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Okay, so this is something that I just thought of while responding to something in my Arcanum thread, but I think it's good enough to warrant it's own thread. It has to do with "game world reactivity". I apologize if there is a more "correct" term for it, but I don't know all the vocabulary associated with gaming. Basically, the discussion was about whether it is "acceptable" for the equivalent of months/years to pass in the game world, vice days/weeks. I am of the opinion that it is, because it is more "realistic", in that very few events are accomplished in days or weeks. The Civil Rights struggles of the 60s/70s took years, wars typically take at least months, Bruce Lee didn't become a master in weeks, it took Columbus over a year to "find" the New World, etc. So, I just like for the game world to have time progress a little more quickly, because it ultimately makes it feel "more authentic". Not only that, but I get a greater sense of accomplishment out of it, when I think that my character has literally spent months or years working to "defeat the threatening evil" or "subjugating the lands", or whatever. But this isn't directly about days/weeks vs. months/years. This is about how the game "reacts" to you. Below is the method I thought of and really like, though I don't know how feasible it would be to program, as it sounds pretty complex. I made a poll of the various other methods I could think of off-hand, so I'd love to see what everyone else thinks about it and why. For me, it doesn't have to all be continuous, never-ending adventure, where I'm going from fight to fight, finding the next NPC to get a quest from. I like for their to some sort of sense of urgency to the main quest, but I prefer to be something that is encouraged through game mechanics, rather than being forced on me. So, instead of, "you need to complete this within 24 hours" (which might be nice occasionally, as there are things that if they aren't taken care of immediately, will result in disastrous results- like Paul Revere not making his ride, for instance), it goes like this: if it is not completed within 24 hours, the game "responds" by doing x; if it isn't within 72 hours, y; if it isn't with 96 hours z; etc. Basically, as time goes on, more bad things happen as a result of not "attending to" the issue. So if you don't take out a group of bandits like you have been contracted to do, merchants start providing fewer goods. Then, they become unwilling/unable to participate in trade. Then, bandits begin attacking inside the village, and so on. That way, there are direct results from choosing to accept quests and not completing them, or possibly even from just being made aware of them and not taking some sort of action one way or the other. You could potentially even have triggers that are independent of that, where they just begin as soon as you get to an area. So, all the "quest" options for an area are on a countdown. As soon as you get to that area, the countdown begins. If you don't find out what the actual "quests" are, either by stumbling upon them or being told about them, it doesn't change the "escalations" of the situations. So if you begin wondering why it is that there are more bandit attacks, or abductions, or less goods, whatever, you will find out there is a quest related to it.
The first printing press, courtesy of Johan Gutenburg, appeared in 1450. This invention is right up there with penicillin, the Internet, the machine gun and all sorts of other, radical world-changing technologies and discoveries. The printed word allowed ideas to percolate up and down the social strata of societies in a way we might struggle to understand, or take for granted, right now. In fact, the written word was a vehicle of the Reformation, and later Fascism and Communism. Like the Internet, it was a force for both positive and the negative. It accelerated education. It was instrumental in the emancipation of the oppressed. In short: it was a Big Deal. Now in Project Eternity we have a world where, for some reason, technology has developed unevenly. Imagine how much more dangerous that world might be --- where guns and mighty galleons, a world where Gods can inspire the development of bombs, coexist with dark aged superstition and dogma? So this thread is about that. Start with a counter-factual if you wish, or perhaps how this fits in with the lore of the world. And I know that printing presses aren't as sexy as swords, spells and loot but in the context of the setting I think it's an interesting topic.