games

Episodic

Half-Life 2: Episode 2: Vapourware
Vapourware

Valve have really dropped the ball with their "episodes".
SiN: Episode One was released, what? Two and half decades ago? Sounds about right. I can't even remember when Half-Life 2: Episode One was released.
Recently Valve announced that Half-Life 2: Episode 2 will be pushed back until the end of the year. That's over a year between episodes one and two.

The whole idea behind episodic content was that there were supposed to be constant game releases with short development times between, a month or two, three at the most.
First you create the initial game. In this case, Half-Life 2. Half-Life 2 brings the engine, the sounds, the models, textures and everything else. Then the episodes come, short bursts of gameplay that bring new levels and further the story. Maybe throw in a new weapon or enemy every few episodes. Like short little mods.

Sam and Max 03 - Being Dead Is Boring
Being Dead Is Boring

Now let's take a look at someone else. Telltale Games. The developers of the new breed of Sam and Max games. Also in episodic form. Yesterday they released the third episode in as many months (not including December which they took off for the holidays). They are following the rules of episodic content to perfection. These are short games, released every month that continue an overall arc, but have self-contained plots themselves.
And, might I add, they are doing an amazing job with Sam and Max. Great games, so much fun.

There are two theories that I have as to why Valve can't keep releasing their episodes on time.
First, I think maybe they've set their standard too high. Taking so long to create Half-Life 2, which isn't the longest game in the world, they probably can't even meet their own standards.
My other theory is maybe they've piled on too much work for themselves. Episode 2 was to come in package containing not only the episode but two other mods, Team Fortress 2 and Portal. Maybe they just can't get it all done in time.
Either way I think it's about time they remove the "episode" and "episodic" labels from the game. It's not episodic.
It's an expansion pack.

I don't think even the devs know when SiN Episode 2 is coming out. I wonder if they are even working on it. I wonder if anyone's even wondering where the second episode is? Probably not.
Well, I guess I was. Just then.

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