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Real Time Strategy (Games) Entertainment Games

Achron — an RTS With Time Travel 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the flux-capacitor-not-required dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As much as I'm looking forward to StarCraft 2, there's a new RTS gaming tech that has me even more enthused. The Escapist Magazine has posted interviews and footage of the upcoming 'meta-time strategy game' Achron, which was announced at GDC earlier this year. It's a multiplayer RTS where you can send things through time. The official site has some gameplay footage as well, and it looks like their tech is useful outside of gaming."
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Achron — an RTS With Time Travel

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  • Of starcraft 2 with time travel. game starts, then "nuclear launch detected" with a blinking red light on your command center.
    • by SQLGuru (980662)

      I just imagine it as playing Ground Hog Day....[smashing alarm clock.....]

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:39PM (#29204643) Journal

      Of starcraft 2 with time travel. game starts, then "nuclear launch detected" with a blinking red light on your command center.

      According to what I saw in the first video, this wouldn't be possible. Rather, you are able to fight in the past that has real influences on your present but you aren't able to truly fight your opponent when they are starting out. On top of that, you can see where your opponent is in your time stream. And on top of that, you can speed up how fast you flow through time. Since most RTS's are based on reaction time (hence the title of the genre), it becomes very obvious to me that the default strategy is to get into the game and crank your speed up as fast as it will go. Then beat your opponent to your resource rich future and send units back in time. Always fight as far back in the past as you can.

      Of course, they limit how far back you can go and how much influence you have in the past but this is a new balance that would make for interesting game play. I have a feeling that my above observations are learned early on in the learning curve.

      But in your scenario, you would both be in the future launching nuclear warheads on each other in the past. I doubt this game will include such far reaching weapons for the simple fact of confusing alternate realities.

      They didn't address what happens if you constantly send the same unit back in time from multiple points in your stream to generate an army at one point. I guess the 'update waves' are a function to control that.

      • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:50PM (#29204805)

        According to what I saw in the first video, this wouldn't be possible. Rather, you are able to fight in the past that has real influences on your present but you aren't able to truly fight your opponent when they are starting out. On top of that, you can see where your opponent is in your time stream. And on top of that, you can speed up how fast you flow through time. Since most RTS's are based on reaction time (hence the title of the genre), it becomes very obvious to me that the default strategy is to get into the game and crank your speed up as fast as it will go. Then beat your opponent to your resource rich future and send units back in time. Always fight as far back in the past as you can.

        The correct strategy is to send one unit back in time to kill your opponent's mother before he was even born. If that fails, you have one more shot before the sequels get crappy.

        • by eln (21727) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:58PM (#29204927) Homepage
          No no, you have it all wrong. The correct strategy is to go back in time and become your opponent's father. It may not necessarily help you win the game, but it will give all of your future "your mother" taunts a devastating ring of truth, thereby increasing their impact. Plus, you'll get laid, which is always a bonus.
          • That's all good, until you discover that your opponent was actually your brother all along. In that case... eww.

            • by Chris Burke (6130)

              Or what if he decides to return the favor by going back in time to become your father as well?

              Well, a custody lawyer would get rich, is what, but I mean aside from that!

              • by lgw (121541)

                The you both could sing "I'm my own grandpa"! A rarity even by appalachian standards.

          • by WarlockD (623872)
            Sorry, no one owns time travel more than these guys. [starslip.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Flea of Pain (1577213)
          Technically, I belive the goal is to make sure your parents still do it...otherwise that picture of you just might fade away to nothing...
          • by Chris Burke (6130)

            Technically, I belive the goal is to make sure your parents still do it...

            Sweet Jeebus. I don't even want to think about whether my parents still do it, much less make sure!

      • They didn't address what happens if you constantly send the same unit back in time from multiple points in your stream to generate an army at one point.

        They covered this in another video, essentially it's possible, but they've balanced the game so that that behaviour consumes an unreasonable amount of resources, and that damage to the "parent" would presently manifest in all the "children" so such echoes would be unstable anyway.

      • by MaerD (954222)
        It still falls victim to becoming a terminator franchise.


        Player 1 (Who we shall call skynet) advances themselves far in to the future gaining the benefit of all the future tech and production to send units back in time to kill Player 2's (Who we shall call.. John) units.

        John realizes that the best thing he can do is occasionally send units back in time, but for the most part fight "in the present" with the troops at his disposal. If he can destroy the structures required to produce the units sent back
      • by 10Neon (932006)
        A player that spends more of their time in the present will regenerate chrono energy faster than one that spends it in the past. Combine that with strong traditional-RTS skills, and you force your opponent to try to make up for it in extremely efficient time travel decisions

        In the developer blog, it is mentioned that one of the developers (the guy who came up with the idea) is really good with time travel, and the other (the lead programmer) is a strong traditional RTS player. While their skill types are
      • by Delwin (599872) *
        They actually did describe how that works elsewhere (and of course now I can't find the video). Yes, you can send a single unit back in time to create an 'army of one' but the resources required to send a unit back are never less than the resources to just build another unit so it's not a cost effective strategy resource-wise though it can be valuable time-wise.
      • by gringer (252588)

        They didn't address what happens if you constantly send the same unit back in time from multiple points in your stream to generate an army at one point. I guess the 'update waves' are a function to control that.

        Er, yes they did. Gameplay overview video, about 2:28, 2:45 and 3:20.

        In an attempt to summarise, this is a valid tactic, but sending units back in time consumes chronoenergy (more consumed the further back they are sent), so there's an energy limit to the size of your army.

      • Actually they did in one video, damage incurred to past incarnations is carried to future incarnations somehow. I don't know if this means you can take strategic incarnations out of the timeline to the future to repair them or what. The whole game looks like someone saw the time travel vocabulary part of the hitchikers guide and said "Hey lets build an RTS around that!"

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      And, thanks to a misreading on my part, I had a mental image of Archon, where your Sorceress had the ability to go back in time to before your dragon got his ass kicked by a fucking unicorn.

      Course you could pretty much already do that, so that didn't make much sense. So I had to read again, oh A-Chron, I get it. Aw, no new Archon game. :(

      • And, thanks to a misreading on my part, I had a mental image of Archon,

        You rang?

        where your Sorceress had the ability to go back in time to before your dragon got his ass kicked by a fucking unicorn.

        Or, as in my worst loss ever, a damn goblin suddenly wires himself up like he's on crack, hits a couple lucky scenery changes that ALL bump him closer to his target and out of the way of my last shot, and is bloody impossible to hit until he's so close he's busy turning the wizard into a fine paste. A GOBLIN!

        Most memorable game? Ended in a tie. Not a draw, but a tie. The sorceress and wizard (the last pieces for their respective sides) took each other out with their last shot. Empty board, tied

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:34PM (#29204567) Homepage

    It's easy to imagine pushing things into the future, but pushing things back is a little harder. If it were single player, then okay... the computer remembers were everything was at the time somehow, but you would have to travel with it to make the simulation work or, perhaps, be required to work with multiple time segments simultaneously. But to do it multiplayer? Really boggles the mind.

    • by MankyD (567984) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:42PM (#29204681) Homepage

      It is a little hard to picture, but think of it like this:

      You're opponent goes in the past and kills your troops. In the present, suddenly, your troops start disappearing. You look down at the bottom of the screen and see your opponent screwing around in the past (it shows you where they currently are in time.) So you send some of your troops back to stop his attack. It is rather complex, but they make it work remarkably well.

      You can even send a troop back in time to team up with itself.

      • by Trepidity (597)

        Sounds a bit [imdb.com] like parts of the plot [wikipedia.org] of Primer [amazon.com] (probably the best film about time-travel there is).

      • by Jarjarthejedi (996957) <christianpinchNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:49PM (#29205883) Journal

        That's not even close to how Achron is currently described as working. Instead you'd be playing in the present and you'd notice your opponent was in the past (it displays player's location in time) causing damage (it also displays when in time you take damage). Then you could decide whether to go back and fight him, send some extra units back to help, or just ignore it and push the offensive in the future (the units won't be damaged/destroyed until a 'time wave' arrives, which also show up on the past display).

        Units don't disappear when they're killed in the past, the disappear a timewave passes through some time when they don't exist then reaches the present.

        • by MankyD (567984)
          You're right in that I forgot to mention the time-waves. The opponent goes back to kill you in the past, which you see (like I mentioned) but his actions take time to catch up with you.
    • Confusing (Score:3, Informative)

      by improfane (855034)

      They've limited the number of possible states (fractures) in space time with a graph that only has a limited number of states.

      Eventually they fall off the edge and you can not longer go back there so it's not arbitrary.

      I just hope things like AI are smart enough to change the future although it will be complex: you send a unit on a waypoint from A to B. Your opponent sends a unit to run past you in this past. Do your units attack this unit automatically and then are in a different position in the future?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by vertinox (846076)

      It's easy to imagine pushing things into the future, but pushing things back is a little harder.

      Nah. Its pretty easy! Haven't you seen Bill and Ted [wikipedia.org] where they just have to remember to go back in time to get a particular objects to show up.

      Maybe if you start a build queue then you instantly get it but you have to keep the build queue running until then or you blow up the space time continuum by not having the unit to send back when its ready.

    • You will need a little more than 1.21 jigowatts [photobucket.com] to complete all the trips, though.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:34PM (#29204573)

    In novels, there are roughly two main ways time-travel might be used (with a lot of gray area and variations): as a simple plot device that changes the setting, or as a hard-sci-fi thought experiment about how the world might work, or what effects there might be, if time travel were possible, and particular laws governed it. There've been videogames using [wikipedia.org] the first strategy, of course. And some [wikipedia.org] have elements that start going towards the second, but still embedded in the game's plot rather than the actual game mechanics. Interesting to see time-travel and its effects as an actual playable element.

    • ... if time travel were possible ...

      Let me save you and the world the struggle of finding the answer to this. Time Travel is NOT possible. Let me explain why.

      I call this "The asshole theory". See, there is always an asshole in the bunch. Someone who makes things difficult and wrecks situations just because they can. Moving infinitely forward in time, there will be an infinite amount of these assholes somewhere throughout the cosmos.

      With that, if time travel WERE possible, going infinitely into the futu
      • by lgw (121541)

        Riiiight - becuase when you look around, you don't see the kind of world we'd get if some asshole went back in time and screwed everything up? Heck, I'd say you've solved the age-old Problem of Evil: an omnipotent and loving God did make an eternal utopia for his creations to live in ... then some asshole went back in time and screwed it all up, and here we are!

        Moving infinitely forward in time, there will be an infinite amount of these assholes somewhere throughout the cosmos.

        While many civilizations may have independently created time travel, only one would emerge victorious from the Time ars, and those Time Lords wou

        • "Heck, I'd say you've solved the age-old Problem of Evil: an omnipotent and loving God did make an eternal utopia for his creations to live in ... then some asshole went back in time and screwed it all up, and here we are!"

          I think you have left out one of the legs of the tripod. The "problem of evil" involves an all loving, all knowing, all powerfull being. If there was an asshole going back to screw it all up, then the all knowing god should know about it. If that god can't do anything about it, then he'

      • That's assuming that you'll be able to go back in time to whenever you want. It's also possible that you can't go back before whatever you're using for time travel existed.
      • one of these assholes will eventually go back to the beginning of time and screw it all up.

        ...which explains the modern world. Thanks for proving time travel exists.

    • by Turiko (1259966)
      There's also Timeshift, an FPS in wich the player has control over time for a small duration. Things like making something fall down then reverse time and get on it are needed to complete the game.
  • Very Original (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:37PM (#29204609) Journal

    This is the most original thing I've seen to come out of the RTS genre in a long time.

    And to think, there's no reason Blizzard couldn't have done something just as innovative and different for SC2...they just don't want to take risk.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jandrese (485)
      It remains to be seen if this wildly experimental game is actually fun though. Obviously there has to be some way to make something permanent (maybe unit death?) given that otherwise the game devolves into each player just pulling repeated time tricks on each other forever (see: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure).
      • by krou (1027572) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:56PM (#29204891)

        Or you get as confused as Dark Helmet in Spaceballs ...

        Dark Helmet: What the hell am I playing? When does this happen in the game?
        Colonel Sandurz: Now. You're looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now, is happening now.
        Dark Helmet: What happened to then?
        Colonel Sandurz: We passed it.
        Dark Helmet: When?
        Colonel Sandurz: Just now. We're at now now.
        Dark Helmet: Go back to then.
        Colonel Sandurz: When?
        Dark Helmet: Now.
        Colonel Sandurz: Now?
        Dark Helmet: Now.
        Colonel Sandurz: I can't.
        Dark Helmet: Why?
        Colonel Sandurz: We missed it.
        Dark Helmet: When?
        Colonel Sandurz: Just now.
        Dark Helmet: When will then be now?
        Colonel Sandurz: Soon.

        • Even better movie scenario [mjyoung.net] for this:

          But we are forced to look a step back and ask what would have happened had Evil Bill & Ted never arrived. Sadly, the movie fails on this point, because they would have had no show, no message, no glory, and no future of peace and brotherhood which De Nomolos would wish to destroy. However, this particular history--the one in which Bill and Ted appear at the Battle of the Bands but Evil Bill and Ted did not arrive to interfere--never happened. But the reason for tha

      • by ildon (413912)

        The big problem I see is that you're going to spend the majority of your time playing against a computer-controlled opponent when it comes to micromanagement and unit control. That takes away a lot of the draw of multiplayer RTS games for me.

      • Unit Death, limited time travel energy, limited player time (eventually the event's going to pass off the left side of the timeline, no more undoing when that happens).

        You can only mess around with a few minutes, past and future of the present.

      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        The bigger issue I see is whether it'll end up overwhelming the player.

    • by smartr (1035324)
      Has Blizzard ever really been innovative like you speak? I find that when you think about it what they pull off best is depth, quality, detail, fun, and consistency in these matters. The engines they use aren't anything cutting edge. They don't really put anything out that hasn't been done somewhere before. They just take all the pieces and put them together in perfect execution.
      • by Prien715 (251944)

        Uh. Yes. They used to be known for this:

        Lost Vikings featured co-op play and was a puzzle-action platformer.

        Diablo invented the action RPG.

        Starcraft was the first RTS to feature truly differentiated races (technically, Warcraft had "differences" as did other games...notably C&C, but not completely different tech trees/methods of building/etc).

        Warcraft 3 was the first RTS with an action-RPG "hero" system (yes, you could get experience in games like Myth...but there was no choice in the matter, no items,

    • Blizzard revising Starcraft 2 is not really like most traditional sequels. The original has become so popular that it is like a sport in many ways, and sports fans and players don't generally want to see a wholesale revision of the game, at most they want small gradual improvements. Basketball might be really awesome with trampolines scattered around the floor, but that's not basketball anymore.

      If Blizzard were to do something extreme like this, it would best to make it its own series, perhaps as a spinof

      • by nasch (598556)

        Basketball might be really awesome with trampolines scattered around the floor, but that's not basketball anymore.

        Nope, that's SlamBall [google.com].

    • by brkello (642429)
      That's such a strange criticism. Blizzard also could have added a portal gun, made you make moral choices, and give you a dog that followed you around and dug up treasure. Maybe their lore didn't want to add in time travel. Maybe none of the developers thought of it.

      This whole "games have to be innovative" crap needs to go away. Innovation doesn't make a good game. I'll be more than happy if SCII is as fun as the first SC with better graphics and more story. You don't need Blizzard to have time travel
      • by nasch (598556)

        That's such a strange criticism. Blizzard also could have added a portal gun, made you make moral choices, and give you a dog that followed you around and dug up treasure. Maybe their lore didn't want to add in time travel. Maybe none of the developers thought of it.

        I agree with you that they didn't need to add time travel. However, if you repeatedly click on an Arbiter, you can see that they did in fact think of it, way back in 199-whatever. :-)

    • There was (and still is [flyingbuffalo.com]) a company called Flying Buffalo that ran play-by-mail, computer-mediated games. Their all-time favorite was called StarWeb, but they also had a game called Time Trap. In it, you placed units on a playing field, and they attempted to destroy each other. Units could move, shoot, or store energy; with enough stored energy, a unit could move backwards in game time. Moving N turns back took N^2 energy units, and the computer re-resolved the position from the earliest intervention.
    • by neo (4625)

      With the very wide open API that's being created for SC2, it is very likely that someone could create this variant in SC2 in very short order.

      I give it a month after release. I mean before the release. I mean after the before release... you get the idea.

    • by brkello (642429)
      Oh! I finally came up with an analogy! Criticizing Blizzard for making non-innovative games is like criticizing Britney Spears because she doesn't sing about how to solve differential equations. They are doing what works for them and lots of people still love them anyways. (Not a perfect analogy though, because Blizzard doesn't suck)
  • Preview (Score:5, Funny)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:46PM (#29204747) Homepage

    Having already played this game in the future, I can only say that things get really strange if you try to go back in time before the game was launched and try to prevent it from being installed on your opponents computers.

    Also, if you see a player on the network named John Titor, don't play against him. He seems to know what's going to happen already. Fscking cheater!

    • by lennier (44736)

      This is where we're stuck having to simulate time travel with sequential physics. But when Google buys the LHC...

  • by Dan667 (564390)
    And the reason I still don't own a console. PC games are just more fun if you like things like this.
    • by Krneki (1192201) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:55PM (#29204877)
      Console players play this the whole time. PC games 5 years in the past. :)
      • by Dan667 (564390)
        If you mean I can play games like Fallout and Baldurs Gate and Crysis at full settings on the same PC, guess you are correct. Good luck even getting an xbox360 to work in 5 years.
        • by Supurcell (834022)
          Fallout and Baldur's Gate barely work on computers now. I'm going to wish you good luck running them on a modern computer from 5 years in the future.
          • by Cederic (9623)

            Hmm. I can download, install and play Fallout in around 20 minutes.

            (Legally)

            Baldur's Gate would admittedly be trickier, as I'd need to rummage through the cupboard..

  • I'm normally not a grammar nazi, but it looks like it's time to apply the grammarFunc. grammarFunc("An real time strategy...") --> "A real time strategy..." grammarFunc, for all your recursive grammar policing needs.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      When using a/an with an acronym, it is acceptable to base your word choice on how the acronym is pronounced. Since most people will read RTS as "Are Tee Ess" you would use an because of the A in Are. It's certainly debatable, and I would say that a and an are both correct, but I wouldn't be pedantic and "correct" someone for not using the word I would prefer...

      And no one will see this because I'm an AC...

      • When using a/an with an acronym, it is acceptable to base your word choice on how the acronym is pronounced. Since most people will read RTS as "Are Tee Ess" you would use an because of the A in Are. It's certainly debatable, and I would say that a and an are both correct, but I wouldn't be pedantic and "correct" someone for not using the word I would prefer...

        And no one will see this because I'm an AC...

        QA, in most cases, wants us to assume the letters will be read individually. In the acronym heavy subject matter it just tends to flow better since people tend to speak the acronym when discussing it anyway.

        Personally, reading "To save resources, we are using a LCS," causes my brain to make that "click" sound a bad hard drive makes.

      • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @03:49PM (#29207901) Homepage

        It's certainly debatable, and I would say that a and an are both correct, but I wouldn't be pedantic and "correct" someone for not using the word I would prefer...

        How is it debatable?

        The whole "a vs an" thing comes from the spoken language. You use "an" before words that start with a vowel sound, because the consonant breaks up the vowels and thus the words so it's easier for people listening to distinguish them.

        Say "an RTS" out loud, pronouncing each letter. Notice how it rolls off the tongue easily. Now say "a RTS", and you either have to insert an awkward pause between 'a' and 'R', or you risk losing the 'a' while sounding like a pirate. Which is fine on Talk Like a Pirate Day, but even a pirate would say "an aaaaaaarrrr-tee-es." Try it with "a/an artichoke" if the acronym is still messing you up. It's the same principle, though -- it's the sound that matters.

        It might be debatable that "a RTS" is a correct alternative in writing. It is not debatable that "an RTS" is correct, because it absolutely is correct.

    • by Anonymous Cowar (1608865) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:08PM (#29205139)
      hyper correction above: Use of 'a' or 'an' before an acronym [antimoon.com]

      If the acronym is pronounced as individual letters, such as NSA (National Security Agency), then use the article that would be appropriate when pronouncing the first letter: "an NSA representative."

      So 'an RTS' is correct unless you pronounce 'RTS' as a word (arrrt-ssss?). Unless you've pulled "An Real Time Strategy" from somewhere else that isn't in the summary or summary title, if so, carry on.

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        So 'an RTS' is correct unless you pronounce 'RTS' as a word (arrrt-ssss?).

        Even then 'an' would be correct, because it's the presence or absence of a vowel sound that matters.

        For 'a RTS' to be the correct version would be if you pronounced it "Rits". Which I guess has a certain ring to it. "What were you doing last night?" "Oh, puttin on the ritz."

  • by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:59PM (#29204959)

    "Spear men sapping my tanks!"

  • Sure sounds like it would eventually become a series of one-ups, like grips up the bat or the barberpole. "My unit takes yours."; "No, my unit goes back 5 minutes and takes you". Rinse and repeat.
    • by k_187 (61692)
      Yeah, I'm having a hard time figuring out how this would play any differently than a normal RTS. Except now, you send your units back in time before they attack instead of just sending them to attack.
  • by Lemming Mark (849014) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:32PM (#29205545) Homepage

    I looked at some demo footage of the game and it seemed like time travel really is just like literally adding another dimension to an RTS game. Where in a normal RTS you can be attacked in the West, East, North, South (and potentially on different levels, if the game has land and air units, in Achron you can also be being attacked at a physical location that's also "in the past" and "in the future". You can go to the past and future like you'd go to different places on a map.

    To make it sane, the player exists in "meta time", a kind of overall time that ties together all the different positions in game time. The difference from a spacial dimension is:

    a) the further away from the current moment you want to operate, the more time energy you use up. I think you can observe any time period for free, it's just if you want to send information or objects through time that it gets expensive.
    b) effects take a while to propagate - stuff causally resulting from a battle in the past takes a certain amount of meta time (player time) to propagate to the present game time. Sounds weird but think of it like this: if your opponent goes back in time and blows up *all your stuff* you will not see anything change in the present have until the "time wave" propagates the results of these events forward to the present. At that point all your units are going to disappear. But in the meantime you have a (limited) window in which to go back with some units and "fix" the past.

    This *sounds* complicated but it really is just like an extra dimension of movement with some odd properties added. It makes a lot more sense if you watch the videos, once it clicks, it clicks.

    And yes, you can do grandfather paradoxes and travel to the future. Have fun!

    • a) Observing the past doesn't cost any energy but they're repeatedly said that you regenerate energy faster the closer you are to the present.

      • Thanks, forgot that - it's a while since I've looked at the Achron demo videos.

        It seems like they've given a decent amount of thought to how to balance the gameplay.

    • At work, can't see for myself. Were the following situations explained:
      What happens when a factory is taken out in the past, do all units propagated from it vanish?
      What of resource collectors, does all income generated vanish, do units purchased with said resources vanish?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lemming Mark (849014)

        IIRC the effects of a factory being taken out in the past (and maybe ditto for the resources thing, don't really know) are the following:

        When the factory is destroyed in the past, you'll stop being able to build units when working in the past. The units you'd built with the factory *originally* (i.e. earlier in *player time*, not game time) will still exist in the present, they won't just vanish.

        The destruction of the factory will propagate as a "time wave", through meta time. Which is to say that the eff

    • In the end the 3rd dimension did not add too much to the mechanic of the gameplay. I want to see the finished game and try it before it really add a dimension and it is also a dimension of fun.
  • Paradox (Score:4, Funny)

    by BoChen456 (1099463) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:55PM (#29206019)
    So what happens when you send a unit back in time to kill itself?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by andrewd18 (989408)
      • This is so cool. I can only wonder what would happen if they introduced more than one time dimension.
    • by Itigya (776348)
      They actually covered this, the unit would alternate between existing and not-existing (presumably the alternation would be on the time wave pulses).
    • by brunes69 (86786)

      The same thing that happens when you go back in time and RTFA before posting that comment.

    • by AP31R0N (723649)

      My guess is that you were joking, but i'll bite. The game does not allow duplicating units via time travel. At any given point on the timeline, a unit can be at one and only one place. You can build a unit on Wednesday and send it back to Tuesday, but the present is still moving. The further back the units are, the more it costs you to command them.

      This game allows 4th dimensional travel (pretending the units themselves are 3D), but the real movement of the game is in a sort of metatime. That might be

  • by bmcnally (1333283)
    Better be written by Stephen Hawking. I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around how exactly things will play out. If I destroy a unit production structure in the past - will that in turn destroy all of the units produced by said structure? Will it refund the credits used to create those units to the other player? It seems like they will have to limit consequences to only one or two steps - if I were to destroy a building in the past, removing its created units from the playing field, which in turn re
  • My head asplode.

  • Is it going to do to Time what Portal did with Space?

    And can we expect a cool song at the end by Johnathon Coulton?

  • I have thought about creating a game using time travel mechanics but my solution was not as elegant as the one Achron is using. Kudos to the developers and I really hope they can sell the technology to other game companies so we can have more time travel RTS.
  • Every now and then I return to the on-going board meeting being held in one of my Day Dream arenas where I'm planning out how to make a game like this one work. It's quite the mental exercise.

    The fact that this game exists means that either the makers have overcome some rather huge programming barriers, or they have dodged around them by cheating. Either way, if it feels right, then they've been quite clever.

    The version I've been planning in my head, (with no intention of ever actually making since I'm no

  • I just watched the video where on "The Escapist" which covers the software developers behind Achron.

    So cool! --It's one of those charming out of college start-ups in somebody's house with a handful of equipment and a couple of guys developing the game. That brings back some great memories of my own.

    I pretty much avoid video games like the great time-plague, but I can see myself actually picking up a copy of Achron just to support these dudes and the development of such a cool idea.

    I wish 'em the best of l

  • Playing through the whole game only took ten minutes.

    Subjectively, anyway.

  • So what if you create a unit, then send that unit back in time and kill the structure that created him?
    • My understanding is that because the game propagates cause and effect through "meta time" (player time), the game will oscillate between just the factory and just the unit existing. Eventually there's a cut-off point after a certain amount of ... something (meta time, presumably), at which point you end up keeping whichever of them is currently in existence.

      Others have posted a link to their explanation.

  • It is exciting to see that are developing this game with an eye toward Linux. However, I do wish they didn't confuse Windows with PC.

    Q. On what platform will Achron be available?

    A. We are currently developing for the PC, but we did it with an eye toward porting to both OS X and Linux. We would like to be able to offer Achron for the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3, and possibly even the Wii, and are currently evaluating them.

    The last I checked, Windows, Linux, and (I believe) OS X all ran on the PC platform. Maybe they are developing the game to run from a bootable disk on the PC. Much like the PS3, which can (I believe) run Linux or the PS3 loader.

  • When I first looked at the headline I thought it said "Archon". Then I wanted to go back in time so I could play it in my mom's basement again. Ah, those were the days.

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