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Default Rampant Games - How Long Should an RPG Be?

August 25th, 2009, 15:40
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
I don't finish very many games but if more games had features that made it so you can get back into a game after not playing it for a long time I would probably finish more games. It is frustrating coming back to a game after a few months and trying to pickup where I left off and not knowing what I am supposed to do and whats going on.

To make a game that people will want to finish everyone of these developers need to look at Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines as inspiration. I played that game with little sleep to finish it and still wanted to play after I was done. If all games were like that I would probably be dead from lack of sleep.
In an interesting note, for some reason I don't remember, VtMB is one of the few RPGs I didn't finish. I'm still thinking I'll play it again someday with all the user made patches…
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August 25th, 2009, 15:43
To me it is more about Signal-to-Noise than length … but I know that immediately puts me into a small group who will endure 100+ hour games multiple times, 60+ hour games >10 times, and 15-20+ hour games literally dozens of times.

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August 25th, 2009, 15:58
I always finish cRPG games (with exception of these I don't like), no matter if they are 15h long or 100h long. The longer the game the better it is.
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August 25th, 2009, 20:16
Once my character(s) stop improving, I lose interest fast unless the story is very good or the strategy of the battles is still interesting without being obnoxious or repetitive. Simply said, a good RPG.

That's where I thought King's Bounty missed out, there needed to be another step to take after you mastered the strategy of your class, a story twist or a new skill tree or some new element at the 2/3 mark. Well, that and the main story got awfully confusing toward the end. Still, I finished it though I've never been able to get into a replay very far.

I try to finish every RPG I even remotely like. My glaring exceptions are: Wiz 8, I've never actually finished it. By the Rapax castle there's just too much repetitive combat. And ToEE, it had excellent combat but the rest sucked I had no idea what was going on with the actual temple and abandoned that too.
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August 25th, 2009, 21:16
I tend to finish most games that I play. Interestingly, the same thing afflicts me with games as with novels. I play/read less and less as I get near the end because I don't want it to end. I've been half-way through the final book of the Hyperion Cantos for 6 months now. I get invested in characters and don't like to let them go. Unfortunately, the absurd side-effect of this is sometimes I delay so much I never finish, which is, of course, idiotic.

As for the question, I can't help be be effected by the RPGs of old which had the possibility for an order of magnitude more hours than a modern game. But I try to be reasonable. I understand the multiple reasons for shorter modern games.

If a game is heavily story-based and fairly linear, I want ~30 hours. With a really great story I'll tolerate 20. If it's open world, well I want a lot more than that, but fortunately, I can accomplish that on my own as I tend to imagine my own story as I go even if there are no story elements going on in the game engine itself. All I need is fun game play and I'll take care of the rest. This facet of my gaming style actually adds a good number of hours to any game, open-world or not. And other elements like my propensity to sneak all the time (in games where there is a sneaking mechanic) also adds a lot of play hours.
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August 25th, 2009, 23:37
I confess. I didn't finish Angband.
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August 26th, 2009, 01:20
I doubt itīs possible to deliver a compelling story along with interesting character development in under 20 hours of game time. Similarly, itīs highly unlikely the 55+ hours long game will be able to maintain challenge and focused story throughout.

Also, thereīs quite a big difference between games whose story is more-or-less the same every time you play them and games which offer substantially different paths through them.

So, Iīd say 25 - 50 hours is just about right, with a side note that more replayable the game is, less time for one playthrough suffice.
Obviously any game needs to be fun for the majority of its playtime, regardless of length. 25 hours long great game is always better than 50 hours long mediocre one, regardless of replayability.

Now, if only developers invested more time into "masterplanning" their games to avoid the drop of quality which happens in the last third or so in most crpgs..
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August 26th, 2009, 04:33
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Similarly, itīs highly unlikely the 55+ hours long game will be able to maintain challenge and focused story throughout.
I disagree. It's easy to be focused and challenged on a game for more than 55+ hours. I routinely spend more time on games than that. Even ones advertised at 30 - 40. Once I get through the sidequests, exploring every nook and cranny and killin the baddies it normally takes over 55 hours. The game just has to have a good story and make sure that the character never achieves godhood.

Now a 55+ hours long main story line might be a little difficult to pull off. I wouldn't want to imagine even trying to make a game like that. It would take years and years to make.

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August 26th, 2009, 08:43
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Now a 55+ hours long main story line might be a little difficult to pull off. I wouldn't want to imagine even trying to make a game like that. It would take years and years to make.
It wouldn't take much time if you skip additional quests. Though I wouldn't like lack of non-main quests. I always finish most of them anyway
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