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  #1  
Old 08-31-2015, 12:06 AM
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This discussion was splitted from this thread.

It was revealed in the Retro Asylum that Lorne's thinking of maybe releasing the AE remake in episodes seeing how large the game is and how few money people are willing to pay for indie games.

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Old 08-31-2015, 12:51 AM
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Releasing games in episodes is a great idea, and by great I mean it's horrible
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:24 AM
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Your argumentation is great, and by great I mean...

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Old 08-31-2015, 01:41 AM
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Want arguments? Okay.

-more coffined games gameplay-wise (trying all episodes to weigh approximately the same), with no possibility of returning to previous locations (because putting all in one episode is too much weight) less creativity (That may not be the case for AE, because you don't really back-track that much there, but still)
-first episodes are more rushed, because of their early premiere, if you make a full non-episodic game you still have the time to polish and debug the beginning, and enhance it using knowledge gained through the production of the later parts.
-Need of configuration the same game X times.
-Games possibly more expensive, if the publisher gets greedy and push the single episode price up, because "it's a full game". It's similar to the situation with DLC. DLCs are almost always overpriced.
-I'd still prefer having one game on my list than X games making a whole. Less messy.
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Varrok View Post
Want arguments? Okay.
Why, thank you.

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Originally Posted by Varrok View Post
-more coffined games gameplay-wise (trying all episodes to weigh approximately the same), with no possibility of returning to previous locations (because putting all in one episode is too much weight) less creativity (That may not be the case for AE, because you don't really back-track that much there, but still)
So we both agree it should not be a problem for the AE remake.

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Originally Posted by Varrok View Post
-first episodes are more rushed, because of their early premiere, if you make a full non-episodic game you still have the time to polish and debug the beginning, and enhance it using knowledge gained through the production of the later parts.
Very true, but I guess that here they are going to build on what they learned from NnT anyway. So the difference of quality should not be too different between episodes as a lot of lessons have already been learned during the previous production. Also giving a first episode before finishing developing the whole thing allows OWI and Jaw to get the feedback from the people who played the first part of the game.

Look at NnT, they added the old school commands to the game once most of the PS4 owners finished the game already. With episodic it would most likely have been included in episode 2 thanks to the early feedback.

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Originally Posted by Varrok View Post
-Need of configuration the same game X times.
I'm not sure that's true, I haven't played episodic games before but I would assume they all come inside a common hub that you would need to only configure once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varrok View Post
-Games possibly more expensive, if the publisher gets greedy and push the single episode price up, because "it's a full game". It's similar to the situation with DLC. DLCs are almost always overpriced.
True, but in this case the publisher is OWI so I'm pretty sure this will not happen. On the other side I'm not the one to speak since I'm always looking for excuses to give my money to support OWI.

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-I'd still prefer having one game on my list than X games making a whole. Less messy.
I'm not sure how this works but that should not be a show stopper

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Old 08-31-2015, 03:50 AM
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I really hope it isn't episodic. There's nothing wrong with a big game that retails at a higher price. I know it's not an indie game, but look at the RRP and size of a game like Skyrim. I would happily pay something like £25-£30 for a game such as Exoddus as long as it is playable on a wide range of machines. The fact that NnT lags to the point of unplayability was a real upset to me, especially considering how much I supported the game, the development, company and franchise. If the game is well polished then I don't have a problem paying more for one full game.
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:51 AM
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Yeah I've never been a fan of episodic games as well. I hate the idea waiting for the next part of the game to be released.

I like to buy a game, have the whole thing and just play it.
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by STM View Post
I really hope it isn't episodic. There's nothing wrong with a big game that retails at a higher price. I know it's not an indie game, but look at the RRP and size of a game like Skyrim. I would happily pay something like £25-£30 for a game such as Exoddus as long as it is playable on a wide range of machines. The fact that NnT lags to the point of unplayability was a real upset to me, especially considering how much I supported the game, the development, company and franchise. If the game is well polished then I don't have a problem paying more for one full game.
Skyrim was priced at 70€ on PS4 and it was accepted as being a reasonable price for a new mainstream game published by an established publisher. NnT was priced at 25€ on PS4 at launch and people were complaining it was way too much for an idie game (even on this forum).

Lorne is estimating that AE's remake is going to require twice the work that was put in NnT. I'll let you do the math and come to your own conclusions on why they might have a problem.

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Yeah I've never been a fan of episodic games as well. I hate the idea waiting for the next part of the game to be released.

I like to buy a game, have the whole thing and just play it.
I fully agree with you, I rather have my games in one big chunk as well. On the other hand I like to buy DLC in order to extend the experience. I never played games by episodes so I don't really know how to feel about them.

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Old 08-31-2015, 04:35 AM
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Why, thank you.
You're welcome. Always happy to back up any claim I make.

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So we both agree it should not be a problem for the AE remake.
We agree less creativity will not be a problem. I don't agree episodic Soulstorm Brew would not be more coffined.

Quote:
Very true, but I guess that here they are going to build on what they learned from NnT anyway. So the difference of quality should not be too different between episodes as a lot of lessons have already been learned during the previous production. Also giving a first episode before finishing developing the whole thing allows OWI and Jaw to get the feedback from the people who played the first part of the game.
The problem is I think NnT is far from perfect, it's got a fair share of minor and major problems, and I would not be satisfied if they did just what they did to AO in NnT. I find it hard to trust JAW with that feedback thing as well, as the PC version still lacks proper gamepad support with redefinable buttons (I don't buy the "you can go in the ini files and spend half an hour to set them manually", it really seems unprofessional), and the cutscenes still stutter in game (while out game they play smooth).

Also, it runs like crap on Ubuntu.

Quote:
Look at NnT, they added the old school commands to the game once most of the PS4 owners finished the game already. With episodic it would most likely have been included in episode 2 thanks to the early feedback.
That's true, but I find it unredeeming, it's just one thing, and the controls aren't really like they were in AO.

Quote:
I'm not sure that's true, I haven't played episodic games before but I would assume they all come inside a common hub that you would need to only configure once.
I own plenty, most of them are by Telltale, and many (if not all) suffer from it. Especially if I want to disguise my gamepad as X360 one (because of no proper gamepad support) i have to copy the files to each and every episode folder. And that's just gamepad, there are also graphics and subtitles and audio.

I can't even use X360ce disguiser (is that a real word? Well, now it is) with NnT, since it's made in Unity. The lack of rebindable gamepad keys hurt me even more because of that. I had to play it with keyboard on my small 1280x1024 monitor (with black borders for half a screen) instead of my FullHD TV.

Quote:
True, but in this case the publisher is OWI so I'm pretty sure this will not happen. On the other side I'm not the one to speak since I'm always looking for excuses to give my money to support OWI.
Past experiences with game designers/publishers taught me never to trust them completely. It's a common theme to exploit that trust.

Quote:
I'm not sure how this works but that should not be a show stopper
It's the most minor complaint, hence I put it at the very end.

Last edited by Varrok; 08-31-2015 at 04:38 AM..
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:43 AM
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Thereís only two ways I can think for them to split AE up into episodes and have it make sense:
  1. Two episodes, with the split at the point where Abe leaves Necrum and travels to Feeco (so: each PS1 disc = one episode).
  2. Three episodes: as above, but with Soulstorm Brewery as its own third episode.

If they tried to split it any other way it would become too compartmentalized, or otherwise they would have to stretch each area out to make the episode length reasonable. Can you imagine an entire episode based around each area of AE being fun to play? I canít.

I can see there being some technical issues with splitting the game up like this: as Varrok pointed out each episode would have to be individually configured to the playerís preference, which is annoying but not a big deal; but more importantly they would need to work out how to transfer the Mudokon rescue/kill count across episodes, and how to manage it if those counts change.

What I really donít like about episodic games is being charged twice to get the full story. Unless the pricing is super-reasonable, this just feels like a cynical way to stretch development time and make more money in the process. Iíd much rather buy a full experience for a single price, even if it takes longer to develop and costs more than buying an episode.

Basically: I donít like the idea of making the AE remake episodic. I can see the thought process behind it from the developerís point of view (they need more development time and more money to make it), but I think they need to find another way to fulfil those requirements.

Iím happy for them to take the same route they did for NnT and develop DLC side-stories and bonus content, but I wouldnít want them to take out chunks of the original AE and sell them as DLC packages. I could see them selling DLC packs of extra levels set in each area (more Necrum vaults, extra Feeco terminals, more Slig Barracks) and Iíd be fine with that.
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:10 AM
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We agree less creativity will not be a problem. I don't agree episodic Soulstorm Brew would not be more coffined.
I guess this depends of the size of the episode, right? I like Manco's idea of splitting the game in two (one episode per CD) and I guess if OWI does that it shouldn't be more coffined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varrok View Post
The problem is I think NnT is far from perfect, it's got a fair share of minor and major problems, and I would not be satisfied if they did just what they did to AO in NnT. I find it hard to trust JAW with that feedback thing as well, as the PC version still lacks proper gamepad support with redefinable buttons (I don't buy the "you can go in the ini files and spend half an hour to set them manually", it really seems unprofessional), and the cutscenes still stutter in game (while out game they play smooth).

Also, it runs like crap on Ubuntu.
Yeah, I played it on NnT on Xbox One and had a great experience, so I guess I wasn't exposed to those issues and have a different vision of JAW's work than you do.

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That's true, but I find it unredeeming, it's just one thing, and the controls aren't really like they were in AO.
True, using the controls as an example wasn't probably the best idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varrok View Post
I own plenty, most of them are by Telltale, and many (if not all) suffer from it. Especially if I want to disguise my gamepad as X360 one (because of no proper gamepad support) i have to copy the files to each and every episode folder. And that's just gamepad, there are also graphics and subtitles and audio.

I can't even use X360ce disguiser (is that a real word? Well, now it is) with NnT, since it's made in Unity. The lack of rebindable gamepad keys hurt me even more because of that. I had to play it with keyboard on my small 1280x1024 monitor (with black borders for half a screen) instead of my FullHD TV.
Well if OWI goes that route they know this is something they should keep in mind

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Originally Posted by Varrok View Post
Past experiences with game designers/publishers taught me never to trust them completely. It's a common theme to exploit that trust.
Yeah I guess you're right, yet OWI never disappointed me in that area.



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Originally Posted by Manco View Post
There’s only two ways I can think for them to split AE up into episodes and have it make sense:
  1. Two episodes, with the split at the point where Abe leaves Necrum and travels to Feeco (so: each PS1 disc = one episode).
  2. Three episodes: as above, but with Soulstorm Brewery as its own third episode.

If they tried to split it any other way it would become too compartmentalized, or otherwise they would have to stretch each area out to make the episode length reasonable. Can you imagine an entire episode based around each area of AE being fun to play? I can’t.
Like I just said I like the idea of splitting the game in two episodes, one per disc, I think it's quite a good idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manco View Post
I can see there being some technical issues with splitting the game up like this: as Varrok pointed out each episode would have to be individually configured to the player’s preference, which is annoying but not a big deal; but more importantly they would need to work out how to transfer the Mudokon rescue/kill count across episodes, and how to manage it if those counts change.
I don't think it would be difficult to transfer save files from one episode to an other, episodic games seem to do so all the time.

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Originally Posted by Manco View Post
What I really don’t like about episodic games is being charged twice to get the full story. Unless the pricing is super-reasonable, this just feels like a cynical way to stretch development time and make more money in the process. I’d much rather buy a full experience for a single price, even if it takes longer to develop and costs more than buying an episode.

Basically: I don’t like the idea of making the AE remake episodic. I can see the thought process behind it from the developer’s point of view (they need more development time and more money to make it), but I think they need to find another way to fulfil those requirements.
The issue here is that this would mean asking them of doing twice the work they did for NnT for the same price, I don't think they can afford to ask more for (one piece of) AE than what they asked for NnT. I'd like them to find an other way too but I don't see how they would do it while maintaining the quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manco View Post
I’m happy for them to take the same route they did for NnT and develop DLC side-stories and bonus content, but I wouldn’t want them to take out chunks of the original AE and sell them as DLC packages. I could see them selling DLC packs of extra levels set in each area (more Necrum vaults, extra Feeco terminals, more Slig Barracks) and I’d be fine with that.
Hell yeah, I'm all for DLC with bonus content that was not in the original game. I think Alf's escape was an excellent idea.

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Old 08-31-2015, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Xavier View Post
I guess this depends of the size of the episode, right? I like Manco's idea of splitting the game in two (one episode per CD) and I guess if OWI does that it shouldn't be more coffined.
I think they should split the game, at most, in one. I remember the Broken Age case, when they split the game in two (because of financial problems) and the second part came out gawd-bloody-awful and unpolished. And OWI isn't filthy rich right now, despite the, I guess, relatively good NnT sales. It's still indie. Not that big indie.

Quote:
Yeah, I played it on NnT on Xbox One and had a great experience, so I guess I wasn't exposed to those issues and have a different vision of JAW's work than you do.
I try not to cloud my judgement by just my personal experience. Even if the game worked for me fine, but it wouldn't work well on other users' machines, I would still think there's something seriously wrong with it


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Yeah I guess you're right, yet OWI never disappointed me in that area.
They dissapointed me plenty, with MO and SW (mostly with MO) releases on PC. And I do not accept the "it was a different studio that ported MO". It was a different studio that *they hired* but didn't control enough to make a good quality product.

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The issue here is that this would mean asking them of doing twice the work they did for NnT for the same price, I don't think they can afford to ask more for (one piece of) AE than what they asked for NnT. I'd like them to find an other way too but I don't see how they would do it while maintaining the quality.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think AE had a bigger budget than AO had. Making an AE remake on the same budget that AO remake had would be a misunderstanding. And the costs of production must pay off. Either by increasing the price or by making more people play the game. I honestly don't think Soulstorm Brew would get more attention than NnT if they ignore the problems at hand like they do with NnT.

I think the MGS series is a good example of sequels/remakes done right. Each new game is incredibly polished and detailed. If, for example, they decided to remake first MGS* and did it like NnT, with choppy animation, lack of basic features, laggy cutscenes, broken mines etc. etc., there would be an *outrage* among the players, and many would decide to boycott the title.


*there is a remake of MGS. I haven't played it, but from what I've seen it's pretty damn faithful.

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Old 08-31-2015, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Xavier View Post
I don't think it would be difficult to transfer save files from one episode to an other, episodic games seem to do so all the time.
I can see it being troublesome. Let’s say you play through episode 1 rescue 60 out of 100 Mudokons. You then transfer that save file over to episode 2, but midway through you go back and replay episode 1 and get a perfect score. What would then happen when you load up your in-progress episode 2 save? How do you consolidate that?


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Originally Posted by Xavier View Post
The issue here is that this would mean asking them of doing twice the work they did for NnT for the same price, I don't think they can afford to ask more for (one piece of) AE than what they asked for NnT. I'd like them to find an other way too but I don't see how they would do it while maintaining the quality.
I have two problems with this rationale:
  1. How do they justify doing twice the work on AE as NnT? The original AE was completed in less than a year after AO took around 3 years of development time, and we know that the bulk of the engine from NnT should be reusable in the same way as the original AO engine was reused for AE. There’s a lot of work to be done in producing art assets, yes, but they’re by no means starting from scratch this time.
  2. Their philosophy with bringing Oddworld back was to use the funding they got from each game they released and pour it back in to make bigger projects, and gradually build up in scale over time. If they’re now making such a leap in scale that they can’t cover the cost of the project without having to make compromises, then surely they are breaking from the philosophy they sold us on and need to seriously evaluate the scope of the project?

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*there is a remake of MGS. I haven't played it, but from what I've seen it's pretty damn faithful.
If you’re talking about Twin Snakes: hahahahaha no.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:04 AM
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Well, Varrok, I guess OWI and JAW should get their act together on the PC front, sounds like the PC experience for OWI games isn't where it should be. :/

To be honest I don't like the idea of episodic either, but it's more a gut feeling and I can't really put my finger on why I don't like the idea. I think the main the concern I have is that I feel people will maybe buy the first episode and, even if they like it, won't be buying the second one because it doesn't have the novelty aspect to it anymore. I know a lot of people that play only the first few levels of a game before switching to an other game, well those people for sure will not buy the second episode.

Should I be in Lorne's shoes, I'm not sure how I would make the AE remake profitable. On the other hand, that's his job, not mine


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Originally Posted by Manco View Post
I can see it being troublesome. Let’s say you play through episode 1 rescue 60 out of 100 Mudokons. You then transfer that save file over to episode 2, but midway through you go back and replay episode 1 and get a perfect score. What would then happen when you load up your in-progress episode 2 save? How do you consolidate that?
Well I'd display the save muds as: saved muds in Ep1 + saved muds in this episode. I don't see how this is a problem.

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Originally Posted by Manco View Post
I have two problems with this rationale:
  1. How do they justify doing twice the work on AE as NnT? The original AE was completed in less than a year after AO took around 3 years of development time, and we know that the bulk of the engine from NnT should be reusable in the same way as the original AO engine was reused for AE. There’s a lot of work to be done in producing art assets, yes, but they’re by no means starting from scratch this time.
  2. Their philosophy with bringing Oddworld back was to use the funding they got from each game they released and pour it back in to make bigger projects, and gradually build up in scale over time. If they’re now making such a leap in scale that they can’t cover the cost of the project without having to make compromises, then surely they are breaking from the philosophy they sold us on and need to seriously evaluate the scope of the project?
Well AE used the same engine as AO, NnT is based on Unity and I'm not sure they spend tons of additional time working on the engine. From what I understood most of the dev work actually was dedicated to building the assets.

You're right about their philosophy. The issue they are facing now is that they are afraid that the market will not be willing to pay more than what they paid for NnT for a game that looks a lot like it but is actually much larger.

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Old 08-31-2015, 06:41 AM
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The only upside I would see in an episodic release is that they may have a chance to strengthen the overall story of Exoddus, focusing on more details per episode. I don't think the length of the game is a valid reason though. If anything you're just going to piss people off for charging 15 bucks per episode instead of maybe 25 bucks for what would otherwise be the full game. And this being the gaming industry, people are going to be angry no matter what they decide.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
And this being the gaming industry, people are going to be angry no matter what they decide.
That's the wrong way to think. People won't complain if there's nothing to complain. If they weren't like that, there wouldn't be unniversally acclaimed games, and there are.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:38 AM
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It shows the hypocrisy of Lanning : "bouh, big bad studios who are the thinking about money". At the same time, if AE remake is episodic it's because he hopes that they will make more money that way. The official reason is "hey, that way, with the cash, we could make new real oddworld games" but can we trust Lanning ? Anyway, it's a bad reason to make the remakes only for the money. And if those remakes were perfect I won't complain.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:44 AM
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Well... I agree. The way they act does seem hypocritical.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:38 AM
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Whow guys I did not want to send out a bad message out here. In the interview Lorne just said they were evaluating it as an option and that they might poll the fan base about it. No need to draw any conclusions from this yet.

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Old 08-31-2015, 08:46 AM
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Whow guys I did not want to send out a bad message out here. In the interview Lorne just said they were evaluating it as an option and that they might poll the fan base about it. No need to draw any conclusions from this yet.
Yep, Exoddus is still very much in the planning stages.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:52 AM
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Translation : it is still possible that AE's remake couldn't see the light.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:00 AM
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I'm pretty such the AE remake will happen. Just don't expect it any time soon.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:05 AM
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I am not a huge fan of episodic games. I'd rather not stretch my hype over a long period of time waiting for the next episode when I could just wait a while in the first place and have the whole game in front of me. Too much of a cocktease.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:06 AM
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FUCK OFF WITH EPISODIC GAMES HOLY SHIT

I only played one game that did it right and it was RE: Revelations 2. Even then it would've been better to just release it at once.
This is one of the stupidest gaming gimmicks in recent memory.
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:17 PM
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From a company's standpoint: The episodic release would be more beneficial because
Quote:
how few money people are willing to pay for indie games.
From my standpoint: pls no
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:45 PM
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None of these technical save and controller problems need to be an issue if episodic games are implemented right.

I could actually see the story in AE being broken down into episodes well, and focusing on stringing out more of the story in smaller sections. If it happens I'd rather see 1-Mines+Necrum, 2-Feeco and 3-Brewery rather than breaking the game up into tiny pieces.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:20 PM
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Addressing the original question: From everything I've read about Telltale, they've found that pretty much no-one ever buys a single episode of one of their games. Its either full series or nothing. So if, say, it gets split into three $15 episodes, people are going to complain about having to pay $45 to get the full game, not being happy that they only paid $45 for three games.

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  1. How do they justify doing twice the work on AE as NnT? The original AE was completed in less than a year after AO took around 3 years of development time, and we know that the bulk of the engine from NnT should be reusable in the same way as the original AO engine was reused for AE. There’s a lot of work to be done in producing art assets, yes, but they’re by no means starting from scratch this time.
Except that they had very different processes for producing the art assets in AO and AE. In AE a lot of the levels are made up of prerendered puzzle pieces that could be rearranged in different ways to make varying screens. That won't work in an engine where each area needs to be modelled in 3d.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:47 PM
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Id prefer a full game, but I wouldnt be upset if it was episodic. Id treat it like a beta for the full game.
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:10 AM
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Why treat it like a beta for the full game when instead... you can just have the full frigging game. I never understood that about episodic games. Do people like to wait on a cliff hanger? As a Half-Life fan. Cliff hangers are the fucking worst.

Episodic games are just like early access. your buying a game with only a bit of it actually done. Your buying an unfinished game.

I get they do this to fund the next part of the game if the company need some cash. But it's not consumer friendly at all. I'd rather pay more for a full game than less for a episodic game, with only part 1 released.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:00 AM
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Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)Nepsotic is a sacred manifestation of the hippy-dippy spirit of Great Mother OWF (3786)
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Valve even confirmed they would never do episodes again iirc.
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