How Long To Beat?

Discussion in 'General Wing Commander Chat' started by st3lt3k, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. st3lt3k

    st3lt3k Rear Admiral

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  2. AD

    AD Finder of things, Doer of stuff

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    Playtimes can vary, especially if you skip all the dialogue and cutscenes. I prefer to experience everything so my completion times probably fare on the longer side. However, I also did marathons of WC4 back in the day on rookie just to watch the cutscenes and experience it more like a movie. I'm pretty sure we clocked it in somewhere between 7-12 hrs.
     
  3. ChrisReid

    ChrisReid Super Soaker Collector / Administrator

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    7 hours, 43 minutes is pretty close to how long LOAF took to beat Crusade a few weeks back, and that includes cutscenes and some breaks.

    WC4 was also the first game that I raced through as a nonstop experience like that. I didn't try to speed run it on my first try, and it was still spread across several days or the better part of a week, but all I did for that time when I wasn't sleeping or at school was live Wing Commander 4.
     
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  4. cff

    cff Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi

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    Funny you write that. I think WC4 was the first such gaming marathon for me as well. I remeber it took me 2 and a half day to beat the first time back then.
     
  5. Mindcrime

    Mindcrime Captain

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    I can sooooooo relate to this story.
     
  6. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    One thing I've only really realized as I plan future livestreams is that the later games are, by the numbers, significantly longer... because you have to fly significantly more missions. A perfect game of Wing Commander I is 18 missions (almost the same as the various expansions)... while a perfect game of Wing Commander II is 31!
     
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  7. centaurianmudpig

    centaurianmudpig Captain

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    Here are the play lengths from my WC LP series to date:
    WC1 - 3hrs 32 mins : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL876FBAD43207C8CF (Calculated from http://youtube-playlist-analyzer.appspot.com/)
    WC2 - 4hrs 51mins
    "
    WC2 SM1 - 5hrs 2mins
    WC2 SM2 - 4hrs 7mins
    WC2 SO1 - 2hrs 55mins
    WC2 SO2 - 2hrs 5mins

    So doable in a livestream, on paper. Assuming you can perfect every mission the first time. Given the difficulty of WC2 actually play time will be much higher, so much I'd estimate it took me 7-8 hours to actually get through WC2 considering when compared against replays from deaths.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  8. Mindcrime

    Mindcrime Captain

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    Lol. U got some hard work ahead of u Loaf. Might wanna consider doing a 2 day stream. Separated with a night of sleep of course lol. Only good news is going forward all the dialogue is speech so u guys can relax and enjoy the movies between missions. I really look forward to you guys doing WC2
     
  9. st3lt3k

    st3lt3k Rear Admiral

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    I certainly agree that playtimes can vary. I just think it's kind of interesting seeing these comparisons. I think that customers have certain expectations (game can't be too long or short).

    I think that the first Wing Commander originally cost USD $69.95 back in 1990 (which is probably over $100 in 2016 dollars).

    Maybe one of the reasons why Wing Commander III is longer is because more money was spent on it (hiring actors, building sets, etc)? They felt they had to make it longer to justify and also take advantage of that? Maybe another reason is that storage (and storage reader) technology was better?
     
  10. ChrisReid

    ChrisReid Super Soaker Collector / Administrator

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    Long or short, the nature of how people expect the experience to unfold, how they definite difficulty and what makes a game repayable have all evolved considerably. In the early '90s, it was perfectly acceptable to make a game hard as hell, and having to play missions over and over to beat them was considered part of the challenge. By WC3, we can see how that changed and individual difficulty levels were an option. You also see a shift from the classic win/lose mission tree into two distinct environments: open sandbox (Privateer) or linear mission structure (with some token branches as a brief diversion).

    WC2/WC3 aren't longer so much as they're stretched out. As much effort goes into the storyline writing, cutscenes, voice/live acting, etc, there's a greater desire to want that material to be seen to justify the expense. It's relatively easy to create WC1's branching system structure once you have all the assets in place. You design alternative missions and type up alternate story text and drop them in the engine. A good chunk of the material will never been seen by a good chunk of the player base, but that's not as big of a deal because what you've gained is flexibility and freedom. Then when the cost of developing storyline assets increased, you also saw a shift in the player base to want a more curated experience, so the games started have relatively little branching as they walked you through the shared experience that the designers set up for you.
     
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  11. Mindcrime

    Mindcrime Captain

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    I'm hoping Squadon 42 recaptures the WC1 style story branching we all love. I plan to put much more time into that then Star Citizen honestly. It's one of my favorite things about the wing commander series. My actions really mattered to the story, my comrades, and how bad the next mission will be. I saw the size of thst sq42 script so my hopes are high on this one.
     
  12. Farbourne

    Farbourne Rear Admiral

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    Except... Did anyone else feel like Prophecy was really short? At least, after playing WC3 and WC4? I remember finishing it and thinking "that's it?"
     
  13. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    It’s interesting that you say that! In terms of the sheer number of missions you must play (and the number total) Wing Commander Prophecy is one of the longest Wing Commander games… beaten only, slightly, by Secret Ops! But I certainly know what you mean: the game feels much quicker because there’s less video and what there is isn’t anywhere near as ‘important’ as Wing Commander 3 or 4.


    Here’s some quick I’m-in-a-plane numbers for the different games, which is pretty fascinating. Note that this list doesn’t include simulator missions.


    Wing Commander I - 18 missions / 40 total

    The Secret Missions - 16 missions / 18 total

    The Secret Missions 2: Crusade - 18 missions / 18 total

    Wing Commander II - 31 missions / 47 total

    Special Operations 1 - 16 missions / 20 total

    Special Operations 2 - 16 missions / 20 total

    Wing Commander III - 37 missions / 50 total

    Wing Commander IV - 28 missions / 47 total

    Prophecy - 34 missions / 52 total

    Secret Ops - 36 missions / 56 total


    What’s interesting is that in terms of building the games, they all pretty much take the same amount of mission design work: 40-50 missions. What happened is that after Wing Commander I, they looked at how people actually played and realized they were devoting over 50% of dev time on missions the average player will never experience. So you have the later games all being much longer for the basic play through, but having fewer ‘losing’ missions to go back and discover.
     
  14. Mekt-Hakkikt

    Mekt-Hakkikt Mpanty's bane

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    I never felt that WCP was short but I am amazed that you only need 28 missions for WC IV. WC IV always felt "long" to me - probably because of the many cutscenes, as LOAF says.
     
  15. Farbourne

    Farbourne Rear Admiral

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    Wow, so Standoff is especially impressive at 61 missions. (More than half of which an average player will never see). Of course, they had the benefit of time: not working for a company that was beating on them to meet a given release date.
     
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  16. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    Well, you know... Standoff took about... what, seven, eight years to complete? Those 61 missions took us approximately as long as Origin took to develop all of the official Wing Commander games :). So, I think they've kind of got us beat on scope ;).
     
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  17. -danr-

    -danr- Rear Admiral

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    To be fair, they were quite desperate to get the final episode released in time for the CIC's birthday. Which was a great present.
     
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