Preference for IC Time On A Modern(ish) Game



  • So I've seen some discussion about era games(games set in the 80s or 90s or even the 1880s or 1890s). My question is this, on such a game how would you prefer IC time to be handled? On a 1:1 ratio so that the month(and maybe even day) it is in RL is reflected on the game or at a slower pace so that the game isn't rushed?

    I'm on the fence though I lean towards a slower ratio. I like the idea of being able to celebrate the holidays in-game as we're celebrating them IRL. It feels weird for it to be Christmas on a game but it's only May IRL.

    That said, for an era game I feel it's important not to shoot through the era you're looking to enjoy. Time goes by fast and I think if you want to enjoy the summer of '84(ala this season of American Horror Story) doing so over a month or three doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

    Just curious how everyone else feels.


  • Pitcrew

    By "slower is fine," do you mean a time scale where 1 day IRL would be, like, half a day in-game? Like two RL days might equal 1 IC day? I've never actually come across that on a game. 1:1 is the slowest I've seen, I think. (I think I hate the idea of slower.)



  • I didn't really think too hard on the actual ratio but I would imagine either 1.5 or 2 would be the slowest you'd want to go while still maintaining any real semblance of IC time at all.


  • Pitcrew

    I personally would not want a game run any slower than 1:1 unless the game is ABOUT the summer of 1984 (for example). I personally prefer having the timelines flipped, so IC time corresponds to the opposite RL time (i.e. RL december would be IC June). I've always been on games that have run at 1:2 or 1:3 time and no one ever seems to have a problem RPing that it's snowing ICly when it's June IRL - it's a game, who cares?

    Honestly? My RL holidays are so busy and I don't want to feel forced to celebrate IC holidays at the same time.

    But if you slow it down past 1:1 time, you run into the opposite problem. Now the game drags. If your personal preference is to celebrate holidays in-game when we're celebrating them IRL and then you drag the game down to a 1:.5 or whatever, you're causing the SAME PROBLEM as a 1:3 game except now the days never fucking end and it's frustrating as a player who wants to see time progress.



  • That's an interesting idea, flipping the time so that it's 6 month out of line(June in December or whatever).



  • I really can't stand games that don't use 1:1 when it comes to game time, no offense to those who like it or run games that use something else. Serenity mush used 1:2, if I recall correctly, and it just complicated stuff.


  • Pitcrew

    Doing something slower than 1:1 seems like it'd be really rough for character progression and growth and whatnot. I can do faster than 1:1 -- there are some settings that a faster timescale suits -- but I think slower would be a real slog.



  • I prefer 1:1 (though 1:2 or 2:3 or whatever is fine too, for some games). However, I can kinda see the appeal of a slower game for very specific settings and premises, too! I don't think I've ever played on a game like it, but I can see it being doable.



  • @Roz said in Preference for IC Time On A Modern(ish) Game:

    I think slower would be a real slog.

    I've been on a couple games with slower time ratios. It was indeed a real slog. Things take forever to develop.

    The other issue (for some of us) is continuity. For those who play frequently, you can't just say: "That scene yesterday (ooc) happened yesterday (ic)." Because it's still the same day ICly. Sure you can play fast and loose with the time, but if not everybody is on the same page, it can cause some weird continuity glitches.


  • Pitcrew

    I actually really like games that speed up time because then it makes more sense when two PCs meet one day and get married after knowing each other only a week when it's like a month in game time!



  • HorrorMU used slower than 1:1 timescales to very good effect on several occasions. There were also periods of faster time to account for time skips when needed in some stories.

    I'm not playing, and likely won't be any time soon if ever, so take whatever I say with that in mind. That said, I very much enjoy being able to take the time to explore a character, including those 'small moments' that can become meaningful, and sometimes even defining.

    That takes time.

    So does the reality that many of us play from work, or between rounds of adulting. The ability to play things out more slowly and pick at them throughout the day (or more likely over a few days) in the Ares web portal has been cited often as a big positive for this reason.

    The giant problem this creates: yeah, you got that great momentous scene handled, but now it's three days later and the rest of the game has moved on so far that it becomes a game of catchup, and you have potentially missed things the character wouldn't have, etc.

    Sure, you can do both things at once, but if (generic) your problem is that you don't have craptons of time to engage with the game in the first place, as is common, that's not a viable solution for (generic) you.

    I like slower. HorrorMU did best with 2RL:1IC at the fastest. Things zoomed along far too rapidly for many to keep up at 1:1.

    Some faster timescales worked -- for example 'this isn't a major events going down sort of period IC, so this week represents all of August 1902, pick and choose your timey-wimey focus for that period and figure it out'. This was best for 'more or less IC downtime' periods than anything else, where the slower periods would come into play again when the action was coming thick and fast.



  • @surreality said in Preference for IC Time On A Modern(ish) Game:

    this isn't a major events going down sort of period IC, so this week represents all of August 1902, pick and choose your timey-wimey focus for that period and figure it out'

    See, I don't mind that occasionally for fast-forward type stuff, but when I have to deal with that "figure it out" every single RP session, it gets draining.

    I know there are plenty of folks who don't get bothered by continuity glitches, so admittedly that's just a "me" thing.



  • I can't stand sped up time. I have to deal with the holidays ONCE a year, that's bad enough -- please don't make it twice or even more. Timezones make it difficult for me to play 'live' scenes, meaning that often, my scenes take 1-3 days to resolve -- so suddenly, with time on 1:2, I've lost a week to having a conversation, and oh hey, that thanksgiving dinner you invited me for, that's new years' instead.



  • @faraday Same. It worked OK for that 'here is a week to play downtime for this IC period of time, hash out as needed'. (Usually, there was almost none to be concerned with -- it was 'go do your personal stuffs' time.)

    It's why I really liked the slower than 1:1 timescale so much when we had it. It led to a lot -- OMG SUCH A WHOLE LOT -- less figuring it out and playing catchup.

    We have lives and such. :/ The extra time really, really, really helped.


  • Pitcrew

    I prefer 1:1.

    I am also a proponent of time skips (with ample warning to the player base!) though that's best in small games.


  • Pitcrew

    @Coin said in Preference for IC Time On A Modern(ish) Game:

    I prefer 1:1.

    I am also a proponent of time skips (with ample warning to the player base!) though that's best in small games.

    Double post to add:

    Time skips, IMO, do a few wonderful things, mostly they allow people to do things on a believable IC timetable (months/years of research, learning something complex, falling in love and getting married, achieve glory and recognition for things that take time, whatever) and also allow for people whose situation is damaged (by OOC conflict, players disappearing/leaving, whatever) to vague-up and muddle through those issues and come out the other side more or less okay (or how they want to be). In effect, time skips allow for change without the slog, which is great; and if you wanna play something that happened -- feel free to flashback!

    Good example: any between-season time skip for any show, especially long ones, like on Young Justice.


  • Pitcrew

    I'm a huge fan of 1:1 except when it serves a specific purpose. I also like my IC time to line up with RL time, because I get a lot of inspiration -- I can be decorating my house for Christmas and wonder how my characters might handle Christmas onboard a giant airship aircraft carrier while also worrying about whether fascists are sending dragons after them for the giant spell they cast on their last mission.

    There are definitely times for different time scales -- I think we used 2RL:1IC pretty effectively on The 100 for the first part of the game, because we wanted events to happen close together ICly, but we wanted time to play out the repercussions. And either a time skip or switching to 1RL:2IC or even faster for short periods of time to advance plot can be very effective -- as @Coin said, mostly on small games. That's because, of course, Staff has to either trust everyone to come up with what their character did during the time skip or faster time, or they have to vet everyone's plans.

    That said, I still think that 1:1 is the best for games set in our world in a recognizable time, because it helps keep everyone's vision of what's happening in the world in the same place. On a game with a different time scale, it can be jarring to realize that you missed a holiday or that one's coming up very soon, to say nothing of birthdays or other character-important dates.


  • Pitcrew

    Are people really celebrating holidays EVERY SINGLE YEAR in-game though? Birthdays? Like, I guess if it's only happening once a RL year, cool, but on games that are 1:2 time or whatever - why? Why would you do that to yourself or be worried about missing an IC holiday or... why?

    At least on Ares, it makes it relatively easy to backdate scenes so the time ratio really doesn't matter. Like, if you want to RP Christmas on Christmas, just.. do it.

    Time is always going to be moving too fast for somebody out there, even if it's at a 1:1 or 2:1 or 3:1 or whatever. I definitely wouldn't play a game that's any slower than a 1:1 no matter what the reason, but I'm a HUGE proponent of excelerated time (within reason).

    Characters always move WAY faster than normal life and I don't really want to sit around waiting a real life year for something to make sense on a normal time scale.

    ETA: And the other side of this is that for most players, they will not stick around for a RL year in order to accomplish stuff.


  • Pitcrew

    @bear_necessities said in Preference for IC Time On A Modern(ish) Game:

    Are people really celebrating holidays EVERY SINGLE YEAR in-game though? Birthdays? Like, I guess if it's only happening once a RL year, cool, but on games that are 1:2 time or whatever - why? Why would you do that to yourself or be worried about missing an IC holiday or... why?

    I mean, I feel like @Seraphim73's post answered that: cause he enjoys holiday stuff and can feel inspired by holidays happening IRL. It's just a thing that some people enjoy and some people don't. (Which is pretty similar to RL: some people are just holiday people, some people aren't.)


  • Pitcrew

    @Roz No I get that, but if it causes anxiety or whatever because you miss a birthday. Like. It's just a game!


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