• Log In | Sign Up

  • News
  • Reviews
  • Games Database
  • Game Discovery
  • Search
  • New Releases
  • Forums
continue reading below

Adventure Gamers - Forums

Welcome to Adventure Gamers. Please Sign In or Join Now to post.

You are here: HomeForum Home → Gaming → Adventure → Thread

Post Marker Legend:

  • New Topic New posts
  • Old Topic No new posts

Currently online

Support us, by purchasing through these affiliate links

   

How long is long enough?

Avatar

Total Posts: 4

Joined 2021-05-04

PM

Hi all,
I’m wondering what everyone thinks is a long enough playtime for a first play through of an indie adventure game.  Is it acceptable to be able to complete a first play through in 5-10 hours for an indie from a very small dev team? 
Boiks

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 1

Joined 2021-04-15

PM

Imo, anything about 6-15 is acceptable (taking in count a blind playtrought, so the puzzles difficulty)

Above that its usually a bit too exhausting and less than it probably would mean its a bit too easy or just short

If the focus is on replayability this could vary tho Smile

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 501

Joined 2017-12-19

PM

Some of the best games I have played have been under 30 mins.

You should worry about quality, not length.

Of course it also matters whether you are releasing freeware, asking AAA prices, or something in between. Free games don’t usually get criticised for length, commercial games usually do, no matter how long they are.

I think 10 hours is actually quite long for a small indie game. I hope it doesn’t mean extending the playtime by mazes etc. Of course mazes can be fun too, like in Guard Duty, but usually that’s not the case.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 308

Joined 2005-07-07

PM

I think the length of the game as a criteria for judging its quality/worth is more or less irrelevant. I can somewhat understand that game length was important when adventure games were expensive, like in the 80’s and 90’s (think I paid like 50-60 bucks for games like Broken Sword and Gabriel Knight 2 when they were new). But these days an adventure game rarely costs more than a movie ticket, a movie blu-ray or a music CD/download, often quite a bit less. Put in that perspective a game’s length really shouldn’t in itself be of any importance imo.

I don’t mind shorter games. In fact games that take 2-8 hours to complete suit my life situation perfectly. I don’t mind paying as much for a 2 hour game as for a 15 hour game. The important thing is that I like the game. And I don’t like padding, like irrelevant fetch-quests or deliberately underclued puzzles (or mazes…).

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 567

Joined 2016-04-08

PM

I was going to make an example with sex, then I censored myself. But I am sure you will get the idea…

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 308

Joined 2005-07-07

PM

walas74 - 05 May 2021 06:18 AM

I was going to make an example with sex, then I censored myself. But I am sure you will get the idea…

Not sure… You mean you like games that every player finishes at the same time?

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 818

Joined 2015-07-01

PM

I think the perfect medium is somewhere between 8-12 hrs. I agree adventure longer than that usually out-stay their welcome.

But i also think games are too long in general. These rpgs that last 75 to 150 hrs are just too much for me, and usually the gameplay loop becomes really repetitive.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 567

Joined 2016-04-08

PM

Veovis - 05 May 2021 07:08 AM
walas74 - 05 May 2021 06:18 AM

I was going to make an example with sex, then I censored myself. But I am sure you will get the idea…

Not sure… You mean you like games that every player finishes at the same time?

Hahaha… I meant more than sometimes it’s better a quick and intense one than a longer and boring one…

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 1251

Joined 2013-08-25

PM

10 hours is a good length for an indie adventure. Of course, it always depends on the game type and how people play it. I like games with interactive environments and try to click every active object, use items randomly for unique responses, exhaust all dialogue options, so even a game short on actual gameplay may take 10 hours to finish. Other people don’t care for all of that and only want story/puzzles. On the other hand, I prefer to read subtitles and often skip voiced dialogues while others need to hear every single spoken line - which also adds to the playtime for them. Different criteria for different people.

     

PC means personal computer

Avatar

Total Posts: 1424

Joined 2005-12-06

PM

I also think it’s more about the content than the length. But if I have to say something, I think 3+ hour game is already “long enough” to feel like a game instead of a chapter, if that’s what you’re looking for. Though 3 hour game is still kind of short and should be cheaper unless it’s otherwise exceptional.

I think 5-10 hours is very good for an adventure.

     

Currently playing: Keepsake (CPT), Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning
Recently played: Cats Organized Neatly, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Night Call, Call of the Sea, Donut County, Haven, Oknytt (CPT), Astrologaster, Observation, Carto, GreedFall
My game reviews and other stuff: Lux Atarnia

Avatar

Total Posts: 4

Joined 2021-05-04

PM

Thanks for the replies, everyone!  They are really helpful. It’s so hard to judge for me because I know the path so well that I can probably get to the end in an hour or two but that’s if I do everything perfectly. I’m guessing it would take a new player at least a few more hours to figure the rest out.

We are definitely trying to focus on quality of story and character and feel so it’s good to hear that people don’t expect an indie game to be 40+ hours - we’d never finish!  Also, I’m the kind guy who will be playing Zelda and dread the moment when you realize that you’re not almost done but actually barely started - I just thought I was getting old.

As far as cost goes, I’d love to be able to get like $3-5 for the game but I understand how difficult it will be to find players even if it’s FTP so we might go that route at least for the first installment.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 308

Joined 2005-07-07

PM

walas74 - 05 May 2021 07:56 AM
Veovis - 05 May 2021 07:08 AM
walas74 - 05 May 2021 06:18 AM

I was going to make an example with sex, then I censored myself. But I am sure you will get the idea…

Not sure… You mean you like games that every player finishes at the same time?

Hahaha… I meant more than sometimes it’s better a quick and intense one than a longer and boring one…

Laughing

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 4

Joined 2021-05-04

PM

Doom - 05 May 2021 08:20 AM

10 hours is a good length for an indie adventure. Of course, it always depends on the game type and how people play it. I like games with interactive environments and try to click every active object, use items randomly for unique responses, exhaust all dialogue options, so even a game short on actual gameplay may take 10 hours to finish. Other people don’t care for all of that and only want story/puzzles. On the other hand, I prefer to read subtitles and often skip voiced dialogues while others need to hear every single spoken line - which also adds to the playtime for them. Different criteria for different people.

I think you’re basically the target market for this game. The full loop is in and we’re getting to a polish stage and really trying to focus a lot on adding character with interesting / funny descriptions when you examine things and filling in dialogue options - I’m trying to cover as much ground as possible so any logical question a player might have is “askable.”  Also leaving notes and books around to fill in some lore type stuff that supports the story. Only some of it is necessary to complete the game but we want to reward careful players. 

I am currently struggling with the decision on voice over for the dialogue. Currently, when you start a convo, each main character has a musical theme that plays during the conversation so there’s a lot going on already. I do have the voice over system mostly coded and built and have tested it with another set of characters and I kinda like that too.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 280

Joined 2021-03-01

PM

I’m more than happy to pay $10-15 for a game that is 5 hours long. I don’t need every game to be 20+ hours. In fact, I usually prefer them to be shorter. I feel like too many games today fall prey to the zeitgeist of conflating game length with game value, and their design suffers for it.
I think some of the best games are the ones where you never feel like any part of the game was padded to increase the length, or that the length was compromised for lack of resources. If this means that the resulting game is 5 hours, fantastic. If it means that the game turns out to be 50 hours, just as good.

I don’t play games just to be playing *something! anything!*, so a bland long game is worthless to me. I also can afford to spend 20 bucks a week on a couple of shorter games, if that means getting two satisfying experiences, as opposed to spending $30 on one great big 80 hour game that lasts 3-4 months but loses its flavor after the first week or two. As a kid with limited funds, I might have felt otherwise.

Still, and I might be very wrong about this, I tend to stay away from games that are a only a couple of hours or less. I just don’t feel like they will be as engaging as longer ones—I like to have time to sink my teeth into something and become somewhat immersed in the experience. Shorter games (2 hours or less) are fun from time to time, but in general I prefer longer ones (5-20 hours).

And if I’m playing a game like Dragon Quest, it can go to infinity and beyond. Just keep those King Slimes coming!

     

Player, purveyor, and propagator of smart toys and games for all ages.
Facebook.com/weplayfaves
IG @weplayfaves

Avatar

Total Posts: 501

Joined 2017-12-19

PM

Doom - 05 May 2021 08:20 AM

I like games with interactive environments and try to click every active object, use items randomly for unique responses

Yeah, games that offer those are great.

Ben There, Dan That + Time Gentlemen, Please! and The Antidote are among my favourite adventure games because they reward the player for trying even craziest things. Like examining even the most trivial things for some hidden gag in the first mentioned, or trying to have a discussion with e.g. a meatball in the inventory in the latter.

Of course they are good games otherwise too, with very unique stories and all.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 2648

Joined 2007-01-04

PM

I would really shoot for at least 6 hours, 10 would be better.

True I’ve played 2 hours games, but those were FMVs like 5 dates with lots of replay value.

Heart

     

I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

You are here: HomeForum Home → Gaming → Adventure → Thread

Welcome to the Adventure Gamers forums!

Back to the top