How long is to long of a beginning?

CraneSoft

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The length of the beginning does not really matter if you actually provide the player control, allow them to explore freely and keep it engaging, even if the player don't actually enter dungeons. Just, don't force a player to sit through 15-20 minute dialogues / narration immediately after the title screen. Even Persona 4's ridiculously long intro had a short playable dream segment, followed by some battles and a boss through story events before they actually enter the first real dungeon. Execution is key.

If you have alot of mechanics you felt you need to introduce, consider spreading them out or save them for later so the player won't feel overwhelmed before they are even entering the 1st dungeon.
 

SoulBlade32

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I was working on my story heavy RPG, when i realized that it takes about 15-20 minutes (depending on how long the player spends goofing off, talking to villagers, messing with a cat that hangs out by the village, gathering materials, etc) before there is any real combat (besides the pseudo tutorial battle that introduces the player to the mechanics without it being an actual fight) Or in other words the first dungeon. This time is used to set up the story, set up the characters, introduce the player to material gathering, tool usage, weapon obtaining, movement options, and quests. So i wanted to know, how long is it ok for a game to go without getting to the first dungeon? Does that number change if the content before that lets you use other mechanics? Or if it has a good story?

And... I spelled too wrong in the title...
I would say it entirely depends on the quality of the story-telling. You can have basically no tutorial and be a good game (the Souls series) or you can be tutorial HEAVY (Persona 5 tutorials last the first 10-15 hours of gameplay). I would say that you could always introduce the features of the game slowly. Or have a dedicated "tutorial" spot like Final Fantasy 7 had, and only force introduce the complex features.

I would also say you might want to have a "yes/no" before tutorials if you want players to enjoy replaying. If features are fun I don't mind tutorials. But if I'm replaying a game and have an hour of tutorials about things I already know.... Well that's different.

In all, I would say try to incorporate personality into it and not have it be a robotic "info dump". Have characters have you DO things for the tutorials instead of simply telling you how it works, etc.
 

Zalzany

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Big thing is one, is story good, two is there stuff for the player to do. I mean I seen some with giant walls of text its ok in some cases but its best to do mix it up, let player dink around throw in a little light humor or something to break up monotony. Like have it so you can interact with junk and have some one comment on that hey that is junk lets get back to the quest or whatever.

I mean its a game first and fore most not a VN so make sure one you make it skippable for players who already seen it, really kills replay to be forced to redo a long intro when you are in the mood to play the game not the intro. And two you give them something to do, a little break from the monotony.
 

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