My key ideas are:
- I'd rather play an excellent game for 30 minutes and spend the rest of the day doing nothing but being amazed by how good it was. Than playing a good game for 5 hours.
- The advantage of a short game is that if I didn't like it, I get over it quickly and it's done. If I liked it, I can always replay it as many times as I want.
- However if it's long, I'll probably get bored of it before I can judge if it's good or not. I might not even see enough of the game before I'm too bored to continue.
- By shortening a game, it won't be less good than what it already is. In any case it can get even better by removing fluff.
- But, by extending a game, it may make the whole game worse, if what you're introducing is worse quality than what was already there.
I think there's a business reason here. That games are made longer to keep players engaged for longer, or to justify for a higher price tag. I understand the reasons and cannot condemn them. But it saddens me that because of that we are getting worse games, with more fluff that end up causing them to be less fun than they could be. I attach a price tag to the quality of a game, not its length. I know this isn't the commom approach, since I've heard friends irl comment on how good some games are merely by their ratio price/length.
Often, I dislike a game not because its mechanics, writing or visuals are bad, but because it lasts for so long that I get bored halfway through it. So not being able to finish the game properly and see the credits rolling, leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.
For example now I'm bored of Knack. I'm already 6-7 hours into it, and I don't see the ending coming anytime soon. Why does Knack have to last so much? I had fun during the first 3-4 hours. It's a fun beat them up, and it's charming!
But it isn't fun anymore when you're 7 hours into it and it's more of the same. Why is it so long? Why couldn't it end after 4 hours? And I would have left feeling happy about the game? Now I can't help but categorize it as a boring game, even though I had fun during the first 4 hours. This is the risk of making a game too long for what it actually is. You might lose players along the way.
A game that comes to mind that took this risk and excelled at it is The Witcher 3. I played it for 160 hours and kept engaged and fun all the time. I even made it longer on purpose, by doing more and more side quests.
A game that understood it shouldn't extend artificially was Titanfall 2. It was my first shooter since I got into shooters and had the appropriate length to have a fun time while not getting tired of it.
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