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AtypicalAlex

An interesting poll...

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I''d like to hear everyone''s opinions on Episodic Gaming. Meaning you release an "episode" of your game for people to purchase (usually via download). Then, when you finish developing the next episode, you put that up for sale. It''s an interesting concept that has been floating around a bit. Any opinions on this? Alex Atypical Interactive www.atypical-interactive.com

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It''s not a bad idea, but some people could get annoyed because they finish one part and cannot play the next. I suppose you could argue it keeps the suspense and that if they don''t like the first episode then they don''t have to spend the money on the rest. I dunno, I''d have to see how a product that used such a system did.

-Mezz

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I think it is a good idea. If you were to develope a hugh game, and no one bought it, you would lose a ton of $. but, if you did it in episodes, you wouldn''t have lost as much because you only paid for a piece of the game so far.
Episode games should be cheaper per episode than the whole game would be, so it would endup being about the same amount of cash overall, maybe just a little more.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Yes,thats the spirit i am working on my game,an isometric RPG.I think i will seperate it in "Episodes",ie different quests for the hero but based on the same world.That''s not about money as the previous poster pointed(Drakonite),but i am working alone on this and by giving only a part of episodes to the public is much faster to finish than trying to complete it.Anyway i make the game freeware so the user can download, anytime he finishes an episode ,the next episode(s).
Maybe i will change my ideas in the meantime,but that''s my spirit right now.

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The place this really shines is in free games. If you can lure people BACK to your download site by having the free game in installments, you can get more hits. More hits = more advert money. Well, it used to, anyway.

I intend on releasing a game this way pretty soon.

Also, you can apply game+ here. Sell contiguous chapters or overlapping games, where the player doesn't NEED to buy anything else, but is rewarded if they do... A few games do something LIKE this. Armored Core, for instance. But it would be great to see someone go all the way with it, using the other games to change character behavior, event order, game difficulty, easter eggs, etc. Just as a reward for having the other games.

Edited by - Landfish on 5/7/00 3:44:44 PM

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Episodic games is a great Idea. LandFish''s commented that the approach would work well for freeware games, I think how well the concept would work for Commercial Games. Because the games would be shorter the would be cheaper. If the games retailed for about $8 an episode(thats basically the cost of renting one new release movie) you have a greater chance of people buying your game than you do if the game costs $69.95. Also because the game is episodic the game designers could also use player feedback to design the next installment, making the game into what the players want from the game. Companies could also give away the first Epidsode of the game to get the name out in the market and then start charging for the games without losing to much money. Also if the games are cheap Enough people are less likly to pirate the game.

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You know, I like the idea of episodic releases, but doesn''t the majority of the work go into the FIRST episode? Work like the engine and gameplay decisions. Wouldn''t the extra episodes be the fluff? Good fluff, I''m sure. But basically it''s just new levels/monsters/quests. Indeed, good for freeware, but you would think that you would definately want a bigger chunk of cash for the first episode, since the most work went into it.

Take care,

Req

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vtrequiem made a good point: For some games, 90% of the work has to be done before you can even produce 1 playable level. I think this system would work well for an RPG, though.

I think that one thing you would have to do is make it very easy to purchase the next episode. For example, if you''re selling it online via credit card, you could keep their card info on file after the initial purchase (is that legal?), and then they could just click a button to get the next episode.

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