VB6 Aurora > Aurora Suggestions

Time Travel


Never mind psychohistory, time travel gets results.       

Here is an idea for a 4X mechanic which becomes an intriguing in-game alternative to admitting you lost and replaying from an early save to try to beat the baddies, which I confess to having done on many occasions in many 4X games, who hasn't? The following mechanics are to give a flavour but are not intended to be taken as some kind of canon.       

For example of how this tech is useful, it might suit as a strategy to tackle a super hard invader scenario where you got beaten but can scrape just enough stuff together to make a teeny time ship and alter the course of history.       

Practical mechanics - The time ship can use a jump point wormhole to travel back in time to the same game map at the point where the game started or perhaps if the player wishes an even earlier date in a preTNE era for their civilisation.  This resets the invader clock and also all minerals, spoilers and NPRs.       

The player retains knowledge of all previously surveyed jump points and minerals etc and has only the time ship and whatever it transported as assets.       

The chance to research temporal jump theory is revealed after certain TBD techs are acquired, it enables temporal jump drive (TJD) design, but researching a TJD component is very expensive relative to component size, which determines a time ship's size in the same way as the non temporal jump drive.        The TJD can probably make normal jumps.        It requires a shield to undertake time travel (due to using field effects) and cannot take other ships along.       

The TJD has a high power requirement and it plus generators will take up a large proportion of a time ship design.        TJD proportion is reduced by existing jumpdrive tech but starts much bigger at about 50%.        This kind of balancing is intended to make it hard to research a big TJD quickly, but possible to slap together a time fighter or FAC as a desperate last resort in the face of certain doom.       

The leap back in time places the player in a different location, within a range of the temporal jump point, related to the length of time of the jump, due to the orbits of star systems around the galactic core plus the movements of galaxies themselves.        It might be possible to predict the emergence point before jumping with the right research and hardware.        Else a desperate fugitive can jump blind.       

The player can choose to start their own colony if able, or seek out their original home planet if they can find it and are able to find a known jump point to get there.       

Once in communications range of their own species in a bygone era, the player can use the diplomatic process to develope a pact of unity which means the home planet recognises the time ship as one of its own and the homeworld etc becomes the player's to govern once again.        In this scenario advanced tech is not easy to share and so it is not instantly absorbed by the homeworld population but there is a significant reduction in research costs for all techs previously researched before the time jump, at least 50%, due to the data brought with the time ship.        The unified government inherits the knowledge of the map.       

If they start their own (small) colony then its treated as a new species.        Size and output limited by the colonists etc they brought with them but they keep existing tech levels and cannot make a pact of unity but can become allies of their homeworld (which is an NPR) by normal diplomatic means enhanced by their common language.       

If the player invades the homeworld then they can take ownership but without a pact of unity.        Species separation will apply and research bonuses due to time travelling overlords will be much lower, around 20% (instead of 50%) as they are oppressing the population and the spirit of cooperation will be absent.       

The player can then use the time ship either as is, or use it to dismantle and boost research even more, or refit without a temporal drive and add whatever the homeworld tech can add, like cargo or fuel tanks etc.        Advanced components cannot be overhauled until the research which made them possible is re-researched.       

And play on, hopefully gaining enough of an advantage to defeat the invaders.       



Aurora doesn't keep track of past states, it only keeps track of the current state of the game IIRC. And a lot of the program is dependent on chance. What you basically want is for the game to store a seed value of the game and permanently log every event that ever happened in a sub pulse.

Aside from the programming headache, it'd balloon the database size massively as it tries to keep track and register everything that happened. I know of an RTS game that actually had time travel as part of the game mechanics, but that one deliberately limited how far forward and back you could go.

Seed value yes, but current state of player tech is no different to separate NPR. 

The point of time travelling back to the seed state is you dont need the baggage of a previous game save.

I did think about that :)


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