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deltaKshatriya

A Serialized Game Concept

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I wasn't super sure where to post this, so feel free to move it wherever.

I'm currently working on a series that's a combination of short stories, short videos, and short game levels that are serialized and all part of a larger story arc. The idea is to release a little bit as I go. The game levels would span a variety of genres, such as a small FPS level, a racing level, or a smallish open world explorer/level. The short stories and short videos would preface the levels of course

My question is, what do people think about this sort of a concept? Does it sound interesting/worthwhile? Does anyone have suggestions?

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short stories, short videos, and short game levels

 

small story based games with cut scenes and intros. 

 

if the stories are good, the cut scenes are good, and the games are good, it should do just fine.  especially if the price to content ratio is a good value to the consumer.  on a single play through (and the game had 4 or 5 difficulty levels), the original wolf 3d delivered  about 1 hour of entertainment per dollar spent.  of course it was also a technological innovation of a popular game genre - IE side view arcade jump and shoot games.

 

You would have to release them in a timely manner.  So the next episode would be available soon after they had "used up" the last one.     Producing quality titles quickly enough might prove difficult.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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short stories, short videos, and short game levels

 
small story based games with cut scenes and intros. 
 
if the stories are good, the cut scenes are good, and the games are good, it should do just fine.  especially if the price to content ratio is a good value to the consumer.  on a single play through (and the game had 4 or 5 difficulty levels), the original wolf 3d delivered  about 1 hour of entertainment per dollar spent.  of course it was also a technological innovation of a popular game genre - IE side view arcade jump and shoot games.
 
You would have to release them in a timely manner.  So the next episode would be available soon after they had "used up" the last one.     Producing quality titles quickly enough might prove difficult.

Well the plan currently is to be free. I'm not really looking to charge people just yet. The hardest part really is releasing good stuff in a timely manner because I'm the only one currently working on this.

I'm hoping to cut down production time by not having any save game or any menus, as the whole purpose really is to just further the plot rather than have a long game. The levels are meant to be playable in a short amount of time (I was thinking approximately an hour or so). It's almost entirely a plot driven project.

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My question is, what do people think about this sort of a concept? Does it sound interesting/worthwhile? Does anyone have suggestions?

 

Episodic content can work well for some games and platforms.

 

It has the benefit of allowing players and fans to guide the direction of the story. It can allow for a longer-tail of funded development, allows for earlier versions to be lower quality and revised over time, and therefore a lower risk and cost. 

 

It also has downsides. As development goes on for more episodes people balk at the total price. It can be difficult to arrange regular releases. (One project I was on we had releases every 1st and 3rd Tuesday. Most we were able to prepare far in advance, some were barely on the deadline.)  

 

A big risk is if you don't pick up enough players early on it may not be worth continuing, even if the game as a whole could have done fairly well.

 

The levels are meant to be playable in a short amount of time (I was thinking approximately an hour or so).

 

What is the platform?  For a console game an hour is a good block of time, but if you were already cleared for one of the big 3 consoles you probably won't be asking here.  For mobile devices you generally want chunks of play that last about 5 minutes. They can play more than one chunk at a time, but give a clear break so people can play during short time windows. For a PC game, you'll need to let the nature of the game decide the chunk of time they should take.

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My question is, what do people think about this sort of a concept? Does it sound interesting/worthwhile? Does anyone have suggestions?

 

Episodic content can work well for some games and platforms.

 

It has the benefit of allowing players and fans to guide the direction of the story. It can allow for a longer-tail of funded development, allows for earlier versions to be lower quality and revised over time, and therefore a lower risk and cost. 

 

It also has downsides. As development goes on for more episodes people balk at the total price. It can be difficult to arrange regular releases. (One project I was on we had releases every 1st and 3rd Tuesday. Most we were able to prepare far in advance, some were barely on the deadline.)  

 

A big risk is if you don't pick up enough players early on it may not be worth continuing, even if the game as a whole could have done fairly well.

 

 

 

The levels are meant to be playable in a short amount of time (I was thinking approximately an hour or so).

 

What is the platform?  For a console game an hour is a good block of time, but if you were already cleared for one of the big 3 consoles you probably won't be asking here.  For mobile devices you generally want chunks of play that last about 5 minutes. They can play more than one chunk at a time, but give a clear break so people can play during short time windows. For a PC game, you'll need to let the nature of the game decide the chunk of time they should take.

 

 

Currently I'm aiming to make this a PC/Mac series. I may later branch out into mobile, depending on what format my series is taking. Mobile I feel wouldn't work very well because of the combination of release of short story chapters and videos. Like I said, I'm probably going to go for a free distribution. I'm more interested in reaching an audience right now, so I'm thinking maybe advertising or something (it's not a necessity, just reaching an audience and building up a fan base is fine by me, as I feel that's probably going to be a huge uphill battle anyways). I'm using Unity for my game engine. The short videos will be made either in Unity or in Houdini (I've heard it's a fun tool). 

 

I'm not 100% decided on how much time each level will take up. It'll probably vary on what part of the story I want to emphasize. Like for example, my first level is probably going to be set right after a pilot crashes/is shot down, where you play as the pilot and attempt to fend off hordes of enemy soldiers. You will eventually be captured (that is the story), but the interest aspects of it are:

 

a): How long can you survive? A test of skill type thing

 

b): If you explore enough, you'll stumble across some interesting aspects of the story/universe

 

c): Story progression. Playing let's you progress the story

 

This level is set right after a short story and video are already released. This level is going to be fairly short, depending on the player. Some of the games might be larger (for example, progressing the plot in a small town might have open world elements).

 

The series is not a pure game, just like this won't be a pure film or a pure story. It's a combination of all of them for telling a story. I thought it'd be an interesting combination to try.

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Do you mind if I post this again in the lounge for more opinions?


That would be cross-posting, and we don't allow that. You asked for design
opinions (opinions on your design concept). This is the place.

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Do you mind if I post this again in the lounge for more opinions?

That would be cross-posting, and we don't allow that. You asked for designopinions (opinions on your design concept). This is the place.

Awesome then I shall not do that. Thanks for clarifying!

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