SleepySalandit

Villager
Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
So I'm designing my game backwards, following a piece of advice I heard to focus on the beginning last so that you have more experience to make a good first impression. So far my prototype final dungeon takes about four minutes to go through without running and without random encounters. This got me wondering what a good length is for a final dungeon, especially for someone who isn't currently planning to put puzzles in my game. I'll fully admit this isn't going to be a question with a solid answer, and also because I don't want to make the final dungeon take TOO long, because that's not ideal either. However, surely there is a nice rule of thumb for dungeon length without random encounters and moving quickly. So, what would that rule of thumb be?
 

tumsterfest

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
211
Reaction score
220
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
The time commitment for a dungeon depends on so many factors that I think you're forcing yourself to answer a question whose answer doesn't really matter.
  • How fast is the player's movement speed?
  • How many branching/optional side paths are there? How important is exploration to enjoyment and success in your game?
  • How avoidable are battles? How long do battles tend to take? Are they real-time?
  • Besides puzzles, are there any other gameplay mechanics that add time to proceeding through the game?
  • How is saving handled? How steep is the punishment for failing to bring enough potions/antidotes/banana bread/whatever to the dungeon?
  • Is there a single final battle, or a long string? Any long ending scenes planned? Do you expect the average player to consume the final dungeon and ending in one sitting, or multiple sittings?
If you really feel the need to know, you could find a few games you like and test run their final dungeons, assuming you can navigate without getting lost and can avoid battles. Or you could use a stopwatch and stop it when you enter a battle, haha.
 

TheAM-Dol

Randomly Generated User Name
Veteran
Joined
Feb 26, 2022
Messages
424
Reaction score
535
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
One thing to keep in mind is that often in JRPGs or turn-based RPGs, a large amount of time is spent in combat. You'd be surprised at how quickly that 4 minutes of just walking suddenly turns into 20 minutes of walking and combat encounters. This of course depends on the frequency of encounters and how your combat is designed, but still, I think it wouldn't be off base for me to say that the length would at least double if not triple in play time.

To answer your question with my own personal opinion: the final dungeon is the culmination of the entire game. Feeling like you are in that final stretch after a long game, nearing victory, having a dungeon really emphasize that by challenging the player with everything they have learned should be along marathon.
(that said, ironically, in my own game the final "dungeon" is just a rediculously long staircase with no encounters and no puzzles.)
 

123edc

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
236
Reaction score
170
First Language
german
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
i'd be more ... well i don't know the right word for it ... ^.^ about it
and say, as long as possible without artificially stretching story and gameplay towards unneccecary limits ... or as long as it makes sense from story/gameplay perspective ... ok, that was vague
 

Cynwale

Villager
Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2022
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Hide things, it's no puzzle but it will make the player venture into the dungeon more if he wants to collect more items before the final boss. And if the player doesn't care or he is confident his stuff will be good enough, he can just follow the main path and go for the fight.
 

ShadowDragon

Realist
Veteran
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
6,986
Reaction score
2,743
First Language
Dutch
Primarily Uses
RMMV
there is a game that you fight and puzzle around that take 1 hour, but that dungeon
is also giantic.

take a look at zelda, some of the puzzle and level of the floors takes around 5-10min
per floor and goes up to 30-40min including the boss battle.

but it all depends how your mechanics works, battles, layout of the dungeon etc.
so its hard to guess which has a nice length as for me, it doesn't matter as long
as it does fit the game.
 

tumsterfest

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
211
Reaction score
220
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
One thing to keep in mind is that often in JRPGs or turn-based RPGs, a large amount of time is spent in combat. You'd be surprised at how quickly that 4 minutes of just walking suddenly turns into 20 minutes of walking and combat encounters. This of course depends on the frequency of encounters and how your combat is designed, but still, I think it wouldn't be off base for me to say that the length would at least double if not triple in play time.

To answer your question with my own personal opinion: the final dungeon is the culmination of the entire game. Feeling like you are in that final stretch after a long game, nearing victory, having a dungeon really emphasize that by challenging the player with everything they have learned should be along marathon.
(that said, ironically, in my own game the final "dungeon" is just a rediculously long staircase with no encounters and no puzzles.)

This made me think of another factor -- party management. If there are 20 minutes of combat on a single map, and your gameplay demands frequent customization of characters and loadout, that could add another 20 minutes of playtime to that map. Or, if the battles are simple hack-and-slash, none at all.

On a related note, I'm now reminiscing not-so-fondly about The Pharos lighthouse in the original Final Fantasy XII (which was way harder than the remaster, IMO). It was the last dungeon before the game's "point of no return," and good lord was it brutal -- 5+ hours of puzzles, traps, and bosses, and that's not including the optional areas.
 

ATT_Turan

Forewarner of the Black Wind
Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
6,967
Reaction score
4,797
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
My suggestion is going to be similar to what I recommend for many aspects of game design - look at and evaluate other games.

Choose a game you like and play through its final area, see how long it takes.

Or if you're just concerned with physical size, i.e. time to just walk through it, download a map of it and see how large it is.
 

CleanWater

Jack-Of-All-Trades Freelancer
Veteran
Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
990
Reaction score
1,083
First Language
Português BR
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Both Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross doesn't have any "final dungeon" (unless you consider the Black Omen and the Dragon Tower as them). So, it's really relative.

From the game design perspective, it really depends of the style of your game and the emotion you want to evoke from it. If the dungeon's location is somewhat important to the lore of your game, consider at least 30m of game play there (battles included).

A good example would be Legend of Legaia final dungeon where...
... the Juggernaut (main antagonist) engulfs the whole village of the protagonist and you need to defeat it inside it's own belly to free all the persons from there.

Another good example could be from the Legend of Mana...
... where the last dungeon is the Mana Tree itself.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

That moment when I am listening to another instructor teach and I am thinking…I have been doing this for almost 30 years…I know this material…I teach this material…and you are confusing the crap out of me…let alone the students. What the actual $&@#! are you talking about? :eek:
Help me make a choice. Which one makes more sense?
A. Range style 1.pngDiamond shape
B.Range style 2.png Square shape
I created a skill that can only be used if there are enemies within the player's range. When the player's range is 2, which one do you think is more appropriate to describe the range area?
Just once I would like to see some innocent person stumble upon a body in a crime show and instead of scream they sigh and just say, "Found another one."
Can we get like a RPGM VXA Pro edition with all the limits gone!!
I drew @TheoAllen 's Cecilia~

yVLlTmK.png

Forum statistics

Threads
128,360
Messages
1,193,896
Members
168,852
Latest member
xSeggy
Top