Wednesday, 11 March 2015

March Open Thread: Replayability

I've been reading through some old threads and noticed that talk about replayability of AIF games was pretty common. Most of the talk though didn't actually go into what made a game good to play multiple times, thus an open thread.

First: I don't want to imply by any means that a game has to be replayable to be 'good'. A good game might be great for just one play through, that shouldn't necessarily detract from the quality. I think though that many authors design for replayability for more of an emotional payoff (I believe I've seen both Palmer and BBBen discuss this). It takes a long time to design a game and it would feel better if it got multiple plays instead of just a single go.

Here are the questions:
In general, what elements makes you want to go back and replay a game? Quality, multiple paths, hidden scenes, something else?
Do you go back and replay games long after your initial play through?
What AIF game(s) have you played the most times and why?


  1. In the short time I want to replay a game for hidden scenes and multiple paths (in both cases are extra scenes), I can replay a game after a long time if there are some parts I have liked very much and naturally if the scenes were so good that you like even after having seen them many times.
    I have replayed some games after my initial play through (but only for the games that I have loved more and not continually, the time isn't infinite) but only very few times completely.
    Probably the games that I have replayed most times were some of Goblinboy games, I have started with those and when I began to enter the AIF world more he announced his retire, I have wished him to be happy, but at the same time sometime I replay some parts for remember what took me here (and they are good games).
    In any case there are other games (aside Goblinboy's) I have replayed.


  2. For me it has to do with how much I enjoyed the mechanics, and the paths not taken. Magician's Nephew is a good example of this. Normally I'd expect alot of 'Guess the Verb' for the Stage Acts, but I actually had a lot of fun not only doing the acts, but trying the different acts. Even when I knew they wouldn't go over well the story that played out made it worth the trip. I still wonder about some of those endings though.. Though part of what works in it's favor for all that is it was fairly short. The longer the game the harder it is to find time/desire to replay it. Which I think is a big factor.

    Two games that immediately come to mind, but I can't remember. One took place on a cruise ship, and the other in a mansion. Both had strict time mechanics, the same author, and a cast of characters doing things at certain times. I really enjoyed the idea, and it's one of the reasons I fell in love with Dead Rising(Capcom). To date I haven't really completed either game despite walkthrus I always end up lost. May need to go look those up.

  3. I feel like there's two kinds of replayability - that which comes from seeing lots of different possibilities, and that which comes from just enjoying something a lot and wanting to do it again. In the case of the second it's all just quality, but for the first it's stuff like multiple paths and hidden scenes.

    I've replayed a few favorite AIFs, and it's usually for the sake of quality more than anything else (though the other stuff helps).

  4. Nice to see another Dead Rising fan. I think they could have made every one better in some way, but had a blast playing them! I was a bit obsessive myself and completed the first 2 100%. -_-

    Also the games you are thinking are Cruise and Weekend by Pierre. Can grab them off the AIF community newsletter website (

    As for the question, everyone pretty well touched on it. When I am playing myself I am usually trying just about everything on the first go to see what happens (can I kiss her now, in front of her boyfriend? what if I do what I know I shouldn't?) These aren't adding any replay value usually as I do it on the spot, but it is a lot of fun to get an idea of how much the author threw in there.

    If there are branching paths or obvious selections (being good or evil, nice or mean, etc.), then I'll usually go what I personally feel the first time, then go through again trying to pick the others to see what happens.

    Usually that kind of replay lasts just as long as it takes to find all the 'stuff' (assuming I like the game of course) and then it is over. To play them again over the years they have to actually have the quality. Great, sexy writing. Fun characters. Possibly interesting puzzles so long as I don't remember them immediately ;) or there are other good factors keeping me interested.

    Usually the ones that are known for their quality over the years are the easiest to return to at some point - the goblinboy games, BBBen, the ol' windy lake games, pool part, etc.etc. That said, I don't think there are any I would say I play 'frequently', but pulling them out now and then can be fun.

  5. There are usually three reasons I replay a game:

    1. It was an amazing experience and can't wait to delve in again. This can apply to a completely linear game.

    2. The paths not taken were were compelling enough the first time around to bring me back just to see what I missed.

    3. The game is packed full of unlockables/collectibles.

    Of the three, I'm least likely to be enticed by #3.

  6. The main element of replayability for me, after quality, is the possibility of finding different paths through the game and/or different endings. Games like PAC/PAF, Meteor, and SD3 I played a lot trying to find more ways to go through the game.

    Finding hidden things within each path is nice, but not something that's going to make me replay by itself. When an AIF comes out that I really like I'll usually play it looking for all possible routes, than maybe play it once more after checking a walkthrough.