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Real World time for events

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Reaper_Phoenix's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2009
Real World time for events

I've made some events that only activate on certain real world dates.  Side quests that can only be started or ended on certain dates or both.  Even a couple of secret characters that can only be recruited on certain real world dates.  Works by checking the date when the player character enter the map the event is set to start.  Only had to do simple scripting to get the dates.

Do you think players will like this feature?

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meustrus's picture
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RoyalÜber TownieUltra TownieMega TownieSuper TownieGreat TownieTownie
Joined: 18 Jan 2006

It depends on how obvious it is and how much the game depends on real world dates. Also don't make anything that won't ever be accessible again; at least make it yearly, but it would be even better if it were "the 15th of every month" or "the third Thursday of every month". Maybe even "Thursdays only". If you want some examples of commercial games, Animal Crossing does special events on holidays and Pokémon ever since 2nd generation has had day/night and weekly differences.

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Ultra TownieMega TownieSuper TownieGreat TownieTownie
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

That or you could make weekly events as well... like better item drop rates or extra EXP on weekends etc...

basically play with the concept a lot.... IMO I would handle it 2 ways:

MODE A: Events last 1 day, but you have many days scheduled in the calendar. 

MODE B: Events are semi-rare but last a week or 2, a la World of Warcraft.

either way real time events sure is a pretty cool idea to keep a game fresh.


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Reaper_Phoenix's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2009

The only weekly event I have planned for now is a side quest that can be triggered on Friday the 13th.  Afterward the characters needed to complete the quest will appear every Friday.  Once you completed the quest and the game (main story), a new side story will appear as a choice when you choose new game in the start menu (the first side story will appear once you completed the main story for the first time).

Other events I'm willing to divulge right now are on Halloween, Christmas, and New Year.  You can get secret side quests on these days also, and once you get them you can complete them any time before the final chapter.  Maybe I'll add another event that will start at Christmas and end at New Year.

Today's dreams are tomorrow's reality.
The computer you bought today is already obsolete.

egg_dragon's picture
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I'm a little late in joining this topic, but Reaper it certainly would be a feature that could add a lot of depth to a game, and greatly add to its replay value.  I play a lot of Everquest 2, and there are a lot of recurring events (city festivals every 1st - 7th of each month, Moonlight grottos appear every month on the 20th and 21st, and of course weeks-long festivals around Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, April Fool's Day, and one in mid-summer).  To me, real-time-based events can reignite a player's interest in a game, and I know this from personal experience.  I might get bored with EQ2 and not play for months at a time, but when a month-long festival like Nights of the Dead (Halloween) comes around, I get excited and play the game "just for Nights of the Dead", but end up glued to the game for many more months.

A feature like that doesn't just make a game more interesting and provide extra things to discover, but it can make a game enjoyable even years after playing it through multiple times.

One idea you could implement are sub-quests and other secrets that aren't accessible until a year or more down the road from when the game is first completed.  For instance, let's say you release the game on Dec. 1st, 2013 and have a Christmas holiday in-game that activates every year on the 25th.  For the first year (2013), you could have a handful of sub-quests available, but the following year in 2014, maybe an extra quest will be unlocked to provide the player an incentive to play the game again. It's basically the same concept as what MMORPG developers such as SOE do every year with their annual festivals, only these are updates developed ahead of time to avoid having to release expansion packs or updates which people would have to download and reinstall.

Does that make sense?  Sorry for the rambling...

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