Achron : Metatime strategy game

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A. Smith
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Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby A. Smith » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:35 pm UTC

Click here for a blown mind.

Essentially, this is an RTS, but you're free to move around in time. Yes, this means you can go back in time with your units to destroy an enemy's base before he attacks and destroys the same units you're attacking him with.

It's gonna be awesome.

Added bonus: not only is the FAQ very interesting, it contains a spinal tap reference.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Vieto » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:11 pm UTC

so, what happens if you send a unit back in time, and it's past self gets destroyed?

Sounds fun.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby A. Smith » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:39 pm UTC

Well, from what I understand your unit (then one you originally sent back in time) needs to be by the gate when they teleported in the original timeline. If they aren't (whether because they die or because they just aren't there), they disappear.

What I don't know is if their affect on the timeline also disappears, or only the unit themselves. The first would be more interesting, methinks.

And yes, it does sound a lot of fun.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby aion7 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:18 am UTC

Do want!

It is very interesting to me how it will look when über micro is combined with time-bending strategenious.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby el_loco_avs » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:34 am UTC

You attack my base.

I attack your base in retaliation, but in the past.

I destroy your base in the past, so you base never existed later on to attack me.

ie. You never attacked my base.

I never attacked in retaliation.

...



?


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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Phen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:14 pm UTC

el_loco_avs wrote:You attack my base.

I attack your base in retaliation, but in the past.

I destroy your base in the past, so you base never existed later on to attack me.

ie. You never attacked my base.

I never attacked in retaliation.

...



?


*decides to rtfa*

HEAD ASPLODE

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby CogDissident » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:55 pm UTC

Basically, the game goes by the "earliest timeline over-writes later timelines" rule. If you travel back in time 5 minutes to blow up their base in retaliation, then reality is that people appeared out of nowhere, blew up some stuff, and either A: Disappear when the time passes that they origonally left the timeline to travel back in time or B: they go to a beacon where they "could" travel back in time, and thus continue to exist (they don't actually have to leave, they just have to be "able" to leave, it seems like it assumes you leave and come back at the same moment).

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Gunfingers » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:06 pm UTC

The FAQ mentions playing in the "future", but how would that work in multiplayer? Obviously the game cannot know what a player will be doing in five minutes.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby dizturbd » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:39 pm UTC

I watched the demo, and my head hurt. Would be interesting to play though.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Phen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:35 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:The FAQ mentions playing in the "future", but how would that work in multiplayer? Obviously the game cannot know what a player will be doing in five minutes.

Wasn't it made so that you could only jump backwards? I didn't watch all the videos, so I might be wrong.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:07 pm UTC

Wow, this game looks amazing. Hopefully they'll upgrade the appearance.

I especially love that you can send a unit back in time to fight with itself, but must ensure that the unit gets to the point where it jumped back in time, IN TIME, to jump back... (ow), otherwise it never jumps and as the time wave propagates, the units actions are erased in the past...

Conceptually, the notion is complex. In execution, it seems like they just set up a series of distinct timezones, as determined by these time propagation waves, and gave the players freedom to mess around in them.

As shit gets layered, I bet it gets really hard to keep track of. If I send a force back in time to fight along side themselves (effectively doubling my army) and attack the opponent (in the past) who decides he doesn't like the outcome of the battle, so goes back before the battle and moves his army to instead attack a different part of the map, and I don't like that so I cancel sending my original force back to fight along side themselves...

And they said on the page that some sort of 50/50 tic gets brought in to deal with grandfather paradoxes, although I'm not sure how that's going to play out.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby RetSpline » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:11 pm UTC

This game looks really awesome, but I think we're going to need some grammar with which to talk about time travel easily. I've actually been thinking about this for a while, but haven't had any real ideas.

The command hierarchy thing looks interesting too.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby DonChubby » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:25 am UTC

RetSpline wrote:...but I think we're going to need some grammar with which to talk about time travel easily.
Yes, if I'm not mistaken, we're going to need at least 1001 tenses, though we might as well stop at the Future Semi-Conditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby frogman » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:18 am UTC

Isn't that from Douglas Adams?

This game looks like it will be one of the more awesome events of the century. Seriously... time travel? RTS? Two of the greatest things ever!
yeah yeah yeah

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Tamasan » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:58 pm UTC

Uh... but...

:shock:

Wow. Head asplodes is right.

This is gonna be good.

Plus the command hierarchy is something that has been sorely lacking in every RTS I've yet played. It makes using a couple of groups performing different objectives in the same area a heck of a lot easier. Instead of having to select the groups each time you switch from one to another, all you have to do is select the commander, and a visual status of who is following the orders... wow. Even that is significant improvement even without the time stuff.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Amnesiasoft » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:59 pm UTC

Supreme Commander had that ability. And it was nice.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Xeio » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm UTC

This will either be awesome, or a neat gimmic for a short while. I dunno, I guess we'll see how they do (watching a video isn't much of a play experience).

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby BoomFrog » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:18 am UTC

The FAQ implies that you can pause time to issue commands and then fast forward to catch up with your opponents time line. This also seems like a way to travel into the future, by "playing slow" your opponent would build up a future time line that you could then scout out and change your present plan accordingly.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Super Hans » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:35 pm UTC

It looks like it keeps a definite "present" and you only move relative to that, so you can't just travel to the future by deliberatly playing in the past by pausing the game for a minute.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Levi » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:18 pm UTC

You can now purchase the alpha for this game. The FAQ says they're aiming to release it by the 01/01/11.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Axman » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:04 pm UTC

They can always release it earlier if they finish it later independently.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:17 pm UTC

after recovering from a particularly violent headsplosion, I have to say, this looks fun and innovative to the extreme, if I had more free money right now I'd definitely buy it.

The time-wave mechanic espescially seems quite clever, though doubtless it will take some getting used to.

also, that FAQ :P
Q: Aren't you worried about piracy?
A: No — Hazardous Software doesn't own any shipping vessels and our core business functions don't directly depend on overseas shipments. We are, however, worried about ninjacy and zombicy, as ninjas and zombies can and will strike on land.


Q: No, I mean do you worry about people who copy your games and stuff without buying it?
A: The illegal act of copyright infringement definitely harms us as a company. We're a tiny studio, so it affects us a lot.
However, DRM has many disadvantages, such as incompatibilities and annoyances. If we were to include restrictive DRM in Achron, it's virtually guaranteed that someone will crack the DRM and illegally distribute Achron anyway. In short, we believe that restrictive DRM harms the paying customer and does little to protect against piracy.
To download updates, mods, and other media, we do require a valid Achron account at Hazardous Software, which is acquired when you purchase a license to Achron.


no DRM :D :D :D
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Jessica » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:41 pm UTC

Edgar, the company is 2 guys in a basement. they're not gonna put DRM on their game.

When I get home I'll probably preorder just to play the alpha, and help out their project. Indie gaming is awesome and needs support.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Xanthir » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:12 am UTC

I'm pretty sure I'll be preordering this. It's too awesome to pass up.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby EdgarJPublius » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:33 am UTC

Jessica wrote:Edgar, the company is 2 guys in a basement. they're not gonna put DRM on their game.


I've seen smaller studios do it, and the way in which they don't do it is particularly amusing.

I like their business model over-all, I wish I had the money to help them out right now, but when I do, I definitely will, and I hope their success spreads.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby guyy » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:16 am UTC

I'm pretty terrible at RTS games, but I can't resist time-travel games, so I'll probably get it when they finish. Unless they send a copy back in time, that is.

I'm not sure why they have the "time-wave" mechanic; I guess they just decided it was just to chaotic to let people go back in time and change the present instantly, and that "slow" changes to time encourage more battling in the past, which of course is the main point of the game.

All the past-adjustment could lead to some nasty problems, though. Like, taking the Grandfather Paradox to the next level, what if you and your opponent make some quick armies, then he goes back in time to before you built an army and destroys your base (which you used to make your army), but you send your army back in time and destroy his base (which he used to make his army) before he built his army...well, that could cause a pretty insane mess of repeatedly reversing paradoxes, especially if the two of you go back a few more times to try to "fix" it. Still, the game had better let you do stuff like that, because paradox war is just too ridiculous to not be fun.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Toeofdoom » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:41 am UTC

guyy wrote:I'm pretty terrible at RTS games, but I can't resist time-travel games, so I'll probably get it when they finish. Unless they send a copy back in time, that is.

I'm not sure why they have the "time-wave" mechanic; I guess they just decided it was just to chaotic to let people go back in time and change the present instantly, and that "slow" changes to time encourage more battling in the past, which of course is the main point of the game.

All the past-adjustment could lead to some nasty problems, though. Like, taking the Grandfather Paradox to the next level, what if you and your opponent make some quick armies, then he goes back in time to before you built an army and destroys your base (which you used to make your army), but you send your army back in time and destroy his base (which he used to make his army) before he built his army...well, that could cause a pretty insane mess of repeatedly reversing paradoxes, especially if the two of you go back a few more times to try to "fix" it. Still, the game had better let you do stuff like that, because paradox war is just too ridiculous to not be fun.

The time wave mechanic is pretty necessary, really. Seriously, can you imagine the lag if you sent a unit back in time and killed something... then it had to recalculate 5 minutes of gameplay within a frame. Even if it were technically possible (it most definitely is not) your point would probably stand.

And I don't really see any reason the game would stop you going nuts like that.

I've basically been thinking about how this game would work independently from this team for at least 5-6 years, but never actually tried making it because I couldn't find a team that believed it would work. The concept for me came from a friend at high school iirc but he try to go into game development as far as I know.

I will say they need some decent people on the graphics/art side :P but they've got the gameplay down.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby guyy » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:37 pm UTC

Toeofdoom wrote:The time wave mechanic is pretty necessary, really. Seriously, can you imagine the lag if you sent a unit back in time and killed something... then it had to recalculate 5 minutes of gameplay within a frame. Even if it were technically possible (it most definitely is not) your point would probably stand.


Well, the game works (I think?) by basically having several copies of itself running at once with different timestamps and time-advance rates, and remembering all orders given in the past 2-3 minutes so it can apply them to each copy (or "time-wave", as they call them) when they intersect. So it's already doing a pretty serious amount of processing, to say nothing of memory usage. :P But yeah, there'd inevitably be annoying lag-spikes if you tried to propagate orders instantly; and the time-waves allow a (somewhat random) solution to time-paradoxes, which could be a major problem if things didn't change one at a time.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Toeofdoom » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:00 pm UTC

Yes, although storing the data wouldn't quite be like that I think... The solution we decided we liked best involved having a "thread" for each unit and these guys talk about threads too so presumably they use the same idea. So at 1:00 it's built and rallies at X, at 2:00 it's ordered to go to Y, etc. Which is essentially what replays of many other RTSs presumably do, although they might just chuck it all in a big pile rather than unit specific threads. The advantage of threads is that it's much easier to modify a thread of a specific unit than to mess around with a giant heap of data.

As for processing power, it's not like they're going nuts with physics or ridiculous unit spam like some other RTS games do, so it shouldn't be that bad. Memory usage? Like I said, other RTSs save replays already, check the size of them and you know how much it will take. Pretty sure it isn't that significant, but I haven't checked recently so I can't remember.

I think my favourite solution for paradoxes was basically "once something is dead... it's dead. It doesn't matter if the thing that killed it no longer exists. It's dead." But then we weren't going to use the same type of time waves.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Vaniver » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:47 pm UTC

I don't see anything about sending units back in time, in the short video that I watched at least. It was more that you could make decisions over, say, a minute-long period- keep all of your units in the center of your base, and then when someone attacks you at time t, you move the units into position before they attack (at t-10, knowing that they've given the order to attack you at t). They can then change what they did at t-10, though each of these changes costs resources.

[edit]It's in the FAQ, though, and actually remembering the video it looks like they sent the fighters back in time.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Xanthir » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:57 pm UTC

Yup, you can indeed send troops back in time, and do things like having the future-versions team up with past-versions and temporarily double your army. There are some important restrictions you have to abide by, though, which make sense in the context of their universe's time mechanics.

It's even possible, though tricky, to exploit paradoxes to perma-clone at no resource cost. However, it requires some pretty hefty chronoenergy expenditures, as you'll be doing some manipulation near the edge of your 8-minute window, and it's vulnerable to disruption by a canny enemy hitting you while you're weak in one of the paradox flip-flops. Plus it takes valuable real time that you could be spending doing other things, like fighting your opponent.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby jahwn lemonjello » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:34 am UTC

I will probably pre order this once it is ready for mac.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby TheTedinator » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:13 am UTC

Yeah me too. THis game looks amazing and i hope they can pull it off.

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby BoomFrog » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:53 am UTC

Seems like you can play the alpha version now if you preorder the game. And it sounds like they need the preorders to keep up production.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby BurningLed » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:18 pm UTC

The demos on Youtube are downright fucking amazing to watch. Seeing someone get attacked, go back in time and annihilate the attackers, and then their opponent deciding not to have attacked at all, is just really, really, really awesome. as soon as i can get my hands on some money, i am buying the alpha.

Gunfingers wrote:The FAQ mentions playing in the "future", but how would that work in multiplayer? Obviously the game cannot know what a player will be doing in five minutes.

I know the quote is a year old, but you could send units into the future to plant outposts and traps ahead of time so your opponent is fucked when he gets there -- So long as your opponent doesn't jump ahead and scare you off with some mechs.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:52 am UTC

My guess would be it teleports them a certain time frame in the future... ie, you see that their about to build a base near some resources? Teleport an Army into the future there.. they start building up then suddenly this army warps in out from the past and is in the middle of their base ruining stuff.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Vaniver » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:39 am UTC

I imagine it's more "the future" in the time frame of "the past." If the current is t, moving troops from t-80 to t-40 is moving them into their future, even though it's not 'the' future.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Toeofdoom » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:03 am UTC

BoomFrog wrote:Seems like you can play the alpha version now if you preorder the game. And it sounds like they need the preorders to keep up production.
http://achrongame.com/site/faq.php#j

Based on what I've seen all they really need for this game to polish it is: a decent art style, some user testing to make it easier for people to play it and perhaps some better graphics programming. A slick UI would also be nice. From what I've seen they easily have the game programming side covered anyway, but might need more in other areas.
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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby Levi » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:47 am UTC

So, I just bought this game today, and I found a page on their wiki with user-made maps on it. Turns out there's a decent map editor included with the game. There's a guy who's been making maps which play with the time waves, making the meta time aspect even harder. I don't have time to play them now, but I'll be testing them out tomorrow. One of them has the time waves moving in a sinusoidal fashion, speeding up and slowing down, one has them moving at completely random speeds, and another has time waves literally jumping around the timeline, making it extremely difficult to keep track of things because some changes get stuck in their own time bubble and never propagate (this also causes strange results from paradoxes).

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Re: Achron : Metatime strategy game

Postby llamanaru » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:32 pm UTC

The new version 6.0.0 came out this morning. Along with a slew of changes most notable was:
Achron Changelog wrote:*Initial Vecgir and Grekim release for DLC Sandbox level

I've played a few games and it's really starting to shape up into something awesome. Anyone else bought it who's up for a multi-player game?


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