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Full Version: What do you think of the game's length?
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Moin,

One of the most important German game magazines, Gamestar.de, gave you 80% - that's a really great score for an Indie game in regards of Gamestar's standards! It also acknowledges a proper game length making it "a more than fair offer".
For German audience, it would be worthwhile mentioning this on your homepage.

Also interesting that many users commenting on wanting a boxed version - seems we Germans are quite conservative here...

Regards
Ozz
Overall it was fantastic (I just completed it). It felt like a gruelling experience, as appropriate considering the setting and the atmosphere, but without dragging.

My only complaint (and it's not a very strong one) would be that the ending didn't really live up to the rest of the game. It's a bit formulaic and cliche... the bad guy is completing his evil ritual but you bust in and ruin it by breaking a few things while he just stands there shouting "Noooo, what are you doing?" I've seen it in many games (and films, and books) before. So if you were to add any length to the game, I think that would be the place to do it. Make the player debate Alexander so he'll release you. Or have the player chase him through the ineffable realms beyond the stars. Or have the player drag Alexander to each of the torture chambers in turn, to take your revenge -- the final act of violence, your first in the game, that drives you permanently insane. Or have Alexander send monsters to chase you all the way back through the castle as it crumbles and cancerizes, and you stumble into the forest knowing it's only a matter of time before the shadow finds you again. I don't know. Just not another peremptory "And so you trashed his ritual. The end." .... Tongue
" Perfect! And I would think so even if it cost more."

To be honest, twelve would be the "real" perfect. But, to be honest, the way you made the game, how you told the story, and the fact that indeed, there is not much replayability, the game doesn't have to be longer than that... or it would be boring. Meaning, how could you tell a scary story for 30 hours without using the same tricks again and again ?

I'm working in a french studio on a totally different kind of game (RPS, Deus Ex like)... and this way you can think about making a much longer game with replayability.

If Amnesia was more like a "sandbox" horror FPS, with branches in the story, big choices that could radically change the ending of the game and a lot of secundary missions and goals... in this case, yes, Amnesia would be too short. But, that's actually not the case. Amnesia is a nice story, with an excellent direction, and 10 hours is enough. It's a totally unforgettable experience that i'm gonna replay in a year or two, maybe sooner. And everyone should tell their friends about this masterpiece.

Also, as a sound designer working in independant gaming too, i would be really glad to support your studio, if you release the soundtrack, i would be the first to buy it.
To Frictional developers,

I don't think length has anything to do with Amnesia's less-than-stellar sales. In fact, I'm even surprised that you would even consider this as a possible explanation: I mean, just look at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2!

To be honest - brutally honest - I rather think the problem is the game's concept.

Let's face it, the Penumbra trilogy kinda bombed, and, since you couldn't afford blockbuster-like marketing, it was pretty damn obvious that it would take more than just a new setting, scripted scares and a few gameplay tweaks in order to attract more players.

I, for the matter, was disappointed by Amnesia, as it felt like a pretty blatant rehash of Black Plague, which wasn't that impressive to start with. Sure, it featured cool physic-based technology, but most of the time, it felt to me as some kind of poor man's System Shock 2. To make matters worse, it doesn't seem like there's been much evolution since the first Penumbra tech demo. Back then, it was pretty neat and innovative, but heck, it's 2010.

Please don't take offense at my comments. While I may sound harsh to you, all I'm trying to do here is to offer some constructive criticisms. Like everyone here, I wish to see more games from you, but I don't think that game's length is the issue, nor that merely rehashing the same concept again and again is gonna do the trick.
I felt that the length of the game was fine, honestly. Wasn't too short that I felt ripped off or anything, nor was it too long that it overstayed its welcome. Hell I'd have payed double even and not have felt like I haven't got my money's worth of the game. Took me, maybe 11 hours to finish.

Not to mention mods and tools and commentary, multiple endings give the game some nice replay value.
I don't think much of the length so much as the fun it produces.

I don't mind the 6-12 hour experience. Hell, it probably takes longer now because I am scared witless! I don't think I want to see a 100 hour long version of Amnesia though... 100 hours of pure terror. No thank you. I would get too scared, and never complete the game. Sad

Also, the "No Replayability" thing is a complete lie. The game makes you want to play it over and over again.
You think that you would know all the scares, but they still get you every time. That is what makes it an enjoyable experience to play it over again.
I voted Long Enough (my experience was 5.4 hours), but at the same time, I think it deserved a little more, and I wouldn't mind paying $5-$10 more for another 1-3 hour(s).

But I do wish it would be a bit quicker to release this time Wink
PErfect. Yes, it was a bit short in terms of pure gametime. But in terms of story and pacing it was absolutely perfect. If it did cost more, it could just hurt the game sales, but quality/quantity (of game time) was much much better than in most "AAA" titles nowadays.
The "problem" with this type of "narrative-driven-game" is that it lacks replayability (as in "let's do it again immediately"). So 20 price justified the "one-go" nature of the game. But, boy what a ride it wasSmile
Okay, I can't vote because I haven't played the game yet (I did buy it, though). In general terms, though, I would much prefer a short game with no filler to a long game. I have no interest in doing exactly the same thing over and over again, which is why I rarely buy mainstream games. I think the "length debate" is something that will gradually disappear as more great, "short" games are released. Things like Portal and your own games are blazing the trail, and unfortunately the mainstream gamer (and press) is having trouble with it at the moment, but they will catch up eventually. Keep up the great work!
(09-19-2010, 11:39 PM)Kato Wrote: [ -> ]I voted Long Enough (my experience was 5.4 hours), but at the same time, I think it deserved a little more, and I wouldn't mind paying $5-$10 more for another 1-3 hour(s).

But I do wish it would be a bit quicker to release this time Wink

How can you finish this in such a short time?
Do you use walkthru's? or can you solve the puzzles immediately?
When playing do you read all the notes and background stories?
I have only a vague idea how long I played. but it took 2 twilight til dawn sessions for me, which I'm sure must have been well over 15 - 20 hours
but I wasn't timing it.
When I play a game I want to explore every inch of the gameworld and immerse myself in the story. I want to feel I'm really there, so running through the game just to finish it makes no sense to me.
The one thing that stands out in a lot of Youtube vids of the walks(runs), is how everyone hurries and seems totally uninterested in the story itself.

...but to each his own. As long as the time spent, be it less than 6 hours or more than 20, is enjoyable - it was worth it.
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