Buy Resonance

Where we’re at, and a question for you!

November 16th, 2008 @ 8:43 am
by Vince Twelve

Thanks to the few people who kept checking in during the long silence. To answer Storygamer’s question from the comments, and to update everyone, my wife, daughter, and I left Okinawa at the end of August and moved to the exciting Omaha, Nebraska. Things have been crazy around here getting our lives in order. But now that I’ve got a full time job as a program designer, graphic designer, and .Net developer (it’s a small company, so we get to wear many hats), things are calming down.

I had been spending a lot of my freetime working on Erin’s Wadjet-Eye project, but she’s recently decided to shake things up with a new art direction, so I’ve got some time off of that now, and I opened up Resonance today for the first time in (I’m embarrassed to admit) two months. Arg.

amullook.gifSince Res has been taking so much longer than I had hoped, I have been mulling over the option of releasing the game in three parts. The story is divided nicely into three acts, one for each day of the story. However, I think there are some issues with splitting them up since they were originally supposed to be a single cohesive whole. For example, the first act is extremely linear and fairly short since it’s introducing the characters, setting, and plot. The second act, on the other hand, is the real meat of the game, opening up to more free exploration and allowing the player to do many tasks in any order with lots of multiple solution puzzles. I’d worry that the first act might be unfairly judged if it was released in the absence of the second.

There would also be technical considerations with splitting the game up. I’d have to consider, for example, how to allow the player to transfer their data between the releases so that choices that you make in one part might effect characters’ actions in a later part. Not to mention the point system

So I’d be interested in what you’d think about a three-part release. Would you forgive the shortcomings of one part since it was intended to be balanced out by another part in the original design? Would it be worth me taking some time to rework the game a bit to balance the three releases as far as linearity and length go to improve a three-part release? Or should I just keep to the original plan even if it means that you don’t get to see any of the game in quite a long time? Thoughts?

11 Responses to “Where we’re at, and a question for you!”

  1. Storygamer Says:

    As for myself, I think it’s a good idea–provided that there IS a built-in data transfer as you mentioned. There’s a huge plus to releasing a game episodically–namely, the fact that people can start playing it before you’re done making it.

    As for reworking the game to make each “episode” more similar to the others–my instinctive first response to this is no, simply because you didn’t create the story with this in mind, and so you’d probably have to make some significant adjustments to do that. Those adjustments would likely interfere with the fine-tuning of the story.

    Just make sure to mention in the release of the each “episode” that there will be significant gameplay differences in the next one, and what they will be.

    Just my own two cents.

  2. gnome Says:

    Glad to know things are working out for you even in Nebraska Vince!

    As for Resonance, being the old-fashioned man I am, I wouldn’t mind waiting for one whole game in one installment. I really think that episodic works (storywise at least) when the plot ties between parts are loose. Then again, I won’t complain either way.

  3. Snarky Says:

    If you release it in three parts, I’ll wait until they’re all out before buying it, so I guess it doesn’t make much of a difference to me. I’d still prefer one complete release, though.

    Hey, I waited for QFG2VGA, I can wait for this!

  4. Dave Gilbert Says:

    You’d be surprised, Vince. Blackwell Unbound was originally a flashback section of Convergence, but I split it apart and made it a seperate game because I wanted to get a game out faster. It turned out that the story worked out much better as a stand-alone! If you feel that splitting up your game will achieve something similar, then by all means do it.

  5. Peder Johnsen Says:

    I wont mind waiting for 1 full release!
    And I think most people will agree with me on that!

    And also I think, because you said the first part is mainly just introducing the characters and what comes after is the meat, then how would you go about selling it?

    I would rather see the game as one whole game and wait than get 3 games just to get to play it quicker.

    And I think if you did release it in 3 parts we would play the first part and just get more annoyed by having to wait for the next part to be able to continue playing the game.

    With Daves case I believe Blackwell Unbound has an “end” to it, while your parts would be a “to be continued” thing :P.

  6. Snarky Says:

    If you gave away Part 1 and offered the next two for sale, that might work. Kind of the classic shareware model used by DOOM and other games.

  7. Vince Twelve Says:

    The ol’ bait-n-switch eh? Hook ’em, then charge ’em. I like it!

    I’m thinking now that even if I were to release the game in three parts, I wouldn’t want to release the first part until I knew that the rest wouldn’t be too far behind. So really, it wouldn’t get the game into players’ hands too much earlier. I guess it wouldn’t be worth what it would cost in terms of quality to break it up.

  8. Ben304 Says:

    Even though I’d love to see this game sooner rather than later, I’d prefer to get it all in one hit, on a single cd.

    My two cents.

    No matter how you end up releasing it, I will purchase all parts of it, whether they be three or one.

  9. Stupot Says:

    I think I would also rather play the game in one hit. I prefer sequels to be able to stand alone to a certain degree rather than being literally the second or third part to the same story.

  10. Gil Faure Says:

    I’d rather wait for the whole game. What’s shown up til now looks promising. And “all good to those who wait…”

  11. Vince Twelve Says:

    Amen, Gil!