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Game Reviews

Games Suffer Because 'Reviewers Say They're Supposed To Be Long'.

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28. Re: Game Reviews Mar 21, 2013, 01:18 Prez
 
Times have changed from the time when videogaming was new. In the beginning, virtually all gamers were unattached and young, with a nearly endless supply of free time to play the games for as long as they wanted. Contrast that with today, when at least half of the market is made up of adults, who have a much smaller gaming window than kids due to all of the responsibilities that come with being an adult, and it kind of makes sense that shorter games are acceptable for the most part. That doesn't excuse $60 for sub-5 hour games, but most of those have a multiplayer component intended to add some longevity.  
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27. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 20:16 PHJF
 
Should a game's price reflect the amount of money put into it or the game's duration? There are games people play for weeks which cost $10, there are games people play for one weekend which cost $60, and there is everything in between.

It's a hell of a lot better now that we have so many digital marketplaces where games don't have to compete for shelf space. People shopping at a physical store see two similar items with different prices and assume the more expensive one is somehow better.
 
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26. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 18:12 mag
 
JaguarUSF wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 09:59:
Short games are fine...but not for $60.

Ding ding ding
 
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25. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 17:56 saluk
 
Personally I prefer games to be a bit too short than a bit too long. Long gone is the time in my life when I was happy to play the latest FF game all weekend long without coming up for air. I've more or less given up on mmorpgs, not because the games are bad, but the time commitment is too much - I like to feel like I have completed something.

Portal was too short - enough to learn the mechanics but not enough to actually have variety in them. And modern fps games... They feel repetitive at 5 hours long, but no one wants to spend 60$ for 5 hours of mediocre gameplay.

I guess what I can say is I appreciate games of different lengths. Sometimes I like to tackle something big over many sittings, other times I would rather finish something in a couple sittings. The best length depends on the games themselves and what their mechanics can and should support. But they should also be priced accurately according to their value, which is some function of length and enjoyment.
 
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24. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 17:55 Julio
 
The idea that a game should be 3 hours for $60+ is insane. I'm fine with 3 hours of content at a price that makes sense, say $5.

I'll guess that whatever game this Starbreeze Software guy is working on has no content and is going to suck. Early damage control.
 
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23. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 17:02 Cyanotetyphas
 
I guess I'm slow?

Haven't beat Bastion yet (singer), 6 hours in.

Deus Ex- One run through 25 hours.
I probably read every email in that game though. Also was working on my slam dunk for a half hour at least.

It takes me at least 60 hours minimum to beat a Bethesda/Obsidian game.

Sometimes I think games are too long...maybe thats a function of free time remaining. I was playing through the Baconing awhile ago and man it would not end.
 
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22. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 15:57 Beamer
 
People did dishonored in 4 hours?

Is that an exaggeration?

I figure that the run through the whole second to last mission had to have taken me 3 hours alone.

I guess I snuck around a ton and explored a ton, but I was the guy that did Deux Ex HR in half the time of most here. Well, I guess Dishonored is quick if you don't try to hide and just run through it with the pistol out?
 
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21. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 15:51 jdreyer
 
Fion wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 15:28:
There have been short games I felt I got my moneys worth, Limbo for example. And other games folks reported to be real short that I found not short at all because of how engrossed I was. For example Dishonored. Folks run through that in a matter of hours but I enjoyed exploring and trying different options, I ran through the whole game three times to experience it in different ways. So while for some it may have been a 4 hour game, for me it lasted dozens of hours because I was immersed and having a blast. I have 33 hours played and that includes zero DLC.

Me, too. When people tell me they finish HL2 in four hours, I ask "How??!" It took me well over a dozen hours to get through that the first time. Each time I've played Oblivion, I've put in 40 hours, and only gotten through about a third of the story each time.
 
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20. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 15:48 jdreyer
 
The only games that really feel short are the SP shooter campaigns. The reason they are shorter than the past is due to the incredibly high cost of creating unique environments these days. To make HL3 the same length as HL2 using, say, the Crysis 3 engine would cost many times more today. Will they sell many times more? If market research shows that they will not, then they make as short a game they think they can get away with and still make money.

There are lots of strategies to get around the high cost of art assets these days. RPGs do it by offering multiple quests in the same area, allowing multiple playthroughs with different kinds of characters (wizard play different than knight play). Randomization is another, both of mobs and environments (Diablo 2). Another way is to go with a simpler, stylized art style, like Borderlands.
 
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19. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 15:45 Beamer
 
I can see a 3 hour movie for $12. Why would I ever take a vacation to New Zealand that costs me $3000? The dollars to hours ratio is way out of whack!


I mean, I'm with you guys in that I have a number I feel comfortable paying for, and it's a sliding scale in relation to quality but it has a limit (say, a 5 hour game will probably never get more than $30 out of me), but comparing video games to going to the movies makes no sense. I have never, ever sat there and said "should I go to the movie theater or should I play a game?"
They're forms of entertainment, but not substitutes.
 
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18. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 15:28 Fion
 
I agree with others on here. I feel jipped when I pay $60 for a game that lasts me 3 hours plus another $20 for DLC that maybe adds another hour. I can see a 3 hour movie for $5 after all (I live in a small town). If games have to be padded to add a couple more hours, then I feel that is just bad design in the first place.

I don't expect every game to have 300 hours of content. Singleplayer shooters aren't going to be huge games. But I avoid 3-5 hour games at full price, though will definitely pick them up on sale.

And I have experienced 'padded' games. The latest AC for example had tuns of content that was just a repeat. The same fetch quests over and over, kill the same badguys over and over. But I don't feel that was padding to extend a game that would have been short, but rather padding to fill in the content on a game they wanted to kick out the door as fast as possible.

There have been short games I felt I got my moneys worth, Limbo for example. And other games folks reported to be real short that I found not short at all because of how engrossed I was. For example Dishonored. Folks run through that in a matter of hours but I enjoyed exploring and trying different options, I ran through the whole game three times to experience it in different ways. So while for some it may have been a 4 hour game, for me it lasted dozens of hours because I was immersed and having a blast. I have 33 hours played and that includes zero DLC.
 
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17. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 14:39 SimplyMonk
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 12:43:
It's money, not time, that causes the short gameplay. It isn't that they rush the game out, it's that each hour costs so much money to make that, at some point, it's a losing proposition.

Curious if any game developers doing any serious number crunching with their costs/hour for different aspects of the game. How many hours are spent on graphics/models/animations versus time spent on level design/scripting/mechanics and all the other myriad components of game development. Are games shifting to spending too much resources on graphics nowadays that cost them level design time? Is a level too scripting intensive now so you get shorter levels that are more dynamic?

I would hope that a good developer and PM would be able to answer these questions (although most likely not publicly) and do basic cost/benefit analysis but I get the feeling that most of them don't even know what is going on. Do they just keep chugging randomly until the release date hits or they run out of money?

If it is going to cost you 10K and 100 hours to get 3D TV support in, fuck that and instead get the equivalent investment for an additional level or add some complexity to a boss fight.

Game development is like any other software industry I suppose though. Features have fucked up priorities and don't adequately conform to cost/benefit for the end user due to complexity or bad project management. Not sure how well game development would conform to an Agile style development cycle for the AAA titles that involve entire outsourced companies and multiple development teams. I'm sure the indies probably do such and can manage things better.

This comment was edited on Mar 20, 2013, 14:48.
 
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16. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 14:17 Flatline
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 08:37:
The game argument is coming from a screenwriter.

Yeah, those guys who have to turn out products that 95% of the time fall within 75-120 minutes in length.

Here's the thing. If you're going to charge me 60 bucks for 4 hours of gameplay time, that story/experience better be among one of the most moving experiences ever in my life. It better shine above other games and movies and books because you're asking an awful fucking lot of my money.

It's a simple rule of thumb for me: I should get more hours of entertainment out of a game than it took me to earn the money. And when I say entertainment, I don't mean *just* playing. If I discuss the game for an hour with friends because it was mind-bending, then yeah, that's entertainment.

Bastion was a fantastic game. Short enough not to wear out it's welcome, well made, and it was what, 4 hours? But I only spent 10-15 bucks on it. It stuck with me for a long, long time after I played it, and I wonder if I had paid 60 bucks for it if it would have.
 
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15. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 13:41 Beamer
 
Quboid wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 13:34:
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 12:43:
Gadzooks wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 12:37:
Reviewers dont say games are supposed to be long

GAMERS say games are supposed to be long

Especially when said games cost 60 bucks.

60 bucks = 12 hours of movie time if you go to the theater
60 bucks for a game should at least be comparable. This whole 5 hour campaign is just BS.

I blame 80% of short games on publishers who push for a quick release, and 20% of lazy devs.

It's money, not time, that causes the short gameplay. It isn't that they rush the game out, it's that each hour costs so much money to make that, at some point, it's a losing proposition.

Is there a difference? The saying "time is money" is applicable here I think.

There is a difference. The way he phrased it it sounds like either devs are lazy and don't feel like working longer or execs are antsy and don't want to wait longer.

The limitation isn't the time. It isn't "oh, I don't feel like working on this any longer" or "oh man, we need something to release next week, so it's your game!" it's more "Oh man, we've spent 3 years and $80 million dollars making this game and it's only 7 hours long. I'm sure we can add a few more hours, but making them even half the quality of what we've done would take an additional $20 million dollars and get us, what, maybe 100,000 more sales? We simply don't have the budget and the cost of adding more hours to this game would likely be the difference between a successful product and one that loses money."
 
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14. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 13:34 Quboid
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 12:43:
Gadzooks wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 12:37:
Reviewers dont say games are supposed to be long

GAMERS say games are supposed to be long

Especially when said games cost 60 bucks.

60 bucks = 12 hours of movie time if you go to the theater
60 bucks for a game should at least be comparable. This whole 5 hour campaign is just BS.

I blame 80% of short games on publishers who push for a quick release, and 20% of lazy devs.

It's money, not time, that causes the short gameplay. It isn't that they rush the game out, it's that each hour costs so much money to make that, at some point, it's a losing proposition.

Is there a difference? The saying "time is money" is applicable here I think.
 
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13. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 20, 2013, 13:16 xmb1121
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 08:37:

It's true in some sense. Some games do feel padded just to hit a certain mark. And games like the Call of Duty games would wear out their welcome if single player went beyond 7 hours (they start getting grating before that.)

But when you're paying $60, you expect a certain return both in quality and quantity. CoD can get away with it due to multiplayer being the focus. Other games? A 7 hour game without a strong multiplayer component would irk me at $60 but feel fine at $30.


This. There are two separate things going on. I suggest not padding the game or the price. That prices of goods are not allowed to be elastic is one of the angles from where you can see how fake our capitalism really is.
 
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12. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 12:43 Beamer
 
Gadzooks wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 12:37:
Reviewers dont say games are supposed to be long

GAMERS say games are supposed to be long

Especially when said games cost 60 bucks.

60 bucks = 12 hours of movie time if you go to the theater
60 bucks for a game should at least be comparable. This whole 5 hour campaign is just BS.

I blame 80% of short games on publishers who push for a quick release, and 20% of lazy devs.

It's money, not time, that causes the short gameplay. It isn't that they rush the game out, it's that each hour costs so much money to make that, at some point, it's a losing proposition.
 
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11. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 12:37 Gadzooks
 
Reviewers dont say games are supposed to be long

GAMERS say games are supposed to be long

Especially when said games cost 60 bucks.

60 bucks = 12 hours of movie time if you go to the theater
60 bucks for a game should at least be comparable. This whole 5 hour campaign is just BS.

I blame 80% of short games on publishers who push for a quick release, and 20% of lazy devs.
 
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10. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 12:32 Beamer
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 12:01:
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 08:37:
The game argument is coming from a screenwriter.

It's true in some sense. Some games do feel padded just to hit a certain mark. And games like the Call of Duty games would wear out their welcome if single player went beyond 7 hours (they start getting grating before that.)

But when you're paying $60, you expect a certain return both in quality and quantity. CoD can get away with it due to multiplayer being the focus. Other games? A 7 hour game without a strong multiplayer component would irk me at $60 but feel fine at $30.

I wonder how long Dishonored took me. Went through it in a week, but I feel like it was a least 15 hours. Which reminds me, I should write my comments in the Games section of the board...

Was just talking to someone yesterday about Dishonored. It feels very short. I played half of the game in 1 sitting. Maybe the 2nd half is a lot harder/longer, but it already feels pretty short. I get it, it has replayability as you can do things different, cheevos, etc etc etc. But I don't see myself replaying it.

Man, I disagree about the replayability. Those achievements kind of suck. Maybe it's just me, but I felt like missions were long. Redoing an hour+ mission where one mistake can mean doing it all over again sucks. That's not replayability, that's torture.
Supposedly the new Gears of War, which is getting great reviews, puts the whole game into 10-30 minute nuggets. That's far better for replayability.

I don't have any clue how long I spent playing Dishonored, I just know my average sittings were longer because some of those missions went on. And on. And on. The second to last, in particular, took forever. The last was about 10 minutes, though.
 
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9. Re: Game Reviews Mar 20, 2013, 12:08 SimplyMonk
 
InBlack wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 09:39:
I cant remember the last time a game felt 'padded' to me. If anything games are becoming abysmaly short on average.

Borderlands 2 I felt was padded. A number of the quests involved me trekking over well explored territory multiple times and often to locations that didn't have a quick teleport point. I would even argue that the loot management itself leads to significant padding in the game, but that is sorta the Borderlands experience. You get tons of loot and have to sift through the crap to find anything usable.

Being a JRPG fan, I supposed I'm a little used to system based padding. I don't even want to think the number of hours my life has been spent listening to the Final Fantasy Victory Fanfare or watching my screen blur and jump to the battle scene. At least in those games I always felt like I was moving forward and making progress for some odd reason.
 
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