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Status update: Major changes (part 2) (also, meet us at Assembly Summer 2011)

Posted July 22, 2011 by Matti Delahay 3 Thumb-ups 

Episodic development
The second of our major announcements is that the game will be launched in episodes. The launch dates are to-be-announced, but after the first episode we're looking at a new launch every couple of months. We believe this makes it even easier to cooperate with our audience, since we can get feedback on our work between episodes and players who play the first episode are even better equipped to provide ideas and content for the following ones. As should go without saying, the story will still be branching and you will be able to have your character stats and decisions carry on from episode to episode.

Effects on storyline
This change was one of the motivating factors in the storyline rewrite I mentioned last time - cutting the same story in pieces wouldn't have made for a very balanced experience so it made sense to re-design it completely to suit an episodic structure.

The biggest change to the old plans is the unification of character storylines. Rather than three separate stories taking place isolated from the others as we originally planned, we're now crafting the character storylines into one branching tree in which all major (and several minor) decisions have an effect on the other characters' story progression. This was in fact something we opted not to do because things tend to get complex towards the end with so many factors, but with episodic development we'll have more time and resources to handle all the possible endgame branches.

We're aiming for a movie/novel -style handling of several perspectives, each characters' decisions having an effect on the others' storylines and where the characters' timelines are not in complete sync all of the time - Insider starts his story several days before the Unseen, Unseen a day or two before Soldier. Each episode will feature a piece of the story that alternates between the viewpoints of each of the characters. Since decisions made in earlier episodes also have a major influence on the following ones, so you may want to try out different paths while waiting for the next episode to come out. :)

Assembly Summer 2011
Last but not least for this update, Operation Highjump will be present at Assembly Summer 2011, 4th-7th August at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki.

Matti Delahay
Lead designer & Community manager
Operation Highjump

Comments

Matti Delahay July 22, 2011 15:43 Flag

Dennis: Thanks! I'm not sure if posting all of the storyline would be a good idea - we'd prefer it if the game had some suspense left for the community members too, and it'd be pretty boring if you knew everything from the start. :)

Nonetheless, we will be asking for advice about a whole lot of different things, including bits and pieces of storyline and even playable test areas and test plots. Moreover, since the game comes out in episodes you are free to post new ideas between episodes on what you liked and what kind of things you'd like to see in the later parts.

Dennis Verhoeff July 22, 2011 14:29 Flag

Will you post the different storylines? So we can give some more advice etc. Really like the idea of 'choosing your story'. Good luck!

Matti Delahay July 22, 2011 12:51 Flag

We'll do our best, hopefully y'all can help us with that. I'll be posting more shots on major mechanics in the future and we've also have some community-sourced testing planned before the first actual episodes come out.

Markus Koskivirta July 22, 2011 10:47 Flag

This is great news, I love that sort of gameplay changing "choose your own adventure" type of mechanisms.

Here's to hoping you'll get it right.

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