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.
I've known Kirkman in passing for years and in his defense (he gave me some advice on putting together a comic seven years ago), I think it has less to do with it being zombies.
The title is itself a pun. The Walking Dead in the franchise are the HUMANS who are left behind. The zombies draw people in but the real monsters and real focus of the franchise is on the humans, which is what made the brand take off.
And in terms of a shift, I think a lot of game designers look at this and just see "interactive movies." The gameplay is simple but it's there and requires thought.
I can see ways that this could work very well in STO and Champs, particularly if the focus is on ship interior life for STO and secret identities for Champs, a third gameplay mode that I think Cryptic could benefit from moving its engine towards.
And while there is some new tech involved, I think it would mostly represent a paradigm shift in how certain kinds of content get made.
I love Episodic content, and I really-really enjoyed STO when we had Featured Episodes. I personally want playable story missions because for me it provides immersion and a sense of involvement in the STO universe. But unfortunately there is little replay value to the player, and little $ value for Cryptic in a F2P model. Without Episodic type story content, STO can feel like you are playing Solitaire. Also not everyone wants this type of game play and STO needs to appeal to a wider audience.
I don't think Cryptic pulled out early, but just went too far. They are too small a team to focus on Episodic content AND regular content at the same time. Sometimes I feel like Cryptic is a soccer team of 5 your olds (the whole team chasing the soccer ball as a group and ignoring everything else). The mistake was over committing to 5-part series. Maybe a better strategy is 1 episode every month instead that ties into the STO story.
I really like the hybrid Adventure Zone we have with Season 7. It's a combination of Solitaire type game play, mixed with a couple of Story missions as you progress through the reputation system. The downfall of this though is the speed at which you progress limits the amount of Story missions you get.
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THESE CEO'S THINK THAT THE "TREND" MEANS SOMETHING TO TREKKIES. IT DOESN'T WE WANT ADVENTURE, PUZZLES AND MYSTERY THAT IS WAS STAR TREK WAS LARGELY ABOUT.
THAT'S WHAT WE WANT.
JUST BECAUSE "INSERT GENERIC MMO" HAS A BEEN SUCCESSFUL DOESN'T MEAN YOUR PLAYERBASE DEMOGRAPHIC IS LIKE THEIRS.
THINK SOME MORE.
Caps so you might listen.
Give me a 45 minute episode with voice-overs a rich story, actual puzzles and mysteries to solve requiring multiple classes working together, all packed up into the overarching story about the Klingon War, Borg, Undine etc.
Sorry, I rolled my eyes at the irony of this statement.
Formerly known as Armsman from June 2008 to June 20, 2012
PWE Drone says, "Your STO community as you have known it is ended...Display names are irrelevant...Any further sense of community is irrelevant...Resistance is futile...You will be assimilated..."
At the risk of sounding a bit crass, episodic content is not something Cryptic's personnel do well. Atleast not in a serious setting like STO, they do much better with it in the campy CO setting.
So no, I think they did the right thing by moving away from it,
The majority of their staff are new.
There's maybe, what? 7 or so people left from when the game launched? Out of 50 current employees and 25 from launch?
If it's still a problem, I'd look very hard at the corporate culture and at the 7 people you've got left.
I don't think it's Kestrel who's the problem, AT ALL. I think it's priorities. But I do wonder sometimes if they have an employee or two who run around throwing wrenches into gears whenever story comes up as a priority.
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.
Ok , I think you are mixing up a whole bag of things there .
The first "episodic content" were the chained stories of the V1.0 STF's .
Varied maps , decent enough story telling -- I'd say that there was some good effort there .
Next came the first 3 FE's .
Again , players were treated visibly treated to "a cut above" the standard STO fare , and I don't know what the "emotional investment of the designers" was , but if that was not investment (I'm looking in particular to the 23rd century adventure) -- I'm not sure what it is that you expect as an "emotional investment" .
BUT ... , having said that , I think that my response to the last FE was ... in so many words , a lack of an "emotional investment" -- mainly due to the "technical achievements" of the episodes overshadowing and pushing aside the need for story telling in a ... story .
It was all about : OMG , the Jem'Hadar are Back ... except they don't do anything ... , but look -- Bajor is really pretty .
Now to take a quote from the article you've linked to :
But Telltale's success could send a signal to other developers and publishers that the episodic model really works, when done properly.
Use the time ship in your sig and go back to the time of the first FE'S .
What was the players perspective back then ?
Log in every weekend for an awesome new Trek-like episode !
And what was Cryptic's perspective back then ?
Look , we're making this awesome new content (that's sorta expensive and it sorta stops all of our other projects) , but all it gives us is spikes of gamer population on the weekends ... and that's not enough of a ROI .
What was the missing link between then and now ?
S.6+7 -- aka back then there was no grind .
Now there is .
Now they have players logging in mid-week just to grind some Dil for the ever-no-so-awesome Starbases & holdings & reputations .
All of the above represents the hook . All the need now is the bait .
The bait would be the FE's , if they decided to do them again at an expedited rate akin to the first 3 .
That would "sweeten" the grind .
Grind mid week , get your story every other weekend . To me this sounds like a winning "Trekkie" formula .
How ever ... , from what I understood from Stahl , the boys at Cryptic are currently in love with the "Adventure Zone" theme and the "Reputation" theme .
And since Cyptic's No.1 game is being consistently inconsistent , I expect S.8 to me a mishmash of the current fad with maybe a short FE being thrown on as garnish , instead of a constant triad of grind/FE/AZ development , with some extra's sprinkled in now and then .