"In Time" style gameplay
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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:03 PM
I watched the movie In Time last night and I was greatly impressed by the world and the main conflict, though I thought the movie as a movie was kind of cheesy. But then I thought: "What a cool idea for a game!" Hopefully you've seen it, but just in case you haven't, here's a quick summary of the main conflict.
**Small spoiler alert**
The idea is that everyone is born with a green timer on their wrist that currently has one year on it. They age until they are 25 and then the timer starts counting down, idicating how much time they have to live. Because they only have a year, they can earn time like we earn money, and in fact, time is their currency. Their jobs pay them in time, and they can transfer it between each other by interlocking their wrists. They have no limit to the amount of time they can accumulate, so they can actually live forever if they have enough time. The main conflict is that the rich can live forever and the poor die young.
I just think this idea is really cool, and could be implemented well in a game! I personally was thinking something of a third person rpg, but can see it being part of a Mirror's Edge style world, or maybe even Deus Ex. The timer would always be on the screen and the player would have to keep accumulating time by various means which he or she would then spend on items, finishing mission, etc. I could see this idea implemented in a lot of different ways, and I'm wondering if anyone else thinks the same!
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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:37 PM
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Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:43 AM
To even the odds between different player types, the time resources could be rewarded according to archetypical behaviour:
- Intelligence - Being smart about what to do in the game.
- Reaction - Reacting to sudden challenges (ambush, environment changes, etc).
- Tenacity - Being constantly on the target and taking bigger risks.
- Social - Excelling at non-combat interaction (dialogue, making allies, saving lives that come back to reward you later, etc).
In other words, a "less able" player would be able to beat the game but only use extra abilities sparingly (and thus have a more protracted story progression). The "more able" player would beat the game in more flashy ways (not necessarily quicker, though, although that could still be part of the benefits array).
Edited by DrMadolite, 30 April 2012 - 05:51 AM.
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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:51 AM
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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:34 AM
Obviously, the player would collect time in various ways, and they could collect it from people. But could they collect it from defeated enemies? My gut instinct says no because it's time and not a tangible object, but then again, most games reward players for completing tasks and defeating enemies. Even on a more extrapolated level, I don't think the player would recieve time for completing missions unless they directly have to do with the acquisition of time! This would make the player work to create ways to obtain time, and if it is a sandbox style game, there would be hundreds of ways to do this.
You said that time would drive the player to create ways to obtain time, which could in turn be rewarded for archetypical behavior. I think this idea is good, but I also think that the idea may have a serious limitation. In order to create and maintain the adrenaline rush and the fear factor of death, the amount of time the player is rewarded for completing tasks would have to be very small, I think somewhere on the scale of 20 minutes or some value that would keep the player's time relatively low. Of course, the player will have spurts where he accumulates large amounts of time, maybe even years at once, but gameplay elements would force him to use it up. I can imagine what kind of fear a player would get when he doesn't quite calculate right, and buys an item at a shop and is left with only five minutes!
I totally get that, I'm mainly just throwing ideas out there right now to see others have the similar thoughts. I won't even think very hard about designing a game based on the idea of time as currency until summer (if ever).
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:35 AM
You said that time would drive the player to create ways to obtain time, which could in turn be rewarded for archetypical behavior. I think this idea is good, but I also think that the idea may have a serious limitation.
Have in mind that it's not actually just one idea, but a large group of functions that each need to come together to work properly. So you're absolutely correct, if you look at it as a static absolute. But I'm my case, you probably shouldn't because I don't know *bleep* about programming yet (thus my replies are somewhat generalized).
In order to create and maintain the adrenaline rush and the fear factor of death, the amount of time the player is rewarded for completing tasks would have to be very small, I think somewhere on the scale of 20 minutes or some value that would keep the player's time relatively low. Of course, the player will have spurts where he accumulates large amounts of time, maybe even years at once, but gameplay elements would force him to use it up. I can imagine what kind of fear a player would get when he doesn't quite calculate right, and buys an item at a shop and is left with only five minutes!
But that assumes that there are no time-resource controlling elements in the game. All of the problems referred to here, are controllable as a designer. You do it by adding additional gameplay mechanics and/or moderating old ones. This is why playtesting is so essential - not as much because it reveals things you didn't know, but because it eviscerates the things that you thought you knew.
I guess that's why I like computers so much - they blatantly tell the truth without being afraid of your reaction.
Edited by DrMadolite, 01 May 2012 - 05:40 AM.
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:40 PM
However, if you go the route of a traditional shooter, or any other genre where you are defeating enemies in the traditional sense, you may find the content to be a bit sadistic. It is a pretty horrible message you are sending if the point of the game is to kill others for the sole purpose of living longer. I'm not exactly sure how you should approach this idea, just adding my thoughts to the pot.
Edited by jfulmer, 01 May 2012 - 04:41 PM.