Valve May Abandon Episodic Game Plan

valvelogo12.jpgValve’s Gabe Newell has implied that Half Life 2: Episode Three could mark the end of the developer’s attempts at episodic games. Once the third episode is out, Newell says the company plans to take some time to find out what the fans prefer, using the three different episodes’ releases as examples:

“I think what we really want to do is have a couple of examples out there – Episode One, and how long it was to play and how long it took to develop, Episode Two, Portal and TF2 and then the third part of the trilogy; and then sit down with the community and say, ‘OK, so what do you want?’”

Could this mean they plan to do something completely different with the release of Episode Three as well? But basically, if the fans end up saying that Valve should go back to doing bigger projects (i.e. another, full Half-Life game), then the third episode may be the series’ last. Newell also said he would like to sit down with Telltale Games, developers for Sam and Max, to discuss their experiences with episodic games.

I’m a little torn on this. On the one hand, I’d rather not have to wait around years and years for another new game. On the other hand though, Episode One felt kind of short to me. That’s fine if you’ve got new episodes coming out every month or so (a la Sam and Max), but when it takes a little over a year? Of course, releasing Episode Two with two other full games is pretty cool, but can they really keep that up? We’ll just have to see how this all pans out.


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No Comments on Valve May Abandon Episodic Game Plan


On September 25, 2007 at 9:25 pm

I say keep the episodic content. it does wonders for the modding community.


On September 25, 2007 at 10:36 pm

I don’t really mind the episodic content.
I’d rather play an epic half-life game.


On September 25, 2007 at 11:48 pm

I too like the episodic idea, but episode 1 was way too short. I felt I waited all that time and got very little for it. They had the physics engine from Half-Life 2. You would think they could add more content relatively quickly. Plus, the price was half of a full game, but the content was only 1/3.


On September 26, 2007 at 8:28 am

Valve takes as long to make an episodic game as most companies take to make a full one, so screw it, why bother?

Also, the episodes are USELESS to the modding community, as they don’t add the new content to the Source SDK Base content. Only things from HL2 and HL2 DM are publicly available for mods. In order to use Episode content, you have to copy the models and textures and use a tool called pakrat to include them in the map file, something that’s against Valve’s ToS.
There’s a number of changes I’d really appreciate see Valve make at this point. Timely development cycles (C’mon, it’s not like you don’t have a big enough team or resources), actually lower prices on Steam than physical sales (Valve games at Walmart are no more expensive, and in some cases cheaper, than Valve games on Steam, and they come with a Case, manual, physical copy of the game, and doesn’t require downloading), and stop practices like gimping products they offer in deals with ATI (They give away HL2: DM and Lost Coast for ATI video card owners, but the free versions aren’t compatible with the Source SDK, which means the owner can’t play mods, and these are games that they ALREADY give away to anyone who buys HL2 (in stores, anyway, you have to pay an extra $5 on Steam) or Episode 1 (which also comes with HL: Source DM). They also need to include ALL the HL2 materials in the Source SDK base. They aren’t exactly losing sales by allowing the stupid TREE models from Episode 2 to be used in a mod for their games. That’s just an absolutely retarded bit of cheepskatery.


On September 26, 2007 at 9:53 am

Actually, they do help the modding community, look at the SDK base, which allows them to use HDR and the like.. christ..

And yeah, actually the mods can use those files, they just have to be smart enough to point to the right app # to load the correct .gcf in their gameinfo.txt