Half-Life dead, HL2: Episode Three story posted online

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by King Daniel Beyond, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Just in case anyone still cared, here's the story of Half-Life 2: Episode Three as posted by writer Marc Laidlaw (and corrected with the correct names of the characters and locales, which Marc had scrubbed). Click!

    I've been out of the loop for a long time, does anyone know why HL2: Episode Three never happened?
     
  2. Racer_X

    Racer_X Commander Red Shirt

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    The simplest theory is that Valve became enamored with all the money they were making with Steam, and chose not to move forward on making anything new anymore. It's a shame, really. About 2 years ago, I played through the entire Half-Life franchise, and it still held up pretty well. Based on how Episode 2 ended, it would have been nice to have gotten Episode 3, but I guess this will have to do.
     
  3. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

    Sell the dam IP.

    Gabe & Valve's entire handling of Half-Life has been a joke and an insult to the fans.
     
  4. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    they ostensibly* entered early pre-production several times over but never got beyond that stage, and over time they've bled personnel to the point that everyone who could (or want to) make Ep. 3 is now gone

    Valve is a very different company now compared to the HL2 days

    *(of course this isn't official information, I'm paraphrasing what I consider to be solid insider information and hearsay)
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Apathy killed Half-Life:weep:
     
  6. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    Apathy was part of it, but mostly the realities of business (game development in particular) - it' still a shame for the ardent fans that held out hope ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  7. Mapper

    Mapper Ensign Red Shirt

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    Yeah it's a pity, they would have had my money.
     
  8. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's kind of funny that they wanted to go the route of a game split into episodes. If you listen to them talk during the production of HL2, you get the sense they felt it was really the way to go. In a sense, they were pioneers long before the rest of the industry decided to adopt an episodic format. But in their case, it sounds like they just lost steam (ha!) and became disillusioned to the prospect of something that had no real end in sight. Episode 1 was pretty rough, I felt. Episode 2 felt miles better, both in terms of story and presentation, not to mention that the engine received upgrades during that time.

    I wonder if perhaps many years down the road they'll choose to pick the franchise back up again.
     
  9. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's a bit of a stretch to say "the rest of the industry decided to adopt an episodic format". More like "a bunch of developers flirted with the concept and most abandoned it just as fast."
    At this point it's looking like Telltale are the only ones to have found a way to do it reliably and even then their release schedules are notoriously sporadic.

    If anything HL were the first to prove the format wasn't really viable for the kind of games they where using it on.
     
  10. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, yes, I think TellTale is the dev that comes to mind that really made episodic gaming work, mostly due to the type of games they make. But before Valve had toyed with the format, I don't think there were any devs that had really experimented with the format, especially in an FPS, although the only other one I can think of was Sin2 and I don't think that ever got completed either. I'm just saying that after Valve did that, we saw many more developers try their hand at episodic gaming, maybe out of seeing the value of a new way of selling games via subscription. And you still have lots of developers going that route. Personally, I'd much rather have a fully completed game rather than having me sold on a promise that might never be fulfilled.
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I have Sin: Episode One. The characters were awful and dated, but the gameplay was enjoyable.
     
  12. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So what we're basically saying is, Valve were the first to try it, the first to fail at it, which didn't deter other studios from trying it too...the vast majority of which also failed?

    Any yes, Telltale's success it mostly down to the type of games they make being much more well suited to the format compared to action oriented games. But note they're pretty much the only studio to try this more than once. It's an inherently niche format.

    These days I get the impression most developers looking to sell full priced games in instalments more often go the Kickstarter/Early Access route. That or just infest the game with micro-transactions.
     
  13. Rincewiend

    Rincewiend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The only succesfull episodic games are these new " point-and-click" adventure games, the Tell Tale games and Life Is Strange...
     
  14. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's on the money :) And It still seems to not stop some developers who might see opportunities to make more cash by using the episodic method, even though we've seen many of them fail. You would think at this point that there would be enough evidence that it isn't really working and possibly putting more strain on developers, but apparently that's not enough of a deterrent. The Telltale games are perfect for this and they've made their niche. Much easier to build a story that has a beginning and an end and tie each episode into a bigger seasonal arc.

    Yeah, I thought about Life is Strange, but I've heard conflicting reports about it, so I wasn't sure if it was really successful or not. I think another I can think of is Dreamfall: Chapters.
     
  15. Rincewiend

    Rincewiend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it got a prequel:

     
  16. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    'Life is Strange' seems very much in the mould of a Telltale game (mechanically speaking) so it's not surprising they've managed to make it work episodically. Same for Dreamfall, though I gather that's more of a hybrid of modern and classic adventure games...which is pretty much how Telltale started with the 'Sam & Max' and 'Tales from Monkey Island' games.
     
  17. John Clark

    John Clark Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Also heard talk of a series (probably web based, but not much recently) and work on a sequel.

    Looking at steam, there do seem to be a fair few episode games, but without looking too closely, most seem to be indie games and or visual novels/adventure games.
     
  18. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which is more the TellTale I remember than what they've evolved into. At least they're still telling stories. But part of me feels that what they evolved into is more limiting than what they used to do.
     
  19. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This didn't happen in a vacuum. Their games have evolved they way they have because the audience responded to certain mechanics more than others. So over time, they've all but dropped the traditional puzzle solving aspect of adventure games--the part most people have always enjoyed the least about such games, despite the fact it's the only mechanic that technically makes it a game at all--and instead placed an emphasis on character and theme, which is what everyone likes.
    Let's be honest, nobody played the original 'Monkey Island' games, 'Grim Fandango' or 'Broken Sword' for their puzzles. It was all about the theme and the characters.

    I think it'd be very hard to credibly argue that their earlier efforts like 'Sam & Max' are in any way objectively better than say, 'The Walking Dead: Season 2', 'Tales from The Borderlands' or 'A Wolf Among Us'.
     
  20. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh, I know. I just know that I haven't responded to their newer output as much as their older stuff. But that's just me. In the end, it's just a preference on the story mechanics.

    Maybe Valve should hire TellTale to make Episode 3... :D I kid, I kid.