Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1364825 Posts in 63862 Topics- by 55745 Members - Latest Member: TallGuyProds

August 25, 2019, 11:16:46 AM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallForum IssuesArchived subforums (read only)CreativeSpace Simulation City Builder Time Mechanic
Poll
Question: In a city builder simulation game do you prefer constant time or turn based time?
Real Time (with speed modifiers) - 1 (33.3%)
Turn Based - 2 (66.7%)
Total Voters: 2

Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Space Simulation City Builder Time Mechanic  (Read 859 times)
badrobit
Level 0
**



View Profile
« on: September 22, 2016, 08:12:45 AM »

I am currently building a game engine for a space-based 4x game that is based around colonizing your solar system so a large focus on colony management. I am currently working out one of the core mechanics which is how "time" will work. Games like Sim City and Cities Skylines tend to use a constantly moving time scale with speed modifiers and 4x games tend to use turn-based mechanics.

Myself I am leaning a bit more towards turn-based but I am wondering what everyone here has a preference for and why.

Thanks for taking the time!
Logged
cow_trix
Level 0
***


Meat Popsicle


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2016, 10:30:52 PM »

I don't really know what type of game you're making, and there isn't a "right" choice or anything, this is a design decision. Consider the role of time as a gameplay element. There's a bazillion options for how to structure time. As you say, a lot of 4x games have the ability to control time absolutely - they can pause for as long as they like, speed the game up, slow the game down. Really, in terms of real gameplay design, I don't see a significant difference between this and turn-based designs. Time is a perfectly controllable, no-pressure variable in both, the only real change is in the size of the turns. There isn't really a difference.

So really, I think the decision is this - do you give the player perfect control of time? It has some pros and cons IMO. Perhaps it is just a foundational part of 4x games that they will have slow and busy times, that it is good to skip. On the other hand, I can't help but feel that it is a bandaid for bad design. "Oh, there's a significant period of time where the game is boring? Let's just give the player a fast-forward button, instead of fixing the root causes of that." Another thing I think is that it takes away what could be a really fun pressure-force, time management.
Logged

@cow_trix
I make games and you should play them.
badrobit
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2016, 07:13:03 AM »

The type of game I am making is a mix of 4X and city builder. I don't really want the game to devolve into using war to win which is what I see happen most often in 4X. Instead, I would like for it to focus more on resource gathering, management, discovery and colony growth. Of course, war will be an option but I don't want it to be the main focus.

Thanks for taking the time to answer! You have brought up some really good points and I am really going to have to think about them. I never really thought about the fact that 4X games slow down in the middle as an indicator for possible bad design.

I mean I love Stellaris but like you have mentioned there is a large amount of time in the middle when things are pretty dull and repetitive and maybe time control is not the best way to deal with this. I like the idea of having fixed time steps like in Civ5 as it makes keeping things organized on my end a bit easier.
Logged
valrus
Level 3
***


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2016, 02:27:30 PM »

One thing that shapes the experience of Civilization and its direct descendants is the use of interlocking wheels of progress.  For any given progress bar (say, research), there's an anticipation period (when you're about to get the benefit), a honeymoon period (hey I have riflemen now let's build 'em!), and a neutral period where you're neither.  Both the anticipation period and the honeymoon period keep you clicking "next turn" rather than finally going to sleep.  Civilization has a bunch of these wheels interlocking so you're always just a few turns from a new toy and a new decision to make.

If the original SimCity had had a "next turn" button, it wouldn't really have worked.  There's not much to anticipate, except sometimes your funds raising enough to buy your next thing, and buying your next thing doesn't really change gameplay much.  The joys of SimCity weren't the joys of craving and anticipating, so clicking a button to inch yourself closer to your craving wouldn't have worked. 

Crusader Kings II might at first seem like it's like Civilization, but it's nothing like it; rather, like SimCity, it's a complex simulation where you affect some aspect and then observe how the simulation reacts.  But there's little to *anticipate*, really, and it'd be hard to motivate someone to keep hitting that button.

Meanwhile, it wouldn't have really worked to put the variable-speed real-time in Civilization.  What's the point of anticipation if you can just fast-forward to what you're anticipating?

So the question I'd put to you is whether your game is more "interlocking wheels of progress" or "complex terrarium for observing the effects of actions"?
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic