Time Limit Discussion

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AuthorTopic: Time Limit Discussion
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #25
And that's what I also stated: think about what kind of timelimit this is: a real timelimit (which doesn't occur in my scenario, except for an attack on a fort, but for the rest nothing serious), or just an event. In my scenario there are mostly events, and no real timelimits.

It's not right what you said about the official in my scenario. the major to whome you gave all the information, actually says that you should be patient, and the that man might need some time to round all things up and get the official arrested.

In my scenario it's more like in Avernum 3 then in the Za-khazi run: cities crumble and people flee after certain periods of time, or when a certain thing happens. I think it makes it all more realistic. the player can choose: shall I do it all quickly, so everybody will be safe, or shall I do it slowly and see the province crumble.

In the case of Dintiradan, I advise the event on timer part, combined with a timelimit. Are the Vahnatai really furious for whatever you did, and are they going to storm the city at once, or do they send an ultimatum? Do certain things happen to weaken the city, caused by the vahnatai (think of murders and the like), so they can attack later? However, at a certain point the time is up and they should attack.

[ Friday, January 20, 2006 03:35: Message edited by: Thralni, Nephil translators & co. ]

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Where the rivers meet
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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #26
Hmmm... good comments all.

At the moment, my plan would be to base certain events on the Heroes' actions, and others on a timeline scale (for instance, increase the number of wandering Vahnatai as the party gains in power, and have attacks on the town as time goes by).

Anyway, this will be my approach:
1: Create a completely static scenario. Back it up.
2: Make events based on actions. Back it up.
3: Add in a timeline. Back it up.
4: Decide which is best. If I'm not sure, ask beta testers to decide which of the three is best.

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I think 'as constant as a dragon's gender' should become part of the Avernum lexicon.
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #27
Our approach to timing in our current project scenario is very similar to that used by Thralni: not a time-limit per se, but more like a timeline.

The problem with a timeline is that a completely static timeline can either cause major gaps between significant events, or cause a huge backlog of plot-central missions, as seen in Exile III.

In our scenario, the world does not come to an end if nothing is done in time.
Instead, the adventurers are "guided" through a series of pre-set events that occur at specific points on the timeline. The scenario as a whole is being crafted to make certain events occur at specific times, without creating gaps with nothing to do, or creating a backlog of plot-central missions.

There are several ways that this can be done:
The most common system, not unlike Avernum III, relies entirely upon SDFs to move the plot, and day counters to make life interesting.
This, however, does not help the influence of time on plot-related events.
A different tactic, which we are experimenting with right now, involves concrete times for events and finding ways to detain the party from reaching the location of events until after they happen. This can be done by introducing a new mission, forcing the party to rest, inserting a special encounter or four, and random, complex scripting to that nature.
This seems to be rather cumbersome, but it preserves the concrete plot clock without timing issues.
A third method, about which we have only theorized and have yet to test, involves a combination of the two in a fate/effect relational system. In this system, an SDF (or several) is linked to a counter, and is moved as time passes. If certain events occur, a call separate from the counter moves the SDF, and the counter continues with its script. In theory, this maintains the "days" and deadlines within the timeline, while shortening the gaps between important missions, as dependant upon the player's skill.

The real issue between the four systems is the sanctity of the timeline. Must the Doomsday Bomb be launched on Day 17, or should it be launched two days after the party discovers Captain Hero imprisoned in Mega Evil Dude's massive fortress? Or did Mega Evil Dude realize you were there and reschedule the launch to right then?

Despite whatever method we end up using, the aforementioned "Just-in-time" event must occur at some points in our scenario, in order to give the sense of urgency, as well as reveal key plot elements.
What else would the odds be of the party stumbling into Mega Evil Dude at Polly's Bar during the five minutes that he stops in for a drink?
Or of the raiding party attacking Fort Somewhere while the party isn't around?

If a scenario is reliant upon extra-party events happening in a certain sequence, there needs to be an amount of flexability in the events, so that the player isn't overwhelmed by a time limit, or has to waste two days waiting for the next event to happen.

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-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #28
One question: Do you enjoy talking as if you were a hive mind collective?

If you do, we are not impressed. :D

[ Friday, January 20, 2006 19:43: Message edited by: *i ]

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #29
quote:
Originally written by *i:

One question: Do you enjoy talking as if you were a hive mind collective?

If you do, we are not impressed. :D

Lenar Labs is a collaborative effort. There are two of us.
Though at times, it feels like a hive mind. Dang implants... wasn't a good idea... I told him... :D
-"Lord Grimm"

[ Friday, January 20, 2006 21:05: Message edited by: Lenar Labs ]

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-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00

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