Average playtime in a single seating

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dorne
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Average playtime in a single seating

#1 Post by dorne » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:45 am

I'm curious to know how long people usually invest their time on a visual novel in one sitting before needing to do something else. Whenever I have a good amount of time I can invest myself in a story or two without worrying but when time is scarce I tend to wait until I have a bigger block of time to enjoy the content.

Having a save feature is good, but it's like reading in one sitting for a chapter, then needing to reread the chapter since the next time I read is farther apart. So I tend to wait until there's a good time to immerse myself.

The reason I posted this is because I want to get a sense of pace that people read VNs, in order to craft a better experience.
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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#2 Post by Divona » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:14 am

For me, it really depending if the part where I'm reading is catch my attention and keep me reading. Sometime I spent 15 minutes reading, while other time can be 3-4 hours. I remember spent a whole day reading visual novel as well. That isn't just visual novel, though. My reading pattern is pretty much the same with books and manga...um...not sure if that help. My answer is pretty vague... :shock:

But 15-30 minutes seem to be the maximum of my attention span before my mind wandering off to something else if something does not interests me.
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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#3 Post by RotGtIE » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:26 am

If I start something, I generally don't stop until I pass out.

Fate/Stay Night was a fun week.

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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#4 Post by Mammon » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:40 am

I tend to give a VN 15 minutes to catch my interest before I stop, less if it's really bad. (But I have low standards so that's doesn't happen too often) I never play for more than 3-4 hours and that's already really rare, 1-2 hours is already a good max. of my usual attention span. It really depends on the game I play, short games that only take 3-4 hours to complete or less are the ones I play for longer amounts of time because I can see the end growing near and I want to finish it. I usually need to force the discipline with long games to play 1hour a day, or they'll end up as a shortcut on my desktop that will never be clicked again.
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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#5 Post by morinoir » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:46 am

RotGtIE wrote:If I start something, I generally don't stop until I pass out.
That's an impressive dedication O.O

I'm with Divona. 30 minutes is usually the limit of my attention span, and after that I will feel the need to refresh my mind by switch to other thing. As for game, having auto-save feature is really handy imo, as I tend to forget to save and just try to finish one route as fast as possible (bad example right here!), but I guess this will work nicely only in short game. For a game with more than 2 hours gameplay, having easy access to save and load feature is better.
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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#6 Post by Sleepy » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:11 pm

If it's a decent sized game, I'll try for one sitting. I marathoned through games like Analogue: A Hate Story and Re:Alistair since it was doable and I enjoyed the games enough to do it. If it's a longer one, I'll spend anywhere between 2-4 hours a session if I'm really into it. If it has multiple routes or chapters, I might aim for a chapter or route a session, unless they're really long. I usually binge play at night so a good VN will be one I want to complete that much, even if it ends up costing me sleep.

In the case of short games (i.e: less than an hour or 30 min) I'll try to finish in one go but if I find it boring I'll probably just shelve for when I need a time killer.
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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#7 Post by truefaiterman » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:35 pm

I almost never have time and energy to play VNs, but when I do...
RotGtIE wrote:If I start something, I generally don't stop until I pass out.
This happens.
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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#8 Post by Limabaen » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:56 am

If I find a vn that I enjoy, I won't stop reading it until I'm done. So everything else gets pushed to one side for 10 hour binge reading sessions (including homework, whoops). If the vn is too long, I like to be able to finish one whole route and wait for new days to start reading new routes.

On the other hand, I tend to drop badly written vns after the first 5 minutes, and then I never touch them again.

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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#9 Post by Valhalla » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:57 am

Limabaen wrote:If I find a vn that I enjoy, I won't stop reading it until I'm done. So everything else gets pushed to one side for 10 hour binge reading sessions (including homework, whoops). If the vn is too long, I like to be able to finish one whole route and wait for new days to start reading new routes.

On the other hand, I tend to drop badly written vns after the first 5 minutes, and then I never touch them again.
Yeah, I'm the same. Although, even if it's long, if I really enjoyed the first route, I'll read the next one at the sacrifice of sleep... haha.
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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#10 Post by TheJerminator15 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:21 am

I'm the same as RotGtIE, if I purchase a VN I will play it religiously until completion. Same with games in general for me. Fate/Stay Night was done within a few days once I sat down and got absorbed into it, as once I find the time to open the game I can sit there for hours reading.

If the writing is bad then my interest will waver incredibly quick and I'll either force myself through a singular route or just drop it completely. The only notable exception to this for me was the VN Princess Evangile, partly because it was my second VN at the time so I was less aware of the bad writing (though it still stuck out), mainly because I'd spent £30 on it and wanted to get my money's worth. After replaying it recently I found it nearly unbearable to play because I no longer had that desire to validate my purchase and my extra experience with the medium.
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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#11 Post by Parataxis » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:32 am

I've sort of looked at this problem from both sides.

From the Player side, I tend to binge when able, often playing in 2-7 hour chunks as available until the game is finished, tending to cut off between 11:30 and 1 am on evening play sessions. I have been known, however, to steal like 15 to 30 minute play sessions during the day if I am really busy and the story is really good to inch my way forward. If I am very VERY busy, sometimes I will use such sorter divided play sessions as carrots for getting work done--though this only works if the plot progresses sufficiently over a small session. Also notably, I never commit to playing every route of a game until I have finished the first route. After my first play through I tend to replay the game more slowly.

From the developer side, from the start my story is clearly divided into "episodes" of between 30 minutes to an hour of estimated play time. The idea being to give the player obvious places to stop playing at the end of a session. Most of the chapters end with a partially resolved plot and then a thread connecting them to the next chapter's plot so the player is allowed to stop, but also teased as to what might come next. But the idea is that they are short enough and well delineated enough that a player should never HAVE to end their play session in the middle of a chapter.

Additionally to that the first 3 chapters, the first 5 chapters and the first 6 chapters compose complete-feeling arcs, where a full plot/character arc has been completed and the characters are entering a new stage of the story. After chapter 6, the game splits into the 5 character routes which sort of form a complete 5 chapter arc with maybe a break in the middle. As you can probably tell, the game is basically designed with my own playstyle in mind for a first playthrough: If I was to play my own game, I would likely finish it in 2 even play sessions, with about three chapters at a time, followed by a third longer play session for the endgame. However, the chapters themselves also contain their own plots which progress alongside the main plot, so even on the microscale something is always happening.

EDIT: The OP also mentioned needing to reread stuff. I would like to clarify that I am very unusual in that I have an excellent narrative memory and basically never need to reread something in order to figure out what is going on even if I dropped it for a few months for some reason. That said, I don't think that really affects my play style since I still prefer to finish things in short order just because I like to and I want to know what happens. But for instance, I can imagine there are players who can't really do the 15 minutes of VN, 30 minutes of Nanoplasmonics and back regimen that I favor because the jumping around prevents them from getting in a groove.

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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#12 Post by Tyrantauranox » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:49 am

I also tend to marathon stuff. I don't let it cut too deeply into sleep time, though.

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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#13 Post by Hojita » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:54 pm

Parataxis wrote:

From the developer side, from the start my story is clearly divided into "episodes" of between 30 minutes to an hour of estimated play time. The idea being to give the player obvious places to stop playing at the end of a session.
Seing it from the bot sides is a pretty interesting idea.
Dividing it by chapters, even if they are not evidently marked (I refer to something like "oh yes, here comes a sing that says 'Chapter II - End'"), is something pretty necesary in a lot of senses. As my main language isn't english, is kinda hard to explain my point of view. But... the idea is to give the reader (and the narrative) elements to divide it and make it a more.... balanced or well told? story. Sorry, I feel kinda unable to explain it right now.

As for the question of the OP, depends on the VN in question, but my larger time was... like 5 o 6 hours, while reading Planetarian. I played it in one sit.
Now I usually tend to read trought one o two hours, mainly because I don't have the time I used to have two years ago 'cause of studies, projects and work.

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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#14 Post by wyverngem » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:57 pm

Ugh, I'm really impatient when it comes to playing a demo that I haven't played before. I mean if the game isn't allowing me to make a choice within the first ten minutes I honestly looses interest and will stop playing. It also really bores me when the game starts with two people talking back and forth with one another. I have no idea what's going on, let alone who these people are. Even if it's brief I really enjoy a well written prologue that introduces the world and catches my attention. Starting with conversations back and forth instantly makes me want to quit the game.

If we're talking game play it depends on my schedule. Anywhere from half an hour to full. Unless it's really interactive. I find there are natural pauses in most games, such as chapters or wait screens. Those are important for me because it gives me a chance to break away from the game. I don't usually stop in the middle of a cut scene or characters talking unless I'm that bored with it.

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Re: Average playtime in a single seating

#15 Post by dorne » Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:11 pm

Thanks for all of your responses! Some of you responded that you have a short window of time to determine if a Visual Novel would be worth it to continue to read. Next up is half hour - 2 or so hours for a decent session. Then there are those who go 7 hours+ to complete longer novels if they are long and maintain your interest. I'm interested when some people seem to finish whole VNs at a time, I myself can only muster 1/3rds of routes at a time like FSN or Tsukihime.
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