Obsidian Entertainment - MCA on Quest Time Limits
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May 22nd, 2012, 07:15
In BG1 I remember that if you took too long with Minsc's quest to rescue Dynaheir from the gnolls, he'd swiftly turn hostile on the party. This actually caused me to have a somewhat ambivalent relationship with the big guy. Naturally by the time I got to BG2 and met up with him again, it resulted in the familiar quote:
"Hey, didn't I kill you before?"
Not a time limit as such, but more of a scripted time frame: I always disliked the fact that regardless of the time you leave to have the confrontation with Bodhi in her lair, it's always dark when you get there. I mean, it would kind of make sense to try to have some kind of advantage against a vampire by arriving when it's light, no? Every advantage possible and whatnot?
The Fallout time limit is a classic and a mechanic I quite liked; as I think as others have stated, it suited the game perfectly. I also enjoyed the unique dialogue time limit in Alpha Protocol and felt it was a good try to implement something different with a time element.
MCA asks the question : if I, as a game designer, want to introduce the same level of time pressure and instill the player with a sense of urgency, what can I do?
A couple of basic ideas:
- Write suitably urgent and focused dialogue for the event in question to carry the meaning to the player.
- Give some additional incentives for the player to tarry not! (Rewards?)
- Offer some insight into possible consequences for dallying; give player clues and cues by which to measure their play.
- Use audio stimuli to create suitable tension in moments/encounters to carry a sense of urgency.
Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
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