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Default Opinion - Quality over Quantity

August 14th, 2018, 02:15
NBC News argues that games don't need to be long to be worthwhile.

The debate about the length of games has been around almost as long as the games themselves. Before save files and more powerful consoles, gametime was artificially lengthened by repetitive, difficult obstacles that required perfect timing and memorization. By the mid-90s, longer games were shipping on multiple discs to accommodate the lengthy narratives. With every passing console generation, advances in technology allowed for bigger, longer, more epic adventures. A user could easily spend more than 100 hours in the nuclear wastelands of the “Fallout” series or finding shrines in “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”

“Adding in filler or repetitive content in order to hit a certain playtime was a practice I didn't love from the big games I'd worked on,” said Sam Barlow, writer and director of the 2015 indie hit “Her Story.” Instead, he wanted to make an experimental game that was approachable, accessible, and free of unnecessary fluff.

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August 14th, 2018, 02:15
NBC News!? I didn't know they knew what a video game was.

Longer games have time to develop characters and the world a lot more. They've got more time to teach you more complex things, too, making for more interesting gameplay. You can work in a lot more interesting music, too. Sure, some games try to fake being a longer game by putting in repetition but I don't consider side quests and character development to be "unnecessary fluff."

I like big novels and symphonies, too. I am NOT a kid on summer break.
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August 14th, 2018, 02:20
It's about finding a balance between quality, quantity, and pricepoint. Nobody is going to pay $60 for an excellent quality game if it's only one hour long.
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August 14th, 2018, 06:30
I would want quality (subjectively speaking) in anything I spend entertainment time and/or money on. However, I enjoy long games if the quality remains high enough as it does for many of the long games I play.

A short game would need to be extremely high quality to justify my wanting to pay full price for a game.

So for me it's quality and quantity, only having one is usually not sufficient.
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August 14th, 2018, 09:12
There are many long games I've enjoyed, but I prefer quality over quantity. I do like that some games give you a choice. I played through Skyrim twice at circa 55 hours per playthrough. Some people play longer, but I enjoyed the game at that length. I have played so many games that get terribly repetitive at the end or require grinding to beat the end game opponents. I've played a number of games up until the point where they require grinding to win and then put them down. I've also hurried through other games avoiding battles to get to the end. These games I've fininished far earlier than the developer's playing time alotment, because I've found them tedious at the end.
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August 14th, 2018, 12:37
As in all things quality and length are relative; also the type of game has a big impact. The article seems to talk more about point and click adventure than rpg or tactical games.

I would agree that some 3 and 4 hour games that tell a short story might be interesting but I'm not sure I would find a 3 hour rpg that interesting. Some dlc are a few hour long but they usually add tidbit on characters or fill in story gap but I think it takes a bit longer than 3 or 4 hours to make a quality rpg; but perhaps i am mistaken.
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August 14th, 2018, 12:42
I never really understood this concept.

Obviously, you want both - and you want both to the extent that both are preserved.

That's always the right answer, as far as I'm concerned.
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August 14th, 2018, 13:26
The debate about the length of games has been around almost as long as the games themselves. Before save files and more powerful consoles, gametime was artificially lengthened by repetitive, difficult obstacles that required perfect timing and memorization.
This summarizes quite well the mindset relative to gameplay, the contempt, the hatred.

No surprise that a game like DS is reported as difficult and requiring jet pilot reflexes.

Players have zero interest in building the proficiency to play a game. All they want is something they can cruise through without spending time toward proficiency.
Products that can be finished on highest difficulty without learning any specifics.

A world of wannabe streamers, except that the demand for streamers come from their job. They cant spend x hours on learning a game without streaming something.
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August 14th, 2018, 13:40
Quality over quantity - all gamers want that.
Quantity over quality - all Facebook and streamers want that.

Means, there is audience for everything. We only need a wall between to avoid unnecessary flame wars - skills can be trained, but IQ cannot be (drastically) changed.
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August 14th, 2018, 13:48
I think the point is to shed light on the fact that many developers were starting to emphasize quantity over quality.

Of course you want both. Though the ideal quantity is somewhat more subjective and is going to vary based on things like genre, etc.

Bioware was the first developer that came to mind when reading this. Their last couple of games were horribly bloated with filler content in an attempt to provide more quantity. It's certainly not an issue that's unique to them though.
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August 14th, 2018, 16:41
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
NBC News!? I didn't know they knew what a video game was.

Longer games have time to develop characters and the world a lot more. They've got more time to teach you more complex things, too, making for more interesting gameplay. You can work in a lot more interesting music, too. Sure, some games try to fake being a longer game by putting in repetition but I don't consider side quests and character development to be "unnecessary fluff."

I like big novels and symphonies, too. I am NOT a kid on summer break.
I agree with much of what you said. The only thing I'd point out is that, in a longer game, repetition is inevitable.

When a game is over 30 hours long, I just pulled that number out of the air as an example, you're going to have repetition; there's only so much variety you can add, especially in combat.

The best example of this, that comes to mind, is Lords of Xulima. I loved the game, but after 30 hours I'd had enough. The repetition got to me. Interestingly, I read a developer quote which said they themselves thought the game was too long.

I think quality is necessary and fundamental. Length, by itself, isn't sufficient, or really necessary. But, everyone likes more of a good thing, at least to the point of saturation.
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August 14th, 2018, 17:04
Length of games became a selling point. Too many RPGs are bloated and tedious towards the end to enable the box cover/thumbnail to claim "Over 80+ Hours of Role Playing Action!"
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August 14th, 2018, 17:15
And tons of different loot.

Against a game with only two swords. And overpowered staff you've never found.

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August 14th, 2018, 17:45
I prefer CRPGs that have some choice & consequence like branching paths or different factions to side with than long, yet extremely linear RPGs. For ex: I've played through Expeditions Viking three times now with a somewhat different experience each time. Of course, I'd love it if an expansion was released for it, but only if the quality could be maintained or even improved on.

And filler content, be it trash encounters or menial quests (e.g., fetch, kill x# of monster y, rats in the cellar, etc.) are bad, regardless of a game's length. Sure, a lot of great games have these to some extent, but a well designed game can make even seemingly simple quests interesting by providing multiple solutions. In RPGs, I prefer when every battle and quest "makes sense" in the context of the world and isn't just there to pad the game.

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." --Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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August 14th, 2018, 18:33
Quantity for the sake of it isn't fun. I recently played Assassin's Creed Origins and while there are plenty of nice things I can say about it… the game was way too long for the gameplay it offered and became boring by the halfway point. I reduced the difficulty from nightmare down to easy just so that I could see the end of the story faster. Skipped a whole bunch of "points of interest" because the game looking real pretty isn't enough to keep me going.
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August 14th, 2018, 18:44
I tend to like looong games. When I see a prospective game that I'm considering getting by researching it, and I find out its less than 10 hours long, then I often will lose a lot of my interest, and the shine comes off it real quickly.

Baldur's Gate was the game that brought me into the crpg hobby, to give you an idea of the type of lengthy games that were my influence and inspiration. You could easily spend 200 hours and more in those epic games.
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August 14th, 2018, 18:55
A good book is cheaper than a short but quality video game, and usually lasts longer. Yes quality is fine, but I want to feel like I got my money's worth. It needs to blow me away like a good movie.
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August 14th, 2018, 19:38
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Length of games became a selling point. Too many RPGs are bloated and tedious towards the end to enable the box cover/thumbnail to claim "Over 80+ Hours of Role Playing Action!"
Many products aim at the 20 30 hour duration, short run. The long run is optional.

Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I reduced the difficulty from nightmare down to easy just so that I could see the end of the story faster.
Everything is told.
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August 14th, 2018, 19:47
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Length of games became a selling point. Too many RPGs are bloated and tedious towards the end to enable the box cover/thumbnail to claim "Over 80+ Hours of Role Playing Action!"
IIRC, may be 8/10 years ago, games were short and around 30 - 50 hour mark. People around here and elsewhere complained about short games, myself included! There were lot of talk of how past games were 100+ hours. Then slowly in the last 2 years, even mainstream games are starting to push towards the 80 - 100 hour mark.

I think whats happening here is sort of generational change. 10 years ago, there were lot less games and most of us were students etc so we had plenty of time. Now, most of got job, family etc and we have too many games so we no longer have much spare time so we now want shorter games!
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August 14th, 2018, 20:23
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
A good book is cheaper than a short but quality video game, and usually lasts longer. Yes quality is fine, but I want to feel like I got my money's worth. It needs to blow me away like a good movie.
That's true but a good movie is significantly shorter than most games, and not all that cheap in the cinema. While I certainly wouldn't pay 50$ for a 4 hour game, I certainly would be more ready to compare game to a movie than a book.
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