• Advertisement

How unrealistic would the creation of a long linear story driven narrative game be?

Recommended Posts

Not sure if I have this in the right category so if it is wrong, forgive me. Now let me elaborate. Look at games like Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, GTA, or Fallout.  Each one can give 200+ hours of gameplay and story through tons of quests. But then when you look at linear games( i.e. one path, set story, little to no backtracking, cut scenes) you'd be lucky to hit 20 hours. For example, Halo, Uncharted, The Last of Us, etc. Don't these games take less effort to create in many aspects?  Even Half Life 2 which is considered a long FPS is only around 20 hours( For my play through). Persona 5 and games like that kinda cheat since they use the same 5 areas for the entirety of the game besides palaces and mementos(still great games). I mean a game where you travel from point A to B to C and so on. Let me make an analogy.  Imagine playing Halo: Combat Evolved. You get to the end and you think "wow that was fun". But instead of it ending it was merely the first act. Then what would have been the Halo 2 campaign was the second act. Then the Halo 3 campaign is the final act. You know, a 60+ hour long experience. Look all the time and resources put into GTA V. If one were to put all that to such a linear game, couldn't such a result happen? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

It's about resources and risk mitigation. It's better to finish and release one "act" at a time and use the money for working on the next one. If you have something that makes people think "wow that was fun", why wouldn't you just ship it? And working on multiple acts in parallel is out of the question, it just increases the money spent on a project that may or may not sell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kolrabi said:

It's about resources and risk mitigation. It's better to finish and release one "act" at a time and use the money for working on the next one. If you have something that makes people think "wow that was fun", why wouldn't you just ship it? And working on multiple acts in parallel is out of the question, it just increases the money spent on a project that may or may not sell.

But would the resources used to create a game with parallel acts be more demanding than a game like GTA V? And I understand its a business but why not ever try to go beyond just letting someone have fun and instead provide an experience that you typically don't get with linear games. And you can actually then move on to a new story line as well, since you didn't split up the "acts". Would it really be that risky? Isn't it the same amount of risk and used resources as say a new ip open world game that took 5 years to make? 

 

Edited by Dinocorpshunter4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comparing to GTA V is a bad idea. Most developers do not have that level of resources, nor can they expect to sell that many copies. When asking if it is more expensive than "a new ip open world game that took 5 years to make" you're literally asking "why aren't there more games like the absolutely most expensive games that already exist". And the answer there is that money is a limited quantity.

"why not ever try to go beyond just letting someone have fun" - that makes it sound like game developers don't ever try to do the best they can, which is silly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

Comparing to GTA V is a bad idea. Most developers do not have that level of resources, nor can they expect to sell that many copies. When asking if it is more expensive than "a new ip open world game that took 5 years to make" you're literally asking "why aren't there more games like the absolutely most expensive games that already exist". And the answer there is that money is a limited quantity.

"why not ever try to go beyond just letting someone have fun" - that makes it sound like game developers don't ever try to do the best they can, which is silly.

Sorry if it came off that way. Allow me to reiterate. I understand that many game devs really do try to give players an experience beyond just fun. The Last of us I feel is a good example.  But even with that considered, nearly all games like that rarely give you more than 25 or more hours. Halo , Half Life , Killzone, Bioshock  etc,. all generally last around the same time. And yea, the comparison may not have been best given the circumstances, but I was simply wondering why such a game has never been made. I not asking "why aren't there more games like the absolutely most expensive games that already exist?". I'm simply asking why there isn't any linear narrative driven games that have anywhere near as large an amount of play time relative to games like Fallout New Vegas  for example.  I'm not expecting a 5000+ hour campaign. I'm just asking why we hardly see such games even hit the 35 hour mark. And of course, Quality> Quantity, but I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. Imagine that Half Life 2 is the game equivalent of the novel Time-Like Infinity. Around 253 pages.  How difficult would making a game equivalent to the novel The Naked God be? 1,174 pages, still high quality. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Linear narrative is expensive to make, when measured as "hours of play relative to days of development", because the content is not reusable. Given that the amount of revenue you can take is somewhat proportional to how many hours of fun a player thinks they are likely to get, it's not practical to fund development of a game that has a lot of content that will only be enjoyed once per player. When you see a linear game that gives you 10, 20, 25 hours of time, that's because it takes the whole duration of a game project to make that much good unique content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Kylotan said:

Linear narrative is expensive to make, when measured as "hours of play relative to days of development", because the content is not reusable. Given that the amount of revenue you can take is somewhat proportional to how many hours of fun a player thinks they are likely to get, it's not practical to fund development of a game that has a lot of content that will only be enjoyed once per player. When you see a linear game that gives you 10, 20, 25 hours of time, that's because it takes the whole duration of a game project to make that much good unique content.

But doesn't that really depend on the developer? Given that aside, will such a game be generally forever out the question or it will ever be possible in the future as game development becomes easier?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how the developer is relevant really.

I'd argue that AAA game development is getting harder, not easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

I don't see how the developer is relevant really.

I'd argue that AAA game development is getting harder, not easier.

Can you elaborate, if you don't mind me asking? Sorry, I'm sure I must be coming off as pretty ignorant right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even a great developer will still get more hours of player fun in a game where the player can re-use the content than in a game where the player cannot re-use the content. Reusable content gives more hours of enjoyment than linear content of equivalent quality. So that part doesn't depend on the developer.

As for development, it seems clear that budgets and team sizes are having to grow and that the complexity of it all is going up. That's a massive topic in itself though.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Advertisement