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Common Launcher for all Episodes

posted by Thrakhath on - last edited - Viewed by 602 users

I just baught Season 1 of Sam & Max today. I played through the first episode and Im very happy with the experience. Unfortunately Episode 2 crashes all the time but that is a different issue.

Anyhow, Id strongly recommend for any further episode format games, that you create a common launcher for all episodes.
This means one application from which all episodes are launched, rather than one independant application per episode.

The benefit would of course be
* episodes can share resources (drivers, character models etc)
> less disk space required
> all episodes run on common drivers (if bugs occur they can be solved for all episodes rather than one and one independantly)
* cleaner start menu and less icons on the desktop in Windows
* player can jump between episodes without exiting the application

Anyone who played Wolfenstein 3D back then knows what I mean, even though that game was episodical in a different sense.

It would be wiser to add episods as plugins to a general executable rather than idependant applications. Downloading a new episode would just add files to the common Season 1 folder.

i.e. if I have episodes 1, 3 and 5 installed I will launch the game through the executable Sam & Max Season 1 and then in the in-game main menu episodes 1, 3 and 5 will appear as icons/options while 2,4,6 are greyed out.

Would'nt that be excellent?

10 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • This concept is already planned for release in Telltale's Season 1 CD. :)

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    Mel

    They haven't released any details of how the season CD will be put together (as far as I know).

    Look here as well.

  • I'm not sure we announced that ¬¬

  • @Mel said: They haven't released any details of how the season CD will be put together (as far as I know).

    Look here as well.

    Okay, whatever. But that very post does mention it was heavily discussed...

    I was sure Emily had said something like that... :confused:

  • I coded this little utillity to start each episode:
    Launchamajig
    launchamajig.gif

    You still have to click the "launch" button to start each episode since i don't know if it's legal to bypass that.

    The app searches trough the Telltale Games folder in your program files folder each launch and uses the icons(and name) from each executable that has "Sam" in the filename. The list is then ordered by the creation time of the executables.

    The app is compiled with lcc-win32 and packed by upx, WindowsXP will tell you the app is 7,03 kB big.

    Let me know if you find any bugs...

    One last thing: Use at your own risk!

  • The only way I can think of that a launcher could make the episodes smaller is by packaging all the season's models and textures with the launcher. That would make it difficult to change the season on the fly, and it would make it possible for people to unpack the resources and spoil the whole season. (at least in regards to textures and models)

    While releasing content early with a launcher could prove to be a mistake, releasing a launcher with Season CDs would be a good idea. Kind of like the menus you see on DVDs, which would make it easy to add in any extras too. Like videos from Telltale (I want videos darnit!). ;)

  • Actually what would be nice would be the entiere sha-bang on a DVD (not sure how telltales package formats work) but if you could just insta-start an episode off it that would be pimp.

  • @Tolle said: I coded this little utillity to start each episode:
    Launchamajig
    launchamajig.gif

    You still have to click the "launch" button to start each episode since i don't know if it's legal to bypass that.

    The app searches trough the Telltale Games folder in your program files folder each launch and uses the icons(and name) from each executable that has "Sam" in the filename. The list is then ordered by the creation time of the executables.

    The app is compiled with lcc-win32 and packed by upx, WindowsXP will tell you the app is 7,03 kB big.

    Let me know if you find any bugs...

    One last thing: Use at your own risk!

    Hey, nice work, Tolle!

    I hope you get proper credit for it and that they upload it to the site.

    What I was thinking for telltales part was more like the episodes as plugins to a single main menu application. I mean like playing one episode then loading into another without exiting to windows.

    Also It would be nice to list them by episode number as I for one, definately want to play them in order.

    If they included that in the CD I'd be really happy!

  • @AdamG said: The only way I can think of that a launcher could make the episodes smaller is by packaging all the season's models and textures with the launcher. That would make it difficult to change the season on the fly, and it would make it possible for people to unpack the resources and spoil the whole season. (at least in regards to textures and models)

    While releasing content early with a launcher could prove to be a mistake, releasing a launcher with Season CDs would be a good idea. Kind of like the menus you see on DVDs, which would make it easy to add in any extras too. Like videos from Telltale (I want videos darnit!). ;)

    yes, I see if it is kind of hard to remake the episodes to share reasources, but you have to admit it seems like many of the character models and scenes are identical from episode to epsiode so it should be technically possible to share them between epsidoes.

    Im also fairly sure that in order to release one episode per month there is a lot of copying and pasting. There for a lot of the binary content must be more or less identical and they could be saved as single files instead of duplicates for each episode. That way you save space without compression.
    How large part of the 70 meg files consist of common drivers, routines, models, graphics I have as little or much clue as anyone else, but lets say you could get the whole package down to 300 megs as opposed to lets say 400?

    It might be too late for a single app for Season 1 but I think they should consider it for the Wii version as well as Season 2 on PC and other episodic games.

    Once more, look at the Wolfenstein 3d menu (sorry if I sound repetative).

  • Actually, we change most of the environments from episode to episode.

    Also, we don't ship drivers with our games. That kind of thing went away with directx for the most part.

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