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Quite a week, I will be around if you want to talk about it

posted by dancon on - last edited - Viewed by 4.6K users

Hi Everyone, I am just putting up some shelves but I will be checking this thread. We had quite a week this week If you want to ask me about it I will answer what I can.

Thanks
Dan

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    dancon Telltale Alumni

    Ted "Theodore" Dudebrough
    Bosco
    Winslow
    Jurgen
    Feathersly

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    dancon Telltale Alumni

    Hi Woodsyblue
    Thanks for the kind words we appreciate your support.

    I wish we had the rights to do more Monkey but we don't. Right now what I gather is LA is focused on building AAA titles internally but honestly we don't talk much these days.

    I got to sign of for a bit as my wife invited friends over so we will be having a couple of drinks to celebrate her birthday. I will check back in tomorrow.

  • Thanks for answering my question, Dan!

    Also, I wanted to say that, given the rough week Telltale's had, it's really great of you to come on and answer some questions from people. This is the sort of thing that I can't help but like about Telltale as a whole, despite any qualms I might have about recent releases.

  • Okay; a less critical question, then; what is the nature of the licenses you obtain or intend to obtain? Are they exclusive rights to video games in franchises for X amounts of years, or just on a per-game basis? Are there any licenses you have but have no current plans to use right now?

    Responding to your question; if there was something I liked, I may have bought it. I was just saying that delaying the games made me believe you guys wouldn't be making any games in anything I have interest in for quite some while, as opposed to my hopes the 'big five' that you announced this year would end in Q2 2012, leaving room for maybe something more in Q3 or Q4, but it looks more likely the Five will move further into the year. Oh well. I still am contemplating purchasing Fables, although I do think 'it's a modern fairy tale!' stories are a dime-a-dozen nowadays.

  • Technically everything is a dime a dozen.

  • @DAISHI said: Technically everything is a dime a dozen.

    Um, not literally. Then that statement is inverse to fact. :P I wish cheeseburgers were.

  • @Johro said: Um, not literally. Then that statement is inverse to fact. :P I wish cheeseburgers were.

    Or dimes.

  • @dancon said: Most of the time it ends up that the creators are to busy with other things to focus on doing a game. That was the case with the guys from the Gorrillaz a few years back

    Wait, what? I'd never thought of a Gorillaz adventure game before, and the idea has blown my mind.

  • Hey Dan. I know you're going to be hearing these words a lot throughout the thread, but thanks a whole lot for taking the time to do this.

    Anyway, there's just been something I've wondered about for the past year-or-so: what sort of strains, pressures and limitations come from producing episodic games on a monthly basis? Do you find that Telltale's modus operandi sometimes puts the company into a bit of an unwanted pressure-cooker situation? And, if so, do you feel that it can negatively affect the final products that are produced and released? Because, with no intention of sounding disrespectful, I do find that there are elements within the final games which feel as though they've fallen victim to a rushed process. Likewise, I get the feeling that there are things within each of the episodes which could be added, improved and properly cultivated if a little more time was devoted to them.

    This is just how I feel as a customer and consumer of your games, but I obviously don't have a full idea of what goes on in the development process, so that's why I'm curious as to whether or not there is an element of strain or unwanted pressure brought on by the development schedule you've adopted. And, as your games become more elaborate, large and extravagant, could we eventually see Telltale move away from the monthly distribution method which they've always boasted (in exchange for a system which allows a little more breathing room)?

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    dancon Telltale Alumni

    Hi Hayden,

    Thanks for the question the timing is good with JP releasing as a full product.

    I will answer the creative part first and then cover the dev part. First I think JP would have benefited from being an episodic release because it had great cliffhangars that were built up to. In an episodic format this would have triggered all kinds of conversations around the ending and what might happen next and it would have built anticipation toward the next episode. This part of experience were the community is engaged between episodes is a big part of the experience for players as well as for us. When we are building an episodic series it almost like a live performance where there is a link with the audience that is feeding the creative process. It may be subtle but it is constantly there in the decisions everyone is making. So the story builds and gets shared over time. When someone sends a note and says Monkey Island was a huge part of their summer this is the experience we intended to create. This is what differentiates from the competition which as you know is intense.

    From a dev perspective the pressures are different. The hardest part in development is bringing all of the different components together and making them work as a shippable product. In many cases the more time building assets leads to more time trying to get them to work well together. The longer you wait to pull the product together the more difficult its. In my time in traditional development whether the schedule was three years or 11 months rarely did we spend more than three weeks polishing the project. Instead most of the time was getting it to work (no crashes, acceptable performance, story fidelity) once it worked there was immense paranoia about changing anything.

    At Telltale we bring the assets together more quickly and more often so problems don’t linger and blow up. Also our tools are created to allow for rapid and safe iteration. A Telltale product will have thousands of fixes to the product in the last couple of weeks and they have a huge impact.

    Generally the 1st episode is the most difficult because we are building new processes, creating all the assets and making it a shippable product. In 2 we start improving on things and by 3 and 4 we have hit our stride. By 5 it gets really stressful because we have eaten any cushion we might have had but still it is a super priority for us to stay as close to monthly schedule as possible because the experience we are going for demands it.

    As we evolve a full product is possible and certainly we are regularly talking about stand alone episodes.

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