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1) A modular front end. Quite simply, what a frequently released episodic game requires is a front end that provides content creators (artists, writers and the like) with a base foundation that makes inserting content easy and painless. If creating content for one given episode remains easy to pull off, then you are less likely to be met with delays.
2) A master plan. Every game needs a plan about where it's headed, before it even gets there. To beat an old cliche to death: "Start with the end in mind."
3) Technology that's not necessarily cutting edge. The sad truth about cutting edge technology is that creating assets and environments requires a lot of time and energy; possibly more than what is available when your team is creating game content on a fixed schedule. This is one of the biggest problem with Valve attempting to release Half Life 2 expansions as episodic content. The assets and technology required to create each episode is wholly time consuming, which creates delays, and defeats the very purpose of episodic content in the first place.
4) Community involvement in the process. One of the common complaints I hear about episodic content is that it's merely a new way to make microtransactions more palatable to the consumer. Episodic content has definite advantages, but how does one capitalize on those advantages? The easiest way is to allow fans to have a hand in the direction the game takes. The game is episodic, so the story is living, breathing, and constantly changing. A constantly evolving and living world is one of the bigger advantages that episodic gameplay has over a single boxed version.
5) Introduce new gameplay mechanics in each new installment. This isn't to say that each game should be a complete overhaul fromthe last installment. In fact, this is quite the opposite. Slowly build on what the player knows, and offer a small new addition to the gameplay each installment, so the player doesn't feel as if the episodic content is not just a hacked up version of an otherwise full game.
6) Make it small. Provide 3 to 4 hours of content for a low price (offering segments for $20 is way too much considering the recurring payments involved in evolving content). This not only provides enough gameplay for new players to get a taste of the game before plunging into what can only be described as an investment, but it doesn't feel like a serious hit to the wallet in the event that the player decides to continue with the series. One great way to alleviate buyer's remorse over something like this would be to provide the first episode free after a few installments of the series have been released, and the series has begun to develop some noteriety. A free first episode would only serve to increase your audience.
･MSX2 with 256kB RAM
･2 MSX joystick ports
･2 MSX cartridge slots
･SD/MMC flashcard slot with native FAT16 support in MSX-DOS2
･Composite and SVHS TV output
･VGA monitor output
･2 cinch audio outputs
･FPGA I/O pin (40 pins and 10 pins)
･2 USB ports
･Externals size About 135mm×156mm×32mm
< accessories >
(Source code and development environment software.)
In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian army in the mountain pass, Thermopylae. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the enemy in one of the most famous last stands of history. A small force led by king Leonidas of Sparta blocked the only road through which the massive army of Xerxes I could pass.
After several days of confrontation the Persians attacked but were defeated by heavy losses, disproportionate to those of the Greeks. This continued on the second day but on the third day of the battle a local resident named Ephialtes betrayed the Greeks, revealing a mountain path that led behind the Greek lines. With the rest of the army dismissed, King Leonidas stayed behind with his bodyguard of 300 Spartans and the 700 man Thespian army even though they knew it meant their deaths, to allow the rest of the army to escape.
1) While in the game, Master Chief is mentioned to be the last remaining spartan, there are at least 4 others that were rescued in the books. I know that Bungie wants to seperate the two to avoid confusion for those who don`t read the book, but a short conversation inserted in the game to explain their appearance would be enough.
2) The very obvious: The superior training, tactics, equipment (somewhat) and courage are possessed by none other than the Spartan units in the Halo Universe. This is exactly the same in Thermopylae. 300 spartans held off an entire persian force through a narrow passageway.
3) On Volume 2 of the Halo 2 OST, Marty named one of the songs "Finale: Thermopylae Soon." Hmmm.
1) In Thermopylae, the greeks were betrayed by Ephialtes, who gave the persian army another path into greek land. Could this be the same thing with earth? Could someone betray the human fleet (Cortana?) during the final battle on earth, which could lead to a Thermopylae style conflict?Just some things to think about as we near the release of Ghosts of Onyx on October 31th. Anyone interested in checking out more information about this incredible historical battle can check out the wikipedia link here.
2) The thespians, citizen soldiers (opposed to the professional Spartans who were trained from birth to fight to the death), refused to leave when dismissed by Leonidas. Could we see this dedication in Sarge`s troops? Perhaps even the Helljumpers, despite them being career soldiers as well.
3) The Spartans delayed the invasion of greek land, but at a great price: Leonidas was killed, as were all 300 spartans. When Xerxes of Persia recovered his body, he ordered that he be beheaded and crucified. He regretted the event afterwards, and the body was returned to Greece 40 years later, where it was buried with full honors. Could we see the death of Master Chief by the end of Halo 3? Something else to consider...
1) What happens when a game developer or publisher goes under? If my storage medium for the downloaded product corrupts, how will I download the game again? Will I have to repurchase the title?
2) What happens if I get a new unit that the game is released for? (this worry was alleviated when I purchased a Japanese 360, and moved all my downloads and achievements over to it by simply retrieving my gamertag from Microsoft's databases)
3) What happens if I want to purchase an old title? Without physical distribution, there's no way for me to scour small game shops for hard to find games. (then again, with digital distribution, no game would be rare or hard to find, I suppose)
4) Doesn't digital distribution open the flood gates for the use and abuse of microtransactions, seen in the likes of Lumines 2 for Xbox Live, and Gran Turismo HD?
So I picked up Front Mission 5 yesterday, despite the fact that it's been out for ages. Front Mission 3 was one of my favorite games on the PSone, and I really enjoyed the Front mission 1st remake for Psone as well. FM4, on the other hand, was an unmitigated disaster to me.More detailed impressions to come in the near future.
I am happy to report that so far, FM5 is positively badass. FM5 seems like a sort of epic conclusion to the series, for a number of reasons:
1) The game takes place over several years, intersecting with several of the FM games at points.
2) For the first time, you play completely from the perspective of the USN (where in all previous games, you played from the perspective of the OCU, the war rivals of the USN, or only partially from the USN perspective).
3) The title "Scars of War" really explains the somber mood of the game. The game details the life of Walter Feng and how through the years, even as a child, war continues to change and alter his life.
They've changed a couple things in the game that I was actually pretty surprised about. For one, there is now friendly fire, so if you have a unit between you and an enemy, you will hit the unit if your weapon is a shotgun or a machine gun. Also, spray from shotguns and machine guns sometimes miss enemies and hit allied units residing behind the target. Missiles seem to be smart enough to go over allied units, though.
Also, one of the coolest parts of the game is the way attack turns use a FAR more cinematic camera than past games, making it look like a CNN news report than a movie (a slightly shaky cam to illustrate a hand held camera). Some camera shots circle overhead, much like a news helicopter feed would.
Customization for the mech seems to be much improved, too. As you tune and modify parts, your mechs will slowly change in appearance as well. There is also the ability to rename and recolor the mechs, which was present in FM3 (though I'm not sure about FM4, as I played very little of it).
I have a long day of work ahead of me today, but I really look forward to coming home and playing a few hours of the game tonight. I'm really loving it so far.
I'm going to plunge head first into the game over the coming week, and post some more detailed impressions on the game. I really hope this hits US, but the chances are looking rather dismal.