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Keeping Time - How Time Limits Can Speed Up Games
Let's start by looking at games...
I enjoy games with quite a wide range of playing times. I like long games that take a couple of hours or more to play, up to a certain point at least. Anything above three hours is probably going to be too long for me. I also love quick games that take 15 minutes to half an hour, but I'm definitely not a fan of real-time games. In this article, I want to look at how timekeeping affects the gameplay experience.
Likewise, I tend to dislike short filler games because the subject matter tends to be shallow and there is no sense of immersion in the theme or setting. I would rather spend 15 or 20 minutes more hanging out and talking with my gamer friends than playing a meaningless filler game.
The thing about a set amount of turns is that it is like a set amount of laps: you know how much fuel you need and how many pit stops you’ll need, but ultimately, the excitement is in the corners and passes. Yes, a single layer of strategy is taken away when you do this, but it is still a level playing field and more interesting strategies can emerge. Also, it allows you to integrate less palatable ideas (player elimination) because a player won’t die early and sit on his hands for 3 hours.
Just my 2c: I’d rather have a game that is guaranteed to be about an hour or an hour and a half that I’ll get to the table, and randomness isn’t harmed much by simply limiting duration.