I would like some feedback from the readers on this article:http://www.consolegold.com/News/news.php?NewsID=4071
Consider this situation: You are standing on the engineering deck of the latest spaceship. The ship is under attack by mysterious alien forces, and the main reactor is damaged. If you don't do anything, it will blow in two minutes. You have everything you need to repair the reactor, but you don't know how the different pieces go together.
This kind of setup was common in the Infocom and Sierra adventure games. You were the hero, you had what it took to overcome any challenges, and the world was going to explode in two minutes. Well...not really. Older adventure games suffered from a serious flaw. You could stand there figuring out the puzzle through trial and error over several hours, and the game would happily wait for you. And this problem isn't limited to the older late 80s to mid 90s games. In some cases, this persists into current adventure, RPG, and platform games. The story would impose a time limit on you, but the world itself would sit and wait until you talked to the next important story character, or connected that importand widget to advance the plot. This reliance on event based situations takes all the urgency out of the story. You, the player, had no reason to be drawn in to the situation. For some players, this can completely break the story or the immersion in the setting.
The upside to this event based planning is that the player can play the game at their own pace. This allows for more puzzles that need to be thought out and carefully considered. On the other hand, it would be interesting to have a game that ran in real time. If a designer took a series like “24” and turned it into a game that took twenty four hours to play, you would have some very different adventure/action/mystery concepts on your hands. They could use a branching structure that allowed for mistakes to be made, and/or allow for multiple plays through the game. Maybe there could even be different endings for the game.
I would like to hear from you! Would adventure/RPG/action games benefit from a real time concept? Or does their dependence on events to drive the story appeal to you? Please email me at [email protected]