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Timed Mission events?


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I can't recall ever playing any TDM maps with it... (e.g. literal event that Happens at 2:59 AM ... not '5 minute delay')

Such as;

  • Guard shift changes
  • Clock-controlled locks / safes
  • Other events (informant meetings, witching hours, high-noon duels, street lights, shops open/close...)


  • Pocket Watches
  • Church / Town clock with Chimes or Bells
  • Grandfather clocks (working hands / hour chimes)
  • Wall clocks (electric or mechanical)

New things to see and do;

  1. Ability to READ time (by fob-ing, tool use )
  2. Lootable Pocket watches, Fob-watches, other portable time-pieces [usable as a tool once acquired ]

Easy / Hard mode variations...

'Easy': start with a pilfered pocket-watch in your inventory and 10 minutes to spare...
'Hard': start with *BRONG* ... *BRONG* a time deficit?! TIME TO DASH FOR IT!


Seems odd - that the ever desirable time-piece isn't even present as simple loot...either.

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I don't even remember many T2 FMs implementing that. There was Lord Alan's Factory that had clocks in it and auto death if you didn't complete objectives fast enough on the expert "Timed" difficulty.

I think it would be a tough sell for mappers and players but there is room to try such things. It could be a good fit for a heist or city streets mission. It could involve some complex AI interactions that fail unexpectedly, and some players will not like missions that force them to rush around.

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16 hours ago, Melchior said:

I can't recall ever playing any TDM maps with it... (e.g. literal event that Happens at 2:59 AM ... not '5 minute delay')

Such as;

  • Guard shift changes

William Steele - In the North.

It leads to some pretty odd stuff though. Like, 4 or 5 guards entering the same place after a while, making it hard to hide bodies. Apart from that, any kind of unpredictability (also in the guard routes) makes it hard to knock out enemies. Apart from being unrealistic. Guards should have a set path, and not intervene with other guard paths. Also, how many guard shifts can there be, when the player plays a mission, for, like. 2 to 4 hours? And, different players take a different amount of time in missions. Some rush through, some explore every little corner of a map.

For timed events: I strongly dislike them. Especially as the mission and the objectives must be very well designed, otherwise the player could stumble across the map, not knowing what to do and where to go to reach the objective before the timer ends. I also don't like the hassle. I like to take my time, and enjoy exploring a lot of the map, and, timed events make that impossible most often.

There is a reason why none or only the least missions feature all this.

Edited by chakkman
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I wouldn't want a timer running from the start of the mission. The nearest I can recall from the original games is the mission where you had to tail those two assassins; that's effectively on a timer because if you fall too far back you lose. But you get visual feedback on how you're doing, so it's not as annoying as an invisible clock ticking somewhere.

Timed portions in missions can be effective, like in Undercover where you have only a few minutes to hit all the hidden levers. But that is only part of the mission; you can take your time to scout the place out beforehand and carefully plan your heist if you want to. Given that patient exploration is one of the reasons people play stealth games, I wouldn't want to force people to rush around.

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I've played a couple of missions where a specific event was timed - e.g., you flipped a switch that opened a vault, and then had 2 minutes to get to the vault before it automatically closed. That was reasonable, because you could take your time to "clear the path" ahead of time, by knocking out any guards that might slow you down. I think this happened in one of the unpublished William Steele missions (WS6?). I vaguely remember a similar mechanism in another FM, but I can't say which.

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Hmm, funny I must have missed that in the W.S. collection...

Its NOT meant to be a commonly used gameplay mechanic; being its tricky, hard-as-hell to get right; alot like the new Magic Spectacles - not for most missions.

As for outright mission time-limits, only as the map-maker decides (e.g. gotta-rob-em' all before dawn). But ... nobody said the clocks run in real time 😉.

Which brings up another point: EXTRA mission difficulty settings beyond the 3 ?

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7 hours ago, Melchior said:

Which brings up another point: EXTRA mission difficulty settings beyond the 3 ?

That would only make sense if the three existing ones would be already heavely utilized, which is not the case. In addition, how should the player know how gameplay is affected if the amount of possible starting condition exceeds a certain limit (the latest Tomb Raider comes to mind)? Three is a reasonable number players are used to from different games. Having more doesn't seem like an improvement.


On topic: there are a few things to consider here, imho.

  1. A mission should only fail if the player dies at best. Adding yet another artificial layer to the gameplay like failing the mission because you weren't fast enough is a good source for frustration, not motivation.
  2. That beeing said it would be a possibility to change aspects of a mission after a certain amount of time. Besides guard shifts this can be that the sun slowly rises (slightly increasing difficulty the more time you "waste") or that certain approaches won't work anymore (but new approaches might arose)
  3. Timed doesn't have to mean that it is clocked. Timed could also mean that the game counts certain aspects (objectives fulfilled, loot found, area explored) that are somehow related to time and initiates a certain action after a specific point is reached.
  4. Timed events doesn't imply that it happens dozens of times. Stuff like guard shifts may only happen once per playthrough.

To elaborate a bit more on thought #2:

During the night, which is the typical scenario, there aren't much persons on the outside. It may even be forbidden to be on the streets during nighttime, so it makes sense that the watches consider the player an outlaw upon sight (well, it makes sense unless there are dozens of civilians walking on the streets). The positive part is that it is dark and you can sneak around unseen easely.

When the sun has risen, there are lots of people on the streets. The good thing is, that you could walk around freely now, unless you draw your weapons or do other illegal stuff. In addition, different parts of the map may not be locked up anymore. It is hard to stay out of sight during the day, though.

Having time in a mission would allow said mission to shift from one scenario to the other. The player may start at late night, with the sun slowly rising, or in the late evening hours, with the sun slowly falling. Some things might be easier to achieve during day, others might be easier to achieve during night. So the player would have to decide what to do first depending on that. This would only work if the player is provided with enough information to make a profound decision, though.

And again, the progress of time doesn't necessarely has to be bound to the game time, it could also be affected by other means, as mentioned above. So the player would not necessarely has to be pushed in a hurry. I even think a mixture would work best (so partially the time passed and the progress made).

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