Tell us what you think!
Emily Telltale Alumni
edited May 2006 in General Chat
We have posted a survey to get customer feedback on various issues concerning Telltale's games. If you have a minute, please fill it out, so we can be sure to keep giving you what you want.
Click here for the survey!
Click here for the survey!
Sign in to comment in this discussion.
Personally I think the 3-4 month option suits me best, not only financially but also in that each episode being twice as long gives more scope for storytelling (IMO).
I agree, I think that the actual model (which Bone 2 represents) is the way to go. Shorter games would be too narrow in terms of story.
When I remember the days of "Monkey Island", or "Day of the Tentacle"... those games cost me 40 bucks, and I had around 40 hours of pure gaming fun with them. A clear 1/1 ratio.
That ratio would fit perfectly for episodic games... 5 to 6 hours of gaming... $ 5,99... bought! With a new episode getting released every 4 - 6 months this would be the absolute MUST BUY for me.
It's just, playtime-wise they're still a little too short for the given price...
I really don't want to sound cheap, and of course, it wouldn't hurt me to pay that amount, but that's the actual question in the survey, right?
5 hours of game play (as in "Cow Race") = $ 9,99
That'd be something I could get happy with.
Still, I think $12,99 is OK for having the thing boxed/cased (is there actually a verb to "case"?) and on CD... but for having it as a download-only game $10 seems appropriate to me. (although I guess I'll buy them for $12,99 now that I have to)
Plus: I'm not cheap.
Anybody from TellTale here to back me up? I guess not...
EDIT: Now, thinking about it... I really DO come off cheap... and actually I should be supporting TellTale, now that they're developing these games so close to the actual customers (or "fans", to make it sound less marketing-oriented, which is in fact more appropriate). You might wonder if lightning has struck me, and actually, yes. So, I think getting the download-versions of these games is just the right thing to do. I can still do covers for the games myself (OR TellTale could actually offer covers for download ).
I'm not cheap.
Considering retail games are now approaching $60 I think I can afford to drop $13 2-4 times a year. I mean look at something like the latest Tomb Raider. That's 9hrs of gameplay, even on current gen consoles you're paying $50 for it. (it was a good if not spectacular game, silence all of you!)
Oddly though the 9-10hr make is actually my 'sweet' spot for most non-episodic games. Any longer than that and my attention span completely drops off. Not usually because of lacking interest, but because something newer and shinier came out.
Anyway, back on topic. If the games were any shorter it would just feel a little too... choppy gameplay wise. Considering how story driven these titles are you really need a couple of hours for proper character development and time to let the story move and build.
TV shows do it in 20 minutes, but they do it 20 minutes every week. You only need to remember what happened the last episode for about 7 days.
Even for hour long television, if you had an hour long show every 3 weeks I think they'd spend most of the time reminding you of what happened a few weeks ago and not enough time moving the plot forward.
Plus we're talking about game development here. I'm sure the brevity and content allow them a little more leeway but content (and especially testing, I don't see Telltale having a gigantic QA dept) takes time.
I'd totally be down for small cheap filler content between episodes though. Short half or one hour (or better, something more replayable / casual like) games that fleshed out certain characters or situations more. Nothing integral to the overall experience but a nice diversion that gets you thinking 'telltale' while you wait.
I'm sorry to say that I really thought this was a bit too short to be worth a purchase. Just have a look at for example the first Monkey Island. Where was about ten times the amount of gameplay in that game compared to this one. I'd say that the events of this game measured up to roughly doing all that is to be done in the town in Monkey Island. Then there'd be the other places on MelÃ©e Island and Monkey Island itself.
I don't know if the production costs of games are so much higher than before or what is it, but I wished there was more content in Bone. And really the conversations in the game only had to do with the goal they had in mind. I found most of the conversations really uninteresting. I have a lot of faith in Sam & Max though - the concept of those comics and the characters give room for hilarious skits and interesting places & people to interact with.
I guess the Bone world just is a bit too normal for me. And the episode seemed really confined as there was only really 3 different zones with two to three areas in each. I hope Sam & Max will use some kind of system like the road map in Hit The Road. Or maybe a Fallout kind of world map where all you could see was the map marker as they drive around. It wouldn't be graphically taxing and the duo could make some hilarious comments about some random not plot related spots. Or anything really, just to make the world a bit more engrossing.
Oh and the caracters could move a tad faster, too.
At least Telltale is slowly working out the kinks from their episodic system. But HL2 Aftermath has been in development for over a year now. It seems like companies are thinking they can pull full length games into little games and sell them every few months. This annoys me.
Also, if the Sin games are being changed according to what the majority of players are doing every time they play each section (e.g. If the majority of players kill someone in the first section then the developers will make him dead in the next game for everyone), then won't those who play the game differently become quite confused when they find out the changes (to use the last example, they will get confused when they are told the character is dead. After all they didn't kill him). Or have they got some speical way of brainwashing people to forget past events and replace them with new memories?
It's definitely cropping up more. Really its been thought about for years, because in a lot of ways it makes sense, but up until now the distrubution methods weren't quite 'there'. In a lot of ways they still aren't, but they're getting there.
As games get more expensive to make you need to find ways to recoup the cost. Spending 25 million dollars on a 30 hr epic flop isn't an option.
However spending 5 million dollars on one flop or success and successively better interations is a little more practical.
Really the biggest cost associate with games (other than marketing) is your upfront cost. Building a team, building or liscensing an engine, building or liscensing content creation tools, exports, back end stuff.
Its a lot to go through just to build one product. That's why expansion packs are good fodder. They require little to no programmer assistance and its just a bunch of new content being added to the game. That's why they're outsourced a lot of the time.
Episodic content sort of builds on that but has the advantages of even quicker turn arounds which means more bang for your buck, plus the awsomeness of being able to tweak and change the game based on continual feedback.
It also lets you slowly build brand recognition. If there's 3 games that are part of a series out there as opposed to just one, people feel more familiar with it, feel its more 'established' and are usually more comfortable buying it.
"Oh 'x' I've heard of this, if they made a sequel the first one must have been decent' etc.
We know thats not always true but its how most people work psychologically.
The downside of course to episodic content with its lower prices and quicker turn arounds is that you start eating into your profits with retail chains taking higher percentages, charging more for product space essentially and having to deal with all the other costs associate with retail chains.
There in lies the beauty of digital. Of course its dependent on the pesky broad band penetration among other factors so thats kinda why everythings starting to come together now.
All that being said I'm not entirely sure FPS'es are the greatest candidate for Episodic Content. RPG's, Adventure games, and the like feel more a natural fit, but if something like 24 can work then I guess FPSes can too. They break down nicely with their level based approach.
Really though for episodic content to work there has to be a story and good characters to drive it. There needs to be an over arching reason to keep coming back to the next interation. More levels just feels like a map pack or something. Which maybe if you didn't *call* it episodic and just said it was mini expansion packs then it would feel less awkward.
HL and SIN are pretty story focused, so we'll see. I didn't know the Sin guys were chaning the story based on player actions. That's kind of interesting. Letting the community shape the fate of a game in an MMO like way.
Sort of like a daytime soap meets american idol.
"Susie should murder her husband"  Yes  No
Find out what people voted next week!