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[4e4 contest] Game Length Question

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Judging Technical: Stability, Use of Technology, Speed Creativity: Game Design, Artwork, Technical methods Fun: The Hook Factor, Gameplay Quality Polish: Presentation, Installation Kudos Points: Discretionary points awarded by judges for obvious efforts by an entry to go above and beyond the contest requirements. Overall: Overall score is calculated as follows: Technical average + Creativity average + Fun average + Polish average 4 + Kudos Points *Average is defined as the average score across all judges.
One thing I noticed was missing from this was game length. Quality of gameplay, technology and presentation all there though. I take gameplay quality and gameplay length as being different, because as we all know some games are really great to play but seem to be over way too soon. I (and I'm sure a few others) have big ideas that if ready in time might only have a few levels, stages, or whatever available. So I was wondering is there a minimum (or indeed maximum) game time in minutes that the judges had in mind? Obviously for some games where they are designed to be played quickly then replayed many times this probably would not apply.

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Actually, I personally would be likely to factor this into gameplay quality. The majority of games do have an optimum length; too short and they leave the player frustrated; too long and they leave the player bored.

That said, getting the whole thing finished and polished is probably more important than making it as long as it wants to be. Running out of time and submitting an unfinished entry would probably do more harm to your score than submitting something that is too short. Ultimately, a limited schedule is something that all game developers find themselves competing with, and if you can't make all you want to make in the deadline then you are going to have to cut things. (Of course, there's nothing stopping you from returning to the game after the competition to bring it up to the standard you originally intended, but that won't change the competition results).

There's no formal minimum time (aside from 'long enough to be able to judge it'). There's no formal maximum time either, though please bear in mind that we will probably have a fair number of games to get through so a game that takes more than a few hours to judge will not be appreciated [smile]

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Original post by superpig
Actually, I personally would be likely to factor this into gameplay quality.


Cheers, I get the idea! So length would be one of the criteria of the gameplay quality mark... fair enough.

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Original post by paulecoyote
One thing I noticed was missing from this was game length. Quality of gameplay, technology and presentation all there though. I take gameplay quality and gameplay length as being different, because as we all know some games are really great to play but seem to be over way too soon.

I (and I'm sure a few others) have big ideas that if ready in time might only have a few levels, stages, or whatever available.

So I was wondering is there a minimum (or indeed maximum) game time in minutes that the judges had in mind?

Obviously for some games where they are designed to be played quickly then replayed many times this probably would not apply.



In my opinion, if you can hold my interest for 20 minutes then it doesn't matter how long the game lasts.


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How does replayability (or the need to play several times) factor in?
This is similar to the topic so I wont make another thread.

I'm planning on a game with a one hour time limit, but is beatable in about 20 minutes, depending on how you play it. It's an open ended game that has only one main mission and allows you go complete it any way you want. This also means there are many effects or parts of the game you wont see if you just play it once. Can we count on multiple playings? Is an hour too long?

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Original post by griffenjam
How does replayability (or the need to play several times) factor in?
This is similar to the topic so I wont make another thread.

I'm planning on a game with a one hour time limit, but is beatable in about 20 minutes, depending on how you play it. It's an open ended game that has only one main mission and allows you go complete it any way you want. This also means there are many effects or parts of the game you wont see if you just play it once. Can we count on multiple playings? Is an hour too long?


That's fine. The real goal for judging is in determining the "fun" factor. In other words, even if you play for one hour, is it a fun hour? Some games aren't meant to be played over and over, others are.

Given that I am a judge by default, and I'm not certain who else will be at this point, I can tell you that I play the games one time and I base my score on a number of factors during that session. So go out there and make sure it's fun. :) That's what the contest, and games in general, is about.

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If I enter a game which is fully featured but has just one or two levels would that be a bad thing? I'm thinking like commercial game demos, which are usually the full game but with most levels removed.

If only 10 minutes of gameplay as there (without messing about exploring) but it left the judges wanting to play the next level, presumably that'd be a plus not a minus?

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Original post by d000hg
If I enter a game which is fully featured but has just one or two levels would that be a bad thing? I'm thinking like commercial game demos, which are usually the full game but with most levels removed.

If only 10 minutes of gameplay as there (without messing about exploring) but it left the judges wanting to play the next level, presumably that'd be a plus not a minus?



It's not a bad thing at all. I'm not expecting full fledged games.

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I don't think judges will have so much time to look at every detail of every game, specially if it's a long game. Think about games like tetris... you need a minute to learn, but you play it for hours! In a competition like this, I think, fun is more important than lenght, and this will have it's weight in the final judgment.

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