Time limit setting (Splitted)

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Martijn
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Post by Martijn » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:19 pm

Here a little tip for the new RnD version (it's too little to start a special topic for it):
how about setting the time limit standardly to 0 instead of 100? sometimes people can forget to change this which will cause that their levels are impossible because of the 100 seconds time limit.
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Holger
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Post by Holger » Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:39 pm

> how about setting the time limit standardly to 0 instead of 100?
> sometimes people can forget to change this which will cause that their
> levels are impossible because of the 100 seconds time limit.

But this would mean that these levels were never tested by their authors at all?! I think such levels are not worth playing then...

Using "no time limit" as the default could result in people forgetting to set an appropriate time limit for their levels after testing, while this probably does not happen with a fixed default time limit which is then set to a different value, if needed.

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Post by Martijn » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:43 pm

But don't most players use the no time limit function? Only some players want to use time limit and then they do it intentionally - and they won't forget the time limit then either.

Anyway, it's not very important. If you're not convinced by these words, never mind. It was just a little suggestion...
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Post by Holger » Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:58 pm

> But don't most players use the no time limit function?

Oops. I did not mean that setup switch, but I meant using "0" as the value for the time limit in the level editor.

> It was just a little suggestion...

Absolutely OK! It was well worth thinking about! :-)

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Post by Zomis » Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:25 am

I understand what Martijn thinks about, if a level creator plays with the setup switch time limit off, and then they share their level, players who plays with the setup switch "time limit on" might not be able to solve the level if the level creator forgets to set a correct limit. However, I think this is poor level testing so I'd say the time limit default should remain at 100.

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Post by Martijn » Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:41 pm

okay, you've convinced me. as nowadays the level creators have to test their levels and prove that they did so by sending tapes to Holger, leaving the time limit to 100 is okay.

let's not keep Holger off his work :D
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Post by Francesco » Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:10 pm

Another thing can be done: time limit could be always set to on in testing mode, even if it's set to off for normal playing.
In this way, if a designer wants to test a level without time limit, s/he is obliged to set it manually in the editor.
Anyway, by the way, have fun!
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Martijn
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Post by Martijn » Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:36 pm

Francesco wrote:Another thing can be done: time limit could be always set to on in testing mode, even if it's set to off for normal playing.
In this way, if a designer wants to test a level without time limit, s/he is obliged to set it manually in the editor.
You mean an extra editor option 'turn off time limit when testing'? Isn't that confusing?
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Post by Holger » Sat Jul 15, 2006 5:09 pm

> Another thing can be done: time limit could be always set to on in testing
> mode, even if it's set to off for normal playing.
> In this way, if a designer wants to test a level without time limit, s/he is
> obliged to set it manually in the editor.

Perfect solution! That's exactly how I should solve this problem!

> You mean an extra editor option 'turn off time limit when testing'? Isn't
> that confusing?

No, no extra option -- just ignore that setting (which is some kind of "cheating" anyway) for testing inside level editor, and let it be active only for "normal playing" (from outside the level editor).

That's indeed the best solution! Even if you don't want to be bothered with time limits while your normal game playing -- if you design new levels, you should always be aware of a potentially existing level time limit that will be active for all players which do not use that special "cheating" feature!

I think I will change it that way directly after 3.2.0!

Any further comments about this? If so, let me know what you think!

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Post by Zomis » Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:37 pm

I'm not sure that this would be the best solution... think about if someone tests the level for 300 seconds, and then founds out that "oops, the time limit is 10 seconds to short", then he has to play those 300 seconds again... not the best solution...
Maybe the solution could be to instead of letting the player die show some kind of message: "Time limit out, want to continue playing?"
Martijn wrote:(it's too little to start a special topic for it)
Not anymore in my opinion ;) Splitted it.

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Post by Holger » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:28 pm

> I'm not sure that this would be the best solution... think about if someone
> tests the level for 300 seconds, and then founds out that "oops, the time
> limit is 10 seconds to short", then he has to play those 300 seconds
> again... not the best solution...

Well, I assume that you have to test a level more than one time anyway, so the first time you ran out of time while testing a level from the editor, you probably set the time limit to a very high limit (at least one that's large enough) and then do your tests. When done, you see what time you needed -- say, 325 seconds. You then finally correct your time limit to a reasonable value of say, 330 seconds (if the level should be timed really hard) or 350 or even 400 seconds (if the level is more about puzzle solving and time limit should not be set too difficult).

If all else fails, there's still the tape recorder (which level testers probably use all the time anyway), which also works from within the level editor.

> Maybe the solution could be to instead of letting the player die show
> some kind of message: "Time limit out, want to continue playing?"

I'm really not sure if this is needed -- does this really solve a problem that occurs very often to many level creators? If so, then please tell me! :-)

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Post by Martijn » Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 pm

Okay, Holger and Francesco think from the classic Boulder Dash perspective: a time limit is normal and free time is 'cheating'. Well, in that case I would use the standard time limit the original Boulder Dash used. (I don't know it's value.)

And about:
> Maybe the solution could be to instead of letting the player die show
> some kind of message: "Time limit out, want to continue playing?"

I'm really not sure if this is needed -- does this really solve a problem that occurs very often to many level creators? If so, then please tell me! :-)
I always test my levels in parts. I put the player at every new 'puzzle' (or 'section', whatever you would call it) in my level and then test that little piece, which takes only a few seconds or at most one minute.
And when I test the whole level, I set the time limit to 0 (which is 'cheating') and then I look how much time it takes for me to complete it for the first time. And then I use a time value around that value. So I think that such a message as Zomis suggests is not really necessary and maybe only disturbing, if you want to test your levels quickly.
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Post by Francesco » Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:37 pm

I see it from a different perspective: unlimited time is not cheating by itself. Overriding a time limit set by the author, actually is cheating, but the matter is different.

That is, designers should be aware and take care of their time limits, according to the levels they want to design.

As for the current settings, one could "forget" about the time limit. With the suggested change, one is "recalled", to say it so, during the testing ;)

Also, I agree with Zomis - partly, because Zomis' idea doesn't exclude mine:
...think about if someone tests the level for 300 seconds, and then founds out that "oops, the time limit is 10 seconds to short", then he has to play those 300 seconds again... not the best solution...
Maybe the solution could be to instead of letting the player die show some kind of message: "Time limit out, want to continue playing?"
Two integrative ideas: it would be done only in the editor, when testing, and after displaying the message above, it would set the time limit at the successful completion of testing. The limit set automatically could be either equal to or proportionally greater than (like "+10%") the time spent by the designer during the test.
Anyway, by the way, have fun!
Francesco

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Post by Tomi » Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:31 pm

I like the base idea (time limit always on when testing), I actually wanted to suggest it before I found out it was already suggested. I'm not sure about Zomis' suggestion, so I won't "vote" on that. (On the other hand, what harm can it do?)

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Post by Francesco » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:17 pm

Just a note to "raise" this thread again to Holger's attention - as I think it's an important issue. I'd like to know what he thinks about my extention of Zomis' idea, which should be also really easy to implement. By the way, nothing changed in 3.2.0 about this, isn't it?
Anyway, by the way, have fun!
Francesco

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