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A couple things bothering me...

posted by Anonymous on - last edited - Viewed by 1K users

As you know, we've all been waiting for a long time for this, but now I'm reading things on the front page that are making this game sound almost experimental and unappealing, and I'm hoping some answers can be cleared up.

1. It sounds like instead of playing a big full-scale adventure game, we instead get little tiny episodes that we could probably finish in ten minutes each. This sounds almost like "Star Trek 25th Anniversary" and "Victor Vector" which were both royally disappointing in both the short and long run. Personally, I prefer my games to have at least fifty "advertised" hours, so how big is this going to be exactly?

2. This whole webisode thing sounds like pay-per-view, where you play a bit of the story, and then have to pay for the next bit of the story. Personally, I'd rather have a whole game on a nice store-bought disc that I can even install on computers that aren't connected to the internet. I don't to want to pay $20 for something I'll have to burn onto a crappy CD.

Yes, I've been waiting forever for Sam & Max to come back out and yes, beggars shouldn't be choosers, but why does there HAVE to be a catch? This is the equivalent of finding out Final Fantasy XI will be multi-player only - it just ruins everything you've hoped for.

Anyway, if someone could make everything clearer on the detail of this game and how it will be distributed, I'd probably feel a lot more at ease.

23 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • You know, I'm in complete sympathy with people who are wary about the idea of only distribution, episodic releases, etc., but most of the feelings I've seen expressed smack of a total unwillingness to even make an attempt to give the concept a shot rather than basing their concerns on any real evidence.

    The games will be shorter than a normal game. That's your "catch." But there are benefits to this, such as the games being released in short intervals and the possibility of having many of them. The games will not be ten minutes long, that's completely ridiculous. They're going to be smaller than your normal epic-sized adventure because Telltale doesn't have the money to fund a full-scale adventure game for over two years and to release it as a boxed product on retail shelf, where without the kind of marketing and financial muscle that a company like EA can provide it won't have a prayer of selling over well-known franchises that dominate the marketplace. You and I know Sam & Max are quality characters, but I don't think you'd disagree with me that these days if someone was spending fifty bucks on a game they'd buy something they were familar with, something they know is just like any other game because fifty dollars is too much money to gamble with for some weird crimefighting animals. And unless your game is a prominent title, it's not going to get stocked everywhere or stay on the shelf for a prolonged period of time, further decreasing its chance of being bought or even noticed. In short, Telltale pushing one huge Sam & Max adventure game in a market not receptive to it would be suicide in more than one way. They're a company less than two years old, and while they're former LucasArts employees I'm guessing they don't share the comany's pocket book. So think a little bit before accusing the Telltale Sam & Max game of being an unappealing experiment as if Telltale has complete choice over the matter.

    Secondly, nothing I've read about the game implies that it will be like pay-per-view (brilliant analogy, by the way, just like your Final Fantasy one). My understanding is that each episode will consist of a "case," that will be self-contained in some way. I think we'd all like to have a big game sold in a box, but maybe it's just not possible. And perhaps if everyone would stop seeing online distribution as some wretched replacement for buying the game in the store you might discover that the idea has, gasp, some pretty exciting possibilities. Further, online distribution provides an effective outlet to get adventure games directly to people who want it. It's beneficial for both sides and gives Telltale's titles a better chance of finding an audience, especially if their budget is tight.

    I think we should voice our concerns here, but let's at least be slightly open instead of knocking everything before we've tried it or know anything about it?

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    Anonymous

    Yeah. What ^he^ said. /:)

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    Anonymous

    [quote]I think we should voice our concerns here, but let's at least be slightly open instead of knocking everything before we've tried it or know anything about it?[/quote]

    Well, that's also why I needed a bit more information. I've been ripped off before and I'd hate to have it happen again, especially with these characters. I can tolerate a game that has at least a 3-hour running time (such as Full Throttle) and a complete story.

    I suppose it's a little better than paying to see a movie in theatres, but there's always that intangibility that I find difficult to grasp. For instance, there's something completely impersonal about having a hard drive full of movies in comparison to a video shelf full. I sort of expected it to become completely like that someday, but I was hoping they'd develop some type of "safe-keeping" technology for computers first, so that you're not forced to back-up or re-download everything you buy. Our current technology still isn't that convenient.

  • [quote] Our current technology still isn't that convenient.[/quote]
    I don't think that DVDs and CDs are all that convenient. I have to search through my collection, pull it out of the case or sleeve or whatever, being careful so as not to scratch it, open up the disc drive and put it in, enjoy, and then put it all back when I'm done. Convenience is just having to do a couple mouse clicks and not have to do any of that, or even having to wait for download, install, etc. But we're still a ways off before that's possible.

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    Anonymous

    Then let me just replace the word "convenient" with "reliable." At least with CDs, your information can be more carefully preserved. Software is constantly under the threat of hardware crashes and viruses.

    Say, for example, shortly after you buy, download, and install your new game, your whole hard drive goes belly up unexpectedly and cannot be restored even by a technician (I'm talking from personal experience here.) Will you have to buy the game all over again?

  • Uh, no. You simply re-activate it next time you're able to get online. Also you could burn the installer to a CD if you're so against having to re-download it.

    Software is software, whether it's on your hard disk itself or a CD.

  • Yeah, I wouldn't buy it if it didn't give me the ability to download it again later, or reactivate it. That would just be crazy. I'd like to figure out how to back up the Bone download, but so far I've only been able to get the installer. Maybe I'm missing something. I'm not really concerned, though.

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    Anonymous

    [quote]And perhaps if everyone would stop seeing online distribution as some wretched replacement for buying the game in the store you might discover that the idea has, gasp, some pretty exciting possibilities. [/quote]
    Such as what? Getting the game a day or two faster? Having the games chopped into mini episodes? Having horrible copy protection that puts an expiration date on the game? Having to backup all games yourself? Getting no box or manual or nothing? Getting games at the same prices (a few measly dollars doesn't matter, they should cut the prices by at least 40%, they'd still make more than before), having to have a connection to the net every time you install/play a game, etc? Gee, that sounds great!

    Also, DVDs and CDs ARE more convenient.. you can just make an image and play them anytime you want without any hassle. That is not piracy in my eyes.. a backup for personal use is not piracy.
    I do that with all my games.. and I know I can have these games for as long as I want, there is no expiration date on them.

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    Anonymous

    I think people should stop complaining about games being released in episode format, it's a hell of a lot better then nothing at all!

    You just have to think of it like a tv show, and while it hurts to wait for the next game-ep to be released, you just have to be paitent. At least this way you have the game sooner. For a small company like Telltale, you people would be up in arms waiting 2 or 3 years for a full length game to be developed and released.

    That was my philosophy when I was making games a few years back. It was the pioneering days of releasing games by chapter, with the "to be continued line..." at the end of each act. While my games were only amateur, they became quite popular and downloaded by a few hundred people, even getting a mention in a few PC mags.

    The point is, for smaller companies, this is the most viable option, and at least we are getting adventure! It also makes games a bit more interactive as in design - as in the game can change based on players initial comments. eg. The fans love a minor character in part 1, the design team can then ensure this character gets more of an appearance through the rest of the game!

    If you want to check out my free game, which will provide you with a few hours of point-n-click adventure gameplay in this episodic style, check out http://www.scurvyliver.com

    cheers

    Scurvyliver

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    Anonymous

    [quote] Such as what? Getting the game a day or two faster? Having the games chopped into mini episodes? Having horrible copy protection that puts an expiration date on the game?

    Also, DVDs and CDs ARE more convenient.. you can just make an image and play them anytime you want without any hassle. That is not piracy in my eyes.. a backup for personal use is not piracy.
    I do that with all my games.. and I know I can have these games for as long as I want, there is no expiration date on them.[/quote]

    Hate to break this to you laffer old son. Have you tried the DVD version of FEAR? Apparently the latest versions of Macrovisions securom and safedisc and so on add so much corruption to the physical layout of the disc that it was unplayable on a huge number of DVD drives. Personally I think this is the most convenient way in terms of piracy.

    And for heavens sake, they've already said that if they go under the functionality will be ensured afterwards. Seriously, give it a go kids..

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