Telltale Games has High Hopes for Cloud Gaming

| 15 Sep 2014 03:00
Dan Connors The Walking Dead

Dan Connors, CEO and co-founder of Telltale Games, explains how they're looking into the capabilities available for their games using cloud streaming.

Telltale Games has achieved great success with The Walking Dead series, which just wrapped up its second season, and other popular franchises they're currently adapting. Building off that momentum, Telltale Games is looking into cloud gaming to push their games further technologically and interactively. CEO and co-founder of Telltale Games Dan Connors believes that his company is "on the cusp of an evolution of entertainment that's bigger than games, but that brings interactivity to the forefront of entertainment as a critical piece." Their goal is to tell bigger, greater stories.

One of the biggest requests Telltale receives from its fans is the capability to continue a saved game on multiple platforms where they left off, which cloud gaming can solve. This is similar to how Netflix works, and what Connors wants to achieve as well, "They've delivered the user experience that every user wants, which is, I have five devices, so why can't I move my experience across them?" Connors believes that streamlined system is part of what's made Netflix successful. Netflix has given their customers what they want with "the ability to take their content with them wherever they go from a single source. From our perspective, it puts that content in a place where it's closer to our forms of content."

Telltale also wants to use cloud gaming to bring a new element of interactivity to their games. Connors asks the hypothetical, "When we look at it, it becomes that element of, well, why shouldn't all those devices do different things as well? Why shouldn't they have a different responsibility in the storytelling?" He elaborates of the possibilities of phones and consoles interacting differently with their games to tell different stories. He also speculates how a game can react to where you are in the storyline of the show if you're watching Game of Thrones on HBO for instance, and how that affects your playthrough.

As for how close Telltale Games is to making all of this possible, Connors states that the company is currently in a good position. "We have all the pieces in place to have a robust backend that can inform game content and other content that's on a device with the ability to use processing power and take advantage of interactivity." The next steps is building the product and systems to makes use of these processes, and that will be possible as cloud gaming becomes more developed. Connors is aware that all of this can only be accomplished with a good starting point, "The initial design, the initial story needs to be done in a way that can take advantage of the opportunity."

Source: VentureBeat

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After seeing what cloud has done to music and movies i dont want any of it in games. what we got now is low quality service and no legal way to get good quality items in most areas. give me lossless audio downloads, give me good quality (and by good i mean 30mbps bitrate minimum, for reference, youtube/netflix does 10mbps) video (movies/tvshows) downloads i can buy and i will welcome the same for gaming.

dochmbi:
Cloud gaming is a great idea, it would finally be able to end piracy and the trading of used games, since the game code is actually not available to customers. With the end of piracy would come a massive increase in game development budgets and much more creative freedom for developers.

ech, no. Assasin Creed 2 had code in Ubisoft servers that were not acessible to regualr costumers. Result: Pirates played it on day 1 while legit costumers could not connect.

also you work under assumption that piracy does financial damage to industry that is significant. whereas research so far shows that most pirates either would not afford the game anyway or use it as a demo and buy it later if they end up playing it. so dont count on the flourishing developers.

Our dsl here is an unstable mess. I got to see cloud gaming in action just yesterday as the heat wave took out our net and I decided to play TWD in offline mode. Froze at every quicktime event. When the net came back on it played smooth as butter. I don't buy anything direct from telltale now either. The adventure game pack they sold a long time ago disappeared from users accounts when they redid their website and they made the excuse that they were no long able to sell/distribute the games. Those that had already downloaded it were apparently locked out from opening the games because they tied it into their DRM system which apparently didn't work for the adventure pack anymore(from what I heard, I went to D/L it again and couldn't).

Dan Connors, I love your games but I feel like you're Molyneuing the hell out of me right now. Having your games on all sorts of devices and being able to pick up where you left off in another device sounds like a good, solid concept that could be done using the cloud. Good job. You could've turned off the hype machine after that and called it a day.

It really feels like we are going towards a gaming dystopia.
We already don't own our games, nor can we be sure to have them available when we want or if a third party (internet, online servers,company) goes down.

Big ("bad") corporations will own your games and your time, telling you how and when to play what.
Holding your hobbies and enjoyment hostage by fear-mongering (piracy) and "renting" you games for the same price you payed for them in yesteryear.

i see that the majority of the responses here could be summed up as,
i'm afraid of change!

Kahani:

BigTuk:
This is why D3 will never sell as well as D2.

The trouble with this sort of argument is that Diablo 3 actually sold much, much better than Diablo 2. D2 set records by selling 1 million copies in its first two weeks. Diablo 3 set records by selling over 3 times that many in its first day. It has since sold over 15 million, putting it in the top few PC games of all time. It's easy to list all the reasons why forcing games to be online even when there's no reason is a bad idea, but the simple fact is that the majority of the public just don't care.

Yeah but the thing you need to consider is... where these sales are. Also... as much as D3 sold.. it would have sold a lot more without it.

The difference in sales can also be attributed to the marketing as well. D3 had a much bigger advert and marketing budget than D2.

BigTuk:
This is why D3 will never sell as well as D2.

The trouble with this sort of argument is that Diablo 3 actually sold much, much better than Diablo 2. D2 set records by selling 1 million copies in its first two weeks. Diablo 3 set records by selling over 3 times that many in its first day. It has since sold over 15 million, putting it in the top few PC games of all time. It's easy to list all the reasons why forcing games to be online even when there's no reason is a bad idea, but the simple fact is that the majority of the public just don't care.

Oh dear god he's caught 'Molyneux's Disease'. Quickly, someone stuff a sock in his mouth!

Seriously though it's not a bad idea being able to move your saved games between platforms but then again, wouldn't I dunno a usb drive solve that? Also some how I don't think that feature was as requested as he lets on. See if you buy a game for the PS4 or one platform that is available on multiple platform I hardly doubt you'll be thinking of playing it on another platform.. Again... memory card readers or usbdrives would more or less solve this issue.

See while the cloud is all well and good ... it has one weakness... if you rely on cloud gaming you essentially shrink your market to those with cloud compatible internet.

This is why D3 will never sell as well as D2. Simply because there are whole countries that while they have internet do not have it available at the speed and reliability to make playing diablo 3 possible. And that sums it up. The internet and it's state will more or less be the problem and since the user cannot predict the state of their internet (seriously we've had internet go wonky for a whole month because of service and network upgrades by the isp).

Granted Steam does this already but in steam they leave the all important option of turning off the cloud. features for a game.

Oh dear god he's caught 'Molyneux's Disease'. Quickly, someone stuff a sock in his mouth!

Seriously though it's not a bad idea being able to move your saved games between platforms but then again, wouldn't I dunno a usb drive solve that? Also some how I don't think that feature was as requested as he lets on. See if you buy a game for the PS4 or one platform that is available on multiple platform I hardly doubt you'll be thinking of playing it on another platform.. Again... memory card readers or usbdrives would more or less solve this issue.

See while the cloud is all well and good ... it has one weakness... if you rely on cloud gaming you essentially shrink your market to those with cloud compatible internet.

This is why D3 will never sell as well as D2. Simply because there are whole countries that while they have internet do not have it available at the speed and reliability to make playing diablo 3 possible. And that sums it up. The internet and it's state will more or less be the problem and since the user cannot predict the state of their internet (seriously we've had internet go wonky for a whole month because of service and network upgrades by the isp).

Granted Steam does this already but in steam they leave the all important option of turning off the cloud. features for a game.

For Telltale games, I can agree, but everything else sounds like a bad idea in every possible way.

As long as my internet connection is not at LAN level of speeds and ping I do not have any desire to try cloud gaming ever again. Even then you would have to be borderline insane to trust someone like EA, Ubisoft, Activision, M$, Sony,... to deliver a proper streaming service, especially during the first week or month after a new game comes out. Not to mention games would die 2 months after the last DLC is out and new squeal is waiting around the corner.

I'm sure the 5 or 6 countries with fast and stable Internet connections will be excited to hear about this.

Cloud gaming is a great idea, it would finally be able to end piracy and the trading of used games, since the game code is actually not available to customers. With the end of piracy would come a massive increase in game development budgets and much more creative freedom for developers.

Therumancer:
The idea of a "cloud" is better than it works out in my experience. I suppose the technology is still in it's relative infancy but as it is whenever I use one through something like "Origin" half the time I get messages about how my local data and the cloud data don't match, and whatever I choose I seem to wind up missing something (achievements or whatever).

What's more, what happens to all of this "cloud storage" when these services are gone? A lot of people don't like to think about the future that way, but let's be honest, as time goes on technology is going to replace what we're using now, today's untouchable juggernauts of business and innovation will become tomorrow's fossils, and when a company is on it's way down the last thing they are worrying about is their customers. When something like Origin goes down and presumably takes it's cloud with it, perhaps with EA going under, what happens to all your data and digital property? Sure, you might argue that this won't happen for a long time, but at the end of the day since I paid them real money for that stuff, what happens to the company shouldn't matter to me and the usage of my products.

I am hoping legislation catches up to reality and a lot of consumer safeguards are installed soon.

Its no different then my Grim Fandango disks no longer properly reading them. There are others avenues to look at such as eBay for disks that might still work even if you take a chance those disks are copies that are being sold as the real thing. As far as your complaints against digital distribution (I include Steam and even GoG) people have found work around for those applications in the past and continue to do so, if the services just "disappear" I am pretty sure your software still will be available. At this point unless Steam decides to buy EA I just can't see Origin disappearing either.

Personally I am not to the point where I am going to pay for a game to exist solely in the Cloud, if they just want to have Cloud saves so if I buy the game once I can install it on any platform I am fine with that, but I don't want to be tied to the internet for every game I want to play.

They should probably invest in a new game engine that actually works more than half the time instead.

The idea of a "cloud" is better than it works out in my experience. I suppose the technology is still in it's relative infancy but as it is whenever I use one through something like "Origin" half the time I get messages about how my local data and the cloud data don't match, and whatever I choose I seem to wind up missing something (achievements or whatever).

What's more, what happens to all of this "cloud storage" when these services are gone? A lot of people don't like to think about the future that way, but let's be honest, as time goes on technology is going to replace what we're using now, today's untouchable juggernauts of business and innovation will become tomorrow's fossils, and when a company is on it's way down the last thing they are worrying about is their customers. When something like Origin goes down and presumably takes it's cloud with it, perhaps with EA going under, what happens to all your data and digital property? Sure, you might argue that this won't happen for a long time, but at the end of the day since I paid them real money for that stuff, what happens to the company shouldn't matter to me and the usage of my products.

I am hoping legislation catches up to reality and a lot of consumer safeguards are installed soon.

Dan Conners and anyone that thinks like him can fuck off, I have no interest in cloud gaming at all. Heck I won't even accept always online games (only free to play games that don't cripple you for not spending huge amounts into them).

Worgen:
Yeah, because if there's one thing that people hate its the feeling of owning a game.

I don't know about you but I love it when my internet cuts out...that's the best

Yeah, because if there's one thing that people hate its the feeling of owning a game.

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