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Gamers want shorter, better games - Dyack

"I don't care how good the game is," Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack tells gi.biz, "I don't want to play something that's one hundred hours long."

Gamers no longer want to play games that last 60 or 100 hours according to Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack.

"Legacy of Kain had about sixty hours of play, but games have changed. People don't want that any more. I don't care how good the game is, I don't want to play something that's one hundred hours long," Dyack told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview published today.

"If we're going to craft an epic story we decided we had to divide it into manageable chunks for the consumer," he said, referring to Silicon Knights' proposed Too Human trilogy for Xbox 360, the first instalment of which is currently in development. "At the same time we wanted to do a game that it has a chance to evolve and take advantage of development changes.

"We think the future is all about content. By getting our flow of process together for the first game we can then look at it and evolve the way we work for the next games in the series. We didn't want to have to start from scratch again after the first Too Human. Is it gutsy to promise so much? Yes, but making games is hard."

However, Dyack warns that even if you split your story into chunks, you can't expect every player to keep up. "Each game needs to be self contained," he argues. "That was flaw in the The Lord of the Rings movies. Too Human will be self-contained across each game of the trilogy.

"There'll be more background for those that play all three. It's not a hook, it's a promise that if players want something epic, this is where to come. What we're trying to do is create something that moves the industry towards a very content-rich environment. I love trilogy books and series. We've got a lot of things to say in Too Human and we couldn't do it in anything shorter than three games."

For more of Dyack's views on the current state of the games industry, including his belief that consoles must converge into one format to become mass-market, read the rest of the interview.

Part one, in which Dyack addresses the role of previews and the press, can be found elsewhere on the site.

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