Poll Question 054 – Would you have preferred Half-Life 3 as a full game or as episodes?

26th October 2007

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Full Game Or Episodes

I’ve been quite vocal in my opposition to episodes in their current form, especially from Valve but I realized yesterday that I haven’t asked you your opinion!

This week’s poll question is:
Would you have preferred Half-Life 3 as a full game or as episodes?

Clarification

I should tell you that I am not against episodes in principle, just how they have been implemented by Valve. (Any chance I had of getting in their good books and one day appearing on Steam News has probably been completely lost with my Episode bashing and my general complaining!)

Anyway, I felt they should have scheduled things differently and preferably released Half-Life 3 as a full game and side stories as Episodes.

The question is what do you think?

The Poll

Now that the poll is over I can add it here:

It seems that most PP readers wanted the full game! Let’s hope Valve make episodes for side stories and keep the main storyline for full games. That’s assuming there will be more games after Half-Life 3!

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32 Comments

  1. zeroth404

    full game or bust.

  2. idm

    I agree with your thoughts on this mater. Episodes are more like mods in my opinion and would work better as side games. Dont get me wrong I love mods,couldnt live without them,they get you through those times between games. Episodes seem to end about the time the game starts to take off and just kind of leave you hanging.
    I prefere full games, especially when comes to Half-Life2.

  3. Kerberos

    I am not going to keep on bashing Valve in here, telling on how bad they do episodic releases, but I would certainly choose a full game, a Half-Life 3. We pay a lot on their releases, the orange box iself was 50 bucks, and what the hell, they made ep2 alone for 30 bucks. Its a 5 hours gameplay ,etc. I even lost my interest in what is inside the Borealis (Play EP2 and get to know) because the history for me has turned abscent and dark. Anyway, Half life 3 FTW and let’s hope for the best in the so next of their franchise….. damned episodes.

  4. I’d be interested in a HL3 after the episodes; based on Ep 1 and 2 Valve have truly refined their gameplay in the process of making them, and seeing that applied to a full game would be great.

    This poll seems to imply whether you wanted HL3 rather than the episodes though, so I’m not sure where I fall in its context (I want to see HL3 after the episodes).

  5. Kyle

    I completely disagree with your stance on episodes. Ide much rather get new content on a regular basis, than wait ANOTHER eternity for the next Half-Life. Do you remember how long Half-Life 2 was in development? WAY too long in my opinion. I agree that these Episodes are more like expansion packs, but that’s just fine, because I love expansion packs. In my opinion, that’s what keeps the PC gaming market thriving.

  6. Memobot

    The thing is Episodes 1 and 2 (the former being the weak link but still a lot of fun) ARE good games, and it seems a odd to think of them being different compared with how they are now.
    After all, each episode does have something different added to it (NPC interaction, larger environments and whatever Episode 3 has) and the thought of having them all strung together is, to me, quite terrifying.
    I hate games that have obvious divides to a passion.
    One minute you have NPC’s obeying you perfectly, then you enter an environment and the mood changes (Halo 3 does this) and it FEELS as though the game SHOULD be in episodes.
    Having said that, I an thoroughly enjoying the juxtaposition of Valve and Steam.
    Steam I used to hate, but now works perfectly for me.
    Valve is the main problem for episodic gaming, so let’s start with the positives:
    – Good lengths for an episode
    – Fantastic, solid gameplay
    – Brilliant and realistic…everything
    The negatives:
    STOP OVERPRICING EVERYTHING, MAKING CONSUMERS BUY OLD PRODUCTS SO THEY CAN GET NEW ONES AND STOP LOSING DEADLINES!!!
    Yeah, Episode 2 was delayed at one point because they lost a slip of paper that said “make game by “insert date here'”.
    Buy having said that, Valve do eventually release games that are fantastic and MMAN’s point of releasing HL3 is a good one.
    As the episodes are supposed to be HL3, does that mean we’re going to jump rom HL2: Ep3 to HL4?

  7. Mikko Sandt

    I prefer having three separately released episodes instead of one big game. This way you get your hands on the game earlier and I kinda like these cliffhangers. It’s like a constant flow of goodness instead of just one game that takes a week to run through.

    Also, Kerberos complained about the price but with Episode One taking 2-3 hours and Episode Two taking 5 it’s basically as long as Half-Life 2 and costs less.

  8. Fragmaster

    well episode expansion packs are cool but game development tme of two years for each is pretty steep while past expansions only took less than 4 months to make.(other st person shooters)
    These episodes dont give anything new well much to the weapons that Gordon uses which is a downpoint because expansions sets biggest feature is new Guns.
    Tho only 20 to 30 dollars is an examination how many hours of gameplay we get out these episodic expansions are they really what we want or is downloading free expansions like Minvera which give the almost high quality gameplay & disign that Wows us when we 1st time play through thats a good question
    Tho im glad Gabe Newell rejects Vista & DX10 meaning Valve games can be run on low system requirements.
    I enjoyed both expansions.

  9. Mel

    I would have preferred a full game release, still haven’t bothered to play episode 1 having purchased it when it was first released. I think Valve is milking the public with these part releases. Because the part releases are a continuation of the HL2 story and engine don’t see that they could have been called HL3. To be honest, as long as the HL custom community keep turn out new mods and maps I don’t give a dam what Valve release and how.

    A big thanks to all the unpaid authors that have given us years of extended life of both HL1 and 2.

  10. cubedude89

    Epiodic content FTW!

    Episode 1 took 1 year 7 months to make. Episode 2 took 1 year 4 months.
    Lets assume Episode 3 takes 1 year 7 months.

    That means if they would have waited to make hl3 (basically all the episodes as 1 game) it would have taken 4 and a half years!

    And for you guys who think that if valve would have done a hl3 that the difference between hl1 and hl2 would have been the same kind of difference between hl2 and hl3, I say you guys are probably wrong. I bet they would have done just what they are doing now. HDR, Cinamatic Physics, Dynamic flashlight shadow, New particle system, and what ever they are working on for episode 3.

    The orange box was a great deal for the games included.

  11. I would of prefered a full game but I can live with episodes EXCEPT when I cant buy just the episode on disk but need to purchase a box of stuff I either have or Dont want.

  12. Kyle

    I also agree with “Mikko Sandt” about the cliffhanger thing. Both Episodes ended greatly. Lets not spoil it for Phillip, in case hes followed through on his threat not to buy The Orange Box. XD
    Btw Phillip, in case you haven’t…
    You have NO idea what you’re missing by not playing Portal.

  13. cubedude89

    Offtopic:
    WHAT phillip didnt get the orange box!!!
    GAH! You really need to play portal! Its more in depth with story and gameplay and stuff then you think.

  14. el_espaniol

    Mmmh…Sorry…Just is not the topic…but it would be great a HL1 movie….!!!!…You know : Doom, StarTrek, Command & Conquer, TombRaider…Just I’m await for a movie. A good one.

  15. el_espaniol

    Sorry, I forget to answer the topic : an expansion pack it would be good enough…
    I don’t like HL2…I don’t say that is a bad game…but is not brilliant as HL1…may be the history line…don’t know…

  16. Kyle

    I don’t like HL2…I don’t say that is a bad game…but is not brilliant as HL1…may be the history line…don’t know…

    I agree with you that Half-Life 1 was better. I think Black Mesa had more character than all the locations in Half-Life 2 combined. And I’ve yet to see any mods for HL2 that are even close to the quality of, say, Sweet Half-Life, or Visitors, or others that are too numerous I don’t have time to name.

  17. Jimbo

    I like episodic gaming because ***READ KYLES FIRST POST***.

    [quote comment=”110626″]
    I’ve yet to see any mods for HL2 that are even close to the quality of, say, Sweet Half-Life, or Visitors, or others that are too numerous I don’t have time to name.

    1.) MISTAKE OF PYTHAGORAS
    2.) MINERVA

    Give it time though. There’s more coming. Good SP mods take a lot of time.

  18. I completely disagree with your stance on episodes. Ide much rather get new content on a regular basis, than wait ANOTHER eternity for the next Half-Life. Do you remember how long Half-Life 2 was in development?

    Well, that’s your opinion and I respect it.

    As I said I think episodes should have been used for some side games. PErhaps a new chgaracter every 6 months. BAarney, Alyx, a few different rebels, a Combine soldier. They copuld have been sold for $10 dollar and lasted 2 hours or so.

    It wouldn’t impact the main story and allow players to choose whether they want to buy them or not.

    I was happy to wait 5 years for HL2.

    And for you guys who think that if valve would have done a hl3 that the difference between hl1 and hl2 would have been the same kind of difference between hl2 and hl3, I say you guys are probably wrong.

    I tend to aggree. But I voted for a full game, not because I wanted updates of graphics or other issues but becasue I want to play for 15 or so hours.

    The orange box was a great deal for the games included.

    Agreed, but that’s not the issue here. I would be paying $44 dollars (more or less) for just EP2 and Portal. I don’t want the other games. I know that you can give some games away but only the ones you already have.

    Why can’t you give away the games you don’t want?

    I couldn’t even give HL2 away as a prize becaue I guess 95% of my readers already have it!

    I also agree with “Mikko Sandt” about the cliffhanger thing.

    That’s one part about episodes that I like but it’s not enough on its own!

    Lets not spoil it for Phillip, in case hes followed through on his threat not to buy The Orange Box. XD

    I’m staying strong, so no spoilers!

    You have NO idea what you’re missing by not playing Portal.

    OH, yes I do. HBut put yourself in my shoes. I’m strapped for cash, want to play Portal but don’t want to buy the Orange Box. What can I do? Nothing legal.

    Valve should at least make Portal available separetly for a small price.

    Give it time though.

    I don’t have accurate figures regarding releases dates and quality but HL2 has 290 mods and HL1 442. That’s not much difference considering the time delay between them.

    Of course that doesn’t even begin to discuss the quality. All I can say is “It’s a project for next year”

  19. Fragmaster

    As to The Orange Box begin a good deal:

    -For Beginners to people who havent gotten into 1st person shooters or have already & are looking for the next best thing out there

    -The Orange Box which is $54.99 here in Canada Canadian price which means each of the 5 games included are a mere $10 dollars dont know what the fuss is about with the price wasnt expansion packs like Opposing Force & Blue Shift $40 dollars each back when they were 1st released.

    As for Episodes yes Modifications can be made but how did MINERVA development time take Is there such a rush to get a game out to give Gamers there FIX.

    As for games & expansions begin short of 5 to 10 hours to 30 hours of new gameplay my opinion is they Take their long development time Creatively working to fine tune & tweak the game so its Fun & has no Bugs on release

    I dont however enjoy Steam I had my fair share of problems so bad that Steam would crash badly enough to lose my account & buy replacement discs for all the Steam CD Key games which is a Cold Sore.
    They said Dark Messiah was Unfinished & Buggy frankly my 2nd install wasnt even on Steam & I played through the game without a Hitch no bugs no graphic problems so you see the Steam System is Flawed.

    Lastly yes Steam shouldnt have been created like Windows Vista but it didnt usher in a new era of thinking. But Valve couldve just Dropped the Episode line for a full blown sequel taking up where the story left off & if they were nice they would give us 3 or 5 hour free downloadable single-multi-player content just for buying their product.

  20. Valve should at least make Portal available separetly for a small price.

    Well you can buy it for 19.99 from steam but like episode 2 not on a disc

  21. Kyle

    You made Dark Messiah work, Fragmaster? Heh
    I can’t even get it to install, and Im not using Steam with that one. Maybe I should, because I have NEVER had a single problem with Steam. *knock on wood*

  22. wreade1872

    I think people get a little confused by the episodes, the way I see it episodes an’t a replacement for half-life3 but a replacement for the usual addons like opposing force and blueshift. I’d like a full game for half-life3 but I see no problem with episoding content instead of expansion packs.
    Of course if you can’t actually release episodic content regularly then theres not much point doing it. 🙂

  23. I think people get a little confused by the episodes, the way I see it episodes an’t a replacement for half-life3 but a replacement for the usual addons like opposing force and blueshift.

    A agree. Valve did say that the 3 episodes essentially make up HL3 but I’m not sure people believed them. That’s why the episodes should have been used for side stories.

    Of course if you can’t actually release episodic content regularly then theres not much point doing it.

    The key word is “regularly”. I believe the maximum period between each release should be a year. No more, no less!

  24. Berrie

    I think of the Episodes as expansion packs and I must say I have realy liked them.
    Story wise I like that you get to see the consequences of your actions rather than waking up 20 years later in the next game. I’m not adverse to side stories, but I think continuing with Gordon has realy done the story good.
    The format facilitates implimentations of nice updates to the source engine and with Episode Two they have shown that the source engine isn’t obsolete.
    As for the releases, well it is Valve we’re talking about, never expected them to release regularly. Also considering the differences between the earlier trailers and how it turned out, they definitly changed quite a bit.

    All in all I like the episodes as they are. I expect them to make a full game after Ep3 and that’s what I would like to see by then.

  25. shungokusatsu

    They released episode 1 and 2 as part of a collection, now what about episode 3? Are they just going to re-release orange box including episode 3? Come on, most people already owned half-life 2 and episode 1 when they bought orange box- valve are practically stealing from the community in releasing everything so “tactically”.

  26. First of all I am and have been from the start, a HUGH and loyal fan of Half Life. I play single player only because I because I don’t have time to compete with the folks that have the ability to play for extended periods. Also I just like AI. This site is the best of all for this!!! That said, I have felt a bit ripped off by VALVe. Half Life 2 and the following episodes have felt more like a movie than a game. Sure, there should be some story line to keep your interest but in the end of each one I have felt cheated out of game play at the expence of video time. I do not mind the fact that VALVe has a budget to meet to turn a profit but hey, didn’t they pretty much cover that with STEAM? Even with limited playing time I ripped through Half Life 2 and Episodes 1 & 2 and felt empty after each one, looking for more and I am finding it here at Planet Philip. If VALVe wants to have a real success with Half life 3 then they should make it a long enjoyable experience that leaves us with a feeling of “dollar value”. Good call on creating some new enemy’s but sadly, not enough.
    Don’t get me wrong…I am not dissin” VALVe, after all they have brought us the most entertaining PC games of all time and I am sure that they will continue to be a big player for a long time. I will say that if I am to continue to spend my gamming dollars and feel disappionted as I have said, I will stop spending and look only for the MODS and replay my favorites. I would prefer to spend the money on quality and continuation of a great product and consider the MODS a bonus.

  27. Well said Comrade.I was looking for words similar to that myself.

  28. If VALVe wants to have a real success with Half life 3 then they should make it a long enjoyable experience that leaves us with a feeling of “dollar value”.

    You do know that Episodes 1, 2 and 3 will consitute Half-Life 3, don’t you?

  29. I would just as soon play them as they are developed, but at a price/per of not more than $20 US. for each episode. We’ve gone almost two year without any FPS games and now there’s 8 that were just released or about to be within months of each other. If we waited for Ep 1,2, &3 to be combined as a new release (HL3)that would be another year. I’m sure they’ll package it in purple box or some other color and sell it for $55, so give it to me now in pieces. Just don’t bundle it as a happy meal and charge me the same thing with only 2/3 the ingredients.

  30. I see a lot of people complaining about the price, but I waited a solid year before getting Orange Box, it came down from $50 to $30 within that time, and there was a deal running it at $10 online through steam back towards the beginning of the year.

    Sure it might be expensive if you’re buying it day 1, but if you wait a year before purchasing, you’re still getting each episode a LOT faster than if you had waited for a full game.

    Plus, could you imagine if Valve had implemented Alyx and not had a chance to get feedback for an entire game and not just Episode 1? I enjoyed her implementation, but I’m pretty confident they fine tuned some aspects about her for episode 2, they’ll probably fine tune a few more things for Episode 3.

    Personally, I can’t see how a Half Life 3 could even be significantly different from HL2. Maybe they might improve model, physics, effects, and AI detail, and also improve how maps are loaded so you can have seamless transitions from one map another without immersion breaking loading bar times, but other than that, I don’t need graphics that are any better than what Orange box already offers.

  31. 76%? WOW, impressive and not over yet… That speaks pretty clearly, but would they listen.. I doubt it. Orignially there was HL1, then two, then the box set (same games) And then some thing called Gold Edition..THAT HAD THE SAME GAMES IN THEM!.. Collectors sets same games in them, nothing different game wise. Then resale the same games online through Steam..No changes just reselling the same old thing. Then “The Orange Box” oooooh…whoooooo…..aahhhhh NOT… The same games again… just repackaged and resold.. Nothing has pissed me off over the years than the change in format.. vinyl, 8 tracks, cassettes, CD’s, DVD’s now it Blue Ray…. JESUS!..I paid for the same $h!t over and over and they had the nerve to cry foul when Napster popped up. Larz from Metallica started the cry baby whining there. I already made this comment, but Album sale were already on a sharp downward spiral before Napster and other filesharing sites popped up. What killed that industry could kill this one. People get sick of paying over and over for the SAME thing. This is one of the reasons I never bought into the Xbox garbage. They change the format and if you have a game you love, YOU HAVE TO REBUY IT! Often at a higher price!.. It;s a RACKET!.

    This is no different… They are making a killing by breaking it up into separate games. That is the major reason I did not buy “The Episodes” when they first came out. These marketers are no fools.. They know what the percentage of people are who will run right out, even camp over night in front of stores to get the new toy when it comes out. When the Apple IPhone came out people were camping IN LINE to get the first ones..XBox same thing every time they come out with a new box.. Steve Jobs should have called it “The ROAD Apple phone!.. (Road apples, slang for horse crap on the road) AS it turned out to be quite the red herring. Only half of them worked..I will never buy ANYTHING new, I wait..I will never buy one of these new fangled phones that do everything, even the advertising is insulting, it insinuates that you will be a god of the wireless world if you have one or that you are some how illiterate, uneducated and inferior if you don’t have one.. Now they’ve added online gaming and movies to the stupid things.. In the US cell phones were already causing more traffic accidents than drunk drivers! Now they can watch MOVIES WHILE DRIVING?!.. It will be disastrous!…It to me it dumber than a bag of crowbars!..Stupid is as stupid does. I would have waited as I already have for the price to come back down to earth, into reality.

    I won’t be buying ep3 until it’s down to $4.99 like Ep’s 1&2 are now. I’m no marketing guru, but I know what the are doing… And I ain’t biting. I don’t care what they put on that hook. I will wait…

    RANT RANT RAVE RAVE!…LOL

    1. In fact, having read this? I may not buy 1&2 but just wait…I probably will due to the mods for them.. But if I do I won’t be rebuying it as full game. To me that’s like eating the same thing 3 times a day year in year out…

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