[Edit: I pressed publish by accident. Some games added]
Length is a important variable for a video game. It is a bit curious, because for the similar prices, even the shortest game will be much longer than a movie. But among it’s peers, games do have a scale.
Many companies advertise the amount of hours to finish a it’s game. There is even a great website called, you guessed it, GameLenghts that tracks how long users take to finish the game. Their is a second site, and my favorite in the market, called How Long to Beat, that I fell more complete.
Bigger is not Better.
Several games suffer from a syndrome that most players never reaches the end of it. Sometime not even half of it. Many games do have achievements triggered when the player crosses the line. I currently have being playing some short games that I felt much more fulfilling. Some let me wanting more. But honestly I fell that wanting more is a better felling “this game never ends!”.
I believe the story driven games should have a more concise length. It could be delivered in chunks, for those that want more. Open world games, like GTA and Skyrim/Fallout, are understandably really long, allowing the players explore several things.
Here is a list of some games that I personally never finished.
- Divinity: Original Sin: this one I will finish soon. But it entered the list because I’ve played several games in the between.
- Skyrim: yes yes… I know. After not liking the previous installment, I came to this game knowing that I would struggle. After meeting The Witcher 3, it now seems likely to be played again
- Borderlands 2: I played mechanically. Despite knowing that it is a nice game, I struggle to do it so brainlessly
- Bioshock Infinite: I started, I felt a bit fake and the story never hooked me
- LA Noire: I am in a very late mission, but I think the saving I got is lost, so I might never finish it
- Dishonored: I started but soon uninstalled to open space to play the The Witcher 3 expansions.
- Transistor: I installed in my Linux notebook but I rarely used to play games
- Alan Wake: it’s a bit stressful to play. Also, I was not having time to play at night to fully appreciate it
- Half Life 2: I always stop in a certain point than something happens that I move on
- Spec Ops: The Line: I played a bit and did not think it was amazing, but I feel it will surprise me
- Amnesia: The Dark Descent: I loved the whole concept, but by the end of a session I fell exhausted because of the level of fear and stress.
- Hitman Absolution: I stopped in a given level than I moved on.
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: I liked the like story and the game play. But the game seems endless. I might play it more
- Alien Isolation: the same as Amnesia. I always fell that I like horror games, but I fell very stressed out after while
- Invisible Inc.: the same as Transistor.
- FEZ: I liked the puzzles, but there are several of them tooo obscure for the to find fun on solving.
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West: I like and I fell it is good. I is installed waiting to be played.
- Psychonauts: I played a lot before Steam having a cloud save and my PC crashing
- Metro 2033: felt another FPS at the time.
And the list goes on…
In a list of more the 200 games I own and played, it is comparatively short list. Most of them are long games.
In bold, some that I try to play it again in the future, mostly because there are some that I liked so far and I fell shame in not getting it to the final. I wanted to say that the others will be played in the future, but knowing that I will buy newer games, it is not honest with myself 😛
My notebook it not new. I bought the Yoga 2 Pro almost 4 years ago. Two years back, I got annoyed with Windows so I decided to install Linux in it. I was scared because on the contrary of most my PCs that I assembled myself, the Lenovo had a warranty and possibly custom hardware.
As I told, the attempt failed. It was giving me too much headaches. Also I generally use my notebook to also program and develop games. And because the Unity Editor was not available (not at least in a reasonable version), I was kinda forced to migrate back to Windows10.
About 3 months ago, I decided to give it a second shot. In case I was not clear, I use Linux in the desktop, in a dual boot, for about 15 years. I saw Ubuntu entering the market. But since I start to systematically be involved on making games, the necessity of Windows started too. Back to the experiment. It was a requirement for me that the general performance had to be great. Not good, great. I would prefer to keep on the Debian-like distro because I’m familiar to. Ubuntu family if possible. So I selected both Kubuntu and Lubuntu for a ride.
Kubuntu was the one that I tested before. I like KDE since version 2 but again failed in deliver a blazing fast experience. In the notebook, the boot time was several minutes. Even Windows 10 was couple of seconds. I decided then to format and install Lubuntu.
Lubuntu is a Ubuntu derivative using the LXDE desktop environment. Super light. Man! Boot was fast and when ready it consumed a fraction of RAM of both Windows and Kubuntu. However, during my 4 weeks test I was giving too much little problems. So I decided to make another switch.
Xubuntu, in a similar vain, is a light variation. And I know can say that I am really satisfied with my notebook. I is a bit more robust and complete, but that makes a lot of difference. I had to downgrade the screen resolution to FullHD (the notebook allows the at-the-time stunning QHD+ 3200×1800 ), which is fine in a 13 inches monitor. Then came to the software selection. Lubuntu was super short on preinstalled stuff, which i like because I generally don’t use them anyway, but Xubuntu came with some. The good news is that the selection does not consume much of the the drive space and are light enough in case I really want to use them.
I had to install Steam and it works nice. Unfortunately, GOG’s Galaxy does not have currently a Linux version, so the games have to be installed manually one by one. Also your play time will be not computed nor you will be alerted about updates. A second negative point is that most GOG’s games do not use the new cloud save feature, so playing a bit in the notebook and a bit in the desktop is only for games that progress do not matter. Fingers crossed for the future.
Finally I was looking for a game engine that works on Linux. Unreal, as I found, works, but you have to compile it yourself. GREAT 🙁 I did it. It took hours and the result was too many crashes and too big suite to work in a notebook. I was once again looking for a lightweight engine. I tested Godot and liked. But it is still lacking.
Then I found out that Unity is in fact releasing in a alternative channel (thru forums) the update engine for Linux. I installed it too. crashes a log but it works. I`ve being playing the game developer in the note book ever since. With the excellent Visual Studio Code editor, it makes my days fun.
After 2 months and half working most of the time on this notebook, I can be happier man but in general I am already one. It is fast, close environment that I face when I deal with cloud Internet stuff and free. I plan to migrate to a newer machine in the next year, mostly to get a better amount of RAM memory and battery life. Currently, it lasts 3 hours, which is by any means a shame for a mobile device.