Clockwork Games and Time Loops | Game Maker’s Toolkit

Clockwork Games and Time Loops | Game Maker’s Toolkit

Hi, I’m Mark Brown and this is Game Maker’s
Toolkit. Most video games have a very strange sense
of time, if you really think about. There are day and night cycles with sunsets
and sunrises. And some characters go to bed when it’s
dark and get up when it’s light. But in general, time stands still – with characters
stuck in a bizarre stasis until you make some kind of action. So the bad guys of Gotham City will dutifully
wait for Batman to finish up his side missions before causing anymore carnage, and kidnapped
characters will sit tight until you get around to rescuing them. But there are a few games that decide to do
something different and actually simulate events in real time – with characters moving
on schedules, and events playing out automatically at set moments. I want to call these “real-time games”,
but that’s a bit confusing. So let’s call them clockwork games, instead. And it turns out that there are some striking
benefits to this approach. Over the summer, I played through Outer Wilds
which is an interstellar archeology game where you bounce between planets in a rickety wooden
ship, seeking answers about your miniature universe. And what makes this game truly special is
the way the entire solar system is constantly changing as time goes on. Take this pair of planets, which is known
as the hourglass twins. At the start of the game, the Ash Twin is
covered in a thick layer of impenetrable sand. While on the Ember Twin, you can explore a
network of underground tunnels. Over time, though, the sand shifts from one
planet to another, permanently closing off the tunnels on Ember – but revealing a bunch
of towers on the surface of Ash. Likewise, the planet of Brittle Hollow starts
off intact, but slowly disintegrates as it gets sucked into a black hole. And a wandering comet makes its merry way
around the solar system. This has some fascinating ramifications. For one, as the Outer Wilds devs have said,
this adds an extra dimension to exploration by making “when” players explore just
as important as “where”. You can’t only think about the world in
a spatial sense, but also have to consider it in a temporal sense as areas you want to
explore might be blocked off by the time you reach them, while others might not be accessible
until much later on. The other advantage is that it makes the world
feel natural and dynamic, because the world is always changing. Of course, open world games do see changes
– Megaton can be wiped off the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3, and Tarrey Town can be built
from the ground up in Breath of the Wild. But these things always happen in response
to choices and decisions that you make. Instead, by having things follow a clock,
the world moves on regardless of your choices, progress, or even your existence. If Outer Wilds wanted to capture the cosmic
indifference of the universe, following a clock was definitely the best way to do it. Another series that works in real time is
Dead Rising. In these games, or, at least, the good ones
– you’re constantly watching the clock, as events happen at specific times – and will
go on without you if you’re not paying attention to your watch. Some events are missable – like survivors
who call out for help, but get eaten by zombies if you’re not fast enough. Others are more critical, like how you need
to give Stacey a top-up of Zombrex every 24 hours. And so, despite being a game about brain-eating,
undead monsters, Dead Rising manages to make the clock your most nightmarish monster. Time pressures add a sense of urgency and
peril to proceedings because you can’t just get around to saving survivors when you feel
like it – you’ve got to get to them now. And choosing to save one person over another
actually has consequences, because there literally isn’t enough time to save both. This turns time into a valuable resource,
which must be carefully managed just like ammo and health. Darting into a shop to explore for resources
might be a smart move, or it might be a time-wasting detour. And learning routes, shortcuts, and memorising
fast-travel points can really help you maximise your minutes. Every decision you make matters because you’re
always spending your most precious currency: time. The thing about making a clockwork game, though,
is that time can’t exactly go on forever. Developers can’t just endlessly simulate
events and character schedules. And certain events simply can’t be missed
if you want to create a coherent story. And so most of these games have some kind
of fixed end point. After playing Outer Wilds for 22 minutes, the sun goes
supernova, and destroys everything in sight. In Dead Rising, Frank’s helicopter will
return after 72 hours – 6 hours in real world time. And in Majora’s Mask – which is perhaps,
the quintessential clockwork game – the moon will crash into the earth in three days time
– about an hour of real world time, on the default speed. And at that point, the most common thing to
do is to take inspiration from the movie Groundhog Day and just make time loop back around to
the start. Hi, I’m Mark Brown and this is Game Maker’s
Toolkit. Time loops can be a very clever gameplay system. Take The Sexy Brutale, which is a murder mystery
game that is set in a hotel that runs on predictable clockwork schedules. In the very first part of the game, Reginald
Sixpence is shot and killed with a rifle, by a mysterious masked man. But when time loops back around, you can plop
a blank cartridge into the gun – providing the knock-on effect of saving Sixpence’s
life. So the loop becomes a key part of the gameplay
structure, as you learn information over repeated viewings of the murder, and then throw a spanner
in the works by manipulating the scene at the exact right point in time. The time loop presents a clockwork puzzle
to solve, which is all about learning a sequence of events, and then using that information
to your advantage. A similar system exists in the Shakespearean
clockwork adventure game, Elsinore. Here, you play as Ophelia and over the space
of a few days, Hamlet kills your father, and a mysterious assassin ends your life. Luckily, time loops back around. And this time, armed with foreknowledge of
what’s going to happen and a handy timeline menu screen, you can convince and manipulate
characters to do different things. In this loop, I gave Hamlet evidence of his
mother’s infidelity, and his uncle’s murderous confession – which ended with Hamlet being
killed in a duel against the king – and my father’s safety. It’s not just the clockwork puzzle that
endeared me to the game, though: I realised that the safety net of the time loop gave
me the freedom to experiment with all sorts of approaches and ideas. Because if they didn’t quite work, well,
I’ll just try again in a few minutes – and maybe with some handy new knowledge to use
in future playthroughs. In other games, the loop is something to be
mastered and maximised. In Minit, the time loop is the shortest of
all: just sixty seconds, and definitely not long enough to complete an entire Zelda-like
adventure game. But by creating new start points, finding
new tools, opening up shortcuts, and speedrunning across the map, you’ll eventually be able
to finish the game within that minute-long loop. Similarly, there’s the under-the-radar Metroidvania
Vision Soft Reset, where you’re given just 20 minutes to save a planet from destruction. Here, checkpoints act like bookmarks on a
timeline: instead of fast travelling around the map, you’re actually rewinding time
to earlier moments in your adventure. Some stuff comes with you, like new abilities
and passwords. Other stuff, like extra heart containers,
don’t survive the rewind, and must be picked up anew if you want them. Part of the thrill of the game is carefully
maximising the creation of new bookmarks. For example, at one point in the game i ventured
deep within the planet to power up a machine, and then worked my way back up to the surface. All in all, the round trip left me with just
12 minutes to spare, which would make the rest of the game a bit of a tight squeeze/ So I did it again, this time racing my way
to the machine and back, now with experience and a filled-in map to help me. I got back with 16 minutes on the clock, and
saved a bookmark with plenty of time to spare. That felt pretty good. When it comes to designing one of these loops,
a key question is length. Outer Wilds designer and producer Loan Verneau
has said “we wanted to keep things short enough [that] failure and death did not feel
frustrating, but we also didn’t want the player to feel like they were constantly on a time
limit”. Also, if players are expected to build a mental
model of the timeline, it needs to be relatively short. A short timer should also be combined with
a compressed world size – so no matter where you go, you’ll find something interesting
within the time limit. Minit is carefully designed so that everything
is reachable within a few seconds, leading to a densely packed world that spills off
in all directions. The time loop is certainly a handy mechanic,
then. It wraps a nasty design problem up with a
rather attractive bow, and creates cool new consequences for the player with clockwork
puzzles, freedom to experiment, and temporal mastery. These are some fantastic games, and more are
on the way, such as the one-room mystery game 12 Minutes, and Deathloop – which comes from
the developers of Dishonored. But a time loop is, ultimately, a contrivance. It’s a gimmicky solution that calls attention
to itself in a very loud way. And while I think that’s fine, it ultimately
won’t work in every type of game, or fit every type of narrative. And so, I’m left wondering if we can create
more clockwork games, but without the loop. Well, one idea is to use smaller, less obvious
loops that don’t rip you out of the simulation when they repeat. Hitman levels are made up of lots of small
loops, with characters on repeated schedules that might take five or ten minutes to repeat. This gives a pretty convincing emulation of
reality, but without the messiness of a complete level-wide time loop. And another solution might be to investigate
systemic and randomised events that aren’t handcrafted by the developer, and therefore
can go on forever. Things like the weather effects in Zelda and
MGS 5 provide that feeling of time moving on, outside of your control. Likewise, traffic patterns in open world games
and characters in simulations all use simple rules and interconnectivity to create the
illusion of reality, without the need for absolute clockwork choreography. See this video for more on that. But for something more radical, let me tell
you about a section in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. At the beginning of the game, you’re told
that you need to hop on a helicopter and whizz off to an office block to save some hostages. Now, you’d be remiss for thinking that those
terrorists will happily wait around forever and won’t do a thing until you get there. That is how time works in most games, after
all. But, actually, no. If Jensen is a bit, uhm, busy and waits around
for too long, most of the hostages will be lost SARIF: “Eight people Adam. Eight good men and women whose only crime
was to come to work today. And those so-called pro-human purists slaughtered
them.” Letting the hostages get killed doesn’t
lead to a game over of any sorts. But your inaction does change the story and
your relationship with other characters – if only a tiny bit. And so maybe this proves that it’s okay
for games to be serious when they say that you only have a certain amount of time to
do certain tasks – provided that the punishment for not getting there in time is simply a
change in the story to reflect your inaction, or perhaps just leads to you missing some
content altogether. And here’s the thing: modern games already
have so much filler content, that I don’t think it would matter much if some players
completely missed it because they were too busy doing other things. So imagine a Batman or Spider-Man game where
crimes are taking place in real-time, and as a superhero you’ve got to make the call
of which criminals to chase down – and which ones you’re going to have to miss. Of course, such a system can’t be implemented
lightly. Time limits are understandably controversial
among players, for the way they put pressure and stress on your shoulders. And for many, the idea that game content can
be missed goes against the completionist nature of slowly and methodically completing every
task on a map. So I understand if this sounds like the worst
idea imaginable. But still, given the unique advantages of
clockwork games, perhaps time could be the missing ingredient needed to spice up these
samey and static open world games we keep seeing. Lemme know your thoughts in the comments below. Hey, thanks for watching. Tell me about your
favourite clockwork games in the comments. Did you know that you can support GMTK when
you buy games on the Epic Game Store by using the creator tag GMTOOLKIT? You don’t pay a penny extra, but Epic gives
me some cash, for some reason. Everybody wins! But, like, you know, mostly me.

100 thoughts on “Clockwork Games and Time Loops | Game Maker’s Toolkit

  1. Here i must mention Pathfinder: Kingmaker. This is one of the very few classic-style (D&D) RPGs which actually takes time into account. If you get reports of a problem with trolls that needs to be solved, and you wait for a month before doing anything – well, some characters would be in a great trouble because of you thinking "well, they will just wait".

    Time is on real scale, so taking 10 more minutes to clear the dungeon don't impact things on a global scale at all. What actually spends time is travelling and resting. In D&D your characters have limited amount of spells per one rest. Rest takes 8 hours, and spare time you have is usually measured in weeks. If you use spells excessively, yeah, you will stomp every problem… but you also would have to rest after every encounter, taking a lot of time to deal with any adventure. This way, time limits do not punish you for being pedantic and for exploration, but they might punish you for never managing your resources or ignoring common sense.

  2. I completely agree with implementing timed events in the game so that the game feels alive, rather than in control of the player. A lot of games don't even need to focus on that aspect or make a real timed event situation, just adding it in some places can breathe more life than otherwise. I think a good example is Subnautica, it doesn't focus at all on its timed events, which aren't even real because the player can't prevent it if they somehow would be able to, but adding those made the game feel real rather than leaving questions that quite frankly would be stupid to have. I feel like games implementing this would help merge level design with open-world design, because you're still trying to get the player to try and do whatever you want the player to do, but you're also not forcing them to do so to progress.

  3. Majora's Mask is my favorite clockwork game, even after all these years.

    I think a game like Virtue's Last Reward or Zero Time Dilemma could technically count as clockwork games, since you need to make the decision to initiate the loop with information gleaned from one timeline to solve a puzzle from another. You even get to pick where you loop to.

    River City: Rival Showdown also has a non-looping clockwork system where the ending you get depends on the quests you do during the three days the game takes place over. It's an entirely real option to spend all three in-game days just sleeping or doing nothing of story importance.

    I'm a touch disappointed that Superhot didn't show up in this video, since the way it uses time is so unorthodox for its genre.

  4. Sid Meier's Pirates (2005) has some fun with time. It's systematically very shallow, with world interactions basically boiling down to the four represented nations sending warships, resources and peace treaties back and forth across the Caribbean to reinforce or take over cities, but it all goes on without the player's input and changes the game world in meaningful ways over time. Sucks to see your favorite port to sell spices be taken over by a nation that's hostile to you while you're busy chasing treasure. Time is simulated wonderfully by how the game clock speeds up the further away you sail from land, making long trips less boring for the player but also driving home that the clock is, indeed, always ticking, as well as how actions like dividing loot and getting thrown in jail will make months pass by in the blink of an eye. Actually, time is the game's main form of punishment. You can't die, but things like getting your ship sunk will force you to waste a few months getting back on track. Waste too much time and it becomes impossible to complete all of your objectives in one run.

    This is because of the most important reason why time matters: The game has finite length. Your character ages in correspondence with the game clock and will eventually grow too old to continue. Not only is there a hard cap where the game says "ok you're old and retired, here's your final score, try for a better one next time" but gradually over the course of the game your character's animations become more and more sluggish. Everything becomes harder to do, from dancing with ladies to sword duels, to the point where if you wait too long to do the game's equivalent of a main quest (tracking down and taking out the grand villain) it actually becomes impossible simply because your moves with a sword come out too slow to land any hits on the bastard.

    Makes me wonder why said villain isn't at all affected by the sands of time… And now I wonder what a game like that would look like if NPCs could actually die of old age, and new ones grow to adulthood and take their place… Time! It's fascinating!

  5. Pathologic is the best game I played of this style. But the presure is constant in that game and can be frustrating sometimes so I understand if not everyone likes it.

  6. A game I'm really fond of that addresses this as well is Pathologic. You really have to be careful with the choices you make and the actions you do because the time may (and will) affect those that matters to you. Is a game really tied with this "clockwork mechanic" and I can't recommend it enough.

  7. 4:00 "there literally isn't enough time to save both." yeah, if you're a PEASANT. On my second playthrough of Dead Rising 1 and of 2, my goal was to save EVERYONE, and I did. unless my memory is seriously missing something.

  8. If people want to complete a game they should be able to do it over multiple playthroughs. I love the idea of timed events that you can't do if you miss them and I don't think we shouldn't have them just to keep the completionists happy.

  9. A BAD example of Clockwork game would be Final Fantasy 13-3 (Lightning Returns). The map is way too vast while being only halfway impressionable, you can waste time WAY too easily, and (apparently, I never tried myself) you can't do everything in the game with only one turn in the loop if you know what to do and when.
    So not only are you fighting against time, but you're doing it with too few rewards for it, and too many punishments easy to get.

  10. There's also a new official Groundhog Day game by the Sexy Brutale devs, it's VR-exclusive though so I haven't had the chance to try it. Will definitely be checking out that Vision Soft Reset game though, I love time loops and Metroidvanias so this seems right up my alley.

    For non-video-game related time loops, I'd also recommend the novels "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August" and "The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle." (Plots unrelated, though they do have similar titles)

  11. Just a heads up, your description lists the game at 12:42 as Just Cause 3, but the video itself says Just Cause 4 (and I'm pretty sure it is actually Just Cause 4)

  12. Clockwork games also remind u against wasting ur most precious currency in real world while playing games for extra long hours , i.e. Time.

  13. The Zero Escape franchise is kinda like a clockwork game. You need to go back in time and make different decisions in order to get the information to proceed through the game.

  14. Has anybody heard of Titanic Adventure Out Of Time? The first haft of the game has a few timed events but then the second haft, after you hit the iceberg and begin sinking, is in real time and you literally have like 40 minutes to get off the boat before it sinks. It's a really awesome game that nobody seems to remember.

  15. Eh why does no one talk about ultinate spider Man. Its like the only comic book faithful game thats also based on a comic book and its open world game and plays like a superhero game. Like you save people and stop criminals and while not doing mision and like theres so many gangs you can fight while not doing mision. The story is also so cool and you play as spidey and venom at different points in the story and its so cool. Maybe i have rose coloured glasses on but it really follows stuff you talk about on your channel.

  16. It could be interesting to imagine some narrative sections in open-world games with this time restriction. I'm thinking about the sequence in TLOR when Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli go after the orcs to save Meriadoc and Peregrin.

    Turn this kind of situation into a video game one for the player, and you get a part a the game when you have to track down some ennemies before it's too late, and it would have a huge impact on the game's main story.

  17. I've been waiting all video for you to mention Pathologic that has time go on for 12 very long days without waiting for you in any way – if you missed it, you missed it, the town will go on, the characters will die, and you can't save everyone by design. A huge missed opportunity for the video in my opinion

  18. The DXHR hostage 'twist' just felt like wank in practice, though. The first mission in the game goes 'these are the rules by which the world runs', makes a big show of it – and then never follows those rules again.

  19. I think one of the oddest games in terms of being simultaneously clockwork and not clockwork would be Flower, Sun, and Rain. The protagonist, Sumio Mondo, is tasked with stopping a terrorist attack on the utopic Lospass Island, but keeps getting sidetracked by residents of the hotel he's staying in, as well as other mysteries on the island; every day, he gets closer to his destination, but is unable to stop the attack from occurring. It's not clockwork in the sense that there's no hard time limit, but there is still that underlying sense of pressure, that want to stop the overarching issue at hand, that comes from games in the genre. (Granted, I'm about one of maybe ten people who are unironic appreciators of Flower, Sun, and Rain, so maybe it's not the best example…)

  20. I totally agree that adding time to open world games would really raise the bar. I loved the new Spider-Man game and wouldn't want to change it at all but I would be really interested to see one with clockwork mechanics built in. This might be my favorite of your videos so much because it made me realize how clockwork time and time loops might be one of my favorite mechanics. I can't believe how I haven't noticed it before as I frequently will say Majora's Mask is my favorite game of all time.

  21. You didn't talk much about the downsides of clockwork games, like having to repeat tasks already done because they were lost in the time loop. Majora's Mask has you recollect arrows, deku seeds, rupees, etc., because they are "lost in time". This means everytime you start the first day, you're going to go to the same places to get restocked, which is tedious.

    There is also the problem of waiting around for a specific event to take place. You can't just progress the story or side quest when you are ready, you may have to sit on one place while waiting for the next event to get started, which is boring.

  22. For a game about exploring a solar system, orbit and rotation might be an organic source of the repeating loop. TIme itself doesn't repeat necessarily, but events happen over and over. That hourglass world in that game would flip end over end, uncovering each half for half a day, etc. Kerbal Space Program has that sort of time pressure; often you have to wait for planetary alignments for efficient transit flights. Especially if you play the career mode, certain other time pressures just sort of pop up. FIrst of all, contracts are available for hire only briefly, so you might miss a really cool mission if you don't check in often enough. Several contracts involve continuous missions, you might launch a satellite into a particular orbit, and then get a later contract to modify that orbit. That would involve performing a maneuver at a specific time, and you'll have to plan ahead to make sure that you don't miss other maneuvers in any other missions while you're tending to that one.

  23. Pathologic 2 is the best recent example of this: it all ends in 12 days. Days pass at a consistent rate, with quests and triggers only being available at certain times. Do you go oit to do your job, or run an errand for a friend? Will you still jave tine to scrape together enough barter for a heel of bread to get through the day wothout starving? You can miss things entirely, but the narrative is built around that idea, so you're never really 'lost'. You just soldier on. Makes it incredibly replayable too.

  24. I would love to listen about the truly simulated games. Games like the Starsector or Space Rangers. Where world changes not when you trigger vaious events but rather as the time goes on.
    I do hate when in Skyrim or in Fallout nothing changes unless I do something. It is silly and feels fake.
    In the Space Rangers the world is doing its thing without me. The coallition can win battles (on lower difficulties) without me. I would love to learn more about such games.

  25. I think that time loops are interesting in concept but unfortunately Im one of those completionist players who doesn't want to miss content. It's the reason why I put off playing Majora's Mask for years

  26. LOL at the Epic Game Store bit at the end. You didn't even plug them or said any feature or even anything nice about them. Happy that you got such a nice deal.

  27. Way of the samurai (PSP english patch)
    Takes place on a important land passage in Japan. You have 2 days to influence the storyline (has 6 endings). It influences repeated playthroughs by a character unlock and sword collection system.

  28. I remember in dead rising 2 I had to restart from the beginning because I literally didn't have enough time to fight a boss

  29. This might feed into an idea I've had for a video game. You know how certain fanbases will take a game apart, looking at the tiniest detail to try to pry out a little more meaning? They'll look at obscure lines of dialog in Zelda or analyze sound effects in Portal to try to extract a little more from this world they've come to enjoy?
    Let's build a video game for THOSE players. Let's make a sandbox game that has a reasonably cool primary gameplay loop, and NPCs that do the 'Look, see? I go to bed at night and walk to work each day, like a real human' thingand it feels like any other video game, and if you play it like GTA or Just Cause it feels like a (potentially older) sandbox. But if you pay attention, you might notice that some NPCs have deeper behaviors, and there's a whole second hidden plot the player can get wrapped up in. It's never hinted at, the players just have to sort of notice some NPCs saying a suspicious line, like "The meeting is at 7 at the usual place." Then maybe you follow that NPC until 7 and you find it's a cult ritual or an anarchists meeting or something that you can get involved with or have to stop.
    Or is that "let's just not tell the player about a large part of the game and let them figure it out for themselves?"

  30. I don't get why so many people hate games with time constraints like the ones in the video. It's a shame that many of the franchises mentioned in this video have completely removed the unique mechanics because some didn't like it. I feel like if you're not a fan of the mechanic, don't play it and let the franchise stay true to itself instead of turning into another mediocre cookie cutter game. Glares at Dead Rising 4

  31. You should bring back your video recommendations at the end, where you put other peoples videos on the end card.

  32. I love the indie game "Unheard". It's similar in theme to that one 12 Minutes that you mentioned. You have to asses a crime scene and solve who did it by following around different characters and piecing the whole thing together. You're given control over the clock, but it's still really interesting. I loved it, and they're adding free content updates.

  33. When you said "there are some events that have to be seen in order to make a coherent story, that made me envision a game where you literally couldn't see all of the events, or maybe even half of the events, to have a coherent story, and the game plays out differently depending on how you interact with the world, or maybe don't, but if you wanted to understand the story or even understand what is going on, you would have to interact with each element of the game in either a different time loop or another play through entirely, kind of like how fire emblem three houses explains the different elements of it's story throughout the different playthroughs, but taken to an extreme, where you don't have a coherent understanding of the story at all until you play through the game several times. I think it would be interesting.

  34. I am not really a fan of games that put you under time pressure, it's why I prefer OoT to Majora's Mask, for example. I never felt I could relax and enjoy the game. You get it wrong, you have to do the whole thing again.

    Not exactly the same thing, but many sports games, on the other hand, have a built-in clock yet I get on better with those. If I'm a goal down in FIFA with 5 minutes left, it changes my strategy. Each match has time pressure in that sense, yet is an isolated event. The clock runs out, match over, but the overall game (a season, for example), goes on. Maybe that's a crucial difference.

  35. I think you've forgotten a very good example of this idea of the clockwork game. While the example I think doesn't entirely fit in what you're aiming for directly, with a timer. Conceptually, this idea of how you use your time is important, is why I suggest this.

    Homeworld, as a series, more so the first and second, Cataclysm/Emergence doesn't quite do it so freely. You can get too many resources through the resource crystals they introduced.

    The reason I say they belong is that rather than a series of missions, barely interconnected if at all, these have the persistent fleet. Rather, the fleet you have is built by you in your method. I've had a supposed Kushan fleet populated by Turanic ships, Ion Cannon frigates and a Taiidani Destroyer. I just kept capturing stuff. Then the full wing of sixteen Quad Ion Beam frigates from the Kadeshi.

    It's not just units that transfer over, but resources as well. So at the end of the day while not having an obvious timer, set time, rather each mission locks in the progress, losses, victories of the previous scenario. Each time you do that, you're one step further away from being able to change that. It's serving both a narrative function and a game play function.

    Especially when you need to pay a very hefty cost to replace some units or being unable to replace that particular look, as the unit you've lost is an enemy unit in the first place.

    As a side note on this regards, I think Nexus: The Jupiter Incident also did this well. If you could keep your ships around, they gained promotions, improved stats. Didn't, they stayed pretty basic. Additionally from memory there were a few scenarios which effects carried over to the next. Cue, serious cheesing to do it when I last played that game from memory. A few other games have persistent technology trees, resources across scenarios. Again, I think that they would count here. Each scenario further locks in those choices.

    Dawn of War 2, Chaos Rising, had time sensitive scenarios that you could choose to do. To a degree they do change the story and have some fairly direct gameplay affects in Chaos Rising. Additionally, the same true of Emperor Battle for Dune had this for the secondary factions you could get. Direct choices in those scenarios had effects, which further scenarios locked in. Secondary factions could be eliminated entirely depending on your choices. Again, no obvious timer, but the concept of what you do with the time you have is most certainly present.

    I think there's good arguments to be made that the RTS genre has had this for a while now. At least, less so the more genre stables.

    Even Wings of Liberty did this, allowing you to build your force to your specifications, depending how you timed missions, you could have Siege Tanks in missions that nearly break them. Outbreak being one prime example.


  37. I would love if more open world games had clockwork systems implemented, even if it's unlikely. It just sounds so realistic and amazing that there's this big world out there, and it just doesn't care about me. The idea that there'll be adventures lost and gained as I choose how to spend my time, it's very much like real life.

  38. Talks about games with time loops but does't talk about or show Kindergarten at all (or it's sequel for that matter)

  39. 12:20
    This technically already happens in Spiderman PS4! Miss too many crimes and you'll start hearing complaints from people in Jameson's radio show!

  40. Where is "The Stanley Parable?!" How could you not discuss that one in this. It is still the most memorable game of the past decade if you ask me…

  41. Why did you upload this video the exact day where I at lunch, at work, discussed the lack of a temporal dimension in games?

  42. Look up "Clockwork game design" on amazon. Not sure if the namespace conflict is worth complaining about, but Keith Burgun is worth looking up for anyone interested in game design.

  43. Nosferatu is a pretty decent clockwork game where you have to save everyone in a mansion, with certain times before each of them die. Also I love sexy brutale.

  44. Ghost Trick is a stylish visual-novel puzzle game and a fantastic example of Time Loop puzzles! As a ghost, you can visit the dead and have the power to go back 4 minutes before a person's time of death and rewrite their fate. With an extremely limited method to interact or even move, you observe the cause of death and manipulate the environment to see what you can do to change the outcome. The 4 minutes moves on with or without you, so there are points where you have only one opportunity to pull off a maneuver.

    The game's answer to the challenge of telling a consistent narrative with time loops is by delivering the scenario in acts. Once the puzzle pieces you've been setting up come to a crescendo, the changes are significant enough for the event to play out differently from that point on, and you're introduced with a brand new part of the scenario to solve.

  45. A repeatable time loop game that has continuity and replayability is: Don't Starve (or it's other Don't Starve games)

  46. Superhero game were I can miss missions and story? No thank you! I play that kind of games to feel god like. In other type of games I would like to see it thou

  47. I've been thinking about getting Sexy Brutale, but I didn't know what it was all about. Now I'm convinced. That seems really cool.

  48. It would have been so cool if there was a way you could have made this video loop at the end and start over. 😛

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