Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,689
There's been a lot of buzz about episodic gaming, fan reaction to Mass Effect's ending, etc.

STO launched with a focus on episodic structure but, as many have noted, it didn't quite fully live up to that and I think it was something that Cryptic's designers weren't fully emotionally invested in making.

Flash forward. After some apparently expensive attempts at this, Cryptic has scaled back on its episodic content in favor of more open zones, lacing in episodes strategically.

This is a year where, with the decline of Bioware, some have celebrated the death of episodic gaming. Arkham City has had some prominent slams from game designers. The Secret World, while being celebrated by many on the STO forums, has endured niche categorization by many and suffered layoffs.

I had a conversation with a Cryptic dev who admitted his love for the old Sierra-style games like A Final Unity and Judgment Rites but lamented that he thought he'd never get to work on a game like that because that kind of game is dead.

Then I read this article about "The Walking Dead" game from Telltale:

http://kotaku.com/5963342/how-the-wa...he-way-we-play

I've been really impressed with Telltale's output and subtle rejuvenation of the adventure game genre. The "Back to the Future" game was, in my opinion, excellent.

There is some talk that TWD may take Game of Year at the VGA. And if it does, the lesson would almost be that Bioware wasn't Bioware-y enough, not that it was too Bioware-y, as some have claimed.

Are a lot of game developers in denial about this trend? Is there a rift in the business? What do you think it all means for the directions STO could go in?
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,100
# 2
11-27-2012, 02:34 PM
Yes and no. At this point it's too late to really try that boat. It sailed long ago.

Is it a bad idea? No. But Cryptic has adamantly stood on the "No expansions" end of the MMO pool, and the players (and by extension me) have begun to expect it. Down the road? Hey, anything could happen, but we're in the middle of a lot of unpopular changes and growing pains.

TL;DR Good idea, little to late to try it.
http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o633/centersolace/189cux9khvl6ojpg_zpsca7ccff0.jpg

So inhumane superweapons, mass murder, and canon nonsense is okay, but speedos are too much for some people.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 92
# 3
11-27-2012, 02:36 PM
I think it has more to do with the return on investment instead of player's that are interested in them. It might have been Dan that said this awhile ago, but the cost of making the FE's was so high that it required the attention of a majority of the team at that time to do them. Granted the staff is bigger now than what it was, it's still a lot of time and effort put into creating that kind of content when it's going to be consumed in a short amount of time.

Episodic gaming is cool in my book. I just think it's a matter of being able to keep pace with what the consumption rate of your audience is of said content.
Just can't let go of the Excelsior...
Join Date: Aug 2008
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,054
# 4
11-27-2012, 02:37 PM
There is a good Back to the Future game? Great Scott! Link, please.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,689
# 5
11-27-2012, 02:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by centersolace View Post
Yes and no. At this point it's too late to really try that boat. It sailed long ago.

Is it a bad idea? No. But Cryptic has adamantly stood on the "No expansions" end of the MMO pool, and the players (and by extension me) have begun to expect it. Down the road? Hey, anything could happen, but we're in the middle of a lot of unpopular changes and growing pains.

TL;DR Good idea, little to late to try it.
I've been shot down on this before but I have said this is the kind of direction ship interiors should take.

So, ah... I guess I'll float the idea again.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,689
# 6
11-27-2012, 02:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
There is a good Back to the Future game? Great Scott! Link, please.
http://www.telltalegames.com/bttf

I think you'd enjoy this kind of thing, Kirksplat, and it would influence your attitudes towards the kind of feedback you have for STO.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,689
# 7
11-27-2012, 02:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjcfoxtrot View Post
I think it has more to do with the return on investment instead of player's that are interested in them. It might have been Dan that said this awhile ago, but the cost of making the FE's was so high that it required the attention of a majority of the team at that time to do them. Granted the staff is bigger now than what it was, it's still a lot of time and effort put into creating that kind of content when it's going to be consumed in a short amount of time.

Episodic gaming is cool in my book. I just think it's a matter of being able to keep pace with what the consumption rate of your audience is of said content.
I don't disagree entirely, Bob, but I think where Telltale may be trumping Bioware is a mix of superior story logic/appeal and doing it on a budget much smaller than Bioware's and probably not that far off from Cryptic's FE budget, if not lower.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,103
# 8
11-27-2012, 02:54 PM
As I always say I am a fan of balance.

If we take a step back and look at the STO fanbase as a whole we can see that unlike most MMOs it has a very diverse group of players. For many it is the first and/or only MMO they have ever played.

Because of this it is my personal opinion that there needs to be a large variety of content added to the game in order to keep all interested parties, well, interested. That includes the endgame content that has been recently added but also includes episodic content. The numbers do not lie, and I do believe that when the last FE was released the servers were crushed, much more so than when S7 launched.

But it is true as well that from a pure return on investment standpoint the last FE was a dismal failure. But as always their are at least two arguments I could make about that fact.

First off not everything can be directly tied to an RoI format and companies must strike a balance. Many things contribute to a healthy game, like customer satisfaction, and you need to have them.

Also, when a company has a bad RoI that doesn't always mean the investment concept was flawed, typically it is the execution. Find a way to reduce the cost and increase the revenue on the concept and it just might be gold.

And that is my two purple rocks.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,005
# 9
11-27-2012, 02:57 PM
I honestly think Adventure titles are making a resurgence mostly because the novelty of other genres has worn off. Point-and-click Adventures took a nosedive when FPS, RTS, and sandbox games became possible. Now that those aren't as novel, people just appreciate good storytelling more than flashy graphics -- the response to the end of Mass Effect 3 is actually proof of this! People loved that story and those characters. Nobody talks about how great the gameplay is, because it wasn't anything we haven't done a million times before.

Point-and-click Adventure games have the potential to deliver great stories with great characters, without costing a ton of money. Walking Dead costs $25, and I think you can pick up Deponia (a recent favorite of mine) for $15. It's also REALLY easy to access these games, and get exposure to them, through digital delivery on Steam.

I'm honestly not sure if there's anything here for STO to latch onto. The Walking Dead is the result of a massive shift in the gaming market, in both accessibility and the audience.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 423
# 10
11-27-2012, 03:03 PM
Is TWD not just doing good because its zombies? People seem to have a fascination with anything to do with zombies.

I do think Crypitc should bring back episodic content, it would be nice to break up the daily content/events they keep adding and they could further the story in the game.
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