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Will the episodes be linked to each other?

posted by ChodTheWacko on - last edited - Viewed by 217 users

Here's why I ask this: Because it impacts the game's difficulty.

If you do say, a 1000 piece puzzle, The easiest way to do this is to split it into smaller puzzles. Split into 10 100 piece puzzles (sky, ground, house, whatever). It is more than 10 times easier to do a 100 piece puzzle than a 1000 piece puzzle.

And that's why Culture shock is fairly easy. You don't collect very many items. You don't have that many locations to try them in. In larger adventures there are many more combinations of things to use/explore/etc.

I'm not sure what the solution is - but if the episodes are tied together, in a way, that could help.

For example, you could start having things in your inventory that you don't even use in this particular episode. Culture shock had what - 5 locations? If the second one can add 5 more to that, and you have say, 10 locations to wander about in (with new things showing up in the previous locations),
then by the time you get to episode #5, & #6, then there's all sorts of stuff to try, and places to try them in.

If each game will be distinct though, with X locations each, then they will
all probably be about the same difficulty level. (unless you go into bizarro abstract mode with the puzzles, which isn't ideal)

12 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • While inventory items won't be carried over from episode to episode, this post of Jake's should explain how the episodes tie together;

    @Jake said: Just one guy's thoughts...

    One thing that interests me about all of this talk about difficulty and length is peoples perception of scope.

    When all six cases are out, released as a full "complete season" experience, the scope will feel very different than it does now. I mean, in a way, "defeat Brady Culture" will become the first big puzzle goal in a far bigger game, versus now where that alone is the story of a game on its own. I think peoples feelings about the scope of what they need to accomplish will sort of move up, or expand a level just because the structure of what they're playing (a 12-18 hour game) will be different, even if puzzle to puzzle it's the same string of events that was once distributed as an episodic experience. I think at that point peoples perception of what is and isn't hard and what is and isn't short or long will be at least a bit different than it is now.

    I don't think that's any better or worse a game design structure than presenting each as a separate episode (I personally prefer playing them one at a time because I like the more short-form storytelling and the rapid clip the game moves at from story beat to story beat and act to act, and I like actually finishing my games - if it was a full length single game I'd probably put the game down half way through "for a week or so, for a rest" and never pick it up again like I do with almost every game I buy), but for people who want things to feel like their challenges are more long form and intricate, they may appreciate the change in scope and perception that occurs when all six episodes each become essentially large puzzles in a bigger singular story experience.

    ...

    Bonus side note: Actually, I suspect that at least some peoples perception of scope, length, and difficulty will probably start shifting a bit even as early as when they get to play episode 2 or 3. Not necessarily because one or both of those two games on its own will be a head-scratching arm-twisting brain-deflating puzzle assault, but just because the relationship each individual episode and its challenges has with the whole season will come into focus a little more.

    It only just clicked for me a couple days ago the implications of the next chapter of the game coming out in just over a month, and then four more of them following one after another right after that. Even working here in the office, and occasionally on the games themselves, it's hard to shake my ingrained perception that Culture Shock is the game and the next episode is the sequel. That's really not what's going on. They're not all "the same game split into chunks" either. It's somewhere in-between, and it took a long time to all click properly in my head.

    But anyway, as I said earlier, even if it doesn't click for some people in the next six months, they'll be right at home with the season set, where essentially the first objective in a very long game is a 2-4 hour long puzzle about how to figure out where Brady Culture's hideout is.

  • Maybe this has been covered elsewhere in the forum, but I have to wonder how many locations from episode one will be included in future episodes. Since each is going to be available independently, future episodes won't be able to simply include locations from previous episodes without impacting the size of the installation executable.

    For instance, if episode two takes place mostly at a zoo, and the zoo consists of five "rooms", the size of the game (from a disk space standpoint) would potentially be twice that of episode one if they were to also include the office, Sybil's office, Bosco's store, and the street.

    And since it's been said that Sybil and Bosco will be in future episodes, it would seem that at least her office and his store will also need to be included in future episodes. This seems to indicate that many of the locations will be reused, and only a couple will be added each episode. Maybe Brady Culture's hideout will be removed, and two other rooms will be added. And at that point, we're dangerously close to a feeling of "been there, done that" after only a couple of episodes.

    That's not to say that I'm worried that this will be the case. It's just something I've wondered about. I'm sure Telltale has taken this all into consideration and they've come up with a creative solution. I'm just interested to see what it is. Seeing this evolution is very interesting, and my suspicion is that episodes will get better and better (if the Bone series is any indication).

  • It's possible for Sybil and Bosco to show up in different places... If the entire episode took place at the Zoo, like you suggest, the entire neighborhood from the first episode might not have any reason to appear at all... It'd be interesting to see what excuses they'd give the characters for being in an odd place.

  • Also, nobody has said that inventory items won't be carried over from episode to episode.

  • @Jake said: Also, nobody has said that inventory items won't be carried over from episode to episode.



    If they are carried over I think its a great move.

  • Yeah, it would be cool to carry on locations and objects from each episode but I don't think you could do it for each location. Brady Cultures hideout would be a bit pointless in future episodes. It would definitely increase the difficultly of each game.

    The other thing I think it would be good to add is a variable hint system (or VHS just to be confusing) but that's being covered in another thread.

    Basically Culture Shock was a pilot so they're going to make it easier/less zany to attract more people and make sure they have a large enough fan base to continue the series. I trust Telltale to take on the suggestions (and demands) in the forum in order to make each game the best they can. It's why they're using an episodic model after all. I'm sure as the series progress we'll see plenty more locations and harder puzzles.

  • @Jake said: Also, nobody has said that inventory items won't be carried over from episode to episode.



    Really? Cool. I thought it was pretty much implied in comments like this;

    @Jake said: Since every game is standalone, you will only be able to visit the locations in a particular episode. It's not like each episode is an expansion pack that builds on what you already have; they're self-contained games.

    Places like the neighborhood (like Bosco's and Sybil's) will appear in more than one episode, but locations that are specific to the story being told in one episode won't necessarily be accessible in the another episode... unless it also ties in to that episode's story in some way.

    Guess I was reading too much into it.

    Still, it's hard to see what use a carried over inventory item would have, considering that (as far as we've been led to believe) the episodes are playable in any order and it's not necessary to have played expisode 'X' before episode 'Y'.

    Or are you just saying that if at the end of episode 3 you're holding a mummified gerbil (which everyone must have picked up to complete the game), then in Episode 4 the mummified gerbil may be in your inventory right from the start regardless of whether you'd played episode 3 or not?

  • Personally, I hope the "tear gas grenade launcher" sticks around...

    That was my favorite item. Ever.

  • @jp-30 said: Still, it's hard to see what use a carried over inventory item would have, considering that (as far as we've been led to believe) the episodes are playable in any order and it's not necessary to have played expisode 'X' before episode 'Y'.



    I'd be happy if they led to Easter Eggs.

  • @jp-30 said: Or are you just saying that if at the end of episode 3 you're holding a mummified gerbil (which everyone must have picked up to complete the game), then in Episode 4 the mummified gerbil may be in your inventory right from the start regardless of whether you'd played episode 3 or not?



    That's what I'm saying. What else would I mean? It would be insane and make very little sense to track inventory items across episodes other than that... it would make no sense in the story and would have no impact on puzzles other than creating an additional layer of puzzle-lie to allow hardcore gamers into fooling themselves to believe they were getting more challenge.

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