Episodes?

Episodes?

Postby Ian Atrus » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:44 am

At first Double Fine decided to split Broken Age in two because they went way over budget, now Red Thread are following in their steps and are breaking Dreamfall Chapters into five episodes (which, ironically, was the original plan before the Kickstarter). I know Cyan has never really been forward with the financial side of things, but is there a possibility that this might happen with Obduction as well?

Personally I hope not. Not only I'm not really a fan of the episodic format (IMHO it creates too many artificial cliffhangers, like an old Doctor Who serial), but part of what I loved about the Myst series is that most of the world is already available to you from the start with no restrictions, and it's part of the player's job to find the connecting pieces and tie it all together. Episodes would need to limit that by their very nature, either by closing off areas or limiting what you can do. Not to mention the month-long wait between instalments.
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Re: Episodes?

Postby Teknobubba » Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:10 am

What he said.
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Re: Episodes?

Postby greydragon » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:59 am

We have no plans to break Obduction into episodes at this time.
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Re: Episodes?

Postby JWPlatt » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:50 am

How about sequels?

;)
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Re: Episodes?

Postby Magic88889 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:20 am

JWPlatt wrote:How about sequels?

;)


You know, I asked the same question during the kickstarter. Here's the response I got:


Hi,

We got a hill to climb before this one funds - but I'd certainly love to tell more of the story if it succeeds. No plans currently, though.

Thanks,

-Rand


So basically, yes they'd love to do more, but this one has to get made first, and then it has to be successful!
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Re: Episodes?

Postby greydragon » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:38 am

I'll agree with Rand.
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Re: Episodes?

Postby matthornb » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:59 am

If Obduction proves successful, maybe then Cyan can consider their options for a sequel.

And - possibly - an expansion pack/DLC for the first game. We failed to reach the 'Roadtrip Mode/Another World" stretch goal, but it might still be possible for Cyan to implement some of that stretch-goal content a few months after release if the game succeeds.

We'll have to wait and see. It really all depends on how well the game turns out - if the puzzles are well-balanced, challenging but not too obtuse, if the story is compelling, if the visuals and sound design are impressive, etc. I'm pretty confident in Cyan's ability to create immersive worlds, so I'm optimistic that it'll turn out well. It's hard to be sure, given their efforts not to spoil too much, but I know that they're a talented studio and are capable of amazing work.

The part I'm most worried about is the gameplay, actually. Cyan Worlds is often great with their puzzle design but occasionally creates puzzles that are not all that well executed. (The Eder Gira basket puzzle comes to mind.) They'll really need to playtest this extensively to ensure that the design is solid and that the players won't, for the most part, give up in frustration. They need puzzles that are creative and interesting enough to feel like more than generic adventure-game puzzles, but not so convoluted that they alienate players who aren't hard-core adventure gamers. That's a tall order but I bet they can pull it off.
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Re: Episodes?

Postby Mowog » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:41 am

Good observation, Matt. I'll preach to the choir here and suggest that puzzles similar to those in Riven; i.e., tightly woven into the environment, and only thinly recognizable as puzzles; would be wonderful in Obduction.

Getting back to the main topic, I'm not averse to the idea of episodes per se, but you run the risk of a loss of interest while waiting for the next installment. This stuff takes time to build. And as we saw in Uru, we explorers tend to devour these worlds overnight and find ourselves wishing for more. What I'd love to see is something that keeps bringing us back to the main adventure. That is, some sort of replayability, maybe a way to branch out into different aspects of the story depending on our actions... Something that would keep Obduction fresh for a long time.

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Re: Episodes?

Postby Main_Avvie » Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:54 am

A key aspect of Obduction's success will be accessibility, the same attribute Myst possessed that was a significant factor in its mass appeal. Designing hard core puzzles that won't turn off players will be tantamount to success. Hopefully Obduction can garner enough success on its own to be self supporting, but it is too early to be talking sequels while so much of the game has yet to be developed. It is disappointing that Obduction couldn't garner further support through crowd funding efforts alone. If Obduction fails to support itself then hopefully Cyan has alternative revenue streams to keep going.

The episodic delivery model was conceived for content delivery purposes. In theory it is easier to develop bite sized content packages that can be produced and consumed quickly. This model was used in Myst Online's Gametap incarnation but unfortunately it failed in its purpose. The model is often used out of necessity to compensate for limited resources. That's why it is a favorite of indie developers. To that end I don't see how the episodic delivery model would work for Obduction seeing as how it is being developed as a complete package. It would actually be detrimental to the experience. I think it would only serve to release content quicker, but it also places a strain on development since Cyan would have to keep up with each installment instead of being able to take their time and refine the whole experience like they're good at. On the user end it would mean having less to experience between installments rather than being able to take time and take it all in as a whole. It can also be technically challenging and the design would have to be tailored to plug each installment in to the whole instead of having a seamless experience.

All things considered, I would rather wait a year for the complete package rather than have it delivered sporadically in small bits.

Ultimately I would of course love to see sequels or at least an expansion or two, but afaik that would be dependent on further funding one way or another.
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