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Game Length

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I was reading an old discussion on this forum, and one of the things that got mentioned was the length of time that it takes to play a game from beginning to the end. It seems to me that while 10 hours would be reasonably long for a FPS, it would be considered short as an RPG. Does anyone have any theories as to why this would be? Would anybody have a problem with a 10 hour RPG? Do you know of any examples of short (sub 10 hours) RPGs? Alternativly, would you consider a game with a short main questline and lots of subquests to be short, or long?

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Open ended role playing game worlds (Oblivion or Fallout) are generally more generic or modular based than other game worlds. With that type of setup, you have the capacity to easily build a large world that can take a lot of time to explore. There's really nothing stopping you from stretching the play time out.

But as far as linear role playing game worlds go (Deus Ex or Final Fantasy), the content takes a lot of effort and resources, so they usually are pretty short.

Most games with main quests and sub quests have very short main quests.

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FF 10-2 is the only RPG I can think of that had that short of a playtime.

As far as the short story long sidequest structure isn't that the basic description of an MMORPG? I guess it depends on the side quests. If they are story full then sure it can be interesting, but if it is just a side quest vending machine handing out kill the wumpus tokens then not so much.

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Final Fantasy short? You can get 50+ hours of gameplay out of those things. I usually clock well over 20 on the main quest alone.

I don't like short games because they cost too much to be that short. That's why I didn't buy Indigo Prophecy until it was in the 10$ bargain bin. It really sucks having to pay for an expensive videogame and be done with it after a week or less, with nothing more to do or find.

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Daark, what would be your cut off point for saying a game is too short? Would you buy a game that was short but you could replay it? You mentioned that price would factor into it, so how would lowering the cost effect how long you expect the game to be? Am I asking too many questions?

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Final Fantasy was a linear RPG example, not a short game example. But to be honest, the reason most of the FF series has long play time is because the game world is far less interactive than shorter games. Especially if you measure interactivity by play time or area. It's a movie with buttons.

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10h is short as hell for a commercial games. MOH and COD games are FPS who last 10h, and everyone think they are waaayy too short. I couldn't imagine a RPG lasting this short. Mass Effect is considered short, and it's at least the double if you play trough the fastest you can.

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If it's still fun and interesting, then it is still worth playing. That's my view at least. I usually put 20-50 hours into a good RPG. A lot more if I'm hooked and want to explore the extra content.

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A game that could be played through in 10 hours would be fine *if* it was replayable. If it had a lot of variety when you create a new game, the player would happily try it again. Most RPGs are very linear, and have little or no replayability.

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Whether a game takes a couple of hours or about a day to finish is determined by the variety which the basic game idea makes possible. Traditional FPS games often use the concept of collecting ammo and shooting every moving thing down. This idea would get pretty boring after a while if the game didn't end after a couple of hours. A growing number of different enemy types doesn't solve the problem, it just confuses the player more and more. In contrast to this, RPGs try to tell an epic story the player can affect. The opportunity to change something in a virtual world certainly motivates the player very much because he or she can actually "self-actualize" in this world. It would be depressing for the player if game developers broke the game off in the middle of this process.

If you want to make a short RPG make it as linear as an FPS, otherwise you'd depress the players by cutting the length down. I personally number the time that is needed to replay a game among the play time of a game so that a short multiple times replayable RPG is a long RPG to me. Diablo II would seem a lot shorter if you hadn't the opportunity to play different classes.

Using a short main questline and a lots of subquests would require hard main quests so that still if a player completed all sub quests his or her character wouldn't be something like an unbeatable god - that would be desillusioning, somehow. This little balance question would lead to a long RPG again, because the player would have to finish several sub quests to be able to beat a main quest.

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