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TheOther

Determining length of an RPG..

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Hi everyone, Just scoping out an idea of mine, and I was curious as to how others measure the "game length" of an RPG. Some games claim 40-hours of play, 80 hours, etc. How is this length determined? thanks in advance,

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Quote:
Original post by TheOther
Some games claim 40-hours of play, 80 hours, etc.

How is this length determined?


Step 1: Look at a clock, remember (or write down) the time.
Step 2: Play the game all the way through
Step 3: Look at the clock again. Figure out how long its been since Step 1.

Alan

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Quote:
Original post by Alan Kemp
Quote:
Original post by TheOther
Some games claim 40-hours of play, 80 hours, etc.

How is this length determined?


Step 1: Look at a clock, remember (or write down) the time.
Step 2: Play the game all the way through
Step 3: Look at the clock again. Figure out how long its been since Step 1.

Alan


Half right. Now all you gotta do is have maybe 100-1000 people do that and you just take the average.

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Since most people don't want to play an RPG in one sitting... make the game time itself!

P.S. You don't count; you can probably play through your RPG much faster than most people can. :)

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Quote:
Original post by Ekim_Gram
Quote:
Original post by Alan Kemp
Quote:
Original post by TheOther
Some games claim 40-hours of play, 80 hours, etc.

How is this length determined?


Step 1: Look at a clock, remember (or write down) the time.
Step 2: Play the game all the way through
Step 3: Look at the clock again. Figure out how long its been since Step 1.

Alan


Half right. Now all you gotta do is have maybe 100-1000 people do that and you just take the average.


hehe. I was really really really afraid of that. :)

thanks.

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What most designers do is set a 'length-of-gameplay goal' for each of the quests, maps, objectives, etc. In the end they add up all of the goals that form the primary storyline and there's your 'expected' gameplay time.

For example, suppose you're making a platformer. What you might do is say every one of your levels will take 20 minutes to complete for an average player, and you want around 30 levels. 20 mins * 30 = 10 hours of gameplay. It is then up to your designers to make levels that'll adhere to this restriction, and draw exceptions where necessary.

For an RPG you'd do the same thing, except you'd add the quests of the main storyline together. Since you have a mix of quests of varying lengths, the lengths might planned out ahead of time and the designers adhere to those restrictions.

Most games know ahead of time how much gameplay they're aiming for in terms of time. It helps clear up the schedule and avoids any suprises :) Of course, like everything, the length-of-gameplay may change during development but it's usually accounted for.

By the time the game is shipped the developers have a rough idea how long the game will take to complete for the average player.

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Thanks @Grafalgar (and others), that explanation makes perfect sense. It is much easier to divide and conquer a time calculation for the game if you approach it that way. Nice.

And (like most other things) I guess you get better at estimating the amount of time each quest/puzzle will take as you build your skills in designing/coding them.

I'm sure it's nothing new, but I'm trying to design a few small RPG's together (say 20-40 hours each) which can then be plugged in together for a complete world: basically you pay for only what you want to play. However to hit the final EndGame quest, you'll need them all. :)

It's a bit risky, because other RPG products offer a complete world/game up front, so I should also offer incentives to the customer for supporting something like this...

thanks again!

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Your idea of the pick and choose RPG isnt too bad, what you could do is have each one contain an entire story in and of itself and elements of some grander quest line. That way each game is a complete story but also allude to parts of the greater quest.

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Quote:
Original post by Ekim_Gram
Quote:
Original post by Alan Kemp
Quote:
Original post by TheOther
Some games claim 40-hours of play, 80 hours, etc.

How is this length determined?


Step 1: Look at a clock, remember (or write down) the time.
Step 2: Play the game all the way through
Step 3: Look at the clock again. Figure out how long its been since Step 1.

Alan


Half right. Now all you gotta do is have maybe 100-1000 people do that and you just take the average.


I would say that the game play is the shortest amount of time in which the game can be beaten...

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Quote:
Original post by 0siris
I would say that the game play is the shortest amount of time in which the game can be beaten...


Oh most definitely @Osiris.

That's why most RPG's have a few grinding quests to slow down the game and stretch it out a bit more. :)

thanks,

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