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Full Version: What do you think of the game's length?
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I did not play Amnesia yet, as I'm still waiting for a boxed version (Thomas, maybe you could have a look at my questions here). Still, I have an opinion on game's length...
I was totally disappointed when I finished BP in 9 hours. Like some others already mentioned, not because I thought the game was too short for 20$. It could have cost 1$ or 100$ -- I just did not want it to end, I liked the atmosphere so much that I wanted it to continue.

And I think this is the central issue for every game developer: Some people want games they can finish in their scarce spare time within 5-10 hours.
Other people love a game and want to spend 10-100 hours "living" in it... just like me. You will never satisfy both of them with current game mechanics.

In Penumbra, I would have loved some really hard puzzles, taking hours to solve alone. Surely you know Scratches... I just loved to be in that house, running around to find any clue on how to proceed. Other people hated that like hell...

To come to my point: I think the only solution for your predicament would be an option at the start of the game, letting the player select whether he wants to have a "casual" game or the full pain.
As a very simple example: On difficilty "casual", a key to a door lies next to him on a table. On "hard", the player just gets a hint were the key might be, and he has to strive around or solve a puzzle to get it (a poor example but I hope you know what I mean ;-))
By doing so, you would satisfy both user groups with a reasonable amount of additional implementation effort.

Games with low replay value (most adventure / logic games are) will always feel shorter. You can't beat that - and it is also pointless. Fillers will only lower gamers' experience from great to "meh".

I can't really judge the length of Amnesia (I can only estimate I'm in about 2/3 of the game - sewers). What I know is that I'd buy this game if it was 30$ instead of 20$, a no brainer.

It could even be that a low price sticker is suspicious to buyers who didn't know your previous titles. Maybe you could do better having only slightly sub-average pricing and lots of promo actions Wink.

The demo was very well done BTW - at least one of my friends made an immediate buy right after playing it Wink.
yeah, game was about the right length, this way you can only want more. now about the ending, it was kind of anti climatic but endings are always tricky to do and maybe there will be a second game, after all there will always be orbs to seek out and human nature is surely hungry for the unknown...
"everything will be alright..." everything will never be quite alright... hopefully

so, congrats for the team from Transylvania!
I think it was perfect, and I also think you could have priced it at least $25. Not only did you make a great game on its own, you made it with style, with love and you gave the (small, but eager) community mod tools. And that is quite a bargain.
To be quite honest, I haven't even finished the game yet (too scared lol), and I think so far the length has been excellent. In saying that, even if it had been shorter, I would still pay a £25-30 price because the experience and feel of the game is so good. So far I feel like I have gotten a really good bargain. I'd way rather pay £30 for a game like this, regardless of length so long as it wasn't 5-10 minutes, than the £30 for a long but boring and forgettable experience. Sometimes, you really just have to ignore some criticism — because not all of it will be useful or valuable.

By the way, thanks for a great game!
Length was perfect, most 50$ games have the same length so I can't complain.
But more important that comparing the length with another game: Amnesia felt perfect. The game keeps going more and more intense and you feel you are nearing the end. The journey through the Brennenburg castle just feels complete. (yes I say feel a lot - this game is about feelings)

However, replay value could be a bit better by randomizing some stuff.
Ex: In the storage where you open the door and there's this monster coming at you, I believe that the monster should be sometimes behind the door next to it on the right. Or maybe sometimes he shouldn't even be there.

Items should have several spawn locations.
Ex: In the prison lets say there's 12 tinders. Well you could add some extra ones for a total of 18 but still only 12 of them would randomly appear. The needle needed to unlock the door after the water lurker could be in a different shelf, etc.
I thought it was perfect length wise. Same as with Portal, it is the experience you enjoy, not the length of it, and if there's one thing that frustrates me is apparent filler areas. F.E.A.R. is a obvious example of those.

The price is good at the moment, but I wouldn't mind paying 5 euros more, but even more if you would get the chance to get a retail box for the game.

My only disappointment was the ending which felt kind of short, so alot of its climatic impact got lost on me. I know how hard it is, and it isn't feasible to add more content at the stage you were at, but it's still the weakest moment of the game for me. The rest was of course epic Smile
I picked "Long enough. But only considering the $20 price".

The 6 or so hours it took to finish is fine for a single player experience. The pacing was pretty good and I never felt like there was any 'filler'. The complaints about length should just be ignored, they're probably idiot reviewers that think every game should be 40 hours long and have multiplayer. I would absolutely advise against trying to stretch play time by adding 'filler'. Players will notice this and it will have a detrimental effect on your games and water down the experience.

As for price, I paid the full amount just after release and am happy that it was about right given the length, production values etc. The game was great but I don't think it would stand up to multiple playthroughs. I probably wouldn't have bought it right after playing the demo had it been more expensive.

While profitability is definitely a concern, I would be cautious about trying to pad out games to appease reviewers and idiot gamers (who will then complain about getting bored instead of the game being too short) or charging more for something similar to Amnesia. How about self-contained stories sold as DLC. I think there's scope for Frictional to sell extra stories for a reasonable price.
The game length is totally fine. Think about it. You're paying 20$, which is essentially what a DLC goes for, for a full game. I think of it this way. Fallout 3, for example, can last 50 hours(?). However, the excitement/wonder factor is in brief flashes. Its fun the entire time, but your fun factor isn't pushed to the extreme every single second. Amnesia, on the other hand, is intense for all of its 10 hours. Every single second is fear filled and exciting. Therefore, while Fallout is a longer game, Amnesia has an equal fun value; only it is compacted. Compaction isn't a bad thing. In a world where there are dozens of video games released a month, a game that can bring a huge amount of feeling out of you for its entire 10 hours is something very special. I would easily pay up to $30 for this; with updated visuals, I could pay for $35-40. Congratz on making a great game.
(09-17-2010, 05:03 AM)Carolina Wrote: [ -> ]Basically, anyone —yes, anyone, even mainstream reviewers— who thinks that a game must be long in order to have some sort of value, is a moron. A game, like a song or a movie, should last until there isn't anything meaningful to add. Everything else is a filler and it would taint the work, trivializing it instead of improving it.

Nevermind your obnoxiously righteous attitude, this assertion of yours is silly.

"A game, like a song or a movie, should last until there isn't anything meaningful to add."

That's true enough, and I fully agree on this point, but this

"Basically, anyone —yes, anyone, even mainstream reviewers— who thinks that a game must be long in order to have some sort of value, is a moron."

is a stupid thing to say.

Declaring unequivocally, as you have, that length is irrelevant in deciding the fairness of price, is itself the assertion of a 'moron'.

For example... if a game is 3 hours long, I don't care how high quality that 3-hour experience is, that doesn't justify a 60 dollar price-tag.

You mention movies and songs... would you pay 10 bucks to see a 'movie' in a theater that's 30 minutes long? Would you pay full price for a CD with 5 tracks that last 1 minute each? Of course not.

(btw, just to clarify, I'm not criticizing Amnesia's price in relation to its length, which is entirely a good value... I'm making a larger point here)
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