Too Human's Denis Dyack: games need to be shorter

GamesIndustry.Biz has an interesting interview with Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack up on their site. In it, he says "Legacy of Kain had about sixty hours of play, but games have changed. People don't want that any more. I don't care how good the game is, I don't want to play something that's one hundred hours long."

He goes on to argue that games not only need to be shorter, but need to be split up into chunks so that the masses can digest them easier. He also points out that the games need to be self-contained. "That was flaw in the The Lord of the Rings movies. Too Human will be self-contained across each game of the trilogy."

Problem with the Lord of the Rings movies? We know some of you will cry blasphemy, but that one point aside, we agree with that he's saying ... somewhat. There's no argument from us that games can always be better. Shorter, however, well that depends on the game itself. We find ourselves agreeing with the man ... to a point. We definitely enjoy a huge game with a storyline and gameplay that'll net us at least 50 hours of gameplay, because then we feel like we got a good value for our money

On the other hand, we also love playing shorter games as long as the gameplay is fun and compelling. That's what Telltale Games did with their Sam & Max: Season 1 series of games. Each game was cheap (around nine bucks), short (two to three hours of gameplay) and fun (hey, it's Sam & Max, c'mon). They didn't try to choke the players all at once with 20 hours of gameplay, but rather chopped it up, had each episode be self-contained, and focused on making it more accessible to players.

However, if we purchase a Grand Theft Auto title, we definitely want to get more than five hours of play out of it. We don't mean repetitive "Drive to the other side of town and do this one tiny thing and come back" mission-based action either, give us something challenging to do, like driving through a burning building while being chased by a dump truck. Which is also on fire.

It all boils down to how much your gaming time is worth. That's for you to figure out and let the developers know.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.