishers who don't give a shit about their staff. Telltale historically being quite bad at that sort of thing.

    Cashcow gaming isn't the way forward even if it seems viable for a time, it's usually just a lazy reskin. EA have made a pretty lucrative living out of annual reskins.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 09:33:16 19-01-2013
  • DFawkes Friendliest Forumite, 2016 19 Jan 2013 11:42:09 30,610 posts
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    No-one really seems to embrace it much properly. Telltale are the only ones who seem to have really gotten on board, but as a customer I always wait for the whole set to come out before buying. So I'd be just as happy waiting for the whole experience anyway.

    I can see why the intention of making a game in chunks may appeal, both to publishers (repeated small injections of money) and developers in some respects, but there are issues with it (like the ones DB raised) that I don't think are worth overcoming.

    I have to admit, I did love Star Trek Online and it's TV style series, where you tune in/log on to the game at the same time weekly for another episode of the current series. But they already had an estsblished game, and they didn't make the mistake of releasing the first episodes too early - they were all made, once the first one was out it was time to polish everything.

    I know that's a very different kind of episodic, but reducing pressure on the devs by not forcing the first part too quickly (which will casade along the series) feels like it's worth looking at.
  • Cappy 19 Jan 2013 11:50:31 13,416 posts
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    Telltale seem to be the last holdouts and a prime example of why it represents an unacceptable compromise.

    Each 'episode' of Sam & Max for instance consist of just a few rooms connected to the office/street hub, the episodic structure is in effect sacrificing any prospect of a more fleshed out World that Sam & Max can explore. It seriously limits the puzzles also when you know there are only three or four locations where anything can possibly happen at any one time.

    Edited by Cappy at 11:57:13 19-01-2013
  • Lexx87 19 Jan 2013 11:55:31 20,853 posts
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    I think with the Walking Dead, they have finally managed to hone the craft. Because it worked wonderfully.
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