With its brand new development model through the use of episodic delivery, SiN Episodes has attracted a lot of attention from the gaming community with fans and critics alike. In this article, we take a look at why an episodic approach to releasing the title is beneficial to this new title in the SiN universe.
|Assets such as weapon models can be carried forward to new episodes.|
For the gamer, this means a constant flow of content to your PC to play. Along with SiN Episodes, additional features such as the re-release of the original game and a SiN Episodes multiplayer mode are planned, adding to amount of content available. For mod producers, regular episodic releases will also allow a steady influx of new game assets to become available for use, allowing mod projects to continually improve in parallel to SiN Episodes itself.
Steam was designed to be a perfect platform for episodic content delivery. The application itself downloads and automatically updates supported titles, so gamers can always be sure they are keeping up-to-date. Half-Life 2 and its continual updates and new features, such as new maps for Counter-Strike Source and Half-Life 2 Deathmatch, have proven Steam's ability to bring more content to players more quickly. For SiN Episodes, this means that not only can gamers get the latest episodes on the second of release, but previous episodes can be updated with fixes and features such as engine enhancements (High Dynamic Range Lighting being an example), without the need to hunt for downloads across the web.
By directly using Steam to release SiN Episodes, rather than working with a publisher, Ritual has complete creative control over the project, allowing their original vision of the SiN universe to come to life in its full glory. The use of Steam also allows gamers to get more for their money. It is expected that each episode will contain four to six hours of gameplay for most players, with a price tag of under $20. Considering the $50 cost of normal FPS game releases with around eight hours of gameplay, the cost of the episodic releases is easily justified.
|This system allows development to focus on meeting gamers styles.|
With Action Based Outcomes (ABOs), future episodes can be made to reflect the decisions the majority of gamers made in previous episodes. For example, if a building was destroyed by most players in an episode, it would not appear in future episodes. This allows for a whole new level of storytelling where players can affect the future of the game. In essence, SiN Episodes will constantly improve and meet the expectations of its fans.
|Half-Life 2 is also taking advantage of episodic delivery|