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Company News Bioware goes episodic

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Vault Dweller, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Cthulhugoat Arbiter

    Cthulhugoat
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    Land of big butts
    I assume you're talking about Interplay itself (Herve specially).
     
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  2. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
    Joined:
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    "one of these companies (perhaps bioware, perhaps not)"

    BIO alreayd has. They're called Premium Modules. They wer eboth rather successful, AND they were more than silly horse armour.



    "Ironic, since by far Bioware's worst selling game of the past 10 years was Jade Empire."

    Let's also not forget that JE was the only non pre existing IP that BIO made as well. I mean, the other games were D&D and SW. OMG LOL

    Oh, btw, JE was NOT BIO's worsts elling game in the last 10 years. By the way they have beena round for 10-11 years (10th year anniversary was last year). So... why do you bullshit?

    SOU,a nd HOTU have both sold less. MDK2, and its exapnsion only sold more than a mill;ion combined toegtehr with multiple platforms as well.

    JE sold 600k+ copies after about 6 months. I would not be surprised if it's nearing 1 million copies now. And, when it's released next month on PC; it will easily go over 1 million and surpass MDK2.

    So, you aren't exactly correct, are you? R00fles!


    "First, let me say, iirc, that there isn't any episodic
    content planned for Mass Effect, afaik."

    Sure, there is. And, it was also confirmed in the article that started this thread.



    "BG3 would have sold like crazy if Herve didn't kill it."

    No evidence of this. It probably would have; but no guarantees. BIS had a history of taking a BIO idea and making less with it, and not doing as well with it (see IWD and PST). R00fles!



    "it seems to me that lately the focus shifted toward the money. Dragon Age is the last PC only project, unfortunately, is it not?"

    Fuckin' stupidity. From this, I gather that to you, PC = not for money and console = for money. That's absolutely bullshit.


    "given that prcs are just slight stat modifiers, i don't think the guys at troika really would have considered that route."

    Sure, they would have. If it would have made them money, and kept them in business; they would have done it in a heartbeat. Sadly, for them, there likely wasn't a viable market to make it worthwhile since TOEE wasn't the most successful game to begin with. R00fles!


    Bottom line is this isn't new. BIO has been making 'episodic content' for YEARS. And, they have NEVER been the equivelant of Oblivion's 'horse armour' mod.

    Also, here' s a big newsflash.


    DON'T LIKE IT, DON'T BUY IT!!!


    P.S. It's hilarious when idiots like VD whine about 'morons who buy Oblivion get more Oblivion games made' when he is one of those morons who bought Oblivion.


    R00fles!!!



    edit: "And on that note, are there still plans to include a toolset with Dragon Age?"

    I believe so; but not likely to be as 'user friendly' as NWN's. Though; it's not officiallly set in stone and can change before hand...
     
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  3. JoKa Cipher

    JoKa
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    I was with you Volly, till you made that comment about PST...BIS took a BIO idea and made so much fucking more out if it - make no mistake about that.

    oh well, you don't care, anyway...
     
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  4. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    "I was with you Volly, till you made that comment about PST"

    *shrug* Well.. I can't expect you to agree with everything I write. In fact, I'd be shocked if you did. That would make you a robot. Differing opinions are cool. :cool:
     
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  5. Ryuken Liturgist

    Ryuken
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    Belgium
    I don't see a real replacement happening and thank God for that, if anything then it is episodic content which has to prove its real worth as expansions have done for many years now. A game that makes you ask for more deserves something more of course; not a fast sequel which could have been an expansion but also no several fastly wrap-upped goodies. People look for cohesion, not for many small bits. At least that's what the target audience for Dragon Age wants I think, if Bioware say they want to appeal to fans which liked the epic grandeur of BGII. It's nice to see that NWN Premium Modules have success but not everyone is a fan of those short stories nor do I think people will have the patience to wait for a new bit of an epic story that'll unfold over several years.

    I really hope the core game is expansive enough and that the episodic bits will at least make it into some kind of regular retailversion (and not only in an expensive Diamond or Gold edition or so, alongside with the expansion would be great imo), not everyone has a CC or wants to use one.
     
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  6. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
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    27,772
    IWD and PST were not sequels to an insanely popular game (BG2). A game called Baldur's Gate 3 would have been a bestseller regardless of gameplay's quality.

    Console games sell more. That's a fact. Action games sell more. That's a fact. KOTOR was designed for consoles (just look at the interface). Jade Empire was a console game with a lot of action. Mass Effect is a console trilogy (for fuck's sake) that's mostly about action. The other new titles are the announced console/pc projects and the MMORPG. What do *you* think, Volly?

    Don't you think that you are overdoing the insults part?

    I thought I explained it many times already. As funny as that sounds, I'm a game reviewer here. I review games and talk about games. Since Bethesda forgot to send the Codex a press-copy, I had to buy it to see what kind of game they made. It would have been *really* stupid if after all the criticism I refused to buy the game to see how it actually turned out.
     
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  7. aries202 Erudite

    aries202
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    First of all, let me just say that if & when you mean that the episodic content for Mass Effect is the
    three planned episodes of the game, then yes, there is episodic content in the game, Mass Effect.

    What I meant by my earlier comment was that,
    afaik, wasn't planned any extra content for say
    Mass Effect, Episode 1. (but this could of course, change).

    As for the whole money making thing: Yes, companies needs to make money. However, companies also needs to understand that in a modern world, a company's aim cannot just be to make money. The company, like Bioware, needs a reason to exist, a reason for being in the world.

    And bioware's reason for being has always been this:
    'bioware's mission (or vision) is to make the best story-driven games'. To my mind, this means that all use of new technology should help further this
    mission, vision of reason for being in the world.

    Then the gamers will buy your products which happen to be games...

    The trick, of course, is to stay on the middle of the road, somewhere between artistic demand and
    the money making scheme. To me, bioware has done just that, at least untill now, i.e. they have,
    as a company danced on the fine line between artistic expression and monetary demands (making money). Maybe maybe just maybe I'm seeing that Bioware draws closer and closer to crossing that line, making its sole reason to exist: to make money.

    I'm not sure that this will happen, but I'm sure that many Biowarians (meaning fans of bioware) will be
    disappointed if this happens.

    To me, bioware is a company which relies heavily on, shall we say, the community. Bioware has (it seems to me that way) a strong and solid
    community.

    One could argue that this bioware's target audience
    aka their niche market. I think this what VD and other meant by saying 'intelligent people'.

    BTW, when I use the term intelligent people, I'm in no way demeaning other people's intelligence, bit I know that many RPG gamers do focus on something in the gameplay that the average or casual gamers do not, namely storytelling, character interaction, full text, reading text, as well as open-endend-ness, replayability and such things.

    The average gamer does want this; he or she just want to be able to blast some aliens or slay some
    monsters as quickly as possible. And he hasn't time to micromanage a party or a character; he just want to shoot, blast and kill monsters & aliens.

    Anyway, the videos of Mass Effect beeing released
    just show the combat and the new dialoque system.
    The dialoque system looks like something imported from Oblivion. However, if you decide to be nice to your team mates, I'm sure you would get a different response (or acting?) from Captain Shephard, when he (or she) has to explain to a party member that he just issued an order. Of course, Shephard could also
    follow the team member's suggestions...

    I'm also pretty sure that I have read somewhere that the dialoque system in Oblivion will not just let you talk to everyone. There actually are skill checks and such as well as certian outcomes of quests will be influenced by your skills (points?) in charisma,
    intelligence or wisdom (or the stats and abilities similar to these).

    More generally, I would say that I for one, reserve judgement on the episodic content, untill they have been released.
     
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  8. FrancoTAU Cipher

    FrancoTAU
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    I understand your point, but I think it is more of developers making shitty businessmen. Troika themselves have said that they did make some mild profits and still went out of business due to shitty contractual moves. BIS was ran into the ground due to some mind numbingly stupid moves to cancel FO3 & BG3 when they were almost done just to do some half ass Baldur Gate - Dark Alliance clones that bombed. And going back to even Origin almost going bankrupt even though they sold a shit load of games just because their games needed like 8-10 floppy disks. And floppy disks at the time actually were expensive ;)

    I doubt if Fallout - Brotherhood of Steel had some Car Armor for 2 bucks that they would've been able to finance another game.
     
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  9. mister lamat Scholar

    mister lamat
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    570
    prcs for a buck a piece would have been a purely marketing/business decision and that wasn't exactly a strongpoint of troika. infact, they fucking sucked in that regard. atari would have eaten that shit up with a spoon though and would have if the game had sold well and they chose to support it.

    tim and leon were better than average devs, but i don't think they'd know how to make a dollar if you gave them two halves of one and some tape.

    if they were still around and had gotten publishing support, i'm sure we'd still be seeing addons and downloadable content for both arcanum and bloodlines. i'm sure activsion and sierra would have had their hand in the cookiejar though and we'd have seen shit like 'grow two extra arms and quad-wield kurkis, roofles' as well as some decent work.
     
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  10. Lord Chambers Erudite

    Lord Chambers
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,018
    I see lottery games as a tax on the poor.

    I see DLC as a tax on the rich.

    The only piece that's missing is how the government can get a piece of that DLC action so the money can make its way into our schools and sidewalks.
     
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  11. kris Arcane

    kris
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    Lulea, Sweden
    This is where quality reviews comes in. Unfortunately quality reviews are very hard to find. Most people isn't really able to put out a great description of a game. many seems to lack integrity too. if the reviews where all quality, then we would get the products we want and we would know what to buy.
     
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  12. Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Developer

    Elhoim
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    San Isidro, Argentina
    Learn to use pharagraphs, for god´s sake. :)
     
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  13. Dgaider Liturgist Developer

    Dgaider
    Joined:
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    I don't know if I agree with that. I think most people who would even read one of these reviews are usually media-savvy enough to suss out what they need to know. The only games I have been honestly surprised by, in my memory, have been those I bought on impulse.
     
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  14. Castanova Prophet

    Castanova
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    Yes, but you seem to be an intelligent guy, David, and you're a bit older than the average review site consumer. What is lacking in mainstream review sites is the highlighting of games that don't immediately grab the attention of the 12-18 crowd. Reviews are overwhelmingly focused on graphics and "ease of use" (i.e., is there a quest compass) which means that new customers and new gamers never come across a less popular but possibly better game unless they try real, real hard.
     
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  15. Azarkon Arcane

    Azarkon
    Joined:
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    2,968
    Word of mouth, advertising, and company/brand identification are the three top factors associated with game sales, in my experience.

    I've yet to meet a casual gamer who really paid attention to "critical" reviews. Whether that's a testament to the quality of game reviews or to the nature of gamers is up to you.
     
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  16. Greatatlantic Erudite

    Greatatlantic
    Joined:
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    The Heart of It All
    If nothing else, Sam and Max have convinced me that Episodic content can be done right. Of course, the fact that I get these episodes free with my Gametap subscription is part of my enthusiasm. In the future, I see the rise of "syndicated gaming", where some online company has half-a-dozen IPs getting new episodes monthly or bi-monthly (spaced out through the month, of course). Players pay a monthly fee for all the new releases and access to the back catalogue.

    In this case, however, keeping to a schedule and creating more "Dramatic Arcs" becomes very important. Still, I think it solves many of the problems of the current system. Instead of needing a pre-existing IP to insure sales, they have an install base of the syndicates membership.
     
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  17. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
    Joined:
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    "What I meant by my earlier comment was that,
    afaik, wasn't planned any extra content for say
    Mass Effect, Episode 1. (but this could of course, change)."

    Actually, they are planninge xactly that. they've been planning that since ME was announced, and this article clarifies even more. What bullshit are ya spewing?


    "bioware is a company which relies heavily on, shall we say, the community."

    No more than any other developer.



    "Troika themselves have said that they did make some mild profits and still went out of business due to shitty contractual moves."

    Troika said a lot fo thinsg that ultimately proved to be BS hence why publisher sno longer wnated to work for them. Not to mention that any 'profit' they made was likely neglible. If they actually made real profit, publishers would have been bashing down their door to gie them money to make more 'profitable' games. R00fles!


    "A game called Baldur's Gate 3 would have been a bestseller regardless of gameplay's quality."

    Not all sequels to popular products (games, movies, or otherwise) do as well as the original. Mnay do worse, few do better. Ther eis no GUARNATEE that BG3 would have sold as much as the earlier BGs though it is highly possible.


    "Jade Empire was a console game with a lot of action."

    JE had less combat per hour of play than any other BIO game.

    " Mass Effect is a console trilogy (for fuck's sake) that's mostly about action."

    Bullshit. ME is a role-playing a game first; action game second. This is a FACT.


    "KOTOR was designed for consoles (just look at the interface)."

    KOTOR was designed for both xbox and PC. THAT'S a FACT.


    "What do *you* think, Volly?"

    I think you are full of shit. Products for both PC, and console are for money. You telling me that BG, NWN, TOEE, and many other PC games weren't for money? Are you that daft?


    "Don't you think that you are overdoing the insults part?"

    Nah. Maybe underdoing it espicially considering all the name calling that comes my way. Do what I do - deal with it. Don't start crying crocodile tears because someone called you a mean name. Geez.. I thought this was the Codex? Not Pussyville Deluxe.


    "thought I explained it many times already. As funny as that sounds, I'm a game reviewer here. I review games and talk about games. Since Bethesda forgot to send the Codex a press-copy, I had to buy it to see what kind of game they made. It would have been *really* stupid if after all the criticism I refused to buy the game to see how it actually turned out."

    Excuses, excuses. Bithcing about agame then buying and then bitching some more is stupid. You aren't any more a reviewer than shitcan man (me) or foofoo fagget outside of the fact you have a silly website to spout your silliy opinions 'officially'. R00fles!

    I find it REALLY stupid that after the criticism that you went oput and spent money on a game you 'knew' was gonna suck.

    That's just plain dumb. :roll:
     
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  18. aboyd Liturgist

    aboyd
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    843
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    USA
    You know, I'm not so sure. I mean, I concede that you could be right. But I can also see an alternative vision.

    I would be thrilled if NWN 3 was released with a story that only took the player to level 5 or 6 or 7. And if, in the making of that game, the developers added in more story branches, so that it was replayable. OK so far? Shorter story, more options. As a working person, that appeals to me as a quick game that I might actually complete in a reasonable time-frame, if I do it for an hour or two a night. And I've heard developers say that 30 hour games are really the max for most customers, so this plays into that.

    However, here's the kick that would make it worthwhile in my opinion. The game comes with a voucher for you to pick one follow-up campaign that would take your character up to level 10, 11, or 12. The trick is there should be at least 2 campaigns to choose from. So, for my 1 purchase, I get a nice short game that I can replay and end up with a handful of satisfactory character exports. Then I pick which campaign my favorite character will go to next. Maybe I run through that campaign a few times, too. Again, it should be shorter, but with many more branches. At this point, I've either had enough and shelve the game, or I can now pick to buy the other campaign -- or possibly higher-level campaigns, if they're out yet.

    To me, that would feel a lot more like the way I used to play D&D with friends. We'd run through a module, then another module, then hit another. The concept of a single campaign that runs from level 1 to 20 is new to me. I've only seen it with computer games.

    This is also predicated on the concept that the developer would actually create good, worthwhile campaigns. A developer who creates a crappy little module that gets you to level 5 in 5 hours and has no replayability should expect the product to tank.

    I'm sort of using the concept of short modules as a way to force some extra branching, too. If I finish the campaign at level 6 and decide to take my character into a campaign set in Icewind Dale rather than set in Neverwinter, I've clearly branched my character away from those who traveled elsewhere.

    Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud. I'm not advocating this as a be-all end-all solution. If it's no good for anyone else, I understand.
     
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  19. Human Shield Augur

    Human Shield
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    2,027
    Location:
    VA, USA
    I think people are looking for enough that is doesn't feel like a treadmill. People prefer paying for unlimited internet per month instead of each minute.

    If episodes are some type of story that people don't know where it is going, they will feel burned if the story is designed to just continue the story to sell more episodes. Season arches have become the standard for most shows, people like continuing stories but want a pay off.

    If episodes are stand alone they should add enough to play through or enough to make replay worth it. A lot of Beth's content is just worthless junk, like paying per piece of furniture for The Sims.

    Expansions usually match the above, episodes haven't proven themselves yet. DVD buyers prefer to buy season packs then individual DVDs for a show.
     
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  20. HardCode Erudite

    HardCode
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
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    1,138
    But Sid Meier still is ... who designed some of the best MicroProse games. Kind of off-topic, but a valid point that good game design can and should persevere - that not appealing to the "moronic masses" can still lead to success.

    As far as patches promoting the idea of being a crutch to release games in a buggy state, you bet your ass that it HAS promoted publishers to rush shit out the door. So, we can already see the effect on software that patches have, when money is involved. I could just imagine that "pay for content" will have the exact same affect. Soon, there will be patches for the "pay for" content, too, as a natural progression. Then people will take up needlepoint.
     
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  21. Azarkon Arcane

    Azarkon
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    2,968
    I guess it comes down to how cynical you are towards capitalism. Will the laws of supply and demand triumph, or will social conditioning towards accepting mediocrity?
     
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  22. mister lamat Scholar

    mister lamat
    Joined:
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    570
    now now, bioware is 'slightly above mediocre', they set the standard that the rest of industry sorta fails to live up to time and time again.

    humanshield brings up a good point, episodic content that carries an overall arc. if the devs can work along those lines, carrying out a narrative that's actually told over a couple of months, or even years, as opposed to fourty hours... well... that ladies is some "next gen" shit and kind of exciting.
     
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  23. DemonKing Arcane

    DemonKing
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    4,350
    I'm pretty much with the majority of posters - I don't mind paying $10-$20 for a decent sized downloadable expansion (eg the previous Bio premium mods) but draw the line over forking out $2 for horse barding or similar crap.

    The problem with the "episodic content" model that currently exists is that it's often been promoted as a way to get content to the fans on a more regular basis, almost like a TV series, whereas the reality is the wait between releases is far longer - just look at the HL2 chapters and Sin episodes which are both still floundering at Chapter 1!

    Also there is the pricing model - if you charge $19.95 for your episodes, which can be completed in a single evening (I think both HL2 Episode 1 and Sin Episodes took me about 5 hours to complete) whereas you charge $49.95 for a full game of say 20 hours content, it doesn't take a genius to work out you can make more money and do less work selling three 5 hour episodes over one full game. It's the fans that lose out under this model.

    In any case, I'll wait until we see something released before I start crying foul at Bio.
     
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  24. HardCode Erudite

    HardCode
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    1,138
    Impossible, fuckfaced moron.
     
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  25. TheGreatGodPan Arbiter

    TheGreatGodPan
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    What about Microprose? It made good games that sold poorly like Darklands and I don't know about them dumbing down or aiming for consoles.
     
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