And thanks to you both for your input. What I forgot to tell was that I am actually making a CRPG authoring system - not just a single game - otherwise my professor would not accept the project.
The project site is: http://fp.image.dk/fpelisjac/rolemaker/index.htm
To put the decision of time speed into the domain of the game world (like Mason suggests) means that the underlying engine should accept various time speeds. The author of the rule system (also not placed in the engine) can then select the speed of time for each situation. This is certainly a solution worth considering, but it this would mean increasing the complexity of authoring games. It would be preferably if I could isolate all these decisions in the engine.
And to felisandria, I can only agree that sitting in front of the screen in 8 hours watching somebody sleeping, is extemely boring and totally out of the question.
And about the Baldur's Gate sleeping policy: I do not think it is a good idea to enforce that all party members should sleep at the same time. For networked games for only a few players I believe that the game just should be timed for the player which is at the earliest game time moment. So if a party member decides to sleep, then he must sit in front of the screen while the other party members go adventuring.
And your comment about random encounters; I do not like the whole idea of random encounters. In my opinion creatures should not just appear out of nowhere just because the party sits down and rests. Encounters should only occur if creatures would have come by the location anyway - which unfortunately requires more computation to determine. I am attempting to create a believable functioning community, which means that if a party goes into a room in a dungeon, locks the door and then goes to sleep, they do not suddenly wake up surprised by kobolds - like it happens in Baldur's Gate. The amount of creatures and items in the world should stay the same throughout the game.
I have never played Darkstone. Tell me more.
B.S. Jacob Marner
Graduate Student of Computer Science, The University of Copenhagen, Denmark.