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Episode Appoach Unfinished

posted by Anonymous on - last edited - Viewed by 859 users
Hey Telltale, I want to start out by telling you that I'm really encouraged by your new company and impressed that you chose the "Indie" gaming approach. I think it will really pay off for everyone!

I just completed Boneville and I wasn't happy about it at all. I was disappointed at the games length. I think that you guys have a real responsibility being the first true adopters to the 'Episodic Approach' to gaming. I just wanted to share with you some things that went through my head upon completing your $20 game in 90min.

I think all the developers agree that $20 per episode is the magic number, and that the episode's length is fairly arbitrary. As a value concious consumer, I can tell you that I compare game investments to other entertainment investments and upon completing Boneville it made me wish that I had just gone to the movies instead. In fact, it made the movie theater look like a VALUE!

I enjoyed Boneville minus some audio crackling issues so that would normally put me in the 'continue the series' boat but I will not be following Bone's journey unless you address the fact that 1-2 hrs a $20 game does not make. I especially feel this way since the server I downloaded from was a demo host whose bandwith you aren't paying.

Please keep in mind that you haven't lost me yet! I totally WANT to be your biggest fan. I've enjoyed the games this team has developed way to much! But I'm saying its too short - in fact, half the length, I expected and I urge you to heed my warning. After all, episodic content requires a reinvestment on the part of each player which is going to be quite a tall order.

Good luck!!!
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    Honestly if they dont comment soon, peole will not give them a second look. Reviews are going out criticising the game length as we speak ( and I know everyone I know who love these types of games would never shell out 20 dollars for a 2 hour game.

    Simple.. the total for the 4 episodes can only cost a little more than the same type of game in shops. The SUPPORT comes from the fact we are paying a 'little' more for a software ONLY game too. basically the total has to be around the 50 to 55 dollar mark for all 4 parts and only if each part is roughly 4 hours. So they need to increase length and reduce price.

    Heck the guy who suggested the current pricing plan without indicating the future pricing plan should be fired since this is make or break for Telltale. They need to reveal their future pricing plan NOW so people can understand that they wont need to pay 20 dollars for all the parts because simply.. it is the ultimate turnoff. And people are fickle.. they don't come back once burned.

    DUDE!!! There are ***********9********** *NINE* chapters in the book - this is only based on chapter one/book one. They could double up the others to increase length - this could be good. But there could be 8 x $20 to go - that's WAY TOO MUCH MONEY unless it's total play length was over 25 hours - thats like two new full games from the store - through digital distro, should be either less or a lot more game in there.
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    I think the length of the game is less important than the quality and entertainment value. Hence, I would be much happier in my investment in Psychonauts than some hack and slash rpg or mmorpg or shooting game.

    However, as a college student, $20 is a large investment in a game, for me. I'm much happier paying $10 or $15 usually but I will pay more in certain circumstances(I don't think I've ever spent more than $40 on a game. Between $5 and $15 is my usual game purchase price.). I love telltale, but for $20, I could find a game that I've been wanting to play that might be a better investment(e.g. Beyond Good and Evil, Total Annihilation, Postal 2, Lugaru, some of the gish games. The last 3 have Linux ports, and I've been using Linux increasingly lately. Coincidently, if there was a Bone linux port, I would probably buy the game even if I did think it was too short.)

    If the technology that goes into the first installment is the same as the technology in the next installments, that I would imagine that the game should be less work and therefore be either longer or cost less.

    I haven't played the game yet(I probably will eventually by $20 in not a price I take lightly. I need to buy some new pants) so I can't say whether I think it was worth it, but I can say that the demo seemed very short and I imagine that could be a sign of things to come.
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    I will not be following Bone's journey unless you address the fact that 1-2 hrs a $20 game does not make.
    As a hard core adventure fan, I had quite a dilemma whether to invest in the series or not. While on one hand I am keen on encouraging this talanted group of developers, on the other I find the price outrageous.

    I don't mind investing into an ongoing project before the final product is finished, but I want to know how much will be the total for the full series.

    On one hand, paying per episode gives power to the consumer. If the entertainment value of the follow-up episde goes South, one can simply choose to discontinue his purchasing "subscription".

    The down side is that there is great uncertainty about the cost/value of the finished product and whether it will get finished at all.

    Overall, I agree that the marketing genius, who proposed the pricing/distribution model, should get hung by his feet for a month. While the online distribution model is fabulous, the shady pricing plan will sure keep most gamers a respectable distance away.

    After putting all the fact together, I've decided not to pay for the game until TellTale clarify their long term pricing strategy. I guess that my position is in line with the prevalent feeling amongs most of the hard-core adventure gamers community. So, the question is, if you guys have managed to repel even the most loyal adventure fans, how do you expect to attract the larger gaming crowd to this botique geanra and stay afloat?

    Overal, I feel positive about TellTale, but ain't jumping on the bandwagon to nowhere until you get your business act together!

    Get to work guys!
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    Hi AdventureSpirit,

    Thanks for your thoughts. As I mentioned in this post we're listening attentively to the audience.

    Paying per episode gives much more power to the paying consumer than just the ability to bail if the experience goes south. It also gives you the power to help make the games more enjoyable going forward by providing us with the feedback we need to make your experience with the next episode even better. And we can do it quickly.

    We believe in that power, and we're listening.


  • We believe in that power, and we're listening.

    Every time I hear someone from Telltale say that, I get that much more enthusiastic about the next chapter of Bone. And other games. Now, get back to work. ;)
  • I just don't understand the outrage. I bought the game. I enjoyed the game. Therefore, it was worth it. Telltale could have packed in 3 or 4 more hours of filler and cutscenes and the game would have sucked. It would not have embodied the spirit of the comic book. It was a very well done game that totally captured the comic. IF they are charging $20 - then that is what I will pay. I believe in paying for quality - not quantity.

    I haven't heard to many complaints regarding the actual content, just that there wasn't enough. Well when was the last time you could say that about a game you played?
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    Paying per episode gives much more power to the paying consumer than just the ability to bail if the experience goes south. It also gives you the power to help make the games more enjoyable going forward by providing us with the feedback we need to make your experience with the next episode even better. And we can do it quickly.

    Okay, I agree with everything in that paragraph, but I'm a hardcore gamer. I complain when I get games that last me 9 hours for $40 bucks. Granted, I'm not expecting that from this, but at the same time, I think that 20 bucks is a large amount to pay for the game. I could understand that for 2 of them, but...

    I think that what could be done, is since the models and many textures are already made, the price of the game could go down, because you already have much stuff made.

    Off-topic for a bit: I liked all the voices except for Gran'ma's and Thorn's. Otherwise, I thought this followed the storyline so well, I felt I was reading the comic again.

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    And we're listening.

    And that is why we love you. Nothing is worse than a company that ignores it's fanbase, and nothing is better than one who listens.

    Now port it already, slave! ;)
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    I think what people are missing is how much is it costing Telltale to make the games. The revenue from the sale of the episodes is what needs to keep them alive. People are saying they want more gameplay (4-6 hours) for less price $10-$15. They have a lot of staff to pay, and they have to work a lot of hours to make an adventure game. If they used that model they would a) have to sell a large number of games and b) it would take them longer to produce. It's a very tricky situation. I hope they can work it out.

    I guess the advantage of completing the first Bone episode, is the process would be streamlined and there would be less work involved in the second, but I still have to wonder if its worth the work to produce 6 hours of gameplay for just $10. They would have to be selling 30-40, 000 wouldnt they at that price? I think making the game a lot harder than bone:episode 1 though, would increase the hours of gameplay required, and it wouldnt neccessarily involve more work. I think doing that would be a good idea.
  • I don't think Telltale wants to artificially pan the length of their game, either, so yeah, it's a tight rope to walk. Difficulty doesn't, or shouldn't, equal contrived puzzles.
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