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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Tactica: Maiden of Faith » Time Based Events

Default Time Based Events

March 20th, 2010, 22:00
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
An interesting idea.

In my opinion I think it would be fun to make hints towards the player's character that something indeed is depending on what you do in time.
Other things might perhaps not be so obvious and act rather as some kind of surprise or even "easter egg" for when the player plays through the game a second or a third time.
Yes there's two reason to implement alternate options, for offering choices to player, for diversifying a replay.

For player choices I think the key point would be to offer choices that the player look at only alternative and not as if there's a choice better than the other. It's not that easy to present to the player the time choice and achieve give him this balanced feeling.

For diversifying a replay, if you don't inform the player, there's a strong chance that most will use a time frame you didn't expect and will be in time or too late for all their replay. If you inform the player once the event is done to give him a hint for a replay, a danger is to make some players reload old save too often if he gets the feeling it didn't get something or lost some opportunity.

If time event is to put a time pressure on the player then this have to be made with care. The problem is that CRPG players are used to take their time, and that some game rules can have time consequences a bit extreme. For example a simple rest could be a lot of time travel lost in many CRPG. Or get back to a shop for byuing a stuff forgotten can be a major time lost, the problem is that CRPG players aren't used to such pressure.

A last note is that if time is important in some way in the game then I think that all the game design should be designed with that in mind.
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March 21st, 2010, 15:55
In this scenario, you start knowing there's a day limit, you have to help an outpost. To reach it in time you'll have to travel through an unexplored land. Resting in the game cost time and travel time depends of some parameters. Also during your travels there are multiple events that can make you lost or win time.
Well, I don't like if the entire game is time-based and this will not happen… you'll never lose the game just because you don't arrive on time… the game will just play differently depending on what time you arrive at different places.
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March 22nd, 2010, 21:21
That's fine.

Personally, I think games with time limits suck, and I avoid them like the plague.
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March 24th, 2010, 06:18
Out of curiosity, Thrasher, how many games have you played with a dynamic time limit? Not just "stand around and protect the crate for 5 mins" or have a flat time limit to finish a level, but one where the more time you take changes what you see later on, as events pass you by?

I'll be honest, I can't recall one. I wouldn't want to have to write for one either; you would have a ton of work making it happen and not seem arbitrary.

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March 24th, 2010, 14:38
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
Out of curiosity, Thrasher, how many games have you played with a dynamic time limit? Not just "stand around and protect the crate for 5 mins" or have a flat time limit to finish a level, but one where the more time you take changes what you see later on, as events pass you by?

I'll be honest, I can't recall one. I wouldn't want to have to write for one either; you would have a ton of work making it happen and not seem arbitrary.
I remember one Infocom game, Suspected I think or something, where you are a detective and had to figure out some murder, but things happened in the game and you had to be there to see it or you'd miss it. Can't say I liked that, almost required you to play several times just so you knew where to be at the proper times to get the information needed to correctly solve the case.
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March 24th, 2010, 15:33
Well, that is again, a case of you have to match a time based events to be able to compelte the game which I don't like.
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March 24th, 2010, 16:48
Given how most games have trained us to ignore time as a factor even in face of the most urgent world-threatening events, I think it is very important that you take pains to make it clear to the player that the time limits are indeed real and that missing them has consequences. I also agree that those consequences should be such that they are interesting and ultimately redeemable. Racing against a game-over screen is indeed not fun.
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March 24th, 2010, 17:55
i like a dynamic world, but I don't like time limits that need to be met to win a game…
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March 24th, 2010, 20:53
I think, Return to Krondor had time based events, too. For example a burning Inn …

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March 24th, 2010, 21:43
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
i like a dynamic world, but I don't like time limits that need to be met to win a game…
Again, from what I understand GG's design to be, you're missing the entire point. You miss the deadline for x event, you don't lose the game. You can win the game by ignoring the time, but things change as you do. So going fast or slow you miss out on some aspect of the story. Not just racing against the clock and a game over screen.

Originally Posted by Wolfing
I remember one Infocom game, Suspected I think or something, where you are a detective and had to figure out some murder, but things happened in the game and you had to be there to see it or you'd miss it. Can't say I liked that, almost required you to play several times just so you knew where to be at the proper times to get the information needed to correctly solve the case.
Don't make me start hitting the abandonware sites…

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March 24th, 2010, 22:39
Really, am I? Perhaps you're entirely failing to understand me? Let me say it more clearly…

Since I am a completist, what you are describing is a failure to complete the game. So I will not like it. Is that clear?
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March 24th, 2010, 23:45
I'd be fine with it, as long as all rewards you can possibly get are about equal in value and you get alternate quest lines of about the same size, no matter which path you choose or whether or not you miss a deadline.

Take path A and lock out path B or vice versa = OK.
Completely miss out on path A without a real path B = not OK.

Chrono Cross had some of such time based and/or choice based events. Was fine, even for a completist such as me — the important part is that it was always clear that I was making a choice. One example:

"Hurry, you need to save her!"

- path A: get to her as quickly as possible. She survives and gives you a reward.
- path B: waste time by picking fights with lots of enemies on the way. You come to late, she dies, but you get a different reward from someone else (I think) and the story continues slightly differently.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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March 25th, 2010, 01:29
That's fine. Parallel exclusive paths are one thing. Missing something because of a hidden timer or super hard timer challenge is not fun for me…
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March 25th, 2010, 23:51
So you absolutely despise exclusive paths because it means you can't complete a game, but on the other hand you don't mind exclusive paths?

Use of time is just another way in the same vein as using quests that block off access to other quests, having reputation systems in effect that affect who you can get missions from, having to decide between two or more factions, and a myriad of other options to make a story more dynamic than a simple book. You'll never be able to do everything, and I don't think you should. Rather, you do what you can, and deal with the consequences of what you did, who you supported, and where you went.

Makes for a far more interesting and varied game. You usually (or should) know you do have a choice in these matters. It's the end conclusion that isn't obvious.

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March 25th, 2010, 23:56
Wow. You really have a hard time understanding a simple concept….

I like roleplaying choices, not an inadvertent choice because of a hidden timer or a time-based challenge …
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March 26th, 2010, 00:14
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
Makes for a far more interesting and varied game. You usually (or should) know you do have a choice in these matters. It's the end conclusion that isn't obvious.
That's what I meant (and Thrasher too, from what I can tell). I need to know when I'm making a choice. This is also possible with time based events (see my example above) and the choice should IMHO always be made clear, and preferably be exclusive.

Another example (sort of) from Chrono Cross: "Hey, we need to catch the bad guys, but one of your friends needs help. Do you want to get the medicine, which could mean the bad guys have time to escape, or do you let others try to help your friend and go after your enemies immediately?"

What can be a little uncool, at least from a completist's perspective, is when you go about your business and suddenly at some point in time a quest line becomes unavailable, because, well, time passed. That's not making a choice, that's … I don't know what it is. Life?

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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March 26th, 2010, 00:29
Well said Arhu. That's what I think as well.
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April 3rd, 2010, 08:13
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Well, I don't like if the entire game is time-based and this will not happen… you'll never lose the game just because you don't arrive on time… the game will just play differently depending on what time you arrive at different places.
I probably didn't explained well, if you arrived too late you didn't save in time the outpost but also didn't lost the game. The story continue a bit after and you made alternate actions. You was getting a more sad last part but no game lost. For sure a quest lost but not much more.
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April 3rd, 2010, 08:19
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
That's what I meant (and Thrasher too, from what I can tell). I need to know when I'm making a choice. This is also possible with time based events (see my example above) and the choice should IMHO always be made clear, and preferably be exclusive.

Another example (sort of) from Chrono Cross: "Hey, we need to catch the bad guys, but one of your friends needs help. Do you want to get the medicine, which could mean the bad guys have time to escape, or do you let others try to help your friend and go after your enemies immediately?"
It's not really s time based event but more alternate choice based on a time explanation. The problem of time in CRPG is that the global game design hasn't much control over it and you don't have an evaluation of what time means.
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