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Andrew Crawshaw, former lead designer at The Chinese Room, on growing the industry with "evening-size games" and redefining success

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  1. kfwyre Link
    "Evening-size games" is a great identifier. Outside of games that I can listen to audiobooks to, this is my favorite category of game. I consider them movie-adjacent in that there's a narrative...

    "Evening-size games" is a great identifier. Outside of games that I can listen to audiobooks to, this is my favorite category of game. I consider them movie-adjacent in that there's a narrative experience that has a defined start and end, and they don't take too long to make your way through so you can enjoy them in only a few sittings--sometimes even one.

    We crowdsourced a list of good evening-size games in an earlier thread here, for anyone interested.

    As much as I love games like this, the downside is that they are heavily impacted by streaming, let's plays, and longplays, and the article's recommendation to harness that kind of experience is probably the way forward. Because there's a somewhat uniform narrative experience, even in games that give you meaningful interactions and choices, many people can simply watch the game for free. Their experience is certainly not exactly what it would have been if they'd played it, but it's enough to satisfy their interest and inhibit them from buying the game outright.

    For a developer's perspective on this, see Ryan Green's On Let's Plays. His game, That Dragon, Cancer, is a short (and deeply affecting) evening-size game that was watched millions of times on YouTube despite not making enough in sales to cover costs.

    2 votes