Sign in to follow this  
LEVELORD

Episodic gaming will be!

Recommended Posts

The Dickens of Computer Gaming As we near the end of our first installment of SiN Episodes, it seemed serendipitous to recently catch a biography special about Charles Dickens. Dickens is one of the most celebrated English writers, we know, but he is also famed for popularizing serial distribution of novels, ...that's the cool part, ...episodic publishing! The first installment of The Pickwick Papers came out in 1836 during the middle of the Industrial Revolution. This new paradigm in publishing set Dickens apart, and its wide popularity was profound and trend-setting. As a result of this popularity, serial publishing grew remarkably. So much of the biography sounded familiar and fitting to the current conditions of our digital entertainment today. In Dickens' time, many people lived paycheck-to-paycheck and couldn't afford to buy an entire book, typically 21 shillings. They could, however, afford to buy one in smaller, separate 1-shilling sections over an extended period of time. Episodic publishing was also more suitable to Dickens' readers because most of them couldn't find the time to read an entire book. The paced delivery of a series of episodes, though, was more accommodating to their working class schedules. Dickens uniquely added one more advantage to his publishing model which I thought was interesting. While there were a few other novelists writing in serial fashion at the time, Dickens was the only one who wrote his chapters as they were published. The others wrote the entire story before publishing the work in sections. Dickens always felt closely tied to his audience and he was keen to listen to their feedback. He used this feedback to guide future installments, ...which is exactly our plan for SiN Episodes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Nytehauq
Yet most novels are still published in full form...;P


Absolutely! This episodic thing isn't going to replace full-games, just suppliment it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Nytehauq
Yet most novels are still published in full form...;P


ever heard of comic books? Not novels, but when I read the original post they really came into my mind. Comic books are a fairly large industry, I wouldn't be surprised if episodic gaming becomes something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Deleter
Quote:
Original post by Nytehauq
Yet most novels are still published in full form...;P


ever heard of comic books? Not novels, but when I read the original post they really came into my mind. Comic books are a fairly large industry, I wouldn't be surprised if episodic gaming becomes something like that.


Great example. Again, for me, the cool part was hearing how the reading public back then was finding it difficult to afford an entire book, both moneywise AND timewise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm more interested to see how much gameplay time you get for about 40% the cost of a normal game... and how often the new episodes come out.

I burn through single player games in about 2-3 days. Will I still give a crap about the story in 2.. 6... 12 months later when the next episode finally comes out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I take it that SiN is your company's project. I wasn't aware of it until reading this thread. As for distributing the game in episodes, I'd really rather have the whole thing, but the idea's still interesting if any given episode can be done fairly quickly.

Just tone down the sensation over it, it's really nothing new. Market your game now instead of its distribution model.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis has just finished its release in Japan as a 24 part RPG game for the cell phone. Each episode was sold at between 500 - 1000 yen per download. I would say that the ballpark figure for game time is around 48 - 72 hours. Considering that it is a cell phone game I wouldn't be surprised if the combined game time is 24 - 36 hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
argh , another one of those things you come up with just to find out some one has already gone forth with it [grin]. Well I was trying to draw-up a link between non-interactive media (TV) and interactive media & to draw some parallels which could be exploited in games (interactive media). Well i couldn't come up with a decent system , well this had me worried none the less.[assuming its a sp game]

Q - How is the game going to be distributed to those who have joined up after the release date ?

Give them the same monthly installment and they feel like they are behind the revolution.Give them a burst of episodes and they are going to have problems synchronizing with the latter installments. its like a show on dvd , you get season 1 , run through it in a day or two , season 2 , you get bored of it due gaps in installment.

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, there are a few ways to do it, but the best way may be to current one at full price and then package old one. So, say you've just released episode 5, then it would make sense to bundle episodes 1 - 3 as 1 package and reduce the price for that. For cell phone games, this is a fairly simple process, but it really all depends on how your game is set up.

The point is, you really don't want people jumping in and starting the game from the middle, as that wouldn't make sense anyways. So, you give late comers a discount package for the first few, then charge them normally for the current. So, for those that are patient, they can eventually get the whole game at a discount price compared to what the other people have paid.

The truth it, most of the times, its easier to get a person to pay you $5 a month for 10 months than to have them pay you $50 straight up. Its all marketing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by drowner
I burn through single player games in about 2-3 days. Will I still give a crap about the story in 2.. 6... 12 months later when the next episode finally comes out?


You? Maybe, maybe not. But others? Certainly.

I've known many people eagerly await the next release in the Wheel of Time, let alone all those people foaming at the mouth over each new Harry Potter book. Lines were huge for each of the LotR movies to see a story most of them already knew. Return of the Jedi was produced in secrecy because of the rabid fanbase.

But what about video games? There's been King's Quest, Mega Man (both the original and X series), Xenogears, Silent Hill, .hack, etc.

Also, if a game/story is good enough, it doesn't matter if I can get through it in 2-3 days. In fact, I'm more likely to replay a game I can finish in that sort of time frame and thus get more hours for my dollar.

Does this apply to you? Maybe, maybe not. But others like me? Certainly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this