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AngelCityOutlaw

Video Game Length

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I read this article about GTA V today

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/09/20/what-percentage-of-players-will-actually-finish-gta-5/

I would say that many of the games I own, I have never completed for the reasons stated in this article. In fact, most of the longer games that I have beaten, I was only able to do so because I had a walkthrough open much of the time.

It brings to mind my complaints regarding many classic RPGs like Final Fantasy. Don't get me wrong, I like Final Fantasy, but I have finished very few entries in the series. Usually what happens is I: Can't beat a boss and eventually give up and move on, get bored of the game, or simply don't have the time to finish it.

I'm sure this conversation has popped up before, no doubt. Still, I feel it's worth discussing as technology allows for games to become bigger and bigger.

Basically, I'll ask the question the article sort of puts forth: Do you think it hurts games as an artistic medium if most people aren't finishing the game?

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It really depends on the person and the game, I guess. I was able to finish MegaMan StarForce 3 twice (it always gives you two save slots so you have more flexibility in customizations for online) without using a walkthrough, and all I did was use the L button sometimes to get a message that may or may not hint at what I should be doing next. I only got stuck once or twice.

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I think there's a place for games that you can get lost in for hundreds of hours but I also think they've become maybe too prominent, especially as I get older and have more and more other shit to keep on top of I miss games that were easy to get into and didn't require a time commitment. Like if I don't have a good 2 or 3 hours available I don't bother playing games like GTAV or Skyrim

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Personally, I've always preferred longer games - I like getting my money's worth, and a game that I paid $60 for had better have way more than 10 hours' worth of story content to it, as I play mostly for story. That's a small component of why I've never wanted to get into CoD or its like - too much spent for too little singleplayer experience.

I do think a lot of games are being extended past the amount of content that makes sense for the title, or having too much superfluous additional features added, in attempts to justify $50-$60 price tags, and that's a practice I'd definitely like to see stopped.

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After reading the article I really don't see what the problem is. This is what games should be about, everyone having their own seperate experiences. We should be glad developers are still putting enough into their games to account for so many different people playing through their game in different ways. Instead of limiting the player to only play the way the developers intended them to.

For a book not making it to the end is bad. Same for Argo, i guess, if anyone saw that. But for games it's fine. Some play for the story, some play for the experience. Comparing games to the other entertainment industries is what got us in trouble in the first place remember?

You pays your money you gets what you want out of it. Which should be a unique experience.

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After reading the article I really don't see what the problem is. This is what games should be about, everyone having their own seperate experiences. We should be glad developers are still putting enough into their games to account for so many different people playing through their game in different ways. Instead of limiting the player to only play the way the developers intended them to.

For a book not making it to the end is bad. Same for Argo, i guess, if anyone saw that. But for games it's fine. Some play for the story, some play for the experience. Comparing games to the other entertainment industries is what got us in trouble in the first place remember?

You pays your money you gets what you want out of it. Which should be a unique experience.

The way I look at it is this:

If you are an artist of any kind (video games being multiple artistic mediums in interactive form) and you put a lot of effort into your work, you intend for it to be seen in its entirety. When I write a 3 minute song, I have the goal in mind that people will listen to what I've created for its entire duration. If they can't endure those three minutes; I've probably failed.

For me, if I enjoyed a game but did not complete the story in a game where the focus is the story, then I both have and haven't got my money's worth. Sure, I enjoyed the game, but at the same time I did not get the full experience.

It's like Dream Theater writing a 20-30 minute song. Sure, they're impressed with this thing they've created that is packed full of content and months were spent creating, but everyone else says you're just "wanking" and can't get through the whole thing.

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The way I look at it is this:

If you are an artist of any kind (video games being multiple artistic mediums in interactive form) and you put a lot of effort into your work, you intend for it to be seen in its entirety. When I write a 3 minute song, I have the goal in mind that people will listen to what I've created for its entire duration. If they can't endure those three minutes; I've probably failed.

For me, if I enjoyed a game but did not complete the story in a game where the focus is the story, then I both have and haven't got my money's worth. Sure, I enjoyed the game, but at the same time I did not get the full experience.

It's like Dream Theater writing a 20-30 minute song. Sure, they're impressed with this thing they've created that is packed full of content and months were spent creating, but everyone else says you're just "wanking" and can't get through the whole thing.

Games involve music but games aren't music. We shouldn't be comparing them to other forms of entertainment anyway. If something is so linear that everyone is going to perceive it in the same way, and people can't make it to the end, then chances are it sucked for a good chunk of the people listening to it.

I don't think very highly of Rockstar or the GTA franchise but you have to give them credit for keeping things open and allowing the player to go off of whatever impulses they have at that moment. It's really the only thing that seperates games from other forms of art and it should never be thrown away.

I like being able to use my imagination at times. I don't need everything dictated to me and judging from some of the hate that recent games like ffxiii or call of duty have received i'm not alone.

I probably wouldn't be interested in a 20 minute dream theater song either. Now EQUILIBRIUM on the other hand... they can go all day for all I care. :)

most days they do.

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It's not the length of the game, it's how you use it

Pretty much this.

Kirby's Adventure is one of my favorite games ever. It has almost nothing story-wise, and is a couple hours long. BUT. The mechanics of Kirby fit for that, because choices in the game will affect your playing experience. This is also where Return to Dreamland messed up. Everything was linear and usually based around one/two powers per level, so the fact that the game was short, linear, and limited in gameplay made it not as fun.

It's not how much time a game has. A game could last 3 seconds and as long as the gameplay was enjoyable and allowed for multiple play-throughs, I could care less.

This is where many games go wrong, that they spread their game too thin to give a veiled sense of accomplishment and value when someone bothers to play through 3 discs for 90 hours that frankly has repetitive game-play. People don't stop playing games because they are long, it's because they are boring, and don't intrigue the player.

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if I really like a game, I'm gonna beat it.

like Zelda.

Sonic has parts where they intentionally make it where they DON'T want you to beat it, so sometimes even when I love a game I don't beat it, but Sonic games aren't particularly long.

a game is as long as I make it. Twilight Princess can be done by a common gamer in like 60-80 hours or something. it took me 100.

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The length of the game isn't as important as its girth.

Whether it's two hours, forty hours, or twenty minutes long, how stuffed is the game when it comes to content? How full is it? Sure, a 40 hour game can be fun, as long as it keeps you interested by adding new bits to encounter and use. But if the new content ends 15 hours in, it becomes a chore to finish that last 25 hours. You're just working toward the end then, grinding your way through the same things over and over, instead of encountering new and exciting things. Meanwhile, the 30 minute shmup that has multiple ships with different weapons and attributes, branching paths, various score bonuses to learn how to acquire and utilize, and even hidden "final" bosses (say "hi" DonPachi series), will keep players coming back again and again for years on end. There's so much to learn and get a grip on, that it pulls you back in with the tease that you just know you can do better and get a higher score if you learn more of the game's tricks. Is this a sure-fire way to keep everyone interested? Nope. There's no such thing as a sure-fire way, as each person is different. But that can be countered at least a little if you pack that game with a steady stream of new things to learn, see, work toward, and do.

So, does it hurt the games artistically if people aren't finishing it? Not really, no. Some will find it fun to plod through that aforementioned 25 hour stretch of nothing new. Others will get bored and turn it off for good. If anything hurts the game, it's what is and isn't put into it. If the content is there to support the game's length, look and feel (and done at least reasonably well), it won't be the game's fault that players lost interest. That blame can rest on the shoulders of the individuals holding the controllers, and their fickle, fleeting tastes. Like all art, what a person likes and dislikes is going to be damn subjective, and could change weekly. So trying to make your art/game appeal to all, all the time, just isn't possible. But if you can pack your art with gameplay/visuals/sound/story/whatever that's done well, and not slapped together in a half-assed manner, you'll have a better chance of keeping your audience there to see all you wanted to show them... assuming the audience doesn't have the attention span of a ADHD-riddled ferret.

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As I get older I prefer games at take 10 to 15 hours to complete. There are many games that i simply don't finish anymore. I don't have as much patience for 50+ hour slogs as I used to. That said, I recently clocked up a ridiculous 85 hours in Tactics Ogre LUCT. I probably could have written a few songs in that time. I spent probably 200 hours in Oblivion, and have only finished it once. I honestly view that time as wasted.

Not sure if any of this answers the OP. I think as gamers age their time becomes more valuable to them, and they're more likely to want games they can finish in a reasonable amount of time.

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Sonic, Zelda, Mario, Rayman, Sly Cooper, Jak and Daxter, etc.... games like that are meant to be beaten and replayed ad infinitum, in my opinion. But games like Skyrim and the past 3 GTA games are meant to be explored but not necessarily 'completed.' Pretty much, I've always kind of understood that if it's a sandbox/open-world game or the structure is implied to be heavily non-linear that that means I should just enjoy the ride rather than striving for a specific destination or objective.

Nowadays the only games I ever 'beat' are either random indie games I stumble upon (I liked Ripple Dot Zero a lot and I'm currently working on 100%) or replays of the classic era Shining series games (just to experiment with different teams or promoting at certain levels, or not promoting certain characters at all, or a solo gameplay, etc.).

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I prefer "large" games to "long" games. Large games have a lot of content. Long games have a lot of story. I play games for the experience brought by content. Unless it's a really good story, I will probably never finish a "long" game, because I just don't give a crap. Video games have a long, long way to go in the writing department. Game stories are mostly crap, and bloating an entire game experience with a crappy story just means you have a game (even if the gameplay and mechanics are good) that will bore the hell out of your audience.

I play small games for hours and hours and hours because they're fun. Split/Second is a game I can play for hours on end. It has about two dozen cars, about a dozen tracks and I can't stop playing it. The whole campaign could be finished in about 5 hours or so at most, but that game is so goddamn fun, that its size has nothing to do with how much I enjoy it.

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