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Make Day and Night actually MATTER and be FUNCTIONAL


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And when you rest should have some effect, as well. I think that, maybe, you shouldn't even be able to simply "Rest until dawn!" whilst just standing outside a shop, waiting for a sword to be made or something. If you're out in the woods... sure. But, you really shouldn't be able to make camp in the middle of a town. That would kinda be in people's ways. And you shouldn't be able to just sleep on the ground in the middle of a town, either. People would worry you were dead, or guards would throw you in prison 'til the morning to keep you out of drunken trouble.

 

IIRC you couldn't just rest in the street in either BG game, but it's been a while so my memory could be foggy.

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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And when you rest should have some effect, as well. I think that, maybe, you shouldn't even be able to simply "Rest until dawn!" whilst just standing outside a shop, waiting for a sword to be made or something. If you're out in the woods... sure. But, you really shouldn't be able to make camp in the middle of a town. That would kinda be in people's ways. And you shouldn't be able to just sleep on the ground in the middle of a town, either. People would worry you were dead, or guards would throw you in prison 'til the morning to keep you out of drunken trouble.

 

IIRC you couldn't just rest in the street in either BG game, but it's been a while so my memory could be foggy.

 

Indeed The guards would roust you and tell you to find an inn - same thing happened to me in LA in the 60's! :yes:

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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1. When you travel between areas, you walk all day and all night, sometimes for days, until you arrive at your destination, usually at 3 am, and always EXHAUSTED if the game (Baldur's Gate, imma lookin' at you) has a fatigue mechanic.

1. Travel times should assume that you will stop when it gets dark and not resume until it gets light. If you really want to go nuts, there could be a "forced march" option (assuming that there are any times when it actually matters whether it takes you 14 hours or 24 to get from point A. to point B., if there aren't, who cares). This will also mean that you will arrive at your destination DURING THE DAY. Granted, it might be like, 2 minutes from nightfall, in which case, yeah, it makes sense that your party would be fatigued on arrival. But this should be pretty dang rare.

Unless you actually had confirmation from the designers then you don't know that some of those walking times had included the time needed for rest. And if a walknig period states 24 even if you rested for 8 or even 10 of those hours fatigue would be a natural side affect from such a long trek. not to mention the magical light sources could turn traveling at night into easy as day.

2. Stores close in towns but in non-town areas everybody apparently stays awake and alert at all hours, just in case someone wanders by in need of a quest or some dialog.

I don't know about you but I don't like the idea of missing quests because the npc will be wandering around. And the only your character would know that is if they watched them for 24 hours straight. Now who's not roleplaying realistically?

3. Day and night last EXACTLY THE SAME LENGTH OF TIME.

3. This is not true anywhere on Earth except for 2 days a year. It can't possibly be that hard to code a variable day length based on the time of year. Also, changing seasons would be really, really, incredibly, awesome. Indescribably awesome, and this is something you could actually do reasonably well with this kind of game setup. I'd suggest having some transition animations (like the day/night cinematic in Baldur's Gate), but that don't just do day/night transitions but also seasonal transitions. Generally when there's a big seasonal transition, there's a change in the weather that results in thunderstorms/rain/snowstorms/a hurricane. I'd be perfectly happy and I think maybe a lot of other people would be, too, if when it comes time for the seasons to change, you get a little popup about it being the "first snow of the year" and then it switches to the snow-covered area version. The more subtle seasonal changes (spring-summer, summer-autumn) could be handled pretty easily with just some palette color swaps on trees and (maybe) grass.

I think your day and night Idea is pretty good. it shouldn't take up much time to set that up. However I have to say a big no to the seasonal change idea. Not because it wouldn't be a nice touch but because it would just eat up too much resources for not a lot of gain. I'd rather have the animators have time to develop 14 new areas than see snow and leaves changing colors.
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1. When you travel between areas, you walk all day and all night, sometimes for days, until you arrive at your destination, usually at 3 am, and always EXHAUSTED if the game (Baldur's Gate, imma lookin' at you) has a fatigue mechanic.

1. Travel times should assume that you will stop when it gets dark and not resume until it gets light. If you really want to go nuts, there could be a "forced march" option (assuming that there are any times when it actually matters whether it takes you 14 hours or 24 to get from point A. to point B., if there aren't, who cares). This will also mean that you will arrive at your destination DURING THE DAY. Granted, it might be like, 2 minutes from nightfall, in which case, yeah, it makes sense that your party would be fatigued on arrival. But this should be pretty dang rare.

Unless you actually had confirmation from the designers then you don't know that some of those walking times had included the time needed for rest. And if a walknig period states 24 even if you rested for 8 or even 10 of those hours fatigue would be a natural side affect from such a long trek. not to mention the magical light sources could turn traveling at night into easy as day.

Yeah, but if a game mechanic falls in the woods and no one's around to hear it, does it make a sound? 8). Seriously, though, if all the "actually accounting for resting times" bit is doing is adding to your travel time, then there's no point in having it in there. Also, she was citing a game that had a fatigue mechanic, and stating that you always arrived from a journey quite fatigued, unless you specifically stopped to manually rest.

2. Stores close in towns but in non-town areas everybody apparently stays awake and alert at all hours, just in case someone wanders by in need of a quest or some dialog.

I don't know about you but I don't like the idea of missing quests because the npc will be wandering around. And the only your character would know that is if they watched them for 24 hours straight. Now who's not roleplaying realistically?

 

I don't think she was suggesting NPC's just wander aimlessly. But that it's perhaps, slightly unimmersive that an 8-year-old child is just standing on the outskirts of town at 2AM because he's still waiting on you to find the flute he dropped by the river and bring it back to him.

 

I think it would be pretty interesting if they simply had the NPCs sleep at their dwelling (unless there was some specific reason for them to be up and in a certain place) in the middle of the night, but perhaps you could still "turn in" a quest at their humble abode. I personally don't think I would mind being briefly woken up to be told that the remains and personal effects of my long lost brother who disappeared without a trace 3 months ago had been found, or that my 1,000-silver debt to the corrupt tavernkeeper was no longer an issue. Of course, things that went beyond delivering an item or some information to someone would sometimes still require a certain time of day.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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2. Stores close in towns but in non-town areas everybody apparently stays awake and alert at all hours, just in case someone wanders by in need of a quest or some dialog.

I don't know about you but I don't like the idea of missing quests because the npc will be wandering around. And the only your character would know that is if they watched them for 24 hours straight. Now who's not roleplaying realistically?

 

I don't think she was suggesting NPC's just wander aimlessly. But that it's perhaps, slightly unimmersive that an 8-year-old child is just standing on the outskirts of town at 2AM because he's still waiting on you to find the flute he dropped by the river and bring it back to him.

 

I think it would be pretty interesting if they simply had the NPCs sleep at their dwelling (unless there was some specific reason for them to be up and in a certain place) in the middle of the night, but perhaps you could still "turn in" a quest at their humble abode. I personally don't think I would mind being briefly woken up to be told that the remains and personal effects of my long lost brother who disappeared without a trace 3 months ago had been found, or that my 1,000-silver debt to the corrupt tavernkeeper was no longer an issue. Of course, things that went beyond delivering an item or some information to someone would sometimes still require a certain time of day.

Lets assume they do this and the other suggestion of making night's longer during the winter. I dont want to see a situation where i say to myself "crap its 5:30pm. better do nothing for the next 14 hours of game time". that sounds like a poorly thoughtout mechanic that serves no real purpose or value. Might as well require our heroes to have bathroom breaks.
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3. This is not true anywhere on Earth except for 2 days a year.

 

On the equator actually, it is. Though the day appears a little longer in most places (terrain affects this) due to the refraction of the sun in the atmosphere. The actual times of sunset and sunrise are fairly constant.Though I don't recall the day/night cycle being 12/12 in Baldur's Gate. Regardless.. the IE games didn't take place on Earth, and I don't expect PE to take place on Earth either (the plot twist that has a story take place in the far off future or past of earth is a bit overused in TV, books, and movies). Static dawn and dusk times don't bother me. If the game's story realistically spans a great many many months (if I recall right my longest BG playthrough in which I did everything and wasted a lot of time was still less than 90 days) then perhaps seasons might add something, but barring the story or realistic completion of that story taking 150+ days (I wouldn't mind if it did) season changes really aren't only not necessary but not really realistic.

 

That said, again... PE won't be on earth... so the day/night and season cycle of that planet may not be the same as earth's. It's a fantasy game, they can take liberties with them. In some fantasy settings, the length of seasons or their even existance in a given year changes. ie: Song of Ice and Fire

 

While seasons might be cool (I certainly love my RL season changes), they really likely aren't all that necessary in game and may even be out of place in it, depending on story length..

 

As far as being able to sell your stuff, excepting certain items and depending on where in the world you were it was usually possible to sell your stuff to a tavern owner in the BG games. Baldur's Gate didn't do day/night perfect, but it did it well. Tweaking that, not overhauling it, is probably best. We need to remember this is a game too, not a simulation.

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Lets assume they do this and the other suggestion of making night's longer during the winter. I dont want to see a situation where i say to myself "crap its 5:30pm. better do nothing for the next 14 hours of game time". that sounds like a poorly thoughtout mechanic that serves no real purpose or value. Might as well require our heroes to have bathroom breaks.

 

Unless the entirity of the game's gameplay involves NPCs in towns being awake for you to interact with, I think no one was suggesting a game in which you do nothing for 14 hours. And why 14-hour sleep times?

 

As much immersion as is reasonably possible should always be the goal. Just like you don't want enemies' "AI" in combat to amount to some silly dodge-attack-runaway pattern that just loops over and over and over, you don't want everyone in a town to just stand around in the same spot all the time as if they aren't even REMOTELY real people. If you don't care about them behaving like people at all, then you might as well just have a Borderlands bountyboard in the middle of town where you arbitrarily consolidate all the quests in the game and can turn them in whenever, and just don't even have visible NPCs anywhere in the game who aren't combatants.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Yeah, but if a game mechanic falls in the woods and no one's around to hear it, does it make a sound? 8). Seriously, though, if all the "actually accounting for resting times" bit is doing is adding to your travel time, then there's no point in having it in there. Also, she was citing a game that had a fatigue mechanic, and stating that you always arrived from a journey quite fatigued, unless you specifically stopped to manually rest.

 

Yes. If you arrive at your destination exhausted at 3am, it's pretty clear that you're not stopping to camp when it gets dark. If you stop and camp when it gets too dark to see, you have to arrive at your destination during the day. Granted, if it works out that it's quite late in the day, you might still be fatigued, but this still precludes 3am and fatigued.

 

It could theoretically be possible that you rested every day except the last day when you inexplicably decided to keep walking for six more hours in order to show up exhausted at 3am, but really, this is a boggling complexity that anyone conversant with Occam's Razor would throw out unless it was definitively demonstrated.

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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As much immersion as is reasonably possible should always be the goal. Just like you don't want enemies' "AI" in combat to amount to some silly dodge-attack-runaway pattern that just loops over and over and over, you don't want everyone in a town to just stand around in the same spot all the time as if they aren't even REMOTELY real people. If you don't care about them behaving like people at all, then you might as well just have a Borderlands bountyboard in the middle of town where you arbitrarily consolidate all the quests in the game and can turn them in whenever, and just don't even have visible NPCs anywhere in the game who aren't combatants.

 

Be wary of too much reductionism. Just because you decide against fully elevating a given feature, that doesn't mean it's a good idea to completely eliminate it. It is a complex interlocking system of tradeoffs, not an either/or reduction.

 

Otherwise, you'll wind up saying things like "if you're not going to pursue the latest and best nth-degree bling-mapping for graphics, just make the game text-based". Mmmm . . . no.

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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As much immersion as is reasonably possible should always be the goal. Just like you don't want enemies' "AI" in combat to amount to some silly dodge-attack-runaway pattern that just loops over and over and over, you don't want everyone in a town to just stand around in the same spot all the time as if they aren't even REMOTELY real people. If you don't care about them behaving like people at all, then you might as well just have a Borderlands bountyboard in the middle of town where you arbitrarily consolidate all the quests in the game and can turn them in whenever, and just don't even have visible NPCs anywhere in the game who aren't combatants.

 

Be wary of too much reductionism. Just because you decide against fully elevating a given feature, that doesn't mean it's a good idea to completely eliminate it. It is a complex interlocking system of tradeoffs, not an either/or reduction.

 

Otherwise, you'll wind up saying things like "if you're not going to pursue the latest and best nth-degree bling-mapping for graphics, just make the game text-based". Mmmm . . . no.

 

That's not what I was getting at at all. I just meant that, if the only reason you have NPCs is so that you can get and turn in quests, and they never actually "behave" in any fashion whatsoever, then there's literally no reason for them to be people.

 

It's the same reasoning as the "if whether it's night or day literally doesn't affect anything, it doesn't really serve a purpose" argument. I'm not suggesting that we don't have humanoid NPCs in the game, or that, if you don't want them to sleep then you don't even want them to exist.

 

UpGrayeDD was essentially inferring that, since NPCs wouldn't be available while they slept, they therefore should not sleep. Not to mention that, if NPCs weren't available at night time, there literally wouldn't be any reason at all to play the game at night time.

 

I'm merely suggesting that if you place the importance of convenience over the importance of immersion no matter what, then you might as well not worry about ANY immersion.

 

Also, I suggested that NPCs be available for quest turning-inning whilst they are asleep, so I'm confused as to how their being asleep would turn the game into such a chore.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Also, I suggested that NPCs be available for quest turning-inning whilst they are asleep, so I'm confused as to how their being asleep would turn the game into such a chore.

 

True, true. I think I mentioned something about this earlier, where in Gothic even though people went to bed and slept, you could still wake them up easily and get them to accept your quests, so it wasn't a big problem. Plus, Gothic had other mechanisms that encouraged YOU to go sleep at night (because you couldn't see for spit) so you weren't often hassling people at 2 am.

 

But I do think that even if the people are just acting as quest dispensers and not wandering around, sleeping, eating, pooping, whatever, there can be other reasons to have them be people instead of a message board. Just the esthetic difference does contribute something more personal even if it isn't a HUGE difference.

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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On the equator actually, it is.

 

Ooh, logic fail, I convinced myself that this wasn't the case because I was envisioning the earth's plane of rotation changing with the seasons and not realizing it.

 

Nvm it's too complicated to explain why I was visualizing that wrong. Poor brain, it overworked.

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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But I do think that even if the people are just acting as quest dispensers and not wandering around, sleeping, eating, pooping, whatever, there can be other reasons to have them be people instead of a message board. Just the esthetic difference does contribute something more personal even if it isn't a HUGE difference.

 

Well, I'm not suggesting a quest board and no people. And I'm not saying that if you don't have NPCs who sleep at night, then you might as well just not have them at all. I was only saying that, if the only purpose you're worried about your NPCs serving is giving quests and selling things, there's not much point in suggesting that they're people. "Well, they have a model, so TECHNICALLY they're people."

 

Think of it like this: What if you had detailed weapon models that were different for each weapon, but then, there were no attack animations? Just your character model, standing there with a pretty weapon, and your enemy gets damaged and dies. After all, you just want to be able to kill things, right? Who cares how the weapon behaves?

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Like many here I think ideas 1,2, and 4 are great. I particularly like games that allow you to rest until X where X is an obvious time that you would want to do something, like dawn, midday, dusk, midnight.

 

I personally don't care about day / night being the same length of time, but I agree that them lasting 10 minutes of realtime is obnoxious.

 

I would love to see seasons done artfully in a game, but that will only matter if the story they intend to tell lasts a whole year. Maybe PE is the right game to finally do this, or maybe its not. I'd leave that up to the devs to figure out.

 

All-in-all, another sensible, not at all psycho post. I think your screen name is ill-conceived, PsychoBlonde.

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If you can wake people up, it would be fun if they were like "it's 3 am, you ass. I'm appreciative you killed the ogres, but couldn't you have woken me up at a civilized time?"

 

On the other hand, I would like for P.E. to be released before Half Life 3.

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I agree with teh op; but at 3: The day and night at equator is pretty much the same all year round (12 hours 7 minutes for the daylight and the rest for the night, according to wikipedia).

I am just being argumentative, no need to tell me :p

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1: Options, Daggerfall and a couple of strategy/RPG games I played gave you the option to arrive at the destination quickly or well rested.

 

2: Yes, but empty cities at night is a common standard by now. IMO a day/night schedulle is enough though, the smith can have his noon break when I'm done shopping, and that quest-giver shouldn't appear in the tavern only at tea-time. And I most certainly don't want to track down NPCs that visiit their mother every other sunday. Also, stop the day night cycle during conversations, it's just silly when you talk to someone for half an hour in real time, and a couple of days pass in the game world.

 

3: As was said, here on Earth, day and night still have almost constantly the same length on the equator, and close to the poles "Night" is just a brief period of dim light in summer and "Day" just a brief period of less gloomy darkness in winter. But not every planet has a tilted rotation axis.

 

4. Yep.

"You are going to have to learn to think before you act, but never to regret your decisions, right or wrong. Otherwise, you will slowly begin to not make decisions at all."

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To kind of go along with this; I think that darkness needs to actually have an effect on things. What I mean is: fighting and navigating in the dark should be hard. Anything that doesn't have the ability to see decently in the dark should suffer penalties when being in the dark.

 

On the flip side the opposite should be true. Creatures or characters who have trouble seeing in light should suffer penalties when in the light.

 

This gives something like infravision a useful purpose. Spells like "light" or "radiant aura" can be used for both utility and combat. Hell, even having lanterns or torches while moving through dark caves would be nice touches.

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Hot linking this thread for later (when the thread itself gets thrown back a few pages) makes it easier to navigate in the future if you'd come across this thread later:

Torches!

 

Also, I feel that night should be dangerous, depending on the area. The Scum of the Slums come out at night, and a [monster]/[animal] hunts prey at night. I watched a Let's Play for X-Com before I bought it (the classic one, on Steam) where the guy shot down a UFO and speeds up time until its Day because he doesn't want to deal with the aliens during Night. Now I don't think P:E should be that difficult, but at higher difficulties Night could actually have an impact on your own play style (in a way that you'd rather avoid it but deal with it if you have to). "Dungeons" like the Cloakwood forest (but you can't fast travel back and forth between the latest area you explored, so you have to go through the entire thing).

 

A set of areas (4-5?) that you have to travel through, and it is most certain that night will fall during that time. A sense of urgency, I know there's more than this that have been discussed but could only find these 2 threads:

Thoughts on urgency

Urgency: Please have it

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...Like in Arcanum?

 

Well if that type of idea is used in Arcanum, then obviously yes, like Arcanum?

 

My Arcanum disc has sat on my desk at home pretty much unplayed for years. Hard for me to get past the combat. It's being put into the rotation for next year though. There's way more to enjoy than the combat, so I need to stop slacking.

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