So I love time limits. In Fallout 1, it was appropriate because:
- It reinforced the urgency and pressure of saving your Vault. - It reinforced the brutal nature of the world you were in. - It made time-usage skills more risky for players to use. Sure, Doctor was helpful, but you had to be careful because it could consume a lot of time if used repeatedly.
Players reacted negatively because:
- The time limit was unforgiving. - It prevented them from exploring areas at their leisure, which undermined the non-linearity of the game â€“ suddenly you didnâ€™t want to go everywhere and explore everything, because the clock was ticking. - It couldnâ€™t be reset/extended beyond the time limit except in a few places in the game, and only a finite number of times.
So the question becomes â€“ if I, as a game designer, want to introduce the same level of time pressure and instill the player with a sense of urgency, what can I do?
System Shock 2 had an elegant answer to this: It associated all the time limits with your inventory items. If you powered up an implant, it had X amount of time to function before you needed to recharge it.