Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How Much Content Is Enough?

Every now and then hardcore gamers rant about games being 'too short'. I can't think of many games I've played where I felt that way. I've only ever finished 3 games anyway, I get bored easily.
This means I'm not very good at judging how much content to put into a game.

Part of me approaches it as "this game will cost people $20, that's maybe 2 evenings very cheap entertainment. Say you play the game for 3 hours a night, if there is 6 hours gameplay before your sick of it, that's pretty good going."
But the attitude of most gamers seems to be
"I want a game that's going to keep me playing at least a few months. I bought an FPS once for $40 and I played it for two years!"
With multiplayer games, you are on to a winner, because the content doesn't matter as much as setting up an interesting arena for competition. Nobody ever says chess doesn't have enough content.
Possibly the WORST game for people expecting tons of content is a single player RPG, which (in a way) is what I'm making, albeit a real-world one.
I fear being criticised for not putting in enough stuff. I also fear putting in everything, but rushing it and doing it badly. I also fear spending too long making a game that may not even sell.

If I was doing Kudos 2, it would be much easier. I already know what works. I could improve the GUi and the general artwork, and then add buckets of new content. Job done.

Anyway, that's my current dilemma. Is the game content complete yet? I'm pretty sure it isn't, but I'm not sure how I will ever know that it is.

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