Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Ketchaval

world changes over time.

Recommended Posts

One last post for the meantime (since I post too much). One thing that I've been thinking of recently is, why so many gameworlds don't evolve with time once you get to a certain point, you have seen everything that is in the game, and there is nothing left to discover. (Having read about games like Animal Crossing, which is linked to the system's clock and features different events depending on the season / time / day. such as weekly karaeoke, and the Japanese Cherry Blossom viewing..). And thought about Sim Games such as Sim City where things evolve over time. It must be possible to have games where new "random encounters" are available each day, or where the game world evolves over time. For example, new content could be downloaded each week.. The inevitable problem is that of quality, it is much easier to guarantee worthwhile content when the game content is 'fixed'. This would be a great tactic to create an army of couch potatoes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was thinking about this a while back in terms of some sort of Soldier of Fortune style FPS. The idea being that certain missions are offered to you with a time in mind. Something like ''drug barons regularly shipping drugs to a harbour at 2 in the morning''. In order to do the mission you had to load up the game at 2 in the morning.

Or maybe even leaving clues as to when is a better time to attack a mission, like when the guards switch or when security maintenance is being done.

I just thought it would be a nice way of bringing the game into the real world by making the player select specific times to play, synchronizing the game environment etc with the clock time.

I always thought that could be quite nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by m_wherrett
Something like ''drug barons regularly shipping drugs to a harbour at 2 in the morning''. In order to do the mission you had to load up the game at 2 in the morning.

Real-time games used to be a lot more common years ago but proved to be unpopular. The games market is seeking to expand and bring in more mainstream customers. People like that are not going to build their life around their computer so special features such as those you describe will only ever appeal to a minority. While they are fun and interesting concepts (and good for a few press inches in the hints n tips section) it wont ever be worth investing large amounts into this sort of thing when few customers will ever see it.



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, ''realtime'' play is an interesting concept, but something that only a very dedicated few would be interested in (as Obscure points out).


I was rather thinking that I could load up a game again, and find that there were new things in there. Not puzzle elements, but rather minor treasures and meeting warring enemies.. kind of like the random encounter system in Fallout 1 and 2.

Where you could find lots of things, from a solitary merchant with a few fruit for sale, to a high-tech battle, to an attack by slavers on a merchant''s caravan, to special encounters which were sometimes references to pop-culture (such as the Hitchhiker''s Guide to the Galaxy etc. or amusing little sketches.

Small treasures could be added to the map at random, (like Diablo?).
The world itself could even change overtime, depending on how much was simulated, rivers could flood seasonaly, there could be subsidence revealing dangerous mineshafts, small forests could grow over time - and attract wild creatures. Trees could become breeding grounds for birds? Etc.

You might even be able to freely download other people''s modifications, as you can in The Sims, where you can download in-game items.

The developer could make ''encounter'' add-on packs (along with extra-levels and quests so that the pack was worthbuying.).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can simulate time passing without requiring your game to run in a 24h cycle. That would make it boresome, and does not exactly fits in a "game" context, that often goes much faster than the real life.

Would you endure to watch a movie that tells about a character's life during two whole days, in full real time (the movie's duration would be 48 hours)? Even if it's an interesting concept, would you have the time do to it?

A nice and viable approach is having the game time run faster than the real time. As in games like Shenmue and Zelda (but in Zelda the time stops in certain areas, wheres in Shenmue the clock is always running).

Shenmue is more or less an example of such thing, since the game relies a lot on the clock. Some places are only open during certain times, some characters have daily routines, and, even if the envronment doesn't change much, the characters routines makes the game world have a fresh and organic feel.

--EDIT--

But let's not forget the Shenmue games cost a few million dollars to be made, since they have insane amounts of different models, mini-events, areas to explore and spoken dialogue.

[edited by - M3d10n on July 4, 2003 3:33:31 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites