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  #1  
Old 08-31-2010, 11:47 AM
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Default Game length and value

A bunch of game developers blogged about game length and value a couple weeks ago. No one asked my opinion but how has that ever stopped me before? Here's a link to Wolfire's blog about this topic (which also points to many other blogs).

Here's my take on things in the form of a formula:
value = quality * time / cost - buying pain

Basically, 20 hours of great gameplay is better than 10 hours of great gameplay (assuming the same cost). So yeah I think game length is important. It does very much impact my perceived value of a product. Seriously would anyone really claim that a $50 game that lasted 1 hour was a good value? Only if it was the best 1 hour of their gaming life.

However, 10 hours of great gameplay plus 10 hours of boring filler is worth less than 10 hours of great gameplay. To me boring filler is a negative number in that equation above. I would much rather take a shorter game without the filler getting in the way.

Quality is very subjective though and people are going to value quality vs time and cost differently. Is a good 10 hour game better or worse than a 5 hour game that was great? Is a 100 hour good game better or worse than a 5 hour great game?

One thing that confuses the issue is how long is the story line? Personally I don't think it usually matters because there are 4 typical scenarios. 1) There is no storyline like in Civilization or Tetris. 2) I stop playing before finishing the storyline. 2) I play through the games multiple times because the gameplay is more important than the story and/or the game has lots of replayability. 3) I play through the storyline once and finish there. In this case, the length does matter, but everyone is going to go through the story at a different pace. What it really boils down to is how long do you play the game? That's the only time period that actually matters, not some marketing speak about the storyline length.

And finally that weird buying pain part. Personally I find buying stuff is kind of a pain. Going through a painful buying process to play for an hour is probably not worth it for me no matter how good the game is.

How this all plays out for me is that I like good to great games that I can play for a long time. Cost doesn't matter as much. I'm fine with spending $60 on a game that I'm going to play for 50 hours. $20 would be better of course. However a game that I don't expect to play more than a few hours isn't even worth purchasing for me even if it's only $1. I would rather just go play another game of Civ.
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  #2  
Old 08-31-2010, 03:57 PM
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I think today's games are way to easy compared to 15 years ago.
Think nintendo and sega.

Most games back then you get touched once or twice by the enemy and it's game over. The games back then involves perfecting the pattern to avoid death rather than click, click and more clicks.

Noticed how much longer a game could last if you play on the highest difficulty? Basically, games today are catered to casual players that do not have the attention span of a gold fish. Also, developers nowadays like to produce shorter games so they can push out another title, except the indy companies.

That's my thoughts on the quality and longevity of a game.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:10 PM
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Delilah Rehm Delilah Rehm is offline
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"... games today are catered to casual players that do not have the attention span of a gold fish."

That's hilarious, and probably true though I don't keep up with the games market except for a few faves. I know it's true for tv. :-( Steven and I like thoughtful shows where you need to pay attention, and when we find something we like on one of the major networks, we know it's going to get canceled.

Like Firefly. I really wish SyFy or one of the other cable channels had picked it up.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delilah Rehm View Post
"... games today are catered to casual players that do not have the attention span of a gold fish."

That's hilarious, and probably true though I don't keep up with the games market except for a few faves. I know it's true for tv. :-( Steven and I like thoughtful shows where you need to pay attention, and when we find something we like on one of the major networks, we know it's going to get canceled.

Like Firefly. I really wish SyFy or one of the other cable channels had picked it up.
I agree. Over on Basilisk Games we've had whiners complaining about this and that being too hard and fix it so it's easier. No way! That would ruin the game for those who like to think!
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:46 AM
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Bah, the old games were excessively annoying and hard. It's not even a matter of complexity; I really dislike them and I play Dominions 3.

I just don't have too much patience for trial and error gameplay.
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:33 PM
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I had a friend question as to why I payed $25 for Din's Curse when it first came out. Since a lot of indie games are $20; which I see Din's is now . I told him that it was just worth it. This game in particular will give me hours of game play. My son and I play it LAN too.

Other games, none in particular, I wouldn't pay that much for. Some of these newer games that are going for $50 and $60 are just not worth it at all. If I can only get 10-30 hours of game play out of a game; I'm not shelling out that much money.

Generally I'm more inclined to buy when the 'packs' to come out. This is how I bought Neverwinter Nights and Civ4. All that content for so little money. It was great.
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