Telltale Only Beginning To Tap Episodic ‘Strengths’

Dave Grossman, design director at Telltale, believes that the company is only just starting to tap the “real strengths” of episodic content.”We’re only just now taking advantage of the real strengths of the form,” Grossman – a veteran point-and-click designer – told IncGamers.”[T]hat’s partly because it took awhile to gain the trust of the audience that we weren’t going to just sort of abandon things in the middle, or take forever to come out with episodes, as has happened sometimes in the past with episodic development,” he explained. “[F]or that reason, some of our earlier series… the episodes are much more separate from each other, so that each one is kind of an individual little piece that you play.””But really, where the strength comes in is when you do kind of string them together in a mini-series way, sort of like a saga, and there’s lots of stuff for you think about in the intervening time between episodes, and you really are sort of engaging the audience in one story over the course of about half a year, real time,” said Grossman. “When you do that, it has the effect of making the thing feel really very epic.”If these strengths are taken on board by the company and Telltale begins to really run with them, then it seems likely that future episodic series by the developer will weave one plot through all five episodes rather than having each episode as a separate game with a running theme. Big news for fans of point and click adventures, we think.Stay tuned for the full interview with Dave Grossman next week.

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