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How many levels is enough?


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#1 3DModelerMan   Members   -  Reputation: 1020

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:45 PM

I'm working on a 2D platformer and I'm trying to decide how many levels to have. It's an Android/iOS app. Each level is a little bit less than a minute long but you have to play through them at least three times to find all the unlockables. How many levels make it worth the $0.99 to the players? I want to have lots of levels, but I don't want to have any "filler" content.



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#2 Jirachex   Members   -  Reputation: 146

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:01 PM

Depends on the variety you have in each level. If they're all the same with different patterns then 30 - 40 levels should be fine. After that it would start to get repetitive. If you plan on introducing new game mechanics every few levels that would help in making the game feel less repetitive. It really depends on your game but I hope that helps.

 

- Jirachex



#3 Morphex   Members   -  Reputation: 298

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:09 PM

 Well, the number of levels is equal to the amount of content you have for you game :).

 

There is no magic number on how many levels you should have, instead you have to find the balance between your content and the number of times you can reuse it, for example in the game I am making, I don't have much content, so I am rotating scaling tinting pieces, and with this I can create about 5 levels that feel unique.

 

But you really should know, if the game doesnt feel repetitive to you, you can bet that it wont feel for the player, since you are the one who created it =) and are sick of testing it aswell.


Check out my new blog: Morphexe 


#4 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3159

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:18 PM

Hi,

 

 

I recommend thinking in terms of total game time divided by the assessed number of minimum levels required.  Next, add levels to fill the gap in time.  Experts says that 3 minutes per scene is about right and 15 to 20 minutes total game play is approximately the average.

 

Clinton


Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer


#5 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20225

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:58 PM

Experts says that 3 minutes per scene is about right...
This is potentially very valuable information. Is this for console games or iPhone games, or PC games? Mainstream or niche?
Could link to the article where you read that, so I snatch it straight out of the horse's mouth without getting bitten by second-hand information?
...and 15 to 20 minutes total game play is approximately the average.
15 to 20 minutes per gaming session?
15 to 20 minutes of gamer interest before never playing the game again?
Or is 15 to 20 minutes the complete length of an average iPhone game?
It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
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#6 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3159

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:27 PM

The information is for smart phones and tablets. They say that the pleasure level was highest for about 3 minutes per scene or level change and 15 to 20 minutes of game play, regardless of how long the total game time actually can potentially last. 

 

For example, many games allow the player to advance levels quickly if skilled and also play a game for 30 - 60 minutes ( or more in some cases ) depending on design, but the pleasure or satisfaction level was highest as stated.  The survey implies that a game has a greater chance of popularity and replay if the game designer takes the data as a guide and minimum.  Allowing the player to advance too slow or fast diminishes the end user satisfaction on average mellow.png  , ending the game sooner causes disappointment angry.png , and requiring the player to last longer than 20 minutes loses some customers sleep.png .

 

Interesting that the data triples for computer games, simply because being at the computer implies that the end user has more time to play.biggrin.png

 

I read the information on the World Wide Web, but don't remember the source - some video game industry website of some kind.  I'll try to find the source in my data base.

 

[Edit:] One solution mentioned was to allow continued play at a later time, one time only.

 

 

Clinton


Edited by 3Ddreamer, 29 December 2012 - 09:30 PM.

Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer


#7 GameCreator   Members   -  Reputation: 770

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 01:19 AM

It's a tricky balance but I think the safest bet is to look at other games in your genre and price bracket and see how long their gameplay is, if you can.  People will naturally compare your games to others so it's good to know how yours stacks up anyway.



#8 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3940

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:53 AM

I'm working on a 2D platformer and I'm trying to decide how many levels to have. It's an Android/iOS app. Each level is a little bit less than a minute long but you have to play through them at least three times to find all the unlockables. How many levels make it worth the $0.99 to the players? I want to have lots of levels, but I don't want to have any "filler" content.

It really depends on your pipeline, content, and time of investment.  if making a level is difficult(for example, having to write a level all in notepad), then your going to need to invest more time, and if you get to your deadline, then that's how many levels you have.  where as if you have a very easy to create level pipeline, and plenty of content to make it interesting.  than you can fill your game with tons of levels, while still meeting your deadline.

 

at the end of the day it's about how much time you want to invest, if you have to go over that time to ensure you have enough playability to justify your asking price, then you should re-think how you are building your levels. 

 

In my opinion, your best bet is to distribute the game to some friends/family and get their opinions, do they feel the game is too short, not enough variety, or potentially some other problems, it's always a good idea to get feedback before you push it to the market, just be sure it's honest/real feedback.


Edited by slicer4ever, 30 December 2012 - 05:05 AM.

Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.




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