The StarFox series is largely the inspiration for my current space shooter under development. I currently have about 30 or 40 minutes worth of single player gameplay culminating into a cool boss battle, and while my game's a lot of fun, recently my geek coworker play testers have been suggesting I add a story to give it more "depth".
However, since I see StarFox as my game's primary inspiration I suggested that the story take a whimsical approach with similarly cartoony characters. Unexpectedly, my geek coworkers didn't like the idea. They suggested that for the PC/XBox markets where I intend to release my game most players interested in a space fighter game would be more sci-fi geeks, than kids and parents looking for the whimsical family plot of StarFox on the original Nintendo 64.
I've never been much of a sci-fi fan (blasphemy, I know) and always thought StarFox's success had lots to do with it's appeal to a broader spectrum of gamers than just sci-fi fans. Any thoughts on the subject?
Additionally, an idea I've been toying with is making the game episodic: releasing short episodes 1 to 2 hours in length with compelling cliffhangers rather than an extended 13 to 30 hour game, much as a comic book is to a full book. One motivation is that it's taken me sooo long to reach 30 to 40 minutes of content that a full length game seems nearly unattainable, but at the $5 price point I intend to release my game it seems reasonable to expect less content too. This also would give the ability to focus more on quality than on quantity, which is something I feel strongly about.
However, my critical coworkers again find fault: they don't believe a 1 to 2 hour game provides enough time to get players to feel attached to the characters and story, nor to sufficiently advance the gameplay to where the players have enough options for weapons and upgrades that the game feels truly deep and dynamic. Any thoughts here either?