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Telltale: 'Pilot Program' allows for new ideas at less risk


Telltale recently introduced its "Pilot Program" for episodic games with the reveal of Puzzle Agent, claiming that some of its future franchises (starting with PA) will live or die by the initial episode's reception among players. And last last week, the company's CEO Dan Connors took to G4 to give more detail on the initiative's future, as well as its raison d'être. "The Pilot Program allows us to try some new ideas without having to [take as much risk] and learn more what people like about it before we commit to doing the whole thing." He said that committing to an entire season for a game is, in many cases, far riskier than creating a one-off pilot that may or may not succeed.

Additionally, team sizes on the pilot episodes are much smaller, but can be scaled up depending on how the audience responds. "Right now, I think the Grickle [PA] team is probably about a third of the size of an average team to get this started," Connors said. According to him, 50 percent of the work for a series is done up front -- going into full-scale production on PA would require little adjustment for Telltale. That said, he seems more interested in spitballing ideas for additional pilot games in the meantime, saying that the studio is still "in the idea phase" for more pilots. We'll see just how well that first idea pans out when Puzzle Agent becomes available this June.

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