Game Length In Board Game Design

Game Design
When playing a game that is long, what things make it feel short or worth it? When playing a short game what things keep those fun and makes you want to pick it up and play?
Photo by Robert Coelho

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5 months ago

Those were all good points. I think the 1:5 ratio feels about right, to a certain point. 30 minute setup is getting excessive, even if the game goes for 2.5 hours.

Something important when considering this is how "out of it" players are allowed to reasonably get, assuming they're putting in a good effort to win. In a long game, unless you're really close to the end, if you regularly have players that have zero chance of even sniffing a victory, something needs to change in the game. That's fine in a short game, since it will be over quickly, but if players feel like they have no chance halfway through a 2+ hour game, that's a bad place to be.

5 months ago

Yeah, there comes a certain point where the ratio rule doesn't work anymore. 

As for player engagement, you are correct. You need to find ways to keep players motivated to keep playing. This is why scoring is interesting to me as a design concept because you an keep track of all the scores, wait till the end, or even hybridize the two.

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