So I was going to show my solidarity with the "game length" bloggers today by re-posting an old post that I thought was entitled "Shorter Games Please!" but...I can't find it.
I found this instead - http://www.gamedevblog.com/2005/04/finish.html - an article that mentions only 54% of players surveyed actually finished Spider-Man 2.
Honestly, 54% is huge for games - although at the time I was bummed in my own casual conversations with people, I've never met anybody who's finished the game. That 54% must be a survey of hardcore gamers, the sorts of people who actually sign up to be surveyed by Activision.
So - yeah - that's like hearing nobody finished reading your novel. And Spider-Man 2 isn't the only one, it's common for games.
Schizoid has the same problem - after we shipped, we looked at the leaderboards to see how far people got. We didn't expect a lot of people to finish - Schizoid has no story, and we expected people to play until they hit their plateau and stop. What we didn't expect was how quickly so many of them stopped - maybe half of them stopped 10% through the game.
Why'd we make a game so hard, that stiff-armed our players so early on?
We were afraid.
We were afraid they'd play through the game too quickly and be disappointed by the length.
We were wrong!
Don't be afraid to make a short game! Make games like Limbo and Portal that give people one of those brief but transcendent moments that makes our lives worthwhile!
And here's the other game length "size doesn't matter" bloggers:
Jonathan Blow of Number None
Ron Carmel of 2DBoy
Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games
Mike Gilgenbach of 24 Caret Games
Eitan Glinert of Fire Hose Games
Cliff Harris of Positech Games
Chris Hecker of Spy Party
Scott Macmillan of Macguffin Games
Peter Jones of Retro Affect
Martin Pichlmair of Broken Rules
Greg Wohlwend of Intution Games
Jeffrey Rosen of Wolfire