Is a long game with content or a short one with little content better?

Hi all!
I wanted to discuss a topic that has occurred to me to see what you think.

With this type of game, what do you prefer? A long game with more content, or a short one with little content?

I mean, a long one that lasts more than 10 hours and has more secondary content to do, or games that only have one goal and you can finish them in … one afternoon or one day, for example!

I think both methods, depending on the approach, can be great! What is your opinion?


I prefer short games. they are less likely to have “filler” and I value a game that does its thing and then gets out after it has ran out of ideas. I feel they are more replayable when made that way.

though some things need to be longer and sometimes you would want something less “dense” to bite into.


it depends on the content & the type of game your making adds towards this kind of question here, tbh with your belly system (I haven’t played any game with a belly mechanic i.e Vale city and your games @SelenaBellyofSteel in ages but feel free to correct me) that your stats depend how full your belly stat is and you can lose a stage depending how long your character since they last ate? while interesting paper can get really annoying having to either grind for items to keep the your belly constantly fulled can be a joy kill in its own right.

Anyway back to the point, I do like long games myself being an RPG person and reading visual novels aswel as survival games though i do like shorter games like Street fighter & Platformers so all in all it really depends on the game, if your going for something with an adventure or a well written story with multiple routes then games lasting more than several hours to finish is a yes but if your just making something simple with unique mechanics to try out a short one would do nicely.


About my games (I haven’t played Vale City for a long time, so I can’t tell you about that one), in Selena’s current one I’m trying to make filling the belly easier (and with more animations, so it looks more attractive!) And that It takes less time, in Surf the Belly, filling your belly had to take a while (it is not an exaggeration, but it could be more expedited), and I want to correct that! In addition, to give more prizes (such as money and Belly Points) for eating more, so that you do not feel alone … fill your belly and that’s it.

Either can work, but I think a longer game needs to compartmentalize into separate and distinguishable “chunks” so that it’s easy to know when there’s a good time to take a break. In action games, this is done most obviously by level transitions. In RPG’s, it’s usually signified by the arrival in a new town, while for simulators this is made clear when you end a specific day or week.

If a game is exceptionally long, it is generally a good idea to add combine larger sections into full chapters (I.E. continents with several towns, or adding a special event at the end of a month or week in week or day based sims respectively.) Generally a good rule of thumb for an extra long game length is to have up to 6 chapters with about three smaller levels in each chapter.

Of course, the main purpose of a game is to entertain and specifically to titillate for a fetish game, so these guidelines can be completely ignored sometimes. Generally, you shouldn’t add something to the game unless it has something to say or you think it adds something to the experience, but sometimes a little dull monotony can help break up a densely packed game. You can’t make a cookie with just chocolate chips after all.


My preference is shorter game, but still with more content, but it’s optional/environmental/mechanics stuff. That way the game has a longer life overall since replaying it feels worth it due to there being a lot of depth. That’s usually better in my mind than a long game where you’re funneled through all the content and feel like there’s no reason to come back to it. Or worse, it not being worth finishing at all.

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As long as the game is fun and there’s enough content to justify the game length and make it enjoyable, it doesn’t matter in the slightest whether the game takes ten minutes or ten hours.


Thats true! I admit that I am afraid when I make a long game with a lot of content, that it overwhelms me and some don’t want to play.

As long as it remains engaging through out the whole game

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Remember that a larger story can often be broken down into smaller chapters or episodes. If you are releasing ongoing updates then this is certainly a viable method, as Nerds can attest with Some Bullshit.

I don’t mind long-form games, but I do find it a small pain if it’s not done episodically and the expectation is to play through the whole game each time for the new content if previous saves aren’t compatible. It would be much appreciated in those instances to provide a dummy test save along with the update release if possible so that players can get straight to poking at the new content.

Short games are fine for delivering on a fun, intense experience - a simple, solid idea that can stand on its own. Long-form is arguably better for building a deeper connection to characters or the setting, however there is always the fear that a hobbyist dev could be biting off more than they can chew.

Also worth noting that you can also flip the above situation around: rather than have a large game broken down into episodes, you can release small, individual games that, as a series, flesh out a larger setting overall. Think UrgUrgUrg’s Huge Hallows series and the exploits of Gong and Fizzy.

Ultimately it comes down to personal choice as a dev. What is the best game length? Whichever one you feel is most suitable for the game you want to present. If the game is good you will find an audience and fanbase, regardless of its length.


Totally agree! What I do (Well, I did for the first time in Surf the Belly and now I’m going to do in Selena Belly Story) is that the entire history of the game is from the beginning. Surf the Belly is around 18/20 hours (although a user here told me that it took 36 hours) and the only thing I updated or launched again were bug fixes or in-game balance without affecting the saved games

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As long as WG stuff is in it, I’m there. (Unless it’s Some Bulls**t, that is.)

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so long as the content is good… i dont have a preference

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Provided you can keep the player interested it can be long.

I like long RPG’s (having sunk over 300 hours into persona 5 myself) but you need to balance it with enough content to keep people playing.

If people get bored after 30 minutes because your game has a small, repetitive game loop, making a long game is pointless since you will lose the interest of the player far before they reach that point.

All in all it totally depends per person. Some like long games, some like short games. Having things based on chapters and allowing players to fast jump to specific chapters is always nice. Especially in longer games. That way people won’t be bored playing the same content over and over.


Aye, no one likes their time being wasted ultimately. Large and empty maps, turgid writing, repetition, obtuse puzzles, excessive backtracking, mandatory grinding etc etc.

Padding. The only place it should have in your game is on someone’s waistline.


I am currently playing through STB, and im not gonna lie as a game programmer i know what to lock for to mess with the game data for RPGmaker games, so I skipped the whole leveling the belly thing however i refused to skip the stat leveling, and I am enjoy the length of the story. The leveling system for the belly sizes took too long thats why I cheated, but I do like putting in the time for the stat upgrades, it would be interesting if you made food more about making the characters stats what you want them to be and less about getting XP, because stats can keep going up endlessly and still be fun, where if XP keeps going up endlessly it feels like a grind. Maybe reduce what level the player needs to be at for the next belly size and make the game more stat focused, I did think of possibly making it where difficulty settings and enemy stats change based on the players level and stats but that might be too much. I do like longer games but it depends on if it feels like it is a needless grind vs proper progression.


Currently in Selena Belly Story I am making certain foods change the parameters, for example, in addition to grow your belly + 1 (or +2) as they can increase the atk and reduce speed, or vice versa. And of course, these types of food effects can be combined with others. Besides that now the food does not give EXP, the experience is now gained in combat (obviously, and at a better pace than STB that was slow) and when you sleep (which you will always do due to the mechanics of the game) and that depending on how much you have eaten, you will get more or less, rewarding eating a lot. In addition to getting BP for the skill tree.

I think that when making a large game, you could make it run at the same pace as a short game would, just make more cycles of content, but that would amount to working on the same amount of smaller games.
I like making longer games, but shorter games are usually more condenced and to the point, so for something like a fat game, the later would work
(Or as I described earlier, make something long, but with shorter concentrated segments like levels in an arcade game or different chapters in a visual novel)

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