It's Now Fall 2007...

-smash-

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...And I'm pretty sure you all know what I'm referring to by saying "it." [br]Electronic Arts, Valve's game distributor and helping hands on Half-Life 2's Playstation 3 port, has released a PR spread with the official announcement of the Orange and Black box packages that will be made available at Episode Two's release. But ever so gently, added to the bottom of this sheet was the word "Fall." Yes, that's the new ETA for Episode Two.
The Black Box and The Orange Box are targeted for release in Fall 2007. For more information, please visit www.steamgames.com.
I guess this will give you guys time to tan during the Summer, so that when Fall comes, you won't have any reason to go outside in the cold![br]EA's entire PR sheet can be found here.[br]Update: Okay, there are conflicting PR sheets floating around various websites. Voodoo Extreme reports that it's actually been pushed back to Winter 2007, and GamerSquad is reporting both set ETA's... Confused? Yeah, me too.[br]Update (2): Doug Lombardi was kind enough to clear this up for us. It's fall, as the title says.
Should be fall -- "back to school" timeframe is what we're now targeting.
 

Zeus

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Another delay!! Woot!

Seriously, wasn't the whole point of episodic content to get the games out faster? These delays are getting more ridiculous as the time goes on.
 

Harryz

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I couldn't care less if its delayed tbh. I'll play it when it comes out, I'm not eagerly waiting in my chair.

But the ironic thing is; isn't the whole point of episodic content is so you don't have to wait ages for a sequel? By the time Episode 2 comes out, a game usually has a couple of expansion packs and plus a sequel in the making. Ha.
 

el Chi

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I think it became fairly obvious quite some time ago that Valve's stab at episodic gaming's become somewhat farcical.

Not that I care, mind.
 

Sandman

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Wasn't the whole point of episodic content to avoid the ginormous wait between games? If valve couldn't time the release of TF2 and Portal with Episode 2, then they should've delayed THOSE games and released Episode 2 by itself.
 

Asknoone

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I think it became fairly obvious quite some time ago that Valve's stab at episodic gaming's become somewhat farcical.

Not that I care, mind.
Basically, yeah. I'm kinda suprised at this, actually.
 

Atari

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Hands up who didn't see that one coming lol

Christmas 2007
 

CyberPitz

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HOORAAAYY!!

Oh well, bitching about it won't solve anything..for all we know, they could have found a problem, and if they released it on time, we would then have to wait for a patch! I'd rather have a polished game, and I'll be too busy with Supreme Commander, anyway. :p
 

TheMtR

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Hands up who didn't see that one coming lol

Christmas 2007
Hey, i have better idea; how about 2008 Q1!! Lets cut our veins!

Seriously, whats Valve is thinking about, hey episodic gaming - suuuuree it sounds cool why dont we simply add this title to every freaking sequel like Duke Nukem Episode 3..
 

Loke

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Just set it for a 2060 release instead.

Sigh.
 

Hugh_Jazz

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Well, actually, if you think about it, the relative decrease in development time is still there. Other developers take 2 years to make a full game, and six months to make an episode. Valve takes 8 years to make a game, but only two years to make an episode. It's awesome.
 

Zips

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Figured I'd share this here too. Just a little something I found amusing:

http://www.csnation.net/viewnews.php/8253/
GI: How often do you think we?ll be seeing new chunks of story and content?

Lombardi: Episode Two is already in development - we?ll ship it when it?s great. We?re not saying our key strategy for episodic content every four months or every month, or whatever. If the episodes are strong and people like them and sign up for Episode Two, and so forth.

Newell: They were supposed to be three months apart. (laughs)

Lombardi: We?ve learned that, once again, we?re better at making quality than trying to keep to a schedule. (laughs)
http://www.csnation.net/viewnews.php/8310/
Bellevue, WA, May 22, 2006 - Valve?, developer of the blockbuster series Half-Life? and Counter-StrikeTM, announced Half-Life? 2: Episode One has gone gold. Episode One is the first in a trilogy of episodes that will conclude by Christmas of 2007.
 

Betelgeuze

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If I remember correctly it took them 3 years to make the game content and gameplay for HL2, and it's more than 2 years ago they released HL2. By the time they release EP2 we would have had HL3(on source) if they didn't start on episodes at all.
 
T

TheShocker

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Wasn't the whole point of episodic content to avoid the ginormous wait between games? If valve couldn't time the release of TF2 and Portal with Episode 2, then they should've delayed THOSE games and released Episode 2 by itself.
Bingo!

(Yes, I registered today just to say that.)
 

SubKamran

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I should be able to finish HL2 Wiimod in that amount of time. And Episode 1 as well.
 

Asuka

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Im going to die right about now. I know its all for the best. Im getting all the versions of the game so its kind of good they are coming out at the same time. But man this wait is getting really hard for me. I need SOMETHING!
 

The Brick

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So far for my upgrade for team fortress 2 rofl.. Oh well the more it gets delayed the less I'm hyped about it.
 

pomegranate

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This is ridiculous - Valve are taking so long between franchise installments that some people will be moving from caring about video games before the sequel trilogy is done. HL2 is going to be three years old by the time EP2 comes out. At this rate, we won't see Ep 3 until Q3 2008. A three year wait, and a four-year wait, for tiny installments of main story action, re-using the same characters, enemies and not-exactly-scintillating scenario is too long for people to keep caring.

Episode 2 is the only video game I had any intention of buying this year. Waiting another three months makes me think I just won't bother at all.


Cue the usual ****wits: "See you, then", "Valve doesn't need your money".
 

Iced_Eagle

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I'll wait patiently.

Even though delays suck, Valve has never delivered a shit game and I doubt they are about to start now :)
 

dogboy73

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http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=115885

It's De ja vu


I think that's the 3rd delay for EP2 isn't it? Dissapointing but 'when it's done' I guess. Saying that I think we can more or less all agree now that episodic content has failed as a means of delivering 'regular' HL2 content. We were expecting maybe a couple of episodes a year based on what Valve were saying (1 every 3 months I think they said at one time)? Not 1 episode every couple of years.
 

pomegranate

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Why should three months make a difference?
It's not just three months though. It's this delay of three months + the original delay of three months + the three months (?) that Ep 1 was delayed + the 14 months that HL2 itself was delayed. It all adds up and every time an installment is delayed, my interest wanes at an increasing rate.

The three months is also important because I'm considering building a new system in a few months, and I will likely buy other games for it, but if I have to wait a few months more for the only game I'm actively interested in, I'd prefer to spend the money on other things I'd like to be doing in my life. This is what I mean about some people not being interested in games any more...
 

AJ Rimmer

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Oh for the love of... And episodic content seemes such a good idea once.
 

nutcrackr

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They already pushed it back, why not just push it back another year and get all the delays out of the way. Episodic this is not.
 

UseAbuse

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As long as the extra time goes to improving\polishing the game then I'll be fine. (hopefully making it longer too)
 

poullos

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This sucks...
I know they are working hard to deliver top quality games but waiting 1 year+ for an extra ~5 hour episode is too much. Disappointing...:(
 

eAi

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The problem is that Valve believe that episodic content, ideally, should follow the TV model - frequent, short episodes. Being who they are, they are perfectionists, and the way they develop is much more akin to the movie industry - a couple of years for each project.

So, I think Valve aren't the company to take episodic content forward, at least not with the Half-Life franchise. I'm certain it can be done, and I believe there are a few examples out there of it, but the key has to be cutting corners everywhere.

If you look at how TV production compares to episodic content, you'll see some major differences:
- Nobody expects you to make things look better each time you release a tv episode
- You don't need to create a new set every time you make an episode, you can either use your existing internal sets or use the Real World.

The story telling aspects are relatively similar between TV and games, and in many ways easier - you can stretch out your plot over 5 hours filling it with action sequences. The issues arise when creating maps - maps can easily take from many months to over a year to create and perfect, other art creation is equally hard work. Plus, code needs to be written for new engine features and new AI and it all needs to be tested extensively.

So, if Valve wanted to make a TV style episodic game, I believe they'd need to:
- Find a new story, look at what works on TV well, CSI for example. Pick a story that can use the same internal areas repeatedly without it being an issue.
- Get very fast at making maps for the other areas, build up a large prop library for use everywhere.
- Make engine updates entirely separate from content creation so that one doesn't hold the other up
- Make the engine extremely good at being "directed" without any code being written at all. Every line of code is a potential new bug.
- And finally, cut corners wherever possible.

Well, thats what I'd do anyway. Still I really doubt its possible to do it at the speed of TV episodes. They frequently film over a couple of weeks, doing two episodes at a time often, every couple of months might be possible though.

I don't think Valve are the ones who will bring us "true" TV style episodic content, nor am I personally sure we'd want to actually play whatever was produced in this way.
 
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