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GothicGothicness August 17th, 2011 14:55

Did you ever feel as you were playing through a fantasy book? but with C&C
I realized there is almost no game with a realistic time concept such as I am aiming at. In almost every game I know ( except for some J-games ) time will pass in an extremely unrealistic way ( except for depth of peril ). Like if you spend one year in your houses backyard almost nothing will happen.

What I am aiming at is that the game progress all the time but it'll progress differently depending on your actions.

For example imagine lord of the rings, and the journey to destroy the ring. If you were sitting and waiting in your home you'd soon be a dead hobbit and the ring would be all lost.

The game concept I am imaging here ( again using lord of the rings as example ), is that you pick the persons which you want to take on your journey and leave. You'd also pick the brother hood, and path etc. and it will keep progressing, and one of the ends could be that you actually fail, and the dark lord takes over the world.

I am aware this is immensely complicated to create… but would it be fun for you to play a game like this?

Menigal August 17th, 2011 18:49

In theory, this would be an excellent concept for a game, but probably not for a super-epic, you're the chosen one AGAIN, and the world is doooooooomed sort of game. In practice, especially with that sort of plot, I imagine that most people would just get upset with the time restriction, because if not done right that's all it would turn into. If things developed more procedurally, though, rather than along a set path, then I can see players being more forgiving.

A friend and I played around with this concept a few years ago. We didn't get very far, of course, since we both had degrees to focus on instead of complicated procedural gameplay, but I still find myself going back to the idea quite a lot.

Imagine if, for instance, a graveyard outside of town attracted a necromancer. His army of the dead would keep growing until he and the town came to blows. Maybe the village gets wiped out, leading to a small kingdom of the mindless dead, unless of course a hero wanders along at some point and stops him. Or maybe it's a dragon. Or maybe it's a giant, agressive kingdom to the north, all reacting to each other and creating a virtual ecosystem of sorts that manages to operate completely without player intervention.

It's all very possible, if complicated. Just look at Dwarf Fortress. I'd love to see a bigger company give something like this a try, but as I said, it would have to be done very carefully to keep it from turning into just another type of time limit.

Alrik Fassbauer August 17th, 2011 20:32


Originally Posted by GothicGothicness (Post 1061087004)
Like if you spend one year in your houses backyard almost nothing will happen.

Or too fast, like in Fable.

I think I see your vision, and it looks top me to be insanely complicated as well.

Like … doing a database, putting boolean flags here and there … and the rest is computed depending on which flags are set …

The worst (read : most complicated) thing(s) will probably be to actually do all of these different ending … In text, in voiceovers (if possible) … especially voice acting could vastly increase the costs …

As an text adventure game, I'd rather able to imagine your vision feasible …

bkrueger August 17th, 2011 21:15

I hate time pressure in games. I have enough of that in real life. So I wouldn't buy a game with a mechanics which doesn't allow me to do things as slow or as fast as I like.

Motoki August 17th, 2011 21:45


Originally Posted by bkrueger (Post 1061087056)
I hate time pressure in games. I have enough of that in real life. So I wouldn't buy a game with a mechanics which doesn't allow me to do things as slow or as fast as I like.

I agree with this. I like to do things in my own time, be able to think about my moves, replies, actions and so forth without being rushed. This is why I like turn based games and am really not thrilled with the further and further push of real time action into RPGs. It creates a very different dynamic where I am forced to react without really contemplating.

As far as the world being on a time limit, I wouldn't care for that. I get annoyed in games where they go 'Sorry, you didn't make it in time'. If a negative consequence happens because of my own choices and actions I am all for that, but I don't want it to happen because I didn't get to point x fast enough or took time to stop and explore etc.

I would file this idea in the category of realistic but just not fun (for me) to play. Essentially what you would be doing is penalizing the player who takes the time to really stop and explore all the elements of your world while rewarding the one who breezes past everything and rushes to the finish line.

GothicGothicness August 17th, 2011 22:40

Well, the game is definetely going to be turn-based. And I haven't said that being slow will always have a negative consequence. Perhaps the example wasn't good enough.

The point is not to make it action based, but rather make you think when you rest, how to recover your wounded characters most effectively, what path to take to get to a place, and so on. A bit like jagged alliance 2.

wolfing August 18th, 2011 01:58

Count me also in the side that doesn't like real time passing while I enjoy looking at the pretty bunnies hopping around. Now, if it's a turn by turn thing then I'm ok with that (as long as there is a clear indication of what's what, so I can make an informed decision… like, the king says that the usurper will receive reinforcements in 5 days, and every time I rest 8 hours pass, so my characters will have to be crawling of exhaustion before I order them to rest. But if I don't have that information, I'll have them rest whenever I feel like, taking beauty naps and all, because… why not?

GothicGothicness December 27th, 2011 16:20

Yes, the game would inform of the urgency in such a situations, or at least it would be obvious that time is of the essence.

darkling December 27th, 2011 22:39

I think developers are stuck in a position where they don't know what to do when it comes to time. Too many games with arbitrary and obnoxious time-based mechanics have made people freak out the moment a time limit to anything is mentioned. It's led to silliness like how in DA:O, Morrigan whines and complains that you are taking too long doing anything but really you can just wander all over the map forever with no real consequence. It ends up making her into a one dimensional sociopath rather than a self-concerned pragmatist, which is what I think they might have been intending.

An idea I would find interesting would be one where the players party is 'competing' with another group of adventurers who's actions are opposed to the players characters, determined through analysis of the players actions. So if you're playing a good/altruist party, there'd be a computer controlled evil/selfish party in the world also solving quests and doing things in other parts of the game world (or vice versa) that you then would experience the results of. That'd also open up an interesting and somewhat unique multi-player concept.


SpoonFULL December 27th, 2011 22:50

Very important concept but developers can't live without pausing time, as all choices and consequences need to be set (flagged) by the user which will then inform the rest of the world how to react. In other words - hero centred gameplay.

One game that everyone seem to have overlooked that successfully does not pause time and where the world's actions take place irrespective of the player (or the player has a choice in affecting the world) is Mount and Blade: Warband. When you trade, fight bandits and do what heros/heroine do the clock is ticking the world is moving: lands and lords get captured, kingdoms fall, and so on and so forth.

Just shows what kind of innovations happen when a developer thinks outside the pure profit box.

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