‘Replay value is more than multiple playthroughs’ – Hocking

Thursday, 2 August 2012 12:06 GMT By Dave Cook

Ex-Lucasarts creative director Clint Hocking has posted a blog on the subject of replay value, stressing that gamers need more than just a ‘New Game+’ mode to make them feel like they’ve received good value for money. Hocking also feels Red Dead Redemption didn’t have repay value.

Writing on Edge-Online, Hocking blogs that developers oversimplify the meaning of replay value to multiple playthroughs, which in his mind is entirely unacceptable.

“I think we need to dismiss the idea that replayability is a measure of how far players progress,” Hocking explained, “or how many times they replay a game all the way through. Red Dead Redemption was highly replayable, but I’d be shocked to learn that more than 40 per cent of players got to the end, or that over 10 per cent got all the achievements.”

“When faced with such numbers, it’s hard to refute the idea that the game isn’t replayable enough.”

Hocking explains that true replay value comes from exhaustibilityy and depth, “In a theoretical sense, I think the best predictor of replayability is the depth-to-exhaustibility ratio. By ‘depth’, I mean specifically the degree of rich interconnection between well-balanced systems. And by ‘exhaustibility’, I mean the degree to which a game relies on static content to deliver a message.”

What do you think makes for true replay value? Let us know below.