Noob question...

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  • Hello fellow constructors!

    I would like to know your opinion on something.

    What is, for you, the ideal length for an indie game? We all know know that depends on the genre so let's say for example, an "arcade shooter" and a "platformer"...

    Thanks ;)

  • IN my opinion longer is better, but only if you are introducing new things, and not repeating the same boss battles with a slight twist to make them slightly harder.

    The first time through Cave Story takes around 3 hours. SO I would say... about 3 hours.

  • Anything up to 6 hours I guess. Most game can't hold my attention beyond this sort of time limit. But then there are a lot of people that like really long games.

  • Honestly unless you damn well know how to make a game, you should focus on exploiting a few solid elements that work for a short time as opposed to making some long, overblown, drawn-out borefest.

    So aim for an hour at most. Preferably 30-45 minutes. Hell, even less if that's all that's necessary for your game.

    Don't be fooled by an industry that says you need 6 hours minimum for it to be even just labeled as a "short game."

    Metal Slug can be beaten in an hour or less. And <img src="smileys/smiley35.gif" border="0">, you still play it even when you beat it.

    When I'm playing a game on the computer that I hear about from some website, unless it has some SERIOUS clout (like Cave Story >.>), if I am not still entertained after 5 minutes I move on. I don't care if "it gets better an hour in" because it's still bad design, ha ha.

    So I will say shorter is better for an indie game. Don't overstay your welcome ;)

  • Thanks a lot for your feedback guys ;)

  • "arcade shooter" and a "platformer"

    Sweet spot I think is around 30-50 minutes (Of course these games usually take dozens of hours to master though). Anything longer than that, and you'll start noticing the bad pacing and content filler/fluff.

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  • It has to be fun and satisfying. Length is irrelevant.

  • Well, since you gave platforms as an example, I'd say about 1-2 hours.

    Most old platform games are this big, I think..

    Unless it's a metroidvania, then with all the back-tracking it would probably double or triple the total length..

    Anyway, if you're just making a normal platformer, don't think about the total length, think about how many levels it will have. 10 levels that you can beat in a hour is a lot more satisfying than 3 huge levels that look the same all the way..

  • I will not give an opinion on Arcade shooters, since this genre, along with FPSs, I cannot seem to be able to play them for more than 5 minutes before I start bleeding from every orifice in my body, meaning, they bore me to death.

    Platformers are a different story, these can be extremely fun and addicting, but also can make you wanna skin yerself alive. I like platformers where there's a sense of advancement, getting new moves, new skills, etc., that kinda stuff, you know. These sort of platformers weren't very popular back in the old days, usually they were very straight forward and simple. If you are going to make a simple platformer, make it short, same length as the first Mario for the NES is perfect for this kind of platformers. Keep it fun though, give interesting power ups and stuff like that. You can also make it longer like this but this takes a lot more effort, one my favorite long platformers is Yoshi Island. The game was relatively long for a straight forward platformer, but it was fun and interesting, many puzzles and secrets.

    If you plan on making the game reward you with upgrades and/or level ups (beside the typical power ups), you should make it longer. When you add upgrades and levels (character development levels), maybe even different equipable weapons, the game becomes a candidate to be long, but also more technical in nature, these are the ones I like to play. You don't have to have a great story for any of those two genres, although, platformers with RPG elements usually tend to have stories.

  • Another factor to consider is if you're going to charge for the game. A free game can be however long you want, but short and sweet is normally the name of the game.

    However, if you're going to charge money for it, people will "want to get their moneys worth". Game length in time and levels, and price are factors here. If the game is too short in respect to how much it costs, people will get annoyed.

  • Most of my flash games are between 5-20 minutes average play.

    Then we have Minecraft and Project Zomboid which are sandboxy and last a long time.

    I'd say quality is better than quantity!

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