Time in C3 and DS Games Malkin | 5/16/2013|| 2|
Time passes on the Shee Ark, measured in days, seasons and years, although it isn't immediately obvious to the player.
To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap, a time to kill, a time to heal, a time to laugh, a time to weep.
Time passes on the Shee Ark as it does on our world too - there are days, seasons and years in C3/DS, although they aren't immediately obvious to the player.
In terms of the coding, the game engine variables set a lot of the times. These can be found in the Bootstrap folders, !C3_game variables.cos and !DS_game variables.cos files.
The first time variable, "engine_NumberOfSeasons" sets the number of seasons in a game-time year - 4 seasons by default, just like ours. If you need to refer to them by a number, it is as follows:
The game engine variable "engine_LengthOfSeasonInDays" sets the number of days in a game-time season - each season has 4 days.
The game engine variable "engine_LengthOfDayInMinutes" sets the number of game-time minutes in a day (as can be measured by a norn's age in minutes) - there are 20 game time minutes in a day.
Sometimes, if the game isn't running at full speed (with 50 milliseconds between each tick), the 'game time' can be quite different to our real time! CTRL+SHIFT+P will let you check how efficiently your game is running, by putting a number in a window to the lower left of the screen. If the number is 1 or less, then your game is running efficiently. If the number is greater than 1, then your game isn't running as efficiently as it could be.
Each day is furthermore divided into different TIMEs - dawn, morning, afternoon, evening, and night. (0 - 4, respectively.)
For a bit of trivia, the average norn lives 5 hours and 39 minutes, which translates into 16.95 game days, or a game year and almost a day.
So now that we know that there are these markers, how can we see them in our games?
The game's scripts include a gender bias based on what season an egg hatches in - one season has a higher chance of males, one has a higher chance of females, and the other two have a 50-50 chance. There aren't many official agents which take advantage of the seasonal divisions, as in C2, which had the bats come out at night, and the Summer and Winter Foxfire Berries, but there are some third party agents by which you can observe the passing of time.
Firstly, the DS Nighttime puts a dusky layer over the world whenever it is night time, and lifts it by the morning. Terra Pluvialis and The Scribble Room also experience night and day effects, which is outlined in this example of a day/night cycle thread. The Sunflowers from the Dustdevil pack follow the sun each day, as do the Garden Box Roses and the Solahan Plant.
Vamp's Calendar lets you view the changing of the seasons, as does the Dustdevil calendar. The C3/DS Ecology Kit also has a calendar function. Creatures 2 to Docking Station comes with a calendar and seasonal CA, which is discussed in this Guide to Making Seasonal CA.
The Norngarden's Tinydafs only bloom in spring, and the Norngarden Flower changes colour every season.
Clohse's 5-in-1 Tree, ported from Terra Nornia, bears different fruits in different seasons at the top of the DS Norn Meso.
All of the Garden Box's Patch Plants can be customised to grow in any choice of the four seasons - which can lead to seasonal migrations in search of food sources, if norns can follow the CAs effectively.
Updated by Malkin on 5/23/2013 - add tables.
Updated by Malkin on 8/16/2013 - Sunflowers.
Updated by Malkin on 8/22/2013 - GB Roses and Solahan Plant.
Updated by Malkin on 9/18/2014 - gender bias.