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Real Time Strategy (Games) Entertainment Games

Achron — an RTS With Time Travel 141

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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  • Confusing (Score:3, Informative)

    by improfane ( 855034 ) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:56PM (#29204897) Journal

    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?

  • by Flea of Pain ( 1577213 ) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:06PM (#29205083)
    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 Anonymous Cowar ( 1608865 ) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:08PM (#29205139)
    hyper correction above: Use of 'a' or 'an' before an acronym []

    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 Lemming Mark ( 849014 ) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:32PM (#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!

  • by Jarjarthejedi ( 996957 ) <> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:49PM (#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.

  • 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.

  • Re:Paradox (Score:3, Informative)

    by andrewd18 ( 989408 ) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @03:30PM (#29206635)
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @04:49PM (#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 Lemming Mark ( 849014 ) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @07:45PM (#29210283) Homepage

    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 effects of destroying the factory will eventually (from the player's PoV) appear in the present. At that point, yes, your units (and the factory) will probably disappear.

    In the meantime you may have gone back in time with those units (!) and saved the factory (!!). According to my understanding, you may then have to wait until *that* change propagates through meta-time to the present. Until this happens you will not have access to that factory or the units it made when playing in the present.

    Make sense?

  • by Estragib ( 945821 ) <> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @10:40PM (#29211615)
    Please clean your links []. That way we'd know you're not some lowly affiliate spammer.

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