In an interview with UK site CVG, Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell has said he's pretty chuffed with the episodic content strategy Valve is using for the 'sequels' to Half Life 2. Speaking to the site at the Leipzig Games Convention last week, Newell claimed the new approach had increased productivity considerably.
"When we look at how long it took us to build a minute of gameplay for Half-Life 2, versus how many man-months it takes us to build a minute of gameplay for Episode One or Episode Two, we seem to be about four times as productive," said Newell, who also admitted that the wait between Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Three is probably going to be of a similar length to the gap between Episode One and Two - approximately a year, in other words.
It's not as though the developer is unsure about where the story is heading, however - according to Newell, the story for Episode Three has already been settled on: "We know what happens after this episode; there's a fairly large chronology," he revealed. "Things tend to vary more in the specific details of the minor characters, so as we're working through the issues in an episode, we discover stuff about the characters regarding what is and isn't working."
Half-Life 2: Episode Two is scheduled for release in June 2007 - in the meantime, you can read our review of the excellent Half-Life 2: Episode One here.