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SpaceVenture: Episodic or Full-Game release?

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Not sure if this has been discussed already. Sorry if I'm duplicating another post. Have the Two Guys confirmed whether SpaveVenture will be episodic, or whether it will be released only as a full game when it is ready?

 

My preference is definitely for a full-game only release, but I guess I could deal with episodic.

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Not sure if this has been discussed already. Sorry if I'm duplicating another post. Have the Two Guys confirmed whether SpaveVenture will be episodic, or whether it will be released only as a full game when it is ready?

No, they haven't specified.

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My preference would also be for a full game. I wouldn't really mind episodic either. But my gut feeling is that we'll be getting the former. Even if they haven't outright specified that, I think they've more than hinted at it.

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My first thought was "episodic" when I saw the latest update where they mention upcoming news about the release. And my first reaction was to want to protest and say how displeased I would be about that. But then I thought about it and realized that they likely would not have hoped to have to go episodic, and a tough situation would have led them to this point, if that's the point they're at. That is, it wouldn't be something they'd have arrived at lightly. *IF* there is an episodic announcement, I think they're going to need all the support from fans they can get. There will be negative comments, if such an announcement happens. We all know it. Remember DFA/Broken Age? The comparisons to that would be inevitable. But maybe the DFA situation got people used to the idea of a middle-of-development announcement about an episodic release.

 

Of course, the announcement could be that they got some great new distribution deal or something. But I just doubt it's something good because Chris didn't hint that it was good news, but instead only that it was significant. I would imagine if it was something good he would have indicated that, even if he didn't want to get into details yet.

 

Makes me wonder: how did the Tesla Effect people do it with that budget? Isn't FMV supposed to be especially costly to produce? Seems that many adventure Kickstarters have struggled, but not that one, apparently.

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Full game for me as well. I like Telltale's episode format, but those are usually planned ahead of time as mini-adventures with logical beginnings, middles, and ends. A post-dev decision to split up a game usually has awkward breaks that ruin the game's experience in the long run. Instead of a cliffhanger, the player is left with a sad "I guess they ran out of money" feeling. I haven't played Broken Age yet, but "Syberia", "A Vampyre Story", and TT's "Back to the Future" come to mind when I think about how the episodic format has gone wrong in the past.

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I should add that more than a few of us here are part of something called the "Keronian Underground". Back when the Kickstarter launched, we helped do some online PR for the Guys and, in turn, we've been privy to a lot of inside information along the way. Among other things, we knew of the delay mentioned in the October 16 update before it was coo... sorry, before it was posted, and we've also participated in some discussions about where to take the GUI, etc.

 

The subject of episodic versus one full game has never been brought up among our little group. Of course, there are members here who are working on the game - Troels Pleimert and pcj among them - and whether they know anything about this that I don't, I can't say. Just wanted to point out that those of us who may not be team members, but are "insiders", don't know anything other than that the Guys are releasing a full game. And it seems like something Chris might want to bring up to ensure they're doing what the fans want.

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I'd be ok with episodic, but there are three main reasons I don't really like it as much as a full game:

 

-- With episodic, it makes it really obvious where the "joins" are, when one area ends and the next begins.

This exists in "full" games anyway, but you don't notice it as much, you just know you're in another section of the game.

The episodic way makes it feel like a series of mini-games which aren't really that well joined together, IMO.

 

-- The nostalgia factor... I like getting a game as a whole game, in the same way I like buying music as "albums".

There's just something about the complete thing.

 

-- Episodic also feels like the game isn't properly finished a lot of times (often because the other parts

AREN'T finished yet). That means when I'm playing one episode, it feels like I'm not really playing the "real"

game, if that makes sense.

 

So really, there is not necessarily a huge difference, these are all just feelings I get from

episodic games more than anything else, but it still does affect the enjoyment a little for me.

 

I would imagine finishing the whole thing also makes the whole thing better... in the same way if you

write a novel, you might "finish" the first couple of chapters, but then once the whole thing is done

you realize that those first couple of chapters could have x, y, z added or changed to make the whole thing

work better.

 

If they offer the game all as a single full game at the end, and put all the parts together properly, then I can deal with that.

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Forgive me if I'm being opinionated or biased here, but... wouldn't it seem to be an undermining of the Two Guys' finally working together again, after so long - and most notably without having to answer to some corporate penny-squeezer(s) - for them to decide to dice SpaceVenture up into an episodic release?

 

I must be honest and say that the very idea sits very ill with me. I don't believe I'd like it at all.

 

Then again, it is the Two Guys... so I'm sure if they decide it of their own free will, then there must be a good reason for it - one which enhances the game experience rather than does the opposite.

 

EDIT: @JimmyTwoBucks

 

Much the same feelings here, but I'll add my two cents in saying that I believe it would also be a bad idea to release the game episodic even temporarily. What the Guys need to do is make the best damned impression that they can with it, from the get-go. Having episodic releases would only dwindle the punching force of a later full release.

It's not like they aren't way behind schedule as it is (saying this not out of criticism, but just for making the point that if people weren't still interested nor didn't still want a full release - well... you know...)

 

What they need to do is take advantage of the fact that those really looking forward to the game have accepted that it's going to be late, and just keep on chugging on underneath of that moral bubble, to deliver a full, epic gaming experience.

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Makes me wonder: how did the Tesla Effect people do it with that budget? Isn't FMV supposed to be especially costly to produce? Seems that many adventure Kickstarters have struggled, but not that one, apparently.

 

Big Finish already had a team in place and they also have a lot of knowledge on how FMV is done. Also doing FMV is much, much more easier today than it was in the 90's. You can get better results with on the shelf applications today with more ease than you could when FMV games were actually hotter than hot. Also Chris Jones is a long term producer as well as a designer, so he seems to have a very good grasp on financial realities. And they had their own money to spend as well, so their budget is higher than what they got from the KS.  There's also some speculaton that Atlus might have pitched in some extra.

 

What comes to SpaceVenture, I wouldn't be surprised if they'd announce the game to be split in half in the vein of Broken Age and Broken Sword 5. The guys have been stretching the budget pretty thin, so there must be pressure to get something released so they can get some cash flow.

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If my pledge makes me eligible to receive all the episodes, then I wouldn't really mind at all. On the other hand, if I should only get one third/fourth/fifth/... of what is planned (and have to cough up more money for upcoming episodes), colour me displeased.

That's also how I feel. Though I have no inside info, I can't imagine our pledges not entitling us to all episodes, it they go that route. Not guaranteeing backers the full game would be unthinkable.

 

My worry, if they do go the episodic route to get additional funding to complete the game (and this is all hypothetical, since, for all I know, money isn't a problem), is the possibility that they don't make enough from the first episode's sales to finish the game. That was my worry with DFA (still can't get used to saying Broken Age), but apparently DFA Ep.1 sold enough.

 

I just want to see this game do well. Even if I hadn't pledged anything, I would still have wanted to see this project succeed. And I have liked what I have seen so far. Granted, we haven't seen a lot, but what has been shown looks and sounds great, sometimes exceeding my expectations.

 

I trust the Two Guys to make the right decision. They really are working with a small budget, which can't be easy, and if they have to make some tough calls that may not always be we want to hear, then I'm fine with it. What matters to me is getting the final game, even if I have to wait a long time. If they are going to go the episodic route, then I hope they make sure the statement explaining the decision is clear, complete and near PR pitch perfect, since that statement would get reprinted far and near.

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What comes to SpaceVenture, I wouldn't be surprised if they'd announce the game to be split in half

 

I'd be pretty much fine with it being split in half, rather than numerous episodes.

 

I hadn't really thought about a split down the middle before, but that sounds ok, as it would

avoid breaking it up too much, and presumably it would mean the first half would come out sooner

than we could expect the whole game to have done.

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*IF* they're at the stage where the need to contemplate this, I would rather they admitted financial problems and invited fans to help them get over the line than release an episodic adventure. Or that it will take another 12 months while Scott gets a part time job at a local bar. But above all my concerns about how it "ought" to be done, I want a game. No matter how many pieces it comes in.

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Yeah, splitting it in half sounds a lot better. I don't know why I keep describing it as episodic.

 

Hopefully there is enough action in the first half, if it's split. I found the first released part of the latest Broken Sword game to be a tad slow.

 

I like it when the pace picks up right away, like in SQ1. Pulls you in immediately.

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I'd still rather wait for one full game, though a split in the middle would be endurable. I don't think it sounds like that decision has done the best for Broken Age or Broken Sword 5, though. Nothing is more annoying than being pulled out of a story you just got into. Especially if you can't just start up the second half, but will have to wait another half year for the conclusion.

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Even the game is split, we would still have the option individually of waiting to play anything until the whole thing is finished. It would take a lot of self-control, and I don't think I could do it. :-( I would break down and play it immediately.

 

Basically, I just want whatever would lead to the best game possible and the best chance for it to be a lasting success. My own enjoyment and any personal inconvenience of having to take a break in the middle isn't really something I'm too concerned about. The game is going to be around for a long time, and if they choose to release it in stages in order to deliver the best product possible, then I would totally support them.

 

I have a feeling this game is going to hit the bull's eye and be very well-received.

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It's been awhile since I wrote something here.

 

Here's my take.. I'd be okay with a split down the middle for SpaceVenture. What happened to Double Fine is rather annoying. They went far above & beyond their goal and still ran into financial issues. Granted - they were aiming for a smaller project initially but gosh - you cant make 1 full adventure game with 3.3 million dollars (or 2.9 if you take the 400k in rewards they had to send out)? Having seen other projects and somewhat having been involved in some - it's difficult to make a quality game with a small budget and not exceed it. So sign me up!

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I was seriously surprised by how well Lilly Looking Through and Detective Grimoire were and they got a so little money from their Kickstarters. And I've been testing Quest for Infamy and it's shaping up to be a great game, too. And each of these titles only took in five digits each. It's hard for me to see how much Double Fine got and still had money issues, plus releasing IMHO a mediocre game.

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Granted - they were aiming for a smaller project initially but gosh - you cant make 1 full adventure game with 3.3 million dollars?

Insisting that your offices be located in Frisco and having some fairly high-profile celebrity voice actors might have had something to do with that.

 

 

I was seriously surprised by how well Lilly Looking Through and Detective Grimoire were and they got a so little money from their Kickstarters.

The artwork in Lilly Looking Through is absolutely amazing, though I wish the game itself had a little more meat to the bone. As it is, it feels more like a flash animation than a proper adventure game. Still, considering the tiny budget, they did a great job.

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Due to the lack of a "general feedback"-thread, I'll just post this here, since it's somewhat related to the topic. I noticed this sentence in the latest Kickstarter update.

 

SpaceVenture will set the bar on quality for future games we try to release, and we aim to make it great and to leave you all wanting more!

 

 

Just a note to any dev who might (not) be reading this: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not try to hamfistedly ram the wish for more down our throats by ending SpaceVenture on some shitty cliffhanger! We already have the Space Quest series conclude on a non-ending that resolves nothing at all, we don't need to repeat that past mistake. If the game is good, the player will automatically crave for more.

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I have gotten to the point that one of the ways to make me lose interest in something is to get too heavy handed in the cliffhanger department. The crap of multiple TV seasons in a single year with each "season" being a half dozen shows or less, making you wait two or three months after each "season's" cliffhanger makes me no longer care about a show. The same could easily apply to a game series as well. Each one should be able to stand on its own merits. It is why I dislike episodic releases. Any sense of wanting more should just be because I enjoyed it so much that I want another one, not because I want answers to cliffhangers.

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Just a note to any dev who might (not) be reading this: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not try to hamfistedly ram the wish for more down our throats by ending SpaceVenture on some shitty cliffhanger!

I just wrote Scott to make sure the cliffhanger we had planned is still in there and just as infuriating as we had hoped it would be.

 

;)

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