Player gameplay time estimation

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MushroomCake28, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    @MushroomCake28 nah, I'd argue getting lost is completely normal. It's expected unless you literally want to make a game that only has a linear way. I ended up tried to solve an optional puzzle that the dev said it has nothing to do with the progression lul. Then he gave the hint on where to advance the progress.
     
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  2. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 Great Sorcerer Ainz Ooal Gown-sama Veteran

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    @TheoAllen While getting lost is completely normal, being lost the majority of the time and needing the dev's assitance (not saying that it was the case for your situation lol, just a general situation), might be a bit problematic.

    Anyways it does make my point for the thread. Dev will finish their demo/game way quicker because they know what to do, but a player/tester might take a lot more time, and the thread was the determine the usual general ratio between dev playtime and player/tester playtime.
     
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  3. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    In general I've found that players take about 1.5 to 2.0 times as long as me. There will also be outliers. I have a game which took me about 13 hours to complete. bgillisp, because he's an ultra fast reader and didn't do everything took 7 hours and one player reported taking 47 hours! One variable will always be whether players skip/miss optional content.
     
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  4. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    One thing I've also noticed is the play time is counted by taking the frames the game has ran and dividing it by 60. This does assume then the player always gets 60 FPS. So if your player gets less than 60 FPS, the game time as stated in the game will be lower than reality. And if they get more than 60 FPS (possible with the 144 hz monitors) your game time as stated in the game will be higher than reality.
     
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  5. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 Great Sorcerer Ainz Ooal Gown-sama Veteran

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    @bgillisp You're right, but I've modified my game's core code to make it count only 60 fps max. Although it doesn't solve the low fps problem, it fixes the over 60 fps monitor problem (so even a game running on a 144 hz will count the frame time properly).

    @Kes That sounds about what others get on this thread. Also bgillisp is a teacher if I recall correctly, so of course he's going to be a fast reader and finish it quicker than everyone else lol.
     
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  6. Poryg

    Poryg Pixie of the Emvee kingdom, Ham of a Hamster Veteran

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    In past this used to be standard :p :D And it wasn't considered bad design, it was the games' charm in the end. And old school players oftentimes just play games in Japanese to have that feeling when they had no idea what to do and had to figure it out. Which would of course increase the playtime a great deal. :D

    From what it looks like, the approximation is indeed 1.5x-2x your time. But I would
    still recommend a median of your playerbase instead of you, because a median might be more precise in terms of whether it's closer to 1.5x or 2x or even out of this scope.
     
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  7. ChampX

    ChampX Veteran Veteran

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    I just checked the code of MV specifically and I see this is true so I imagine it to be true for past RMs as well. This then makes the default implementation of playtime counter in RM to not be a reliable measure of an accurate play time by any means as anyone averaging 30 FPS will have half the time elapsed compared to reality. That's a huge margin of error! Since RM doesn't provide any other measure out of the box to record play time, I would say anything players then provide time wise has no value.

    Edit: Please see plugin releases for a fix to address this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  8. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 Great Sorcerer Ainz Ooal Gown-sama Veteran

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    @ChampX No worries I already fixed the problem by simply creating another counter in the Graphics object and add one every time the canvas is redrawn. Since the player is forced to run at 60 fps in my project, this makes sure the time is always correct.
     
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  9. ChampX

    ChampX Veteran Veteran

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    @MushroomCake28 The solution I posted was one anyone could grab and have it work regardless of the frame rate the game runs at (10, 30, 60, 120, etc) as instead of frames, I'm using the system clock to determine how much time has elapsed. Unless I'm mistaken, I'm not sure how your solution handles games that are running below 60 fps on a legacy potato as it sounds like it only prevents it from going past 60. Maybe I am missing something.

    Regardless of the solution, only once people have accurate play times can then we possibly think about how long it took x amount of players to complete a game.
     
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  10. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @ChampX This is not the place to be posting plugins for any purpose. Please edit your lost to remove it, leaving a comment that it will be posted in Plugin Releases.
    Thanks.
     
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  11. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 Great Sorcerer Ainz Ooal Gown-sama Veteran

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    @ChampX Yeah it only works for over 60 fps, but I coded my game with in mind that it should always run at 60 fps. Especially with my own battle system which is heavier than the rest of the default RPG Maker MV, if you're getting less than 60 on the map than it's going to be horrible/unplayable in the battle. But then again, you really need a terrible computer to not run at 60 fps (it's still 2D sprites only....)
     
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  12. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I'd suggest that it is necessary to watch out for perverse incentives.
    Get a reward for playing the game in less than X hours? So the player cuts the optional/non-obvious stuff to get the reward and then complains about how boring the game is, with little interesting content. Someone who is enjoying the maps and likes exploring, reading the bits of dialogue you have given your NPCs etc. gets no reward.

    Maybe give rewards for actually doing things rather than something as arbitrary as length of time taken? A simple example, in my last game there were a few opportunities to do things, which resulted in people saying that they would pray for you (you gave donations to a couple of shrines, did quests for people who couldn't pay you, that sort of thing). Just before the final boss you are speaking to someone who says that all these prayers have been heard, and the player is given a MDF bonus based on how many things they'd done.
     
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  13. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    There is though the fact that some enjoy speedrunning games, just to see if they can. But most don't do that on a first playthrough. I actually tried to speedrun my game and doing the bare minimum fights just to see if it is possible. It turns out it is, but by Chapter 9 you need to both know the boss pattern by heart and have a little luck to win those fights as you are about 15 - 20 levels underleveled now.

    To give you an idea, my speedrun, I was level 44 going to the final boss, and 62 on my run that did everything (except going out of my way to grind that is). The actual level of the player will be in the middle probably. As for playtime, the speedrun had about half the playtime of the run that did everything. It would have been even lower, but boss battles took longer now due to you being weaker.

    Still, it can be worth knowing the playtime just in case you wish to add an achievement related to it, say played 10 hours. You'd want to know if the player actually hits that though, as that would be a bad idea in a game that is only 2 hours long.
     
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  14. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 Great Sorcerer Ainz Ooal Gown-sama Veteran

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    An achievement that requires the player to finish the game in X amount of time could be nice for replayability and challenge. However, I'm not particularly a fan of this. Just to clarify what I said before, I have in my game achievements for simply playing a certain amount of time, not finish the game in X hours.
     
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