RPS Asks: Which Games Demand Too Much Time?

kerpow

I have some pretty big games in my life. They’re mostly MOBAs but I’m still trying to make my way through one huge RPG, keep up with Destiny and I made the mistake of picking up Endless Legend just before Christmas. Add in a full-time job and the vaguest semblance of a social life and suddenly any new games which last more than, say, 30 minutes become part of an organisational nightmare.

Having read the RPS comments sections for while now I suspect I’m not alone in this. Open-world survival games, lane pushers, strategy games, sprawling RPGs often seem to be in competition with university, work, personal projects (or maybe just with other games we love) for our time and energy.

With that in mind I wanted to ask you:

A) Is this a problem you share?

and

B) Which games would you like to play but the time requirement is simply too offputting?

For me my answers are “yes” and “Wildstar. I want to go back and check out how it’s changed – perhaps even while away a few hours in PvP – but the subscription charge coupled with not knowing how much actual time I can give over to it in a given month means I keep not doing it.”

167 Comments

  1. Blackcompany says:

    Elite Dangerous. It does not demand time in the same manner as most MMO games. Granted. But seeing the galaxy & the sheer scale of the thing keep calling me back.

    The same goes for Eurotruck SIM 2.

    • doodadnox says:

      I think this can really speak to the versatility of the game. Personally, I work 60 hours per week and come home to spend time with my wife, yet I am finding Elite:Dangerous to be PERFECT. I generally hate single-player games and they lose my attention every time, but I am able to play E:D while listening to podcasts, watch movies/shows, or shoot the shit with friends on skype.

      If you played E:D with the intention to do large smuggling missions or the like then I can definitely see the time constraints coming into play, but for myself I am just flying trade routes and exploring and I can do it in 15 minute increments all day long.

      • Joibel says:

        E:D has the problem with missions always being timed, and failing to complete a mission for any reason will cause a drop in reputation. Getting reputation back is hard. So if you’re in the position of needing to be able to disengage from the game quickly, missions are a bit of a no-no. Otherwise, it is pretty forgiving, especially seeing as the progression up the ship ladder doesn’t always equate to having something more able.

        • aoanla says:

          Although it is also entirely online, which removes my original hope that I’d be able to play it for 40 mins or so on the train commute…

      • SominiTheCommenter says:

        > I am able to play E:D while watch movies/shows
        *recoils in horror*

        • SquidgyB says:

          I tried finding a track on VLC on a second monitor – crashed my Clipper into a station. ~2mil loss.

          I are jealous of multitaskers.

      • Blackcompany says:

        Elite’s versatility is one reason I do give it so much time. Because I can do so largely on my terms.

      • damoqles says:

        You… _hate_ single-player games?

    • aldo_14 says:

      I actively put off playing Elite:dangerous for a long time because of the time investment it’d need (I have an hour and a half at most free on a typical day – that’s free time in general, not just free time for games).

      Civ5, XCom and FM come in on the opposite side of the spectrum because, whilst massive time sinks, I can always just run them in the background while I work – especially in the case of FM.

    • Sorbicol says:

      Yes the timed missions in ED are really annoying. There is no need for them to be real time events, game time would be perfectly acceptable.

    • communisthamster says:

      Yeah, the way most MMO’s are designed, goodbye time. I put 600 hours into Haven and Hearth, that’s equivalent 3 solid weeks. It is fairly grindy though.

    • fish99 says:

      I kinda disagree about ETS2, I played probably 30 hrs and by that point I had a fleet of the most powerful trucks, lots of garages, lots of money, I’d visited all the cities and I’d done all the most difficult deliveries several times each. By that point there was nothing more to do that wasn’t just repetition. There wasn’t enough depth to the career and difficulty curve.

      • Cinek says:

        Elite got identical problem. Only ETS is an offline game, so you can pause, save and quit any time with no consequences… Which is total opposite of Elite.

  2. cheborra says:

    Rome Total War 2, definitely.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      You can just autoresolve all the battles that are not interesting, makes it more manageable.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Yeah, I’d add a vote to this. Though I suspect a lot of that time was spent waiting for the AI turns to complete.

  3. TenzorMatic says:

    I find all my gaming related projects take up more time than games themselves – hosting servers, developing plugins and mods, gaming-related social drama at times. But one game that I would play if I had infinite time right now is Elite: Dangerous

  4. Themadcow says:

    As a working, married parent of 2… pretty much most of the games I own.

    Elite Dangerous also, because whenever you MMO-ify any game then progression for others happens during the time you can’t play – sadly that leads to a form of virtual regression, which is the opposite of what people usually enjoy in gaming. I’d love to feel that in the 3-4 hours a week that I game that I’m moving forward, yet I also know that the majority of the userbase are making more money, discovering more worlds, buying bigger ships and gaining more reputation than me in the time I’m not playing.

    In online gaming, if you’re not moving forwards you’re moving backwards.

    • AW says:

      Same here, backlog for time reasons is huge, but a particular category are multiplayer games you’d like to play more, but can’t commit to because you have no idea when family responsibilities will make you drop out:

      * Wargame Air/Land Battle
      * DOTA 2 (and all other Valve MP content really, I haven’t played any coop Portal 2 for example)

      • Runty McTall says:

        I second Wargame Air/Land Battle – most of my battles last the full 20 minutes and then it launches you straight to the next battle to be resolved, with no opportunity to save. Quite tedious if you have to quit out and lose all your progress for the round.

        TBH most mutliplayer games these days are out – the unlock mechanism means lots of grinding and those of us with limited time can hardly keep up with the footloose youngsters.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, Elite Dangerous is my major time-suck at the moment. That’s a good point about “regression” relative to other players, but it’s not quite as bad in ED as in most MMO’s, because there are non-competitive options like avoiding PvP, or just staying in Solo mode as a private game.

      The MMO aspect is still an issue though, even in Solo mode. Timers for missions continue to run whether you’re logged in or not. There is no Pause, which encourages longer gaming sessions to complete missions.

      I’m actually playing ED less than I did in Beta last summer, because work and family life is getting busier now, and it’s getting harder to schedule long enough alone time to play the blasted thing.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Yes having children has drastically cut back on my game time.

      Basically becoming an adult in a serious job/relationship killed things like Wesnoth and WoW and Warcraft 3 laddering that take multiple hours per day to “keep up”.

      When you only have 6 hours a day of free time a day and a partner spending 4 or 5 of them on a game seems like too much.

      Once you have kids that free time crushes down to like 2 hours a day, and so then you have to cull out anything that has a lot of hours to enjoyment ratio. FTL is great, as are things with 1 hour missions, and turn based things you can get up from very easily.

      • Themadcow says:

        Yeah, I have more hours in FTL than any other game in my Steam library for that reason – it’s great to dip in and out of, while maintaining a suitably epic experience.

  5. LexxieJ says:

    A Yes, all the bleedin’ time

    B Any of the Dragon Age or Witcher series

    I’d love to get into either of those, but play time is so limited I’m never able to remember what’s going on with the story when I do finally get chance to play again. It’s meant that sandbox-stylee games have been my preference for the past few years, purely because there is no set story or path to follow and jumping in again is as easy as just deciding what you want to do next.

    • Blackcompany says:

      I share your sentiment on sandbox games. Elite & ets2 are great for this.

    • Guvornator says:

      Any fantasy RPG seems to take an inordinate amount of time and attention. I remember when these were game I coul;d luxuriate in for a month, but now it’s so stressful. You play for an hour and basically get nowhere! And now my girlfriend want to talk to me! Oh, will this hell never end!!!!

      • Volcanu says:

        Oh man, how much do I relate to this ^^^

        RPGs and strategy games (both TB and RTS) used to be my THING. But now I’m severely limited as to how many I can play per year, and likewise I have to play them in little snatches here and there, which is not the best way to enjoy them. You need to wallow in them, luxuriate as you put it. The days of spending a whole weekend soaking in Baldurs Gate 2 are sadly, long gone. Worse still I often catch myself rushing through RPGs now. And then it doesnt feel like I’m properly appreciating them.

        I’m about 20hrs into Dragon Age:Inquisition, it’s enjoyable enough so far but it doesnt satisfy in any deep way. I’m happy when I’m playing it but it does all feel very superficial. I feel like I’m charging about from icon to icon, ticking things off a list, rather than becoming immersed in something. To be fair that’s probably more down to game design than my time constraints, but it certainly doesnt help.

        I still haven’t played Divinity:OS or Shadowrun Dragonfall. Soon Pillars of Eternity will be on us and then The Witcher 3. Its sad but I will have to pick 1, or maybe 2, from that list for 2015 I think.

        Oh and, my girlfriend also wants to talk with me, and for SOME reason it’s not enough that we just be physically in the same room to qualify as spending time together. Talk about selfish.

        • Fnord73 says:

          Shadowrun Dragonfall is actually the perfect game for this problem. The missions take about an hour +/- each, and its a proper good tactical RPG as well.

    • Zekiel says:

      Absolutely agree.
      If it is any consolation, I believe the main story of Witcher 2 (i.e. no sidequests) is “only” 20-30 hours. However that relies on you having the willpower to resist any sidequests, which is too hard for me.

      I’m currently feeling simultaneously sad and grateful that my PC won’t come close to running Witcher 3, since by all reports so far I would never come close to finishing it.

      • cloudkiller says:

        Another married guy with two timesinks also known as kids. The past two years i’ve dedicated about 1 to 2 hours to DOTA2 a night, happily sacrificing sleep for this. With the US east servers acting like lagfests recently I decided to give some of my backlog a try. Loaded up Witcher 2 and was impressed. Then I walked into the first city area, saw all of the shit to explore and do and thought, ‘how the hell am I going to have time for all of this.” I remember loving the immersion of RPGs and learning all of their nuances. But now if I only have 2 hours to spend, at the high end, I want to do something in the game, not just manage inventory or try to figure out a crafting system.

  6. mark.barbara says:

    Football Manager. No greater time sink exists.

    • merbert says:

      Ohhhh…..I beg to differ….EVE Online…..9 years……hhheeeeellllppppp!

  7. doodadnox says:

    A few months ago, myself and a few friends who play games online together all bought CIV5. Never-ever-ever buy that game if you have time constraints or 2+ friends that want to play. I think I had 6-10 games going between everyone and NEVER finished an entire game… yep, not a single game. I have no idea how the game works after 150 turns.

    • jrodman says:

      In my stupid opinion, a multiplayer game that’s turn based and requires many minutes a move should probably not be designed to have over 150 turns.

  8. Gothnak says:

    In order, in my life…

    Football Manager,
    Total War Series,
    Crusader Kings/Europa Universalis.

    Those games i can’t even turn on unless i have a spare two hours set aside, there is no point. Most games give you a sense of ‘i’ve got somewhere’ in small bitesize chunks, but it is grand strategy which can hours of your time away before you can put it down and think ‘I got promoted/Defeated Gaul/Defeated France’ :) rather than stop halfway.

    • mark.barbara says:

      Once you get into the rythem after a season or so, football manager becomes quite a bit more manageble regarding that. A match takes about 20 minutes to play and you need a good 5-10 minutes beforehand setting up subs and tweaks and what not, so you can load up FM for a quick half our play.

      Totally agreed on CK or TW though.

      • Gothnak says:

        I still have trouble with modern FM’s though taking that long. I enjoyed it more in the old days when it was a season at a time and it used to take 3-4 hours. There was no point stopping until it was over. Now i agree, a match takes 20 mins on its own, which starts to feel too long to me and my amount of free time :s…

    • Captain Joyless says:

      CK2/EU4 for sure. Even if you are just trying to do the equivalent of press “end turn” until the end of the game, CK2 and EU4 take dozens of hours of pure waiting, just for the game to reach the end of the era.

      I would also add Endless Legend simply because it seems to crash every 10 minutes for me.

    • Premium User Badge

      Overload-J says:

      Big strategy games for me as well – Civilization, XCOM, anything from Paradox. The problem is that strategy games – much as I love them – require me to retain in my working memory a fairly detailed map of the state of the game and my plans . I can’t just pick that up in a few minutes. Similarly, detailed flight sims require too much dedicated practice to get much playtime anymore. By contrast, even a big game such as Skyrim I can just load up and move forward. So, given family constraints, the strategy and sim games get far less playtime than I would like.

  9. libdab says:

    Is there such a thing as ‘too much’? If you’re enjoying it and you’re not inconveniencing anyone else (e.g. partners who seem to think that being in a relationship means you have to actually spend time together), then “Fill yer boots”, I say.

    My hit list (not in any order):
    – Any Paradox strategy game (Hearts of Iron series is a favourite).
    – Any Gary Grigsby game (up to now War in the East, but soon War in the West).
    – Far Cry 3 (soon 4).
    – In the near future (once I get my dissertation out of the way), Elite: Dangerous.

    • Viroso says:

      Sometimes you got stuff to do and other plans but you start playing a game and before you know it it’s 8pm, your house’s a mess and anything else you had planned got thrown out the window. One might think “but you enjoyed it right”, well… I guess?

      Some games just show up and briefly completely disorganize my life for a couple days. For me culprits include Civ, Terraria, big open world RPGs, or in general, games where you’re self directed, these are the most dangerous.

  10. wormroom says:

    I’m with on you on the Wildstar issue. It’s a neat game, but there’s no way in heck that I can devote the amount of time that I used to spend as a cyber teen to MMOs anymore.

    I think that it’s less of an issue of a game being too big of an investment, and more about how much the game respects the investment that I’m making. Even if I can’t really hope to beat it — I can still jump into a huge game and have fun if it’s good.

    That’s why Dragon Age: Inquisition made me so sad. I didn’t like a lot of things about the game, but having to pick up plants and mine ore felt super insulting.

    The neat part about single player RPGs is that you’re the guy doing the thing. All of the experiences in Wildstar are cheapened slightly by the fact that every other player in the world that you inhabit have done/will do the same quest that you’re doing right now.

    Resource/rep/gear grinds help hardcore players stand out. In a single player game, though, you’re free to be the only guy who swings a light saber out of a badass lifted truck.

    The effort it takes to get out of that lifted truck, squirt out the crafting sonar, and tenderly gather a single flower every 30 feet makes me not want to play Dragon Age: Inquisition.

    • Robert The Rebuilder says:

      I agreee on the tedium of flower picking. So, just use the war table to send your flunkies (at least the ones you’re not sleeping with) on resource collection missions.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      “All of the experiences in Wildstar are cheapened slightly by the fact that every other player in the world that you inhabit have done/will do the same quest that you’re doing right now.”

      I really don’t understand this mentality. If millions are playing a single player RPG that is no different to me, I don’t see what changes just because you can see these people run past you occasionally. Yes it does require some suspension of disbelief but that’s such an easy thing to manage.

  11. J-Force says:

    To question A the answer is yes.

    Currently I am studying for A levels yet there is never quite enough time to fit in what we want. Among my friends there is a joke that when a teenager starts their A levels they must choose two of sleep, fun or grades.

    On most days, sleep loses to fun and grades. I am usually up until midnight playing some sort of game. Since I decided that this year I would play through the Mass Effect trilogy, that dominated my free time until I finished it last week. Suffice to say I will never quite forgive EA for rushing Bioware with what was otherwise 60 hours of near perfection. Apart from combat – that sometimes made me cringe in Mass Effect 1 and 3.

    Since I finished that and absorbed the experience my time is spent in a mix of CS:GO (Which I hate to the core due to the abysmal physics) and Elite. On a good day Elite will eat up free time. If the local pirates are lazy though, I skip it for a little bit of SWTOR or Civ 5.

    To question B:

    I really want to get back into KSP. Unfortunatly I used to be really good at KSP, I could calculate a round trip to Tylo, build the rocket and send Jeb into the stars. These days I just don’t have the time to work that stuff out, and whilst eyeballing it works fine for going the the Mun, Minmus or even Eve and Duna the demands of Tylo are just too great. And I never landed on Dres – that space potato is even lonlier in my save files.

    Perhaps I’ll slot in a mission to Eeloo to coincide with New Horizon’s arrival at Pluto.

    Edit: just remembered Attila comes out in Feb and GTA V in March – bugger. I’ll need time for both those titles.

  12. Cinek says:

    MMO… every single one.

    Also: MOBA. over 40 minutes per session on a small, always the same map ~_~

  13. derbefrier says:

    yup i pretty much swore off MMORPGS because i simply dont have the time for them anymore. By the time i hit max level and am ready to do end game stuff the next expansion\content is released and i am always playing catch up.

    most big epic rpgs i never finish. I’ll put about 40 or so hours into them and suddenly realize I am only about halfway through or less. by then i am usually ready for something different and just move on. it doesnt really bother me though. i get enjoyment out of them and its not like by that point he game really has anything new to offer anyways(that point were you have another 40 hours of the same damn thing to finish the game) so unless the story really grabs me i tend to just start playing a different game.

  14. Volpe says:

    I started playing Dota2 two years ago and it slowly and steadily has become the sole game for me. I could not have foreseen then the attachment it would become. Only a session of Endless Legends or Civ5 seem to be any lasting interludes, and games like FTL or Binding of Isaac when I’m traveling.

  15. riadsala says:

    I’m trying to get good at Go. Playing a fast (but not blitz) game takes around half an hour. Then review the game to try and learn from mistakes. Review game records from stronger players to learn. Watch lectures and game reviews on youtube. Try and solve life and death problems. Learn joseki. Suddenly, there’s little time left for playing anything else!

  16. Kefren says:

    A: For this reason I would always favour quality (and replayability) over quantity. 20+ hours of similar missions and grinding to get the story? No thanks.

    It’s no surprise that I am replaying Fallout and Fallout 2 at the moment. Each place you visit or revisit (and some wilderness encounters) are mini adventures, ideal to play then save and come back to. Of course, when some thread really gets going it is hard to stop! But generally it offers memorable high-quality in short bursts, and if played with a different character many stories come out differently.

    B: I’m not sure about the answer to this for me. If it is a long game but grindy/boring (e.g. my experience of a few hours of the first Dragon Age game) then I’ll just stop. Life’s too short. But as long as I am immersed I will keep playing (in bursts) as long as the game keeps me enthralled. It’s just a law of averages that the longer the game is, the more chance it will start getting repetitive. Even with some games I love I do start to look forward to the end after a while (e.g. S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Fallout 3, VtM Bloodlines, Deus Ex and so on).

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I would say that no game demands too much time, but that’s before I played Dragon Age: Origins. In many ways it’s a really great and amazingly well made game, but it wears out its welcome quite soon with its too large areas and tons of grindy combat.

      I’ve played through it only twice and it’s now the second most played game on my Steam library at 306 hours and I usually devote a very large time to games I enjoy playing, like Bloodlines and KotOR 1 (no. 1 and 3 on my Steam most-played-list at 347 and 264 hours respectively). I very much enjoy playing large RPG’s with near endless replay value, which has led to a very large backlog, but I can’t motivate playing DA: O another time. Not even to play the DLC I never touched or even compare differences between my two characters some more. It’s just too much and I have other games waiting, games that seem more fun and less aggravating (no stupid party AI or bugs or crashes).

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Honestly you must have played that game exhaustively twice. I have 66 hours played on DA:O and that is 1 completion and then half a playthrough a second time so honestly the only reason it wore out it’s welcome for you is because of the way you played it. I in no way rushed through the game, explored most stuff and felt like the game was paced quite well, spending around 4 times as much time in the game as when I completed it, yeah then it would have started to grate on me for sure.

  17. jezcentral says:

    As a father of two (and husband) my game time has shrunk horribly in recent years.

    Do I wish that games weren’t as long as Dragon Age Inquisition? Absolutely. I want to be able to play to completion The Witchers, Far Cry (3+), get to level 100 in Frozen Synapse, maybe even play the Assassin’s Creeds (Assassins’ Creed?), get that die-less-than-6-times-in-Limbo achievement, play all the class stories in The Old Republic, get all the achievements in DXHR and Civ 4, 5 and BE. See what Crusader Kings 2 is about. Endless Space. Etc etc etc. (And all the other usual suspects).

    However, do I want Dragon Age Inquisition to be one second shorter? No, even though I will be playing to the exclusion of all else until April. And there will be someone who feels the same way about the other games on my list.

    • Jinqs says:

      I’m in the same boat – two little ones and hardly any free time. The list of games that I would love to start or play more frequently but cannot due to time constraints is immense.

      – DOTA – matches are long and very variable. I don’t want to be “that guy” who is constantly pausing to the detriment/annoyance of the other 9 folks in the match. It’s frustrating, because I love the game. I just don’t want to take the chance of abandoning my friends/teammates if one of the kids wakes up during the night.

      – Skyrim, WoW, etc – most open world and MMO games tend to become an immediate non-starter for me. I am slowly making my way through Shadows of Mordor though.

      – Crusader Kings 2 – I have been dying to play this, but I can never set aside a large enough chunk of time to make any real progress.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I’d like to play all of the big RPGs of 2014, except for Dragon Age, because I’m playing that right now.

  19. Axyl says:

    Minecraft.

    After playing for the better part of 4 years, there’s simply nothing left in that game that I want to do, outside of build insane, lavish things.

    But, the time required to build such things, even using creative mode, puts me off. The only things I’m motivated to do in that game take so much time to do that I’m left totally demotivated and thus, stopped playing altogether.

    Was a sad day, all in all.

    • J-Force says:

      I used to build the craziest stuff in Minecraft. Krakens attacking fleets of ships, viking towns, starships, sith academies. It was great fun.

      Then A levels started – the choice between grades and krakens was a tricky one, but grades won out.

  20. Shadow says:

    MMOs are the easy answer. I abandoned them even when I had plenty of time to waste, because I felt they were exactly that: time-wasters.

    Most recently, I’ve had such feelings with Dragon Age Inquisition, which have led me to believe the game is “big” only because it’s artificially inflated. I played three hours straight yesterday and felt like I had achieved precious little.

    Unlike, say, Skyrim, it didn’t feel like a rewarding experience, so the investment of half a (good) workday’s free time into it suddenly became questionable. Perhaps DAI took too much from MMOs for its own good.

    • LexW1 says:

      The issue with DA:I isn’t that it’s too MMO-ish compared to Skyrim, but rather that it spaces meaningful-feeling rewards very far apart, and many of it’s quests require visiting a lot of places to complete (actually very rare in MMOs). With Skyrim you’ll usually be doing a specific quest in a specific place (often a dungeon), usually gain a point of skill or three, and a few interesting items, which are, at least, meaningfully sale-able. You also might well pick up a dragon shout or mask or the like.

      Whereas with DA:I, the levels are very far apart (again, un-MMO-like – and getting from 10% into a level to 80% into it may be a lot of XP but doesn’t feel very rewarding), the equipment upgrades pretty rare (unlike most MMOs), most of the loot you get sells for an amount that seems pretty irrelevant, and most of what you gather is pretty meaningless (same as Skyrim there).

      Thus it’s very easy in DA:I to play for quite a long time and not feel like you’ve gained much, because whilst you gained 70% of a level, found a bunch of items (none of them quite upgrades), found a bunch of gathering mats (none of them individually a big deal), and half-finished like six quests, you didn’t actually get much finished, didn’t get rewarded. That’s the opposite of most MMOs, which throw minor rewards and YOU WINS at you constantly.

      I should also note that I’ve played Skyrim for 3 hours and not felt like I achieved anything before – once you get to the point where it takes a ton of work to get even one skill point, and have good equipment and most of the dragon shouts it’s easy to end up like that. But it’s also easy to pick a short, direct quest and just do it, and there’s less of that in DA:I, which often requires a ton of wandering and visiting six zones to finish stuff.

      • Shadow says:

        Skyrim isn’t a perfect example of things done right, and you’ll hit similar feelings once you sport endgame power and equipment (obviously, as you’ve experienced most of the content). But I’m getting them near the beginning of DAI. I’m still in the Hinterlands.

        Even though you’ve tried to establish differences between DAI and MMOs in general, I’m not sure you were particularly successful. You’ve described allegedly opposite mechanics, but in truth they lead to the same irrelevance.

        Perhaps MMOs throw more “YOU WINS” at you, but it’s not long before you realize they’re a poor representation of your general progression: you might end up turning in six quests and gaining a level, as opposed to half-completing three, killing some monsters and gaining a level. But the impact on your progression is the same, and neither method feels particularly more rewarding than the other, even if one more explicitly tells you, “hey, you’re being rewarded!”. After all, a rewarding experience cannot be measured by the amount of “YOU WINS” the game throws at you. That’s just the traditional MMO “pellet dispenser” method, and the matter’s more complex than that.

        You try to say MMOs provide meaningful rewards more often, but is that really the case? I’m not seeing much of a difference. Equipment upgrades in MMOs usually mean a minute increase in stats, and obtaining them seldom feels like an achievement. Crafting materials also have to be procured in great quantities to be of significant use. Monster loot also comes by the shovelful and is generally as valuable as their droppings.

        The other major influence I feel on DAI is Assassin’s Creed’s, and I can’t say it’s a positive one. Maps are riddled with tiny, repetitive points of “interest” which essentially boil down to collectibles. Landmarks, camp spots, rifts, astrariums, crystal skulls, shards. Jesus. More artificial ballooning. Yay, +1 Power for doing whatever. Nothing but an arbitrary figure to put a price on further content.

        Perhaps it’s just an unholy union of bad MMO and AC mechanics, most of them designed to create the illusion the game is vast and its content meaningful.

        Free shot: its inconsistent performance and poorly-implemented 30fps cap for cutscenes doesn’t help.

  21. meepmeep says:

    Just to go back to the Evolve palaver, this is exactly my problem with that game. It looks great fun, and I’d probably happily spend a few tens of hours playing it online with some friends.

    But the monetisation of it seems to assume that I’m interested in letting it take over my life completely, and that I am going to put hundreds of hours in. Sorry, but there are other games to play and other things to do, even if it turns out to be really good.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Again it’s the same crap that developers have been doing for a while now. They see the success of CoD and LoL and Dota etc etc, multiplayer games that have hooked lots of people into playing pretty much only one game, so they aim for that end result rather than just making a fun multiplayer game that people would be happy buying, spending a bunch of hours in then putting it down for a while, probably to come back later.
      They figure that their game is good enough to get people hooked into playing that non-stop and then they will happily buy shitloads of DLC.

  22. John O says:

    I had to give up on Skyrim because i found the sheer amount of stuff on my to do list suffocating. When i discovered there’s a complex and huge world underneath the surface, i had to uninstall it.

    • fish99 says:

      The world is indeed huge, but complex? It really isn’t. There’s really not much worth doing apart from the quests and dungeons (and admittedly doing all those does take a long time). Everything else is pretty superficial. Radiant quests are dull and repetitive, crafting is easily mastered in the course of a standard playthrough. What else is there?

      Unless you’re talking about modding.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        Man, I spent ages testing and updating mods in Oblivion! So much so that I decided to only try a Skyrim mod when I really felt the need for something. (e.g. A functional GUI, or wolves that don’t attack you like they’re Pokemon in tall grass.) Even then, Skyrim ate at least 200 hours of my time, and I was playing to explore rather than to clear quests.

        Fish99: I argue vaguely that Skyrim is a respectably complex game, and not just due to mods or the likely monstrous amounts of kludge hidden inside its compiled binary. Its systems may not run particularly deep (the skill and crafting systems are nothing compared to Xenoblade’s, for example, and I’m sure there are much better examples than that), but there are buttloads of things that can interact with eachother in various ways (e.g. random NPC patrols, radiant NPC spam (assassins, bandits, racial supremicists, thugs, gangs, vampires, illiterate dragons, and couriers), fortresses full of angry dudes and dudettes, dragons learning to read, cheese-hoarding giants and their hairy elephants, lazy critters, perpetually-running critters, critter-chasing critters, mudcrabs, and cheese avalanches, …). I argue that that variety of things in combination with their interactions (though those may not be as varied) is a valid indication of complexity. One could vastly improve that complexity, possibly to enjoyable effect, and some mods do just that, but that’s also always the case.

        • fish99 says:

          Oh there’s variety, but each of the things in themselves is quite simple. There isn’t really much for you to do in terms of interaction with the world apart from quests and dungeons. I’m not including leveling since that’s your character not the world. All those things you’ve described, pretty much the only interaction you can have with them is to kill them.

          Those random events that can happen while you’re travelling, there’s only about 130 or them and they only happen at 150 specific places. It kinda kills the immersion when you see those Alik’r warriors questioning that woman for the 50th time, or when you cross that bridge and that same assassin attacks you again (even if you’re the head of the Dark Brotherhood).

          • Premium User Badge

            particlese says:

            Ahaaa, yeah, I guess I see what you mean. I never really got to the point where the illusion of complexity was broken or maybe my expectations were low/different. It therefore still feels decently complex to me.

            Can I say that Minecraft has a similar variety of things but way more variety of interactions between them, yet it’s also non-complex since all the interactions are pretty simple? (Including the logic bricks, but not the programmable block or whatever that was/is.) I got similar variety-induced complexity vibes from it early on, but it very quickly became mundane and — though addictive and still briefly fun when I came across new stuff — extremely repetitive. Or perhaps I’m just bitter about punching trees for hours on end. ;)

  23. Morph says:

    I was thinking Dragon Age: Inquisition should have some sort of ‘express mode’. You hit all the main story points, companion quests etc. but any extraneous collecting or side quests are removed. The idea is the game could be completed in 30-40 hours rather than 100.

    You’re obviously missing a lot, but it would be ideal for those who want to play it but just dont have time in their lives, as well as (in my case) people who would like to play the game multiple times to try out various characters/story options but just cant find another 100 hours to dedicate.

    • LexW1 says:

      Erm, it does do. Many people have completed it in 30-60 hours. Just stick to the story and ignore the rest, and play on Normal difficulty. 100+ hours means you’re definitely taking your time and poking around. I mean, I’m doing serious poking around, am on hard, and I doubt I’ll hit 100 hours before finish the main game. It’s a time-consuming game, but there’s no way you should need more than 60 hours to do the story.

      • Rizlar says:

        Yeah, I really don’t understand the complaint. Skipping stuff is a really good idea! Do it!

        Seems that people just don’t think to do it though. Perhaps games have trained us to compulsively check every crate, talk to every peasant and look under every rock? Or they are just naturally compelled to try to 100% everything in every game. Or maybe the game doesn’t make it clear enough that it won’t punish you for just ignoring things and that doing so won’t limit your options later in the game.

        • Morph says:

          You underestimate my obsessive compulsion for map tidying…

          But that aside every collectable/sidequest is giving you experience/power/treasure etc. so by skipping all that you’re making the game harder for yourself. The game does punish you for not doing these things.

          • Rizlar says:

            Yeah, sorry, I read your original comment as more of a complaint than it is. Can totally understand the compulsion to play things a certain way even when it’s not particularly fun. >.<

            It's just one of those complaints you hear levelled at DA:I a lot (along with anything pointlessly relating it to MMOs) which doesn't seem to hold water. I had more fun skipping stuff (including almost missing Vivienne completely) than when I started trying to clear one of the maps (then realised my mistake and went back to skipping stuff). I see what you mean about the difficulty but I'm pretty sure you could still just hit all the main and companion quests, read some books, slay some monsters along the way and finish the game not being horribly underpowered.

        • Christo4 says:

          I think it’s probably because in some RPG’s (or most), you are punished for not finding one small thing in a crate that might have helped you later. Or that last health potion that helped you survive a fight etc.

  24. Agnol117 says:

    God yes. Between a full time job, parenting, and just general living, I no longer have nearly as much time to play games as I’d like. And yet, I still find myself buying games. Right now, it’s games like Dishonored, Deus Ex, and Dark Souls that really hurt the most. They’re all game I’ve been interested in for years, but I just can’t really commit to the time investment I’d need to both really play and enjoy them (I’ve had friends suggest I simply play through and kill everything. Heathens.)

    Mostly, I find myself playing games like XCOM or Civ these days, because despite those also requiring a significant time investment, they’re also turn based, so I can stop whenever I need to.

    • Risingson says:

      Cannot talk about Dark Souls, but believe me, Deus Ex (the first one and HR) and Dishonored are not that demanding and not that long. And they are offered in missions, in really small doses, and the missions do not ask you to remember the mapping and such. They are fairly linear, which is the best thing that can happen to us that have little time to play videogames – and mostly, just bits of time.

  25. SuicideKing says:

    Rome 2 and Mass Effect 2 demanded too much time.

    Since then, it’s just been the [i]wrong[/i] time: I’ve been thinking of playing Arma 3 with Folk ARPS for months now, but they play on Sunday and Tuesday evenings, which corresponds to 1 or 2 AM in my time zone. So it hasn’t been possible so far.

    • LexW1 says:

      ME2, really? If you aren’t going for all the optional stuff it’s easy to go through in barely double-digit hours, and most of the optional stuff is wonderful, so not wasted time.

      • laggerific says:

        I’m on my first playthrough of the Trilogy, and find that ME2 is as rich as ME1 was sparse. Much more interesting world to run around in.

        Though, I did like driving the Mako…I’d like to do that some in ME2, but I haven’t seen it yet.

        I miss inventory, but ME1 was so botched in this area that I don’t miss it in this particular game.

    • J-Force says:

      ME 2 takes 5 hours minimum (though the ending is a bit disasterous) or at least 50 hours to do all the side missions. With a hell of a lot of replayability – as is to be expected from a Bioware RPG – it can easily eat your life.

    • SuicideKing says:

      LexW1 and J-Force: Yeah I did the side missions and all, so 55 hours, iirc. Hated the probing for minerals part.

  26. unangbangkay says:

    To Question A: It’s a problem every adult faces as their lives and priorities change. I’d argue that the exceptions are the grown people who DON’T share that problem. Even people who play games professionally, as I’m sure everyone reading this would know, end up being as or more time-poor than those who play as a pastime.

    To B: Definitely any subscription-based MMO. Free-to-play ones make the time-spend easier to justify because the better ones are constructed in such a way that you can put them down for extended periods without “wasting” whatever you paid, be it in time or money. Lengthy RPGs and the like aren’t that much of an issue for me either, because I’m not playing something to review it (unless I am), and as such am not under any pressure to be “done with” any game until I’m done with it. If I’m having fun, it doesn’t matter that my fun didn’t come anywhere near finishing the game. The time is only “wasted” if it was spent waiting for patches, loading times, or other such technical shortcomings.

    Obviously that’s more an ideal than anything else. Games can waste time with pointless BS like artificially lengthened quests or what-have-you, so I do appreciate short, dense titles, and have benefited greatly from the trend that’s seen lengthy adventure games and JRPGs migrate off the home consoles and onto portable devices, which I can take on errands and wherever else. I’ve also gained an appreciation for games with energy mechanics and similar timer-based gimmicks, which, when well-designed, mesh well with a game’s natural pacing to allow me to step away from the game to address other needs without losing that sense of accomplishment.

  27. Calculon says:

    EVE Online. Nuff said.

    Biggest.Time.Sink.EVER.

    Just to move your ships from one system to another can take 2-3 hours nevermind the endless waiting to engage in a battle. This is the main reason I stopped playing. Takes way toooooo much time.

    • alw says:

      Me too. I stopped playing it around a year ago when I realised that I wasn’t really doing what I wanted to do, because what I wanted to do would take the sort of time and dedication that I wasn’t able to give it. It’s easy enough to do a bit of exploring, mining, pvp or whatever, but the more political/meta side of it takes dedication.

      If I ever win the lottery, though, the galaxy had better watch out..

  28. Shuck says:

    All games – all games take too much time. The padding and repetition in games used to extend playtime drives me crazy now that I have an extensive Steam backlog. MMOs and multiplayer games are right out – when I played WoW I simply didn’t have time for anything else. Single-player games taking cues from MMOs makes me tear my hair out in frustration.
    I recently used a Steam game time calculator to figure out how long it would take me to get through my backlog, and was disheartened to realize that based on how many hours a week I have to play games, it would take more than a decade to finish everything. Then I realized it was far, far worse than that – the calculator was assuming it would take an average of about eight hours to get through each game, but the shortest games I have take that long, and I have too many RPGs that will easily take ten times that long to complete. To make matters worse, I tend to have quite a few games installed at once, which means there are long periods between play sessions during which time I tend to forget what I was doing, what the controls are, etc. which makes it take even longer to finish than usual.
    I can’t really enjoy the games I play anymore – I’m too busy hoping the game will finish up soon.

  29. Sorbicol says:

    The games I used to play and love that I can’t do any more are those that require commitment rather than how long it takes to play them. Any RPG is fine, just take them at your own pace and get on with it. Timed missions aside, Elite is another example of a game you can take at your own pace

    Multiplayer games that aren’t drop in drop out is where I can no longer go. I can’t guarantee to be sat in front of a computer for a specific time on a specific date, so anything not asynchronous is a bust. So long Blood Bowl, I knew you well…..

    • Emeraude says:

      Totally agree on the commitment thing – it’s more a matter of scheduling than finding the time I would say. For me at least.

      I just finished Dragonfall DC in one sitting over the week-end. I had the time, I made use of it. Which I could because of the single player format.

      Being able to schedule a regular committed time-frame is much harder as my professional life tends to be dependent on demands from customers, over which I have no control, and which makes for periods that leave me huge amount of free time and others when I barely have any.

      Been my curse for tabletop games and why I haven(t ran a full scale P’n’P campaign in years. Sadly.

  30. mpcarolin says:

    I’ll probably be in the minority here, but I’d argue most games demand too much time.

    Sure, MOBA’s and MMO’s might be the reigning Queen and King of time-consumers, but the even rest of the gaming world has an obsession with producing games that maximize the number of hours it takes to experience everything. Why is this considered “valuable”? I’m not saying it can’t work; The Legend of Grimrock 2, for a recent example, is quite rich in content and experiences. But when developers pile hours onto their game, all for the sake of game time alone, that’s not creating value in a purchase. Rather, it waters down the experience and creates an industry that requires high price tags ($60) for the amount of work developers put into creating 10,000 fetch quests. And it’s not their fault either. When legions of gamers cry bloody murder if, God forbid, the game doesn’t exceed 10 hours, who wouldn’t try to meet those expectations?

    Want to know which games of the past 5 years have given me the best of the best experiences? Mostly short ones (3-20 hours is a reasonable range). Ones in which the developers want to create a very specific, concentrated experience. Gone Home, FTL, and The Stanley Parable are a few that come to mind.

    Just to be clear, I’m not saying long games shouldn’t exist or don’t have a place. I’m just saying long games are exponentially more difficult to create while still maintaining valuable experiences per hour (and competitive games are a different story altogether).

    The indie movement is a sign of hope for me, at least. Indeed, the burgeoning indie exploration/survival genre relies largely on the idea that there is no estimated game-time; it’s entirely up to the player to determine how long they spend wandering about. Perhaps that’s the best solution.

    • Shuck says:

      I entirely agree about game length. The problem is gamers demanding long games to the point where length is considered a fundamental metric of game quality. Those worthless “fetch” quests are just a cost-effective way of providing length (as are other forms of repetition due to difficulty, grind, etc.). Making games of the current length with detailed hand-crafted events & narrative content simply would cost too much on AAA budgets to be feasible, as it’s the asset creation that’s the big cost, and filler content makes use of existing assets in time-intensive ways.
      The trick is getting gamers willing to pay $60 for games that are a fraction of their current length. It’s the only way to have a tightly-focused, filler-free AAA game.

      • Emeraude says:

        I’d say the issue is more that *content* is used as a metric of quality (for obvious reasons, it’s quantifiable, making it deceptively appear a simpler matter) rather than game mechanics (though that quantity over quality aspects also exists there in the form of complexity vs depth).

  31. Matt_W says:

    I’ve actually been seeking out and playing really good short titles recently. Time was, I felt like I got robbed when a game was less than 20 hours long. Now I look at the time required for any RPG and lose interest pretty quickly. If you can provide me a 2-3 hour, really good gaming experience for $5, I’m in. Lately I’ve enjoyed Gone Home, Thomas Was Alone, Papa y Yo, A Story About My Uncle, Contrast, Brothers: Tale of Two Sons, Limbo, and a few PS3 exclusives: Journey, Flower, and The Unfinished Swan. (The Unfinished Swan is a real gem of a game buried in the PSN store: a real real shame that it’s not multiplatform.)

  32. General Wo says:

    I don’t see it as an issue that you can sink a lot of time into a game. It just means you like that game a lot.

    But with some games, it’s hard to just boot them up and get going. MMOs especially eat up a lot of time with overhead activities that are not necessarily part of the gameplay: Inventory management, skill builds, gathering your buddies together to go on raid. You can’t just jump in and start playing.

    Last MMO I played was Eve, and just doing anything takes some planning. I was in deep nullsec, and if I wanted a new ship, complete with fits, to try something new, it usually meant buying it in Jita and having someone ship it over, which could take up to 24 hours.

    The worst? Having to grind to catch up levels with your friends. How big a problem this is, of course, depends on the game. Eve doesn’t have this problem, neither does Guild Wars.

    Later I learned that it’s the co-operative comp-stomp action that I enjoy, and that there are other games that can provide this experience with far less hassle. Left 4 Dead was the best thing since sliced bread when I discovered it. Payday 2 is my game of choice now.

  33. Moraven says:

    Any multiplayer game really. it is easy to dump 20+ hours a week into Starcraft 2 one week, then Diablo 3, then League of Legends. Oh crap, I need to level my new weapons in Destiny. Then there is that Persona 4 Golden game I started. Hyrule Warriors DLC awaits but I am still on the first Adventure Map…

    I would like to try out Star Trek Online, FF14, DCO. But playing more than WoW for your MMO, it just is not going to happen. I want to get more Civilization games in also.

  34. Premium User Badge

    Catmacey says:

    A: Yes. Wife, 2 kids, job, beard needs trimming, real life etc….
    But Kerbal Space Program demands one more try. Is it really 3am already?

    Actually from a serious point of view it’s a great game for fitting in around life. It has intense moments but also has lots of playing whilst having a conversation potential. Plus it’s educational – right?

    B: Lots but mostly those long RPG thing like Dragon age or The Witcher or anything where you’re supposed to learn special moves, care about the characters or at the very least remember who they are. That all gets forgotten when I only play them for an hour here or there (because I’m playing KSP).

    Wolfenstien was great though, it managed to keep me interested all the way though – despite KSP – and didn’t demand to much in the way of recollection of plot, characters etc…

  35. Yargh says:

    A: Yes, emphatically
    B: Any MMO, or at least only one at any time. Any Long-form RPG (and I love long games to bits). Any game that wants multiple replays to get the most out of it. Any U-Play game as that platform makes me spend more time getting the game to work than playing it.

    I do regularly play games that let me play in short bursts with friends, currently Payday 2, but lane pushers and other ‘match’ games also fit. Also games that let me do a short-ish task and feel I have accomplished something (Elite: Dangerous actually works there).

  36. mllory says:

    Street Fighter 4 – I’m in an on-again, off-again relationship with it as I periodically get inspired to sit down and learn to actually play it (to the point that I’ll be able to understand what goes wrong in matches and my success rate of pulling off a combo against a human player will be nonzero). But then I hit the hour/skill requirement and jump to something easier. The lack of local play where I live doesn’t help either.

    Apart from that – I’m itching to actually have the time to enjoy a second playthrough of New Vegas.

  37. shaydeeadi says:

    I had to delete dota2 as it was demanding too much of my time. It’s going alright at the moment.

    • deadly.by.design says:

      I know, right? I have been playing Dota 2 for since late 2012 and am averaging 500hrs/yr so far. It’s nuts.

      It’s eating up all of my gaming time to the point where I only fit in a few other games throughout the year. Despite that, it’s been a wild ride learning and improving at the game.

      • shaydeeadi says:

        I’ve had a great time playing it for sure. I’m a little disappointed with some of the changes recently and frankly just want to play other stuff / do something else for a bit. The game isn’t going anywhere and I’m sure I’ll be back at some point in the future.

        • deadly.by.design says:

          I’m fine with the patch changes, but the virtual cessation of all drops bothers me. It’s not like I play it for the items, but whatever Valve did to the economy has been a bad move.

  38. thedosbox says:

    A) Is this a problem you share?

    Somewhat tied to (b). I also get annoyed with games that cannot be played in short chunks, whether because of poorly placed/non-existent checkpoints, or the absence of “save anywhere”.

    B) Which games would you like to play but the time requirement is simply too offputting?

    Skyrim has been sitting untouched in my library forever.

    • fish99 says:

      If you just do the main story you can get through Skyrim in 20-30 hours. If you just do the main story and whichever of the major quest lines take your fancy, probably 60-100 hrs. It only gets up to 250 hrs if you do every quest, both DLCs, and visit every location.

      Not sure whether you were suggesting Skyrim can’t be saved anywhere, but it can.

      • thedosbox says:

        Not sure whether you were suggesting Skyrim can’t be saved anywhere, but it can.

        Oh, haven’t played it, but that’s good to know. The comment was more aimed at games I have played (e.g. SC:Blacklist) where some missions have to be completed in one go due to the lack of checkpoints or the ability to save.

      • Zekiel says:

        I’ve just started Skyrim. Usually my issue is that I feel I’ve “failed” if I quit a game before finishing it – which makes playing long games too risky for me. So I held off buying Skyrim for ages because of all these stories of 200+ hours people have played. But eventually I figured that if the point was exploration (rather than completing in the main story) then I could just muck about and quit a playthrough whenever I wanted.

        So far I am actually following the main quest, but trying to be strict about ignoring most of the sidequests and not exploring everything I come across. I’m enjoying it, but suspect I’ll get bored soon.

        • fish99 says:

          It’s probably worth knowing that some of the other main quest lines are better than the main story ones, especially the Dark Brotherhood, Thieves guild and Mages guild. Also the civil war quests are pretty bad. There’s some great single quests and small quest lines in there but they’re not all easy to find without exploring or talking to everyone.

          The DLC quest lines are also very good if you have access to them.

  39. Cash at Folsom says:

    A] Yes, I’m currently recovering from a Destiny addiction that kind of crept up on me [“Divisive game, but I’ll give it a try.” “Actually, there’s something worthwhile here.” “Well, I think I’ll see through the story, at least.” “I can crank out 5 bounties a day and still have time for other pursuits.” “Not enough Strange Coins for Xur this week, time to farm Blue Engrams for hours!”].

    B] Somewhere across the multiverse, there is a version of me that plays EVE. And Dwarf Fortress.

  40. Rizlar says:

    a. Yes.
    b. The common ones: MMOs (edit: how could I forget EVE!), old, long RPGs and DotA-likes, which I would love to get into without being distracted by other games. Started but never finished so many excellent old RPGs: Torment, various Bauldur’s Gates, Deus Ex among others. Yet I keep putting hours into Planetside 2 and Dwarf Fortress. >.<

  41. fish99 says:

    Most people here have probably never heard of it, but my answer is – iRacing.

    It’s a serious racing sim by Dave Kaemmer (et al) who made Indy 500, Indycar Racing 1+2, the Nascar Racing series and Grand Prix Legends. It’s subscription only, expensive and you can also only race against other real people, and most of them take it seriously enough that you need to put in lots of practice to even hold your own in races. It also has a safety system that punishes you for not driving cleanly (hitting other cars, wrecking, going off track etc), so again that forces you to practice. I found I was putting in so many hours I actually wasn’t getting to play anything else.

    For people who want a serious racing experience though, it offers a simulated career that’s unmatched IMO.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      How is the community?

      • fish99 says:

        About as good as you’ll get in sim racing. The money barrier keeps out people who aren’t serious about it, and the average age is probably over 30. Of course you will get some occasional raging on voice chat when 2 guys collide, but there’s enforced rules to stop people taking it too far. You can get suspended for deliberately wrecking someone or swearing.

  42. Synesthesia says:

    This is the reason I uninstalled DOTA 2. I kept buying games i really wanted toplay, and not playing them. So I had to make a choice, and I think I made a good one. I’m back into car and plane sims, running isaacs, spelunkies and kerbals, and i’m not going to sleep gritting my teeth three times a week.

    I do miss it though, but a bit of youtube replays usually quenches the itch.

    • Oozo says:

      Is that “gritting your teeth” meant literally? Because I also found myself unable to sleep for hours after having played Dota, regardless of the result of the matches on that evening. Might just be that my brain has too much to process during the game, and refuses to shut down afterwards… I always wondered if I’m alone in this.

      • deadly.by.design says:

        Yeah, it’s happened here. Playing too close to bed doesn’t allow enough time for my brain to cool down. Throw in the stress of dota where you know your actions could have cost the game, a teammate was frustrating, etc., and it’s going to make it tough to sleep.

        It used to happen to me with Battlefield: Bad Company 2, too.

  43. lowprices says:

    I’m getting older, life is demanding more of my time, so these days I tend to play games that can be played in 20-30 minute bursts. Handheld games, indie games (roguelikes in particular), and Hearthstone mostly. Big AAA only get played if they’re really good. Recently given up on AssCreed 4 and the Witcher 2 because I was only kind of enjoying them, and who has the time for that?

  44. piedpiper says:

    1st place DOTA2 – 2200 hours.
    2nd place Heroes of Might And Magic 1-5 – a fucking lot of hours
    3rd place Morrowind – 570 hours

  45. Emeraude says:

    Which Games Demand Too Much Time?

    The bad, unfulfilling ones ?

    The good ones are asking for just the right amount of time for what they have to offer, it’s just we may not have enough to give. Which is another matter.

    That useless nitpicking aside:

    a) No. But then between my insomnia (around 3-4 hours of sleep per day on average) and how my refusal to support DRM platforms has limited my game options, I have time to spare and more than enough for the games to which I have access.

    b) None that I can think of. Even with MMOs my issue is more with scheduling than playtime length.

  46. Lagran says:

    A) Yes

    B) All of them.

    I wetn from having 14 games to over 350 in around eighteen months — probably closer to 400, I’ve got a ton of unredeemed bundle codes that I still need to sort. Steam sales, GOG, Humble and Bundlestars bundles…I went a little overboard. A good number of them are RPGs or strategy games, which seem to be inherent time-sinks just from the genre. I also have trouble trying to stick to one game at a time, and so my attention wanders after a few hours on some games. Oh, and I also bought a Wii U recently, so my husband will be wanting to coop with me on Smash and MK8.

    I’m hoping to have a schedule in place for February, as boring as it may sound. I’m aiming to dedicate two evenings + one weekend day to PC gaming and actively choosing to play a new game. Aim to clear the quicker/shorter games first to whittle down the backlog, leaving more time to dedicate to the longer games. Hope I don’t load up Banished within two weeks of starting.

  47. Continuity says:

    There is no such thing as a game demanding too much time, who are you to dictate what games should or shouldn’t be because of your timetable? fucking ego much?

    Thought: if you don’t have the time to play a particular game then don’t fucking play it.

    • instantcoffe says:

      I you look around the comments, you might find that… oh fuck that!
      And you’re a supporter?
      “C’est dur d’être aimé par des cons”

  48. Tinus says:

    Yes. All the time.

    Eve Online is by far the best example of this. I can easily imagine myself disappearing from meat-space for a couple of years to live in eve-space full time. Alas, I have my own game to make, and life to live. I’ve played it casually, on and off, but every time it became clear that to really make the game shine I’d have to surrender myself to it.

    Aside from Eve, I feel most games today still don’t respect me as a person, especially when it concerns time spent grinding life away versus time spent engaging with the interesting bits.

    I’d pay more for a game if it game me the option to play the highlight reel than the full thing, sometimes.

  49. Oozo says:

    Regarding your questions:
    A) of course
    B) roguelikes, specifically Isaac and FTL. In fact, I recently asked Valve customer service to delete all roguelikes from my library (which is more complicated than you might think) because I played them way more than I actually wanted to. Even though I still love them to pieces, of course.

    That said: I have this pet theory: video games’ problem is not the lenghth. It’s the pacing.
    Why do I think this? Two reasons:
    a) the same people that lament not being able to play long games often bingewatch unholy amounts of TV series. Sure, there are other factors playing into that, too (it’s more passive, it’s more easy to share with non-gamers and so on). But it might be a sign for something.
    b) the meteoric increase of popularity of roguelike games. You know what they are really, really good at? Giving you a meaningful, complete experience in little time. Of course, the “short” sessions can also turn into binge sessions, but still: they’re perfect for shorter sessions as well.

    I always said that comparing video games to movies is often problematic — the more adequate comparison would be TV series. And I still think that there might be the key to not losing half of your audience once they get, you know, jobs, children and so on. But that means that you should be able to structure your games differently. And, first and foremost, cut out the meaningless filler material. If I am sitting down to play a game for, say, 45 minutes, I certainly don’t want to spend half of it picking flowers in an RPG. Denser games paced in a different way might make me play “epic” RPGs again.

    (In fact, the only really long game I finished last year was Persona 3 — a game that still his its fair share of filler material, but does in it’s best moments understand how to portion a convoluted story in a way that makes it possible to play just a bit every day, instead of having to wait for a free week-end that might never come…)

    • aoanla says:

      I think this theory has some holes in it, which you’ve mostly waved at in your post. I can happily watch a boxset every so often – there’s usually only about 9 hours in a boxset of some US dramas now – over the course of a few weekends. But you don’t have to pay complete attention to it when you’re watching it and can zone out a bit. So you can watch them when you’re mentally tired.
      Not only are most games aiming at being much longer than 9 hours nowadays, you also have to interact with them. You can’t really zone out, and if you play them when mentally tired, you’ll end up doing poorly/having to replay sections etc.