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News Warren Spector: 100-hour games are on the way out

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 18 Jun 2008.

  1. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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  2. Orlix

    Orlix New Member

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    err... I loved the Ultima series, I love Oblivion. I hate that CoD4 SP was so short.
    I think developers want to do shorter games so they do not have to come up with clever stories and can cut it short to save budget. The best example of this was MM Dark Messiah. I liked the game although it was not great, but the SP was done so fast and the multiplayer was not that good. Good thing I did not pay full price for it.
     
  3. Mentai

    Mentai New Member

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    Well he's right. Even (western) RPG's don't fall into the 100+ hours category anymore. Mass Effect is half that length if you go and do everything, half again if you just do the main quest. In some ways that's bad, but as most gamers have lists of titles they want to one day finish, I think shorter experiances are ok.
    I found the CoD4 single player to be the perfect length, if I wanted more there's always a higher difficulty/multiplayer.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2008
  4. [USRF]Obiwan

    [USRF]Obiwan New Member

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    My wish that HL Episode 3 will take 62 hours playtime to complete, just vanished...
     
  5. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Personally, I don't care about the length so much as long as the game works well within that space. I like to compare Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Warrior Within on this point.

    Sands of Time was a short game - maybe 15 hours or so? - but it worked. There was no padding, no filler and the story felt like it was always moving forwards. The characters were always evolving and changing. There were sections where the Prince and Farah were separated and the game felt like it might just be padding things out a bit, but the developer was still using this time to most it could.

    Warrior Within however responded to claims that the first one was too short. It was double the length, with multiple endings. Unfortunately, it also felt a bit fluffed up as the Prince had to spend time going back through previous levels and tackling objectives which were needlessly complex (the two towers, anyone?).

    I like both games, but I prefer SOT purely because the game doesn't waste my time. A shorter game isn't always a worse game and as long as developers are using the time in the game to the maximum then I don't mind if the game is 100+ hours or 12 hours. If the game involves me then I'll play it to the endand then probably play it again and again. If a game feels loose and full of meaningless sections then it's lucky if I get halfway through.
     
  6. Silver51

    Silver51 I cast flare!

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    He has a point from a certain perspective. As I've grown older (26) I find myself playing games less for less time. When I do, it's usually a quick blast on something like Day of Defeat.

    It may be because as an adult there are more important things that demand my time and just can't justify wasting large chunks of it playing games. I stopped playing RTS when I realised that I'd waste 6 hours destroying other people over the LAN.

    There are exceptions though, games with a solid story I will set time aside for, games that make you feel like you've achieved something by playing them. Deus Ex was one of them.

    "Laputan Machine"
     
  7. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    I think he's wrong. The people who are gaming aren't changing. The difference is that other people are gaming now, so the average did indeed shift. If developers paid a little more attention to the actual group of gamers they are catering to with their game, instead of gamers in general, they would not make wrong assertions like this.

    One problem i do see with games in general nowadays is that they spend less and less time trying to draw a player into the story. FFVII, Half-Life, Halo, Baldur's Gate... even Monkey Island. All games that would not have been half as good if they incorporated one of the excuses for a storyline that games use these days. GTA is a positive exception, but games as a platform for compelling storytelling is losing ground.
     
  8. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    I like 'em big.

    Maybe I'm too much of an olsdschool Civ player to be counted in with all those console kids but still: I like 'em big.
    I do care a lot about stories which is one of the reasons why I think Crysis wasn't too great after all. Same with the new Indy movie... wtf with the aliens? :eyebrow:
    Anyways, I don't agree with Mr. Spector on this 100% though I have to say if a game does feel stretched or the story isn't up to the task it's less fun.
     
  9. Tris

    Tris New Member

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    I agree with the statement about artificial inflation - i rarely finish games these days (though with ones like gta, its because i get to a certain point then just bomb around trying to cause as much mayhem as possible, then turn the game off when i am finally taken down). I find most to be bloated with uneccessary filler and repetetive content (hey assassins creed), and just lose interest.
    As mentioned in a post above, my increasing age might be a factor in this - i have less time and am less tolerant of games that arent consistantly interesting, and now tend to drift towards pick up and play games that i can mess about with for 30mins then go do something else (especially since i went cold turkey from WoW).
    The only games i put 100 hours + into are engaging multiplayers (like cod4) where theres a genuine interest in playing purely to improve your skill and understanding of the game.
    So on that level i think he is right, but i would be interested to hear what he thinks should replace it - is he a proponent of arcade style games which you complete in an hour of intense play, or is he planning on going the multiplayer content/plot free route, or something else?
     
  10. Veles

    Veles DUR HUR

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    QFT. I don't really care how long a game was, I found CoD4 too long because those damn respawning enemies were just so frustrating. Although I thought I should have enjoyed the campaign, most of the time was spent cursing at the screen because I got killed by some enemy I couldn't see.

    I do quite enjoy short games, there are so many games I have on my list of games I want to complete, I just have to say no to many of them because they are just too long, JRPGs are generally guilty of this, although I usually enjoy the stories, I find the save point system and long winded dialogue to be really annoying. As Joe said, shorter games tend to have a better storyline as well, as there is much less filler there for the sake of making the game longer. If a long game can have a good story all the way through then that's great, but it's rare that people can pull that off.

    I will usually only play a long game if it's truly exceptional too. The problem with a long game is you have to play it for a long time, if the game is very good, then that's great, but the longer you play a game, the more those annoyances with the gameplay start to bug you. I can only play a JRPG for about a week before the random encounter system gets on my nerves. The random encounter system is the JRPGs crutch to make the game last longer, I don't want to have to take 2 hours to get through an area because I get a random encounter every 5 steps, I just want to get through and progress the story.

    TL;DR: If you want to make a long game, that's fine, just make sure the gameplay and story are up to scratch throughout, otherwise people will lose interest. Even then, people will probably still lose interest when a new game comes out, but if you make it good, people will want to come back to it over and over again.

    EDIT: Also, your new avatar is awesome
     
  11. bowman

    bowman Member

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    It's already going this way. Mass Effect, the campaign was so short, it almost lost the epic feel of it. COD4, it was a taste bite of a game, not a full game. The MP was useless, so one ended up paying for a 4 hour game. No good.
     
  12. Cupboard

    Cupboard I'm not a modder.

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    The single player was too short, yes, but you cannot say that the multi player was useless (says he who has spent about 5 days playing it over LAN)

    I like long games, so long as I get into them. I enjoyed CoD4, I enjoyed ES4: Oblivion, I enjoyed GTA:SA. I have completed them (Oblivion and GTA twice).
    I also enjoyed STALKER but not enough to complete 90% of it again when I reinstalled windows and forgot to backup the saves.
    So long as a game is good for the amount of time you are playing it, then I am happy. I am really happy if that goes on for 100+ hours
     
  13. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    COD4 sp too long shocker??????? :O lolz
     
  14. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    final fantasy 7 is at least 100 hrs if you have no idea what your doing, You will spend hours alone working out how to get everything. And its perhaps the greatest rpg ever. I didnt like COD4 been so short i must admit that. GTA 4 isnt really a long game doable in less than 20 hrs without real issue.

    As for mass effect, It might cover 360 rpg asparations but it falls way short of what i expected. Knights of the old republic was about twice its size. ( did they run into disk space issues i wonder)

    If im paying £40-50 i want value for money not a 8hr expereance. £5 an hr isnt great value. ( cinimas is nearly better), Also played duex ex at least 3 times doing it 3 diffrent ways. I like games that are open about the way you play. Having to only go in guns blazzing gets rather old fast.. Thats what was maybe great about farcry and crysis. There was at least 4 diffrent routes into everything. You were encouraged to do it diffrently

    And warren were is system shock 3 ( we want to play it )
     
  15. Smegwarrior

    Smegwarrior Fighting the war on smeg

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    This is just typical of big business, they want us to pay the same amount of money or more money for less content so they can increase their profits, that is what it all boils down to.

    If the new generation of gamers don't have the attention span to complete a 100+ hour game then stick with going straight into online game play and keep away from the single player campaign.

    I read about how short the COD4 single player campaign was and decided I would never buy it.

    I agree that a long game with a poor story line or poor content designed to pad it out will fail dismally but that is no excuse for shortening games and it is just that, an excuse, it seems the game developers are getting short attention spans and increased greed, they just want to get it out the door and get on with the next one rather than create a truly compelling game, which is to the detriment of the game, how many games when released as supposedly 'gold' are just the latest beta, Frontlines: Fuel Of War is a good example, I played the open beta and when it went 'gold' I was going to buy it until I read that it was little if any better than the buggy beta I had played for free, when I read about people not being able to play the game they had just purchased until they had downloaded a patch and a hotfix (a patch by any other name is still a patch) I decided I would NEVER buy it.

    When I buy a game I expect quality, quantity and I expect it to work straight out of the box, if they can't make a game that fulfils all of that then they can't expect me to pay the AU$60 - AU$100+ that they want for it, it makes me think of [cough]p2p[/cough] as the better option to get games.
     
  16. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    I find I have to consent with you guys: I'm getting old ;-)

    ...I'm still not through GTA:SA :brrr:

    Depending on how long it's going to take for Part IV to get to the PC, I might just make it yet.

    Finished COD4 though, so yeah, it was pretty short, but okay. (could have had +50% maybe.)
    HL2 had the right length...
    Far Cry was too long...
     
  17. Timmy_the_tortoise

    Timmy_the_tortoise International Man of Awesome

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    The problem isn't so much the length as the quantity of games.

    I might buy a new game, play it for a few hours a day and get half way through.. Then, on my next rip into town buy another new game, and then I'll begin to play that and forget about the other one.
     
  18. wolff000

    wolff000 I am here to steal your secrets.

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    If people don't like lengthy games then why did GTA IV and Oblivion sell like hotcakes? This guy is awesome he has worked on some really great games but I think he is offbase. If you have enough interesting content to last that long than go for it. If you are just adding fluff and filler let the game be short simple as that. There are enough consumers to support both.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2008
  19. Veles

    Veles DUR HUR

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    Content =/= playing time. Modern games are very expensive to produce, some games even having the budget of hollywood movies, it's very difficult for a handful of people to make a decent modern game now, especially difficult if you want it to be a big game with lots of areas.
     
  20. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    CardJoe is your face being electrocuted in your avatar?

    i want quality and length, one is nothing without the other.
     
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