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While you were gone

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Bit of an odd idea this one but what do people think about their character doing things in between play sessions? Each day between play sessions would count as one game day. When the player gets back to playing they’d get a rundown of what’s happened since they last played. Types of Events: Social – Go out drinking with friends, date, work if they have another job, etc Trait based – Gambling addicts go off gambling, alcoholics go drinking, tinkers try their hand building something. Shopping – go off and upgrade some old gear, buy some new possibly pointless things. What do you think would it make your character feel more real if things happened while you were gone? What sort of activities would you like them to get up to? And how significant should they be? Would it turn you off of playing if took a break for the weekend and found out on Monday that your character who is a drug addicted, raver, and hacker blew though all the cash you had earned last week on a drug fuelled weekend of partying, met a fun new girl, somehow found time to upgrade the speed of the descrambling program, and now needs to sleep for a week to recover.

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Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
Would it turn you off of playing if took a break for the weekend and found out on Monday that your character who is a drug addicted, raver, and hacker blew though all the cash you had earned last week on a drug fuelled weekend of partying, met a fun new girl, somehow found time to upgrade the speed of the descrambling program, and now needs to sleep for a week to recover.
I like it all, apart from those two highlit points. I love the idea of a character with their own personality and life between gaming sessions, but if I have to spend every play session grinding for cash because my character spent it while I was away, or all play session with the character dozing off, then I won't have any fun.

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Be careful with this one. I've seen the basic concept-- time running whether you're there or not-- done in some other games with mixed results. Plant Tycoon and Virtual Villagers (don't ask me how I know this) are two games where you can log on to find your work in ruins (all stock dead/start over in the first and I think in the second the villagers are worse off or run away, can't remember for sure). Then of course there's the host of MMOs, especially ones like Evony, where you can go away for a lovely vacation in the hills and find months of effort destroyed in a single night.

If the fuel for this idea is, at heart, the notion that your little people behind the screen are alive and go about their business without you I'd say go for it so long as you remove drastic negative consequences or have strong safeguards. In my book the player should feel responsible for the state they find their avatar in.

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How about treating offline time as a gambling token? When the player logs in, they get a choice what to gamble the time on. The results of the gamble should usually be something mildly good, less commonly really great or mildly bad, never disastrous.

The other alternative would be treat it like the funny mad-libs newspaper in SimCity - just a little gossip, not having any gameplay weight.

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