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xCronus

[4E4] Game Length Question

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Ok, I know asking what kind of playability length there is for games in the upcoming [4E] contest, but on average, what kind of playtime have previous submissions had?

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Assume that your game needs to remain interesting for at least 20-30 minutes - how you do this depends on what kind of game you have. If it's something "generic" like Tetris, Invaders or anything else that just keeps getting harder you don't have much to worry about. If your game is based on specific content (levels, a storyline) then you should either ensure enough content to last that amount of time, or have some way to reuse the content as needed (such as offering a "hard" difficulty option to replay the game at).

If you are creating a long game (i.e. a full RPG with storyline and such) you might want to stop around the 2-4 hour mark and work on polishing what you have; it's highly unlikely any content beyond that will be seen at all by the judges during the judging period, and so even if you have 20 hours of unique content, you'll only get judged on the first 10% (and thus 90% of the time you spent creating content will have been wasted).

Assuming a linear game (say "Super Pirate Bros") the "ideal" length (in regards to what will be judged vs how much time you put into each piece of content) for the first run through would be 45 minutes to an hour, with an additional hard difficulty mode unlocked at the end to show that the game has replayability. Of course as I said if you have generic gameplay, like an RTS with a skirmish mode, then the idea of time delayed content is mute.

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Bear in mind: if the game contains enough stuff that we couldn't reasonably look through all of it in a few hours, you might want to consider submitting savegames or user profiles that let us explore the game fully. You won't be marked down for a long game, but you want to be sure that you're not spending time making stuff that we never actually see.

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Quote:
Original post by xCronus
Our Dev-Team will take this into account.


You have a team? B'oh, here I am working by myself like a chump!

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Quote:
Original post by superpig
Bear in mind: if the game contains enough stuff that we couldn't reasonably look through all of it in a few hours, you might want to consider submitting savegames or user profiles that let us explore the game fully. You won't be marked down for a long game, but you want to be sure that you're not spending time making stuff that we never actually see.

Good idea with supplying save-games.

It seems we can count on the judges playing our entries for at least 45min each then (assuming they don't get bored)? I'm strongly considering the RTS genre but obviously this type of game takes more than 10min to get into. A skirmish mode would work but it would still take a while to get familiar with units and the original elements which aren't as immediately expected for an RTS.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Can we send the saved games separately? So that the judges can use them but they won't be included in the download for everybody else?

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Can we send the saved games separately? So that the judges can use them but they won't be included in the download for everybody else?


That should be possible, yes. Email one of us when you're getting close to submission and we'll see what would work best.

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I'm working on an innovative survival-horror game that will have in excess of 10 hours of gameplay. Now, the part with the zombies wont come in for at least 3-4 hours. Would it be alright if i submited my game as a demo with a few levels instead of the full game? or is a full game required?

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If you have content that only the judges should see (this includes save games, source code, or other such things you want to include) then it is included with your submission.

When the submission form is opened up for use (a few weeks before the deadline) it will provide the instructions on how to include this extra content. Currently you would include all the judge specific material in a seperate folder and advise us of it in the entry form. We will then zip a seperate download for regular users with your judge material removed.

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