[POLL] WHEN PLAYING INDIE RPGS, WHAT GAME-LENGTH DO YOU LOOK FOR?

Poll

What's your prefered game-length when you look for games on this site? - Results

An Hour or Less
2
4%
1 to 3 Hours
6
13%
3 to 5 Hours
6
13%
5 to 10 Hours
11
24%
10 to 20 Hours
2
4%
20 to 35 Hours
1
2%
More than 35 Hours
5
11%
It varies depending on my mood
12
26%

Posts

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unity
You're magical to me.
12203
I just wanted to get a general consensus about what sort of length people look for when they download games off of this site. Before I came here, I always wanted to make huge 20, 30, or even 40+ hour RPGs, but that has the drawback of me getting bored with the project or me making a game so big in scope that I could work on it for a decade and not be done. (And thus I have several big incomplete RPG Maker 2000 and XP games lying around XD). It was only relatively recently that I learned the joy of making shorter games.

But today I'm specifically looking for what length you, as a player, like to play, when it comes to RPG Maker and other indie RPG games.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7549
Three to five hours sounds good to me. Games longer than that tend to lose a lot of focus and become boring to a player. A short, memorable experience is vastly preferable to a longer, draw-out experience.

Now there are those rare cases when a longer RPG has enough content to stay engaging for ten or more hours, but in a scene like this, those games are few and far between. I think it's also because most games here are free.

For the same reason many people refuse to read essay-long posts in forums. They have better things to do than read a massive wall of text when they could be off doing things they'd enjoy more.
slash
APATHY IS FOR COWARDS
4010
This is probably disappointing to all the people who love to make epics, but if it's longer than 5 hours, it's really unlikely that I'm going to play it (unless it's something I'm way interested in). Part of this is a full-time job and my own game development taking up a lot of my time, and honestly, anything that's 40 hours long tends to have a lot of filler. I'd way rather play something that's 2 hours long if those 2 hours are really solid and polished.
I'd expect any RPG describing itself as full-length to be between 10-35 hours in length (Pretty much any RPG (even classic RPGs) that run over 35 hours have loads of content that you could cut) , but to answer the question:

The game should be as long as it needs to be, from both the player and developer perspective. You really need to hit that balance of what length suits the development experience/team size, what suits the story and character development, and what suits the player on the receiving end. To me it was never as simple as "THE GAME SHOULD BE X HOURS LONG".

When looking for a game on this site, my chance of playing something for longer increases proportionally to how interesting the idea is. Usually the really creative stuff turns out being short though, because it's harder to extend that creative flash for long periods.

unity
You're magical to me.
12203
author=Pizza
The game should be as long as it needs to be, from both the player and developer perspective. You really need to hit that balance of what length suits the development experience/team size, what suits the story and character development, and what suits the player on the receiving end. To me it was never as simple as "THE GAME SHOULD BE X HOURS LONG".


I agree with you, and determining the length of a game versus how much is needs to be to be a truly fulfilling experience is a really important thing to consider when making any game.

However, I'm also interested in player preferences, as I have ideas for games that run the gamut of lengths from really short to really long. While adjusting your output to meet others' expectations isn't the best way to make games, IMO, I'd still like to gauge what the overall preference is.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5478
To me, if a game is long and still getting good reviews, that is a sign to me that there's legitimately something inherently fun/compelling about it, as opposed to just being novel.

That said, if a game isn't that great, I might still play it as long as it's short. If the game ends before the novelty wears off, the impact of the low quality is lessened.
I went for 1-3 hours, although I really enjoy shorter ones as well.
I love themes, morals and all of these underlying messages .. they are way harder to execute the longer a game gets, and while it is possible, it is very rare. The enjoyment of longer games needs to focus on different aspects, on solid gameplay and a good build-up.
This is rarely the case. And they do lack the former type of enjoyment as well.

Plus, I have plenty of commercial games that give me a polished, mediocre game. I have no reason t turn to indie games for this.
I voted for 5 to 10. Although, I never seek games based on their length. Any game I donwload and play either looks very good or people talk a lot about them for some reason. So instead I interpreted the question as: "How much time you'd be willing to spend playing a game".

Now, for Plataformers, Action games, and such; games that tend not to be as story-centric as RPGs, I'd be willing to spend up to 5 hours of "in-game clock" time. In reality it would probably be a bit more than that counting all the times I died and had to reload or something. That's probably 2 to 3 play sessions (days) for me...

As for RPGs or other narrative-heavy games, I'd be willing to roughly double that amount of time. So make that 10 hours or up to a week. If the game is really good then I'll probably play it past that point, but chances are that's not going to be the case. In my experience, most games on the indie amateur scene that tout themselves to be hours and hours long, include silly stuff like: a fishing minigame, chocobo racing, monster hunting/collecting, and shit like that. No thanks.
I voted 10-20. >< Then again, it's what you put into it, rather than the amount of hours you can squeeze out. Quality over quantity/length ( even though I am guilty of making 10+ long RM games... )
unity
You're magical to me.
12203
author=alterego
I voted for 5 to 10. Although, I never seek games based on their length. Any game I donwload and play either looks very good or people talk a lot about them for some reason. So instead I interpreted the question as: "How much time you'd be willing to spend playing a game".


Good point. When I go looking at games, "I wonder how long this is" isn't generally the first thing on my mind. I have heard people talking about seeking shorter games as they have less time these days in previous topics, though.

author=yuna21
I voted 10-20. >< Then again, it's what you put into it, rather than the amount of hours you can squeeze out. Quality over quantity/length ( even though I am guilty of making 10+ long RM games... )


Nothing wrong with that, as long as the player is engaged and having fun ^_^
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6110
It varies depending on my mood.
Even more than that, it varies depending on whether I find the premise of the game interesting or not. If I read the description of the game, look at some screenshots, perhaps read a review and then find I'm genuinely curious about this game, length hardly matters any more to me. And once I've started, I'll keep playing as long as the game fascinates me. Whether it takes 2 or 20 hours.

author=LockeZ
That said, if a game isn't that great, I might still play it as long as it's short. If the game ends before the novelty wears off, the impact of the low quality is lessened.

This is true as well, however, and completing an okay-ish short game is less frustrating than stopping in the middle of a longer game because all enjoyment has slowly faded away.


P.S.:
author=Kylaila
Plus, I have plenty of commercial games that give me a polished, mediocre game.

Not trying to be petty or anything, but I'm pretty sure you meant to use a different word than "mediocre" here (which means "of average quality only, not very good").
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20053
It sorta varies between mood and how the game actually plays. For example, if all I want to do is get into a game, and have a blast, and that's what the game delivers, I won't notice how long I've been playing. The same probably goes for the times when I'm more in the mood for a drawn-out experience, actually.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
Man this question...is so hard to answer simply. I can't even like...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. In many ways, developers make horrible players.

Honestly, when I am playing a game on this site, my MOTIVES ARE FUCKING SUSPECT because I am not a pure-hearted playing the game just for fun game player. Because most of the time what I really want is to play it long enough to form an opinion (like 30 minutes to 1 hour), write a review, have my opinions known, get some MS, and move on to the next game because oh GOD THERE ARE SO MANY, SO MANY!! and they all deserve more feedback than they get.

When a game that is good that I intend to review stretches beyond a few hours, I actually feel frustrated instead of thrilled because I am probably playing the game to review it and the longer the game is the more it feels like I have to 'work' on this review before I get on to the next one. That is kind of shitty but I want to be honest. My goal is to EVALUATE and I want to do so in a way that is timely and efficient.

But that is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from my motivations and thought patterns when I play a game PURELY FOR FUN BECAUSE IT IS A VIDEOGAME AND VIDEOGAMES ARE FUN AND AS A HUMAN BEING I LIKE TO HAVE FUN and that's actually a HUGE problem.

EVEN IF I AM REALLY LIKING AN RM GAME, I STILL WANT IT TO BE OVER SOON SO I CAN MOVE ONTO THE NEXT ONE. Because even if I only played the 1% of RM Games that looked the best to me, I feel like if I did nothing but play GOOD RM Games I would still be playing GOOD RM Games until the HEAT DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE. Because that is how many there are.

How I was dealing with it, until I switched computers and everything got fucked up, was this. Basically speaking, I would give a game about an hour of evaluation time. If the game or demo was less than an hour long, that was a lot like getting released from school early. If I felt like I had made a decision on a game after 15 or 20 minutes, then I stopped playing it and moved onto the next 'unclassified game', that was kind of like just LEAVING school early without permission. Anyway, what I'm saying is, the evaluation process varied in length.

If I determined a game was bad during the evaluation process, then, helpful review/helpful feedback, give advice on how to make better, set it aside.

If I determined a game was 'okay', 'pretty good', 'decent', or 'good but not for me' during the evaluation process, then I gave a positive review/helpful feedback, advice on how to make it even better, set it aside.

If I determine a game is 'WOW REALLY GOOD' or just something I am REALLY INTO then I basically make the decision to add that game to my videogame collection. At that point that game is no longer an RPG Maker game to me. At that point, that game is just a videogame. Having passed the "evaluation phase" it is now competing and existing on the same scale on Civilization: Beyond Earth or Far Cry 4 or whatever. It is a total equal to all AAA commercial games as a competitor for my time.

Some Games Recently Classified As Good And Added to my "Videogame Collection":
Vagabond by Zeuzio
Dragon's Descendants by Craze
Luxaren Allure by unity
I Miss The Sunrise by deltree


Once a game is in the "Videogame Collection" sphere then my tastes for how long I want it to be become COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Then, basically speaking, THE MORE I AM ENJOYING IT, THE LONGER I WANT IT TO BE.

(And here is something you can't plan for or plan around as a developer. Sometimes if I think a VIDEOGAME, that I have PAID FOR, is GREAT, I will still stop playing it for no reason after a few hours. On a whim. Without knowing why. Because there is no moral or ethical or practical obligation to play a VIDEOGAME. It is just something you do when you feel like it. Maybe another videogame just caught my eye and filled my heart with lust. It is not like you can hurt a videogame's feelings by cheating on it.)

But anyway, generally speaking, if a VIDEOGAME is less than 10 hours long, I feel fucking cheated. Only five hours of gameplay? Fuck that garbage, what are you, a Battlefield single player campaign? Give me some MEAT. I won't HATE the game but I will feel cheated.

If a VIDEOGAME is more than 20 hours long, I feel PAMPERED. I feel like I have found a whole other world I can completely lose myself in. And I'll be honest there used to be no upper limit on this but...Xenosaga has taught me that now, as an older man, I start to get fatigued at around the 20 hour mark if a game is basically linear.

But give me something like Skyrim or Fallout: New Vegas where you can make tons of new characters and approach a vast open world with tons and tons of content from a different play style and approach for every character ... and I will play that game for literally hundreds of hours. I will play that game effectively forever.
All the hours. It really depends on the game. Some epic-length games I couldn't put down. Some I dreaded having to spend another minute in. Some short games I wanted to go on forever. Some I just wanted to end faster than they already did.

So yeah, it's less about the length and more about the game itself for me. I'll play anything from 10 minute games to 100 hour games as long as they keep me interested.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13829
i always set a rough estimate of how long i want a game to last based on the ideas and mechanics in place. it never, ever hits that target. kiddos is already about as long as i wanted it to be, and it's only 1/3 done. i will likely be trimming some fat and taking a serious look at the open-endedness of it.

however, there's absolutely no ~magic number~, like what pizza said. go read pizza's post.
author=NeverSilent
P.S.:
author=Kylaila
Plus, I have plenty of commercial games that give me a polished, mediocre game.

Not trying to be petty or anything, but I'm pretty sure you meant to use a different word than "mediocre" here (which means "of average quality only, not very good").


No worries, I meant what I said. Most story-driven RPGs tend to be fairly mediocre (imho). There is nothing wrong with that, they are still enjoyable.
I'd be baffled if the majority of games would be above average.
I do like my dose of monster hunter or other action titles as well, of course.
The real answer is "as long as it needs to be." But, I chose 35+ hours. I did this because if we're talking best-case-scenario-this-is-why-I-love-RPGs, then give me a game that's more like a novel than a short story.

There's been a shift in thought towards "give me a short, impactful, cohesive experience" in game design because of (from my own observations) the sheer NUMBER of games and the rise of the whole let's play phenomenon. For a lot of genres, that's fine, and it can be fine for RPGs too, but if you're centering your idea around a story--which is something RPGs can do really well--then sometimes the story demands giving the characters a lot of room for development. To go back to my previous analogy, I often prefer novels to short stories. Well-crafted short stories are fun, but they're not really fulfilling for me to write since I'm only crafting them for a short while. I like how substantial and complex novels can be. I think the same can be said for RPGs of that length, so that's where my mind wants to go when coming up with ideas for the most part. Plus, I'm still being informed by the games I liked in my childhood--the epic-length RPG more than anything. That's what I like to make and what I prefer to play.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20742
On the flip side, I don't know if I have the innate skill in me to design an RPG that is less than 8 hours long in the end.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13829
i don't remember generica taking me very long to play? maybe a few hours?
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325
The second you can no longer fill your game with worthwhile happenings is when you should call it a day. I've played 40 hour epics and I've played half-hour blips; it doesn't matter as long as the game is good.

author=LockeZ
That said, if a game isn't that great, I might still play it as long as it's short. If the game ends before the novelty wears off, the impact of the low quality is lessened.

I know that's right.

Worth it:
Spirit in the Mirror
Everlong
Super Mario RPG: The Seven Sages
Outstays its welcome:
Shadows of Evil: Wings of Time Deluxe
Final Fantasy: Blackmoon Prophecy
Legends of Illarion
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