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Ramblings on game play using time travel...

by Patrick Purcell on 03/20/13 11:17:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutras community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


As I stated in the last post, my first instinct is to make the game a shooter, and allow players to traverse back in time to try to get kills on enemies in the past. As of right now that wouldn't be too terribly difficult, I have the past recording just fine (12 minutes of it in fact!), and with only two players there would be no way for a player to return to a time prior to their most recent spawn, meaning they could not undo themselves being killed...that's fine, but not terribly interesting and very limiting with only two players.

If there were more than two players, some sort of Command implementation to roll back any changes that a player has made starting with the time stamp that the player getting the kill is on, and going up through to the timestamp that the player being killed is on. There are TONS of awesome headaches associated with this, ie...what happens to a player that was killed by the player who's commands just rolled back, do they revert back to the position and time stamp from when they were killed? Of course!? Do all of that player’s “commands” after the (multiple?) respawns caused by the original killer’s commands roll back?

Pic unrelated...just cool

Maybe I should set the game up with rounds and there is no respawning…that seems kind of interesting. It makes death more important, and if team based, it makes reverting team deaths more impactful.

I’ve also thought of trying to make the game into a co-op puzzle game, but I don’t know how conducive it would be to exploring mechanical possibilities with this while spending time trying to devise puzzles.

Another problem to consider is what happens if physics were implemented into the game and a player throws a grenade, then is killed by another player at an earlier time stamp? If a player happened to be pushed slightly to their left by the grenade (an easy thing to not allow, but an interesting problem to consider) then continue forward, when the grenade thrower’s commands are rolled back, does the grenade not get thrown and then also not explode, could the player now find themselves walking up against a wall that they would have missed if they were slightly to the left?

I really think that the best way to design around the Command Pattern is to not allow respawning.

Aside from all of this I am going to start thinking about sweet looking effects to let players know what’s going on with the timelines.

Well, I’m done rambling for now…wish me luck!

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