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Thread: How much time can you spare for FMs?

  1. #1

    How much time can you spare for FMs?

    Typically, adults have pretty busy lives and tons of responsibilities these days, which means leisure time is limited and precious. Both AAA and indie developers recognize that, making games a bit shorter or at least easier to manage in 20-30 minute chunks.

    But, TTLG crowd always seemed to be different from general audience, that's why I'm curious: how much time do you have for FMs? Do you spend 2-3 hours in one sitting, or rather split it into 30 minute sessions? Also, what is "too long" and "too short" for you?

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Louisiana
    I will (and have) spent hours in FMs, though it is sometimes split up over a couple/few days. I seldom start playing an FM if I don't have at least about an hour to devote to it. I often have a notoriously slow playstyle, so even 'quick' missions can take me a decent chunk of time, but I'm seldom disappointed by 'time taken'. If it was short, but the story/gameplay/architecture/etc. was engrossing, I finish quite pleased. Too long is only too long if it was dragged out/not engrossing. Using DarkLoader, I left notes on my completed FMs. I believe out of all the FMs I've left notes on (and I've played the vast majority of them), less than a dozen even mention time, and only a couple of those would be disparaging, so it's not really one of the aspects I rate an FM on. An FM takes the time it takes, and so long as the time spent was enjoyable, I'll take as little or as much as the FM author deigns to create for!

  3. #3
    Dóttirin klęšist oft móšur möttli
    Registered: Apr 2015
    Some spend their free time watching TV shows, others are playing Thief fan missions or other games. I consider watching TV shows a waste of time. Mostly.
    If you have a family, sharing free time can be difficult. It can be fun to play games and fan missions together.

  4. #4
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    I only play fan missions rarely (especially since the tide has narrowed to a steady trickle), but when I do, I try to reserve a free evening for them. It is more immersive and relaxed when you know you don't have to get up in 30 minutes.

    The same goes for computer games. I play fewer and fewer, but I try to do it right and avoid the rush. E.g. I have been taking in Dishonored 2 at one mission a week.

  5. #5
    Great input so far guys, keep it coming! (although no pressure)

    Btw. I had something like that with Dishonored 2 as well. It seems like 45-60 minutes is just about right for a mission (i.e. when you get there).

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Usually, I spend entire evenings on FMs when I play them, at least 1 hour or more. Yes, adult life is busy, but that's exactly why when I have free time I want to take the time and relax properly by immersing myself in a good FM for an hour or more. The shallow AAA games of today don't really do it for me... yes, I have a lot of work-related stuff to do but that means when I want to relax with a PC game, I want to get into it properly and not waste my time with something shallow (I think this whole idea of "adults have less time so the games should be shorter and shallower so they require less effort to get into" is completely wrong).

    Most FMs take me between one and two hours to complete and those I might finish in one sitting. Big exceptions were the recent Godbreaker and Behind Closed Doors, Godbreaker missions 2 and 4, and BCD, all took me almost 3 hours in total to complete and I spent about 3 evenings on each.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2006
    Location: A little here, a little there
    I never play FMs when I only have like 30 minutes or so. I always spare a whole evening for playing a mission at least, as I like to finish them in one sitting.

    Judith mentioned that 45-60 minutes is about right for a mission in Dishonored 2, and I agree. However, a mission in DH2 is just a small slice from the big cake, while Thief fan missions could also be considered as kind of like "full games" with a complete story, thus I don't mind even 3-4 hours long FMs.

  8. #8
    (I think this whole idea of "adults have less time so the games should be shorter and shallower so they require less effort to get into" is completely wrong).
    Just to clarify this, it's not wrong at all, there at least two factors here. First one is the game literacy. Obviously devs want their games to be played by as many people as possible. There's nothing wrong with that. But, unlike literature or music, the "reception" of games isn't taught in schools (yet), and almost every game has it's own set of rules, so they have to be fairly easy to learn (and preferably hard to master). Minimizing player frustration is crucial.

    The length is more related to questions like: "what kind of story do you want to tell?", "what do you want players to learn"? (obviously playing games is basically being rewarded for learning). Long time ago, there was the "CoD: Modern Warfare (2?) controversy", because single player campaign was like 4-6 hours long. It felt pretty short for a 50 dollar game, but if you see the gameplay and the story, it's pretty understandable that devs didn't want to go further. After 10 or 20 hours, even most intense and heroic firefights become dull, and the military action movie story will be forgotten long before the end. That was pretty bold decision at the time, but it was a right decision.

    But that's just that, go on please

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Germany
    I most often play a mission in a single sitting but exceptions do occur:
    - Some missions are either so long or "juicy" that I often intentionally break the fun (Behind Closed Doors = three evenings). City missions are my favorite type and I probably want to "live" a bit longer in these missions...
    - I usually split campaigns as I want to give my brain some time to "reset" itself. One example would be the swamp mission in Godbreaker, even though I had a peek at the next mission. I decided to stop and to attack the next mission on the following day, which was very wise indeed, given the scope of this fabulous city mission.

    Time isn't a real problem for me (I have at least 5-6 hours a day available - the perks of being an old single ;-)) but that my interests are quite varied and I don't want to neglect them.
    So while time isn't an issue I don't play as much anymore as in previous years. I only play modern triple-A titles on my PS4 (and only very few per year) and my PC really has become an indie & retro machine, when games are concerned. In fact I'm considering switching over to Linux for several reasons (a topic for another day). It also certainly hasn't helped that the mission output has slowed down...

    But when a mission (or a brilliant game) comes out I usually priorize it over anything else. I abort some of the more boring missions, though, while good missions get all the time they need.

  10. #10
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    30 minutes is waaaaay too short for me, I'll always just hold off if that's all the time I have to play. I'd say on average I play for 1-3 hours at a time. No kids here, so that helps a lot. I've also have rare sessions when I play for 4-6 hours straight, as long as my wife is off doing something else for part of that time. I agree with Unna though, some people kill so much time watching hours and hours of reality TV or whatever lame show is on like The Bachelor, to me that time could be used to play games. It all depends on what you're into I guess.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2006
    Location: A little here, a little there
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Long time ago, there was the "CoD: Modern Warfare (2?) controversy", because single player campaign was like 4-6 hours long. It felt pretty short for a 50 dollar game, but if you see the gameplay and the story, it's pretty understandable that devs didn't want to go further. After 10 or 20 hours, even most intense and heroic firefights become dull, and the military action movie story will be forgotten long before the end. That was pretty bold decision at the time, but it was a right decision.
    Brilliant example you've got there. First of all, let me say that MW2 is in my top 3 of all-time favorite games, so I know the game pretty well (almost 100 hours in single player and spec ops). This is a very interesting case you've been detailing, and MW2 was my EXACT example for cases when game length shouldn't be more than 4-6 hours. MW2 is one of the most epic games I've ever played, and I cannot imagine any other scenarios which would have made sense in order to prolong the longevity of the campaign. It was just perfect in the way it was made. Yeah, 50 bucks for a 6 hours game is a lot, especially when someone like me only cares about the single player experience, but still, some games are just better off with a shorter campaign (but then they should absolutely blow us away in like every single level). Nevertheless, I miss the good old days when FPS games like No One Lives Forever or Operation Flashpoint, just to name a few favorites, took days to beat.

  12. #12
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    I'm OK with a game lasting only 4-6 hours. There's nothing wrong with that. I do have an issue paying 60 bucks for it though. Heaven forbid they lower the price to like $40.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2015
    Location: Germany
    Hi Judith,

    from my personal field of view I have much to do (probably like all other adults out there, hehe) and only have some hours in the evening for free time.Despite this, I tend to play large missions and campaigns piece by piece. In example, I am playing the Godbreaker Campaign now. For the second mission, I needed 3,5 hours to play and totally four days and now I'm crumbling through the fourth mission. For me it's OK, because I can take notes on the map, sometimes I got stuck and needed a "sleep over" for solving some riddles. It makes fun and feels good, I dont have to complete a mission in one day. I usually don't play, if I have less than one hour free time, because I need to "get into the mission" and this takes a while. I also play Minecraft on a Realms-Server (survival) with some friends from time to time and it is awesome what we built in the last months. It gives me the feeling of satisfaction, the feeling of an achievement by a long runn.

    Cheers!

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: The Netherlands
    For me: a mission can't be long enough. A campaign is even better
    I don't play Thief FM's on daytime, only in the evening (and nights). Either I'm playing new ones or the older beauties or I'm betatesting, which takes a lot of time too, but I love it.
    So you may call me a Thief addict!

    There're angels who playThief and angels who don't ........ both go to heaven ............
    Dare to join .............

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2016
    Location: My mum's basement
    When I play a FM, I try to make the most of it. Even though I'm quite slow and can take a while to finish a mission, I always spare a few hours for it. Heck, I even stay up 'till the morning sometimes, just trying to beat that one mission! My one rule for playing a FM is to play it at night.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    Location: UK
    I have a lot of time for FMs (and gaming in general) - no rugrats, self employed and a decent amount of free time. I can happily spend say 2-6 hours per sitting every day while playing a game that has my attention. If I only had 30 mins going spare, I'd rather wait until I had a bigger chunk of time.

    As Calibrator mentioned, I too have to take a "mental break" after a while - because my concentration is waning, or I'm stuck/making silly mistakes - or my eyes hurt! I also intentionally take a break from FMs that I'm really enjoying like the recent Godbreaker campaign and Behind Closed Doors, as I want it to last as long as possible.

    I'm also a really slow sneaker who loves to read/find/overhear etc. everything and not KO anyone if possible, so I tend to take a long while anyway. However, as Cavalorn said, and I agree: "some games are just better off with a shorter campaign (but then they should absolutely blow us away in like every single level)." And I too love games that last me hundreds of hours of gameplay, cos there's so much to take in - I'm (deliberately) slow!

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Puget Sound
    I can play 12 hours straight. No problem. I am alone with no family. Gee, I wonder why

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: South Coast,England uk
    recent fms of a larger size I play for about 4 hours straight.....I don't like to leave them unfinished for long as remembering and recapping where you left off, is frustrating....

    as new FMs are few these days.. I play old fms for at least an hour during the evenings/days off once I have done my daily life chores etc...so perhaps 3 times a week.....have been doing this since the game was released,lol

    I don't watch much TV,apart from factual stuff...documentary type programs etc...

    Thief world is a Fantastic game ......long may it survive!

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2012
    Location: Lucija, Slovenia
    I used to play a FM for the whole day, but now I avoid this. Both Lady Rowena's missions I have played (Seven sisters, Rowena curse) have a very dynamic ending and I remember that I simply HAD to play the whole last part in one piece, because it was so absorbing. But now I avoid playing FM too much, like for the whole day, simply because I try to go out more and do other stuff (on weekends, watching football is priority-Premier League, La liga...). Mostly I play up to 2 hours per day the most. I have adopted a habit of never saving during the middle of some challenging puzzle. Either before I dig into it or after it. There is a good feeling when you finally discover a secret door which leads you to the totally new area - then I can save and relax and not touch this FM for a couple of days.

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