Poll: What is a realistic length of time between FE series?
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Join Date: Dec 2007
01-12-2012, 03:23 PM
I agree with the sentiments here that FEs need not always have a bunch of amazing new maps and models.
Cryptic needs to take a cue from the way the Star Trek TV series worked around their limitations to stick to the expected production schedule. Trek couldn't produce big, beautiful new sets every week because they didn't have the budget for it, a.k.a. they had insufficient manpower to do it quickly. (Unionized labor is expensive!) It was much the same predicament as Cryptic has for producing lots of FEs.
So what did the TV producers do to maximize throughput while maintaining quality? They varied their episode budgets. Some special episodes would get a big budget, for big fancy sets and extra VFX, while the ones in between would be dialed back to save up money (and time) for the next big extravaganza. These cheaper episodes would take place mostly aboard-ship, where all the sets already existed, and they were called "bottle shows." They might commission a new alien mask from the makeup department or do a redress disguise on one of their standing sets to make it look like a Fed base or alien ship, but for the most part they would put all their effort into story and routine production rather than development of new assets.
The same principles could work for Cryptic's FE production. Their major time investment for new maps & models could be saved up for 2-3 big-budget extravaganzas, while the intervening episodes could be pared back to use less modeling/mapping effort and focus instead on clever and dramatic story content.
The Foundry consists entirely of such bottle shows, written by amateurs and semi-pros, and look how good some of those are!