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T O P I C
Lights, Action, Interact!
August 30th 2002, 20:24 CEST by Desiato

Quantic is treading where few have gone, daring to combine the immersive nature of directed series entertainment and the interactivity of role playing and FPS games. In the past, there have been attempts that centered on the technology-of-the-month, such as FMV (Full Motion Video) clips and even earlier in arcade history with two laserdisc-driven titles such as "Dragon's Lair" and "Space Ace". In the latter it was more of an action-story-on-rails, the player spastically jerking a joystick in tune to the real-time demands of the scripted sequence. Most players tired of the challenge, or simply beat the game easily after memorizing the moves needed to complete the rescue of the princess, Daphne.

Hardly a true role-playing experience, but a good example of rigid and defined sequences dictating the freedom within the environment. Quantic wants to change all this, and put your character into a story that has a concrete plot with a beginning and ending, but allow you to push the envelope and arc your trajectory any way you see fit, presumably within the bounds of the story. The episodic nature of the game design will let the developers and writers script in endings that will have a gamer coming back for more.

The problems? If the plot is too open, people will be confused or in a worst case scenario, break the needed story arc to complete the end of the episode. Mistakes like that, and the added pressure of producing another thrilling installment will certainly cause any design team headaches. The built in assumptions of a serial-style release schedule being popular is a risky venture, you have to convince someone to carry the costs of each release, in addition to the fact that you may not get the critical mass of interest early on in the series. Does Quantic have the pockets to weather a few minor flops? Will the publishing company have the foresight to commit long-term?

In a final quote, indicating the scale of Quantic's plans, it reads:

Quantic plans to release installments every four months. The company is currently in discussions with publishers, so it's too early to say which platforms the game will be on, and how much it will cost exactly. Cage said that each installment will cost considerably less than what a full title costs, but he couldn't say how much yet.

In the day and age of having to sell your soul just to get a single game out before the publisher calls in their chips, how will Quantic get the backing for what amounts to a multi-game deal? Or are we watching the start of a new form of online entertainment that will become more lucrative than even the Everquest cash cow?
C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Lights, Action, Interact!

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#1 by r a w p o w e r
2002-08-30 20:26:23
backonthemap@hotmail.com
WIN WITH THE POWER OF "MAJESTIC"  IT PLAYS YOU.

Stillborn baby:
Your mother didn't want you but you were still born.  
  -cannibal ox
#2 by Frijoles
2002-08-30 20:28:34
Thinking...
#3 by Frijoles
2002-08-30 20:29:28
Nope, still confused.
#4 by crash
2002-08-30 20:30:48
uh, do they have a site? a link to anything original to read would be nice, Des.

By this time tomorrow we can be doing BODY SHOTS off HOOKERS in some MEXICAN HELLHOLE
#5 by crash
2002-08-30 20:31:21
oh. never mind. i r teh suq; the link's in the front page blurb.

By this time tomorrow we can be doing BODY SHOTS off HOOKERS in some MEXICAN HELLHOLE
#6 by jafd
2002-08-30 20:32:06
I see no hyperlinks in the topic. MY WORLD IS COLLAPSING!!!

Grrrr. Arrrgh.
#7 by Charles
2002-08-30 20:37:01
www.bluh.org
I think their biggest problem will be making a fun game, not selling episodes.  What they should probably do, is write the game engine and first episode together, release for slightly below normal cost, then every other episode can just be an 'expansion' on the primary product, and they can sell em for cheaper.  That might work.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#8 by Bailey
2002-08-30 20:44:23
This concept of episodic gaming both confuses and enrages us!

The monkey represents sharing.
#9 by Fugazi(werking)
2002-08-30 20:44:33
I am not even bothering to read the topic.

"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
#10 by Greg
2002-08-30 20:47:27
Hrm. Most shareware games followed an episodic layout. And the only one I ever bought was the original Quake.

Who is driving car?! Oh my god, bear is driving car! How can that be?
#11 by "anon"
2002-08-30 20:47:31
re #7

Isn't that the Serious Sam distribution model?
#12 by Charles
2002-08-30 20:49:17
www.bluh.org
Well, episodic gaming could be done well, if the developer believed they could give a whole experience with each episode.  But what I'd hate to see would be an episodic game where it feels more like a game that was sliced and diced, than a complete product.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#13 by Bailey
2002-08-30 20:51:58
The only games I've heard of having "success" with this are the episodic releases of those low-end garage projects where you're in some dippy isometric fantasy world. Success in that they managed to crank out all the episodes before going bankrupt, not in the career sense.

The monkey represents sharing.
#14 by TheTrunkDr.
2002-08-30 20:54:33
Yeah I'd have to agree, nobody wants to play a game that doesn't feel like it finishes, there'd be no sense of accomplishment. Movies and TV shows can get away with that sort of thing cause it's a passive activity that only has to hold your interest, it doesn't really have to give anything in return. But gaming is an interactive activity, you're not watching, you're taking part, it'd be like playing a baseball game one inning a week. Who wants to do that for two months?

ooohh floor pie!
#15 by Duality
2002-08-30 21:18:46
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Are you sure that wasn't one of the stipulations for the MLB players' side of the negotiations?

-Jon
#16 by jafd
2002-08-30 21:24:52
it'd be like playing a baseball game one inning a week. Who wants to do that for two months?

See: GIPs, PBMs, and PBEMs.

There's a market there, assuredly -- just needs to be tapped.

Considering what a cool game Omikron was, and how the shitty camera control and poor marketing harmed its sales... eh, well, let's just hope they learn.

Grrrr. Arrrgh.
#17 by Bailey
2002-08-30 21:25:48
Will this new game have David Bowie in it too?

The monkey represents sharing.
#18 by Matt Davis
2002-08-30 21:29:22
http://looroll.com
it's a winner then

Are pants comfy? because I think mine are broken.
#19 by bago
2002-08-30 21:59:43
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
If they keep the plot branching in each episode straight, it should work.

iamelectro
#20 by jafd
2002-08-30 22:05:39
Omikron would have been a lot better recieved if there had been a menu option that said "Just play all the Bowie music over and over."

God, that 3rd person camera sucked. Neat game though.

Grrrr. Arrrgh.
#21 by Your Friend
2002-08-30 22:12:28
Lets not have any MTG : Online players telling us about what is or isn't a good game...because clearly you don't know the difference.
#22 by jafd
2002-08-30 22:14:59
Zing!

Grrrr. Arrrgh.
#23 by UncleJeet
2002-08-30 22:20:09
Are we talking about a new Mario game?

Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme....

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#24 by Shadarr
2002-08-30 22:26:20
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I think it will fail.  People play at different speeds, and can tolerate different amounts of repetition.  The people who play too fast will get tired of waiting and play something else, and a good percentage of them won't go back.  Other people will just get tired of the game and quit.  I suspect that (assuming you have to play previous episodes to play the current one) by the third episode, thier market will have shrunk to the point that it's not worth doing anymore.
#25 by averagejoe
2002-08-30 22:29:09
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
I may be the only one, but I actually enjoyed Majestic.  Sure it had it's rough edges, but it did entertain me and I saw a lot of potential for it.  Too bad it imploded.

It's a trick. Get an axe.
Look kids, my DVDs
#26 by Your Friend
2002-08-30 22:54:36

I may be the only one, but I actually enjoyed Majestic.


Please join jafd in the group of people whose taste in games is seriously flawed enough that their opinions of such shall forever be discarded.
#27 by Charles
2002-08-30 23:02:46
www.bluh.org
I liked Max Payne, feel free to throw me on the fire too.  Oh, and I enjoyed MGS2 as well.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#28 by TheTrunkDr.
2002-08-30 23:06:37
Apparently I'm told I should mention the fact that I loved max payne!!!

Women always see a need for improvment, and men only improve things to either keep them from having to get off of their asses later, or to keep drinks cold.
#29 by TheTrunkDr.
2002-08-30 23:07:06
oh and MGS2 was pretty good also

Women always see a need for improvment, and men only improve things to either keep them from having to get off of their asses later, or to keep drinks cold.
#30 by Greg
2002-08-30 23:13:19
Does Nova also do your work for you?

Who is driving car?! Oh my god, bear is driving car! How can that be?
#31 by TheTrunkDr.
2002-08-30 23:16:34
Sometimes, when I smack him around a little!

Women always see a need for improvment, and men only improve things to either keep them from having to get off of their asses later, or to keep drinks cold.
#32 by Ergo
2002-08-30 23:19:31
aj--

Alternatively, you could join YF's group that hates and belittles everything.

Ia! Shub-Niggurath!

DVDs
#33 by averagejoe
2002-08-30 23:22:45
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
Your Friend...what a spectacularly inappropriate nick...

It's a trick. Get an axe.
Look kids, my DVDs
#34 by Caryn
2002-08-30 23:23:20
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
How about joining the group of people that think anyone who enjoys a game they hate has bad taste? Because I'd like to get you all in one centralized location that can easily fit in the scope of a rifle.

"Thus the fridge contains the possibilities of no beers and some beers existing in simultaneous superposition!"
#35 by averagejoe
2002-08-30 23:25:01
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
Caryn:

I love all games.  Especially the really stupid ones.

It's a trick. Get an axe.
Look kids, my DVDs
#36 by Ergo
2002-08-30 23:25:17
*pop*

Ia! Shub-Niggurath!

DVDs
#37 by averagejoe
2002-08-30 23:25:28
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
Well, ok, except for all the damn jumping parts in Alice.  Hated that.

It's a trick. Get an axe.
Look kids, my DVDs
#38 by bago
2002-08-30 23:26:45
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
Caryn's comment reminds me of an AC-130 gunship video I saw. Shoot off some rounds to get everyone out of the truck, shoot the truck, run them down the road till they're all in one group... then BLAMMO!

iamelectro
#39 by Count DuCu
2002-08-30 23:55:09
DuCu@ez2www.com
Because I'd like to get you all in one centralized location that can easily fit in the scope of a rifle.


Would that be the special rilfe-scope container? Or the carboard box they marketed it into?

Go to the blue "User" link, then to "Edit Profile" and un-tick "View other users' signatures"! Do it now! And be spared the maddening, idiocy-feedback-to-idiocy, nutty-fundamentalist-monk experience from reading this same thing, again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again....</ad infinitum amen!>
#40 by averagejoe
2002-08-30 23:57:02
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
Oooooooo, if we get enough of the boxes, can we build a fort?  Can we, can we???

It's a trick. Get an axe.
Look kids, my DVDs
#41 by Shadarr
2002-08-30 23:57:35
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
The only good thing to come out of Majestic was the prank some people played on a guy who was playing it.  They would phone up the secretary as he was walking past, ask for him so she would say "yeah, he's right here" and then hang up.  They did a bunch of other stuff that I can't remember (and I can't google the link).  Their big finale was to send him to Portland.

It's the kind of thing that's only funny when it happens to someone else.
#42 by Dinglehoffen
2002-08-31 00:01:50
Fanny Fungus
"Because I'd like to get you all in one centralized location that can easily fit in the scope of a rifle."

Meow! Pffft!

"Is the internet making people more intellectual?"
"Well, are people triple posting? Then no."
#43 by Dinglehoffen
2002-08-31 00:18:06
Fanny Fungus
Uncle Jeet's "duties" list boils down to one clause:

Go get us some coffee.

"Is the internet making people more intellectual?"
"Well, are people triple posting? Then no."
#44 by averagejoe
2002-08-31 00:20:32
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
Coffee=heavenly goodness

You're a vampire. Or is that an offensive term? Should I say 'undead American'?
Look kids, my DVDs
#45 by Duality
2002-08-31 01:02:23
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Well, ok, except for all the damn jumping parts in Alice.  Hated that.

Less than the Half-Life jumping parts?  Because Xen is hated amongst all here at the 'Crap!

-Jon
#46 by averagejoe
2002-08-31 01:10:13
joe_dilworth@mentor.com
Duality:

Any game that suddenly becomes a Mario-fest really ticks me off.  Jedi Knight II annoyed me like that at points.

You're a vampire. Or is that an offensive term? Should I say 'undead American'?
Look kids, my DVDs
#47 by bago
2002-08-31 01:35:29
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
*shrug* Am I not the only one too pissed off at jumping elements.. IF you have good control of your character?

iamelectro
#48 by Dinglehoffen
2002-08-31 01:37:23
Fanny Fungus
How can anyone dislike the Xen levels? The jumping levels were simple as sending a loagie onto a neighbor's roof in the Bronx!

"Is the internet making people more intellectual?"
"Well, are people triple posting? Then no."
#49 by Russ
2002-08-31 01:46:39
Loagie?

Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
#50 by Dinglehoffen
2002-08-31 02:00:37
Fanny Fungus
"Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?"

*ROFLMAO*

Perfect.

"Is the internet making people more intellectual?"
"Well, are people triple posting? Then no."
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