Time, Turns, and Interrupts

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Poster: Erik Luken
Article ID: 8
Views: 154
Rated: Not Rated
Posted: Mon 30 Nov 2015
Approved: Yes

Aurora is neither real-time nor turn based. Instead, the player chooses a time increment (turn length) by clicking one of the Time Control buttons (5 seconds - 30 days) and the game then advances, until either the chosen time increment has passed, or an event happens that requires the player's attention.

Early in a campaign when not much is happening you may be using 5-day or even 30-day increments. During the approach phase of a battle you might select 1 hour or 20 minute increments and when you are under missile attack you will probably select 5 second increments to give your point-defence systems the best chance of detecting and engaging incoming missiles.

1) Interrupt Events. These are the events to which you might want to react, such as detecting a new ship from an alien race, having one of your task groups finish its orders or detecting a missile coming at you. However, you do have an option called Automated Turns. If you click the automated turns checkbox before clicking an increment size, the program will keep running increments of that size until an interrupt event affecting you. So if two NPRs decide to have a long battle, set automated turns and go and have a cup of tea :)

An interrupt means an event partway through an increment that ends the current increment at the end of the current sub-pulse. Only certain events are flagged as interrupt events so not every event causes an interrupt. An increment adjustment is where the program checks ahead before the increment takes place to see what is going to happen and makes the increment shorter as a result. This is not the same as an interrupt. An interrupt or an increment adjustment does not end automated turns. That only happens as a result of an interrupt for the currently selected race.

The 5-Day Construction Cycle
You get to build a lot of things in different things in Aurora and the actual construction takes place in what is commonly referred to as the 5-day increment, or 5-day construction cycle. It would affect performance if Aurora updated construction times in every 5 second increment or sub-pulse so instead the game waits until an number of increments have passed that add up to about five days and then runs all the construction code after the normal movement/detection/combat phases for that increment. Because Aurora increments rarely add up to exactly five days between construction cycles, the program uses the actual amount of time that has passed, whether it is 5 days, 12 days or 6 days, 14 hours, 12 minutes and 45 seconds. This means that the amount of 'construction' carried out in each construction cycle may vary a little between cycles. You can choose to change the trigger time for a construction cycle from the standard 400,000 seconds in the game setup if you want it to happen more or less often.

Game Events
Events that interrupt a turn (examples):

* a new ship contact
* a task group completed its orders
* a production item being finished
* a ship being unable to carry out its orders
and many others.

For a list of game events, see the Events Log window and click "Filter Events". There you can also configure which events not to see in the log by double clicking them (e.g. officer promotions).


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