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Episodic Gaming: How Telltale lost what they achieved.

posted by DaemonTool on - last edited - Viewed by 496 users

I follow Telltale from its early games. "Telltale never miss their monthly schedule" we used to say to casual customers that asked for the next episode. And we were true. They were really capable of pursuing the deadline.

Sometimes the products were buggy and not refined, but you definitely could keep track of what was happening in the story, because there wasn't a big leap of time between releases.

Then the Tales of Monkey Island Ep.5 happened: they said "we cannot deliver it in time". They tried hard, but that episode gave clearance to delays that plagued almost each Telltale game since after.

Now they surely release more refined episodes: but this process takes time, and implies to rarefy them to the point that you forget what was happening. It's very difficult to follow the story from TWAU ep.1 to ep.2 because your memory was wiped by a 4 month gap. And now it's happening the same with TWD2.

Now that the TT tight release schedule is spoiled, it's so necessary to make the game episodic? How much you earn and how much you lose? Has the waiting turned from hype to hate? Has the episodic formula stretched too far, reaching its limits of quality over delivery?

Why to insist on a schedule format that seems unpredictable and a nightmare for both developers and customers, and it's not fun anymore?

8 Comments
  • From what i found out only reason had episode gaming was because couldn't afford to make full game so had break them into episodes and use profit to make next one. Then walking dead happened needed one hundred thousand to break even and sold 21 million so no excuse but as small company if you achieve success don't fix whats not broken and makes their game unique. Saying that if kept there promise of 4-6 weeks thats good enough time for forum to discuss each episode and fun but after waiting 4 months and constant Pr problems pissed everyone off but then again small company and will make mistakes hopefully 4 month trend doesn't continue but have faith but with borderlands and game of thrones coming and already problem with wau and twd delays imagine all games being made might have to make full games

  • I prefer wait 2 months for a complete episode than wait 1 month for a bad episode that had to be done quickly to not miss schedule. I don't care if Telltale take their time to make the game since the episodes still on the same quality level. If Telltale start doing quickly production time episodes and these episodes start losing quality, that would be a problem. So please you guys, just stop crying and let Telltale take their time, I've read some really bad arguments and a lot of bullshit here for the past couple of days, one guy even said "Let's make a petition to stop all Telltale work except TWD". Jesus, this forum is losing its quality nowadays.

  • mmm

  • They just need to say they'll release the game every two months instead of 4-6 weeks. That's it.

  • I think the problem is the extremely short memories of gamers. You're memory is wiped after 4 months? Lol. I guess if you're company starts expanding, you run into problems that you didnt have before. I would rather deal with a few delays then not have The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us to play.

  • I think the problem it that the games they are making are becoming much more complex compared to Telltales early days, the games they are making now have much more story branching and dialogue options and with more dialogue they need to sync up all the correct phrases to the different scenes and with upto 4 different dialogue options for us to choose from it takes time to program it to work correctly, due to the different choices we make can lead to different outcomes e.g. choosing Doug or Carley will lead to a slightly different story later in the game which also would take time.

  • Sometimes the products were buggy and not refined

    This is the key point. I'm a software developer (not in games) and when talking about delivering software a common quote is "cost, time, quality - pick any two". You cannot hit all three targets at once, something has to give. I'll take a longer-than-estimated gap in order to have quality and TTG not going bankrupt. A buggy episode would annoy me much more than a delay.

    Of course with TWAU episode 2 was delayed and buggy ¬_¬

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