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In-game Time in AC

Again, this would depend on how much realism the devs want to apply to the game.
Take for example how to track time in The Long Dark, they only use a simple x hours of daylight remaining (which would show ?? when the weather is bad and you couldn’t gauge the sun) and leave the rest to the players ability to judge time of day by the sun & lightings etc.
It’s not that hard, and immersive players would definitely love (and don’t mind) it…

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Maybe… I was writing from my point of view. At work I always have like 6 hours of free time to do basically nothing and have to kill time, so for me 2-3 hours for a day in game would be nice, because the game would be really long and I would have a game to play at work for a really long time :smiley:

But conversely if the game aims to progress through dozens or even hundreds of years (spanning eras) then you’d have to play for years too :sweat_smile:

Faling in love more and more

Well yeah, that´s what I am most excited about, months of gameplay :smiley: but also you have there the fast forward button 3x time or maybe it will be 4x or 8x time so you can still jump through some boring long periods of waiting. Good that this is being implemented too. Finally a game worth the money through gameplay span :stuck_out_tongue:

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How? Do you work as the alien ambassador for NASA?


:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: good one. I work as a head receptionist in one Hostel in Bratsilava (Slovakia) and I always work night shifts. From 1 AM till 7 AM I have plenty of free time, because everyone is asleep and I have nothing to do :slight_smile:

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Lucky you! I mostly play short campaigns because of my lack of time to play games.

In games like Pharaoh, Caesar III, Zeus: Master of Olympus, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, Tropico, Children of the Nile and Banished, time moves constantly, slowly enough to make the seasons noticeable and manageable (autumn harvests for example), but quickly enough that most games, most missions in the campaigns, would take several years, often a couple of decades. In Banished, my first great town is about 120 years old, and in Tropico, a “long” game takes sixty years if I remember correctly?

The question is how to implement a speed that can reconcile the RPG elements we all seem to treasure, like following a single individual, born in that hut, over there, to those parents, over here, who grew up to be a true marksman with the bow, found himself a good wife, argued with her about the gods, had eight children, five of which died young, and now is buried under that mound over there… with the more epic scale of leading a tribe, founding a village, discover the secrets of the unknown, domesticate animals, farm crops, build great monuments, discover metallurgy, create copper tools, turn the village into a city, engage in trade, dominate the region, make war and fight battles… but if every year takes ten minutes, which is common in similar games… how can one do all that we described over, let’s say, tens of hours? That will probably be the trickiest question… if we “fast forward” we loose the RPG connection that we would have with our tribe, our village… but how else could we simulate what would be realistic: that the leaps of technology of the era took centuries, millennia…?

At the same time, like the developer pointed out:

We want to see our village waking up in the morning, starting their day, making fires, cooking, setting out to the fields and forests and meadows, to tend and pick and hunt and mine and all other things. We also want to see them retire at night, fleeing the dangers of the black, dispelling the darkness with what to them must surely have been almost magic: fire. In the Sims games, the sims live very short lives, with their minutes being our seconds, a day being therefore less than half an hour to us at normal speed, and an entire sim life being lived in maybe 20 human hours. Enough time to be born, be a toddler, teenager, young adult, adult, raise a family, get grandkids, and then get old and die. It does work, as the series’ popularity shows. I think the developer is hinting at a solution sort of like that.

Or better yet, the calender of Don’t Starve, where each day and night together was eight minutes, and about 15-20 of those days made up a season, four of which made up a year. Eight minutes felt very short, but it worked surprisingly well. Maybe we’d have a slightly longer days, but that is a detail that can be tweaked, I’m thinking. And with a strategic view of it all, from above, being able to pause and plan everything, the village would truly look like a disturbed ants nest in the morning, especially at fast speed :stuck_out_tongue:



With other games where citizen life was not exciting and interesting, you could set speed X5 and relax while looking at your city as a whole and not care a lot about the little electrons going everywhere while running.

AC, however, seems like a much more slow-paced game. Your citizens only work together because it is in their interest. Each of them has dreams and hopes just like us. I want to see them interact with the world around them.

This is why I love the fact that Uncasual decided to make around 3-4 days/season. So we can see them, while focusing on the bigger picture at the same time. :+1:


So this to me looks like about 1:60 time compression ratio, meaning a 30 day month will be 12 hours game time. For the level of detail I expect to have to manage this feels spot on and will allow really good levels of immersion without the game dragging along. I am liking this… :sunglasses:

Currently a year has 12 months, each one being one game day, a day has 8 time divisions ( dawn, morning, midday, afternoon, dusk, evening, midnight and late night ), each division being 30 real time minutes at 1X. This means that a game year at 1X last 48 real time hours.
But this is still waiting to be tuned based on final gameplay.

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I think that that time circle thingy should add more details, and your village should discover new ways to track time, thru research, becuase sun dials and such weren’t invented before the bronze age, by the greeks, and the Julian Calendar was creaed by Julius Ceasar, which was definitely NOT during the neolithic age

That’s why the dial do not show 24 hors but light divisions, not months names but only 12 divisions ( moons ), and seasons.


Haha [quote=“Ailantd, post:7, topic:2327”]
To try to do it like one day is one day when we have to cover thousands years would not be the best idea.

Imagine that…The question then is, who would play the longest?


I was wondering if timing and aging could be configurable. I mean, in same games, I can see how citizens start the game being 20 years old, and after one year in the village, they are 23 years old. Age rate does not match with time rate in the village. From my point of view this is not very realistic, and unfortunatelly I have not seem games that allow user to configure this.
Also, could timing be configurable? I mean, allows the users to set for example how many days are a season.


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I have moved your post to this thread where you can find more information about the time in AC.

We still have to decide about this. Change timing without breaking the game balance is not an easy thing to do. Keep in mind that Ancient Cities will cover a lot of time so it is not a good idea represent that without time compression or you would need realtime years to play the game.

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As a side note: I also hope citizens will start a little younger than 20. Also, children would play an important role (such as scaring birds from fields.

Yes, children are already in the game as placeholders.


I’m very glad that you did that. As you probably already know, women are not the only Group which is almost totally ignored by archeology ( even though that comprise 50% of the entire human race). It has been noted many times and by many famous archaeologists that children are almost entirely ignored. Luckily, this is starting to change. I applaud your efforts to recognize humanity is it actually is

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