Valve to Evaluate Episodic Approach

Kadayi

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I really don't think Valve had any firm ideas when they proposed episodic regarding the time scales involved and 'every 6 months' probably didn't sound unreasonable at the time given the game engine was in place. I think as an exercise if they plan to continue with episodes beyond the 3rd then they will have to claw back on engine updates/new technology and concentrate on levels and plot if they hope to reduce the development time significantly. What fascinates me though is what Valve are likely to bundle with EP3.
 

Tuskin

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I think EP3 might release faster. I'm thinking EP2 and Ep1 would have been out sooner if they hasn't updated the engine respectively.
 

Operational

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I'm thinking EP2 and Ep1 would have been out sooner if they hasn't updated the engine respectively.
No I don't think so, I don't see why updating the engine and level design can't be done simultaneously.
 

Pi Mu Rho

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because changes in the engine require changes in the content, so it won't be any quicker.
 

Operational

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because changes in the engine require changes in the content, so it won't be any quicker.
Changes in the final content sure but experimenting with new gameplay mechanics, basic level design, level atmosphere, new enemies, NPC dialogue, etc has nothing to do with adding dynamic lighting or higher res textures for example. That's not to say that the two are totally independent, it would be hard to experiment with how cinematic physics can work with gameplay if your current engine can't do cinematic physics.
 

Naurgul

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I think I prefer episodes. My only reservation (someone posted it a couple of pages back, too) is that they need to include lessons about everything in every episode. Other than that, I think we should all reserve final judgement until Ep3 is out. At this point, all we have is Ep1, so it's hard to see the forest from the tree.

Oh, by the way, nice to finally post here. Stalking you guys for years was fun but it got old, lately. :)
 

Asknoone

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Why did it take so long? No new weapons, no new vehicles, no new characters.
I think you're missing the point of development. Those aren't the things that take time up all the time. Naurgul, it's nice to see you getting out for some fresh air. Steampowered is pretty smoggy. :p
 

Absinthe

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I find myself preferring full-fledged releases over episodic content, even though I recognize the strengths of the episodic format and see how they can be a boon to developers. I just like the feeling of playing something long and epic.

Regardless of whether or not they ditch episodes after evaluation, I applaud the balls Valve has had in trying something different and weighing their decisions seriously in light of player feedback.
 

Trooper

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Glad to see that they want to evaluate things. I am torn with episodic content. Its nice to have something new to play that is Half Life related in a fairly short amount of time. However these releases do not feel epic (at least to me).

Maybe it was the long wait, the hacking, I dunno. But huge releases like Half Life 2 seem to be more than worth the wait. I guess after Episode 3 is done and I've played it, I can make a better judgment call.
 

Zigrah

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I wasn't as much a fan of the episodic approach, they are few and far between and they are pretty short. I know it takes time to make a game but episode 1 is essentially a mod, and the reason it took so long is that they are a small group of people working on numerous projects at once. Episodic content does usually go hand in hand with short release intervals.

Don't get me wrong, I love valve, I love half-life 2 and will probably put up with whatever decision they choose, but to have one storyline spanning across several years is less appealing to me then the small bit of closure you get from completing HL1 and HL2, moreso HL1.\

Part of the success of Sam and Max as episodic content was that each episode granted some closure on what you were doing for that episode, while setting up for the next one that you knew would be only a month away. HL2:EP1 was more like a season finale of a TV show, that's bad enough when you have to wait two months but in this case it's a year for part two and then maybe another year for the closure.

If they spent time doing more of the short stories like portal and so forth that had a semi sort of ending or released on a quicker schedule I'd be all for it. No need for an "Orange Box" type deal of 3 things at once. Just one at a time, one after the other for $15-$20 would be fine with me.
 

Yogibbear

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Ep 1 was much better than i was expecting, and Ep 2 looks to deliver. But i still feel that a more epic game like HL3 would've been better. Hm... though i know i'll probably love ep2 and ep3 when they come out. TF2 is awesome at the moment, but i don't think that the episodic content is what has spurred that release *cough* ten years or so...

Bring on more epic games like HL3 :cheers:

But say a "niche" development team on other characters as the player in side quest episodes while we wait 5 years for HL3 would be awesome. E.g. play as a vortigant in this 4 hour game. Play as a headcrab. Play as a captured mental asylum dude who got caught up with the combine, and somehow got free and is let loose on some derelict part of ravenholm we haven't seen yet.
 
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