The Game Boy: Why Games Need to Quit Wasting Time

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pet789

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FKSSR

Great article, though I think that there are substitutes for time. I'm finally getting around to Metro 2033 right now, and while I have not spent a considerable amount of time in the world or with the people, I do feel a connection. This is partly due to the slower pacing, but it's also due to the characters that are largely believable and the world that seems to be living around me. I have not seen any changes to the world yet, but I am given a sense of how it has changed before through the characters and narrative voice-overs.

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bling581

"Skyrim, for instance, bases its entire existence on the idea that you'll eat, sleep, and breathe it for days or even months – probably at the slowly fatal expense of eating, sleeping, and breathing. And yet, even as in-game years fly by, nothing changes. Seasons stagnate, cities neither rise nor fall, and the world's inhabitants may as well be starring in Groundhog Day. It's jarring, to say the least – less like a living world and more like the occasionally writhing corpse of one."

Unless you ramp up the time ratio I have a hard time believing that you've played Skyrim long enough for more than a few years to go by. What do you expect to see change in that short amount of time? Believe it or not there are some events that occur in the game that are based around certain dates such as holidays and other events. The Elder Scroll games may lack apparent change in the average game day, but each game represents different periods of time on a larger scale. Could they have done both? Yeah, but I find that lore is more important to the game experience then being able to visual see change as the days go by.

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t.y.wan

Like the time when someone killed a dragon in the middle of a city, or assassinated a person in the middle of city square...
Yet, people walks by everyday for "game time" months, like a dead insect.

The wait function is really wtf... they must have known people hated to wait 30secs at a time just for some dude to show up at the right time, ingredients to respawn... Vendors to replenish products from their asses and maybe gold as well (like in fallout3 and New Vegas).

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bling581

"Like the time when someone killed a dragon in the middle of a city, or assassinated a person in the middle of city square...
Yet, people walks by everyday for "game time" months, like a dead insect."

Perhaps that's a bug? The dragon corpses always despawn for me.

Yeah, I agree that the waiting is tedious, but what else would you suggest? They have to manage time somehow. If you're trying to make several days go by instead of a few hours try using the console codes. You can change the timescale as much as you want. Set it at 1 for real time, or make it 1,000,000 and watch months fly by in a matter of seconds.

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bling581

Double post

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CatherineMcClarey

Tunnels & Trolls: Crusaders of Khazan (New World Computing, 1990) did pay some attention to the calendar: your party couldn't buy food on one day each week ("Fastday"), and one of the 2 weapons which could kill the main boss in the game (Leotra'ah) could only be used during a specific 5-day period at the end of each game year. King of Dragon Pass (A-Sharp, 1999 (Windows/Mac), 2011 (iOS) does have characters growing up, aging and dying over the course of the game, as well as definite seasonal restrictions on what activites can be done when. Sid Meier's Civilization series, however, is the one game I've played myself where the whole look of the game environment changes over time, as learning certain technologies propels your civilization into the next era.

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Ghok

I remember when I first got Grand Theft Auto 4 and was really into it, I'd come home, make dinner, then sit in front of Niko Bellic's TV and watch it while I ate. Then I'd go drive around and do missions for a few hours.

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