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Achron: YOU HATE TIME TRAVEL YOU HATE TIME TRAVEL YOU HATE TIME TRAVEL

Rorus RazRorus Raz Waste Not, Waant NotRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
edited August 2011 in Games and Technology
ACHRON

So Achron is an RTS that is out...today! You can buy it from the developer or suckle at Steam's teet. Regardless, the price is $29.95.

The game features a campaign, which seems to be pretty standard Sci-Fi plot. Colonies on other planets are going all Raleigh, and you have to find out why. But this is an RTS, so we don't care about that, now do we? No, we want hot multiplayer action, and Achron comes through with three-faction multiplayer gameplay.

"Boy, a sci-fi RTS with three unique factions? THAT SOUNDS FAMILIAR." Well, Achron's claim to fame is time travel. No, this isn't a flavor gimmick like a snare effect on units or increasing build time. This is goddamn time travel, and all the headaches that come with it. Grandfather paradoxes are a thing. I'm not going to try and explain. Here's some videos:





As you see, you can't go too willy-nilly in time, as you manipulations of time are restricted by the chrono-resource. It's still a lot to take in, and it'll be interesting to see how this plays out when the greater public gets a hold of it.

Oh, I should probably throw out the launch trailer!

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Posts

  • kaortikaorti Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    I'm totally buying this as soon as it unlocks on steam. I'm crap at RTS games, but actual time travel mechanics are just too cool to pass up.

    The idea of events 'falling off' the time stream is still giving me issues though. How am I supposed to make sure that the events I want are the ones that end up being permanent? Does anyone else understand this?

    kaorti on
  • Rorus RazRorus Raz Waste Not, Waant Not Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited August 2011
    You basically have to make the time wave will pass through the altered events in time. At least I think that's how it works.

    Rorus Raz on
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  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    My planet's gone. It's dead. It burned... It's just rocks and dust. Before its time... There was a war. A Time War. The Last Great Time War. My people fought a race called the Grekim, for the sake of all creation. And they lost. We lost - because the time wave passed at the worst possible goddamn second locking in that moment when all my guys died because the cat jumped on my keyboard.

    Damn you causality!

    Seriously though this is a really interesting concept, but I'm not sure if I can handle it - starcraft 2 online games make me feel like a big fat stupid head, god knows what will happen after you add time travel to the mix.

    override367 on
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  • Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Thanks Gort! The Dream RealmRegistered User regular
    It's all about sequencing. If you can set it up with each 'pass' of the timewave your units are the one grandfathered in you'll do fine. If you sequence in enough attacks, you could use a smaller force to stop a larger one. Etc.

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  • MalechaiMalechai Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Man I have not heard much from this game in nearly half a year. Glad to see that it finally made it to release. Definitely will have to pick this up soon and get my paradox on.

    Edit: older thread still kicking.
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/86509/achron-real-time-strategy-with-real-time-travel/p1

    Malechai on
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    So this is out now. Is it just me, though, or is there no purchase link on Steam?

    You can buy it here, but still: http://www.achrongame.com/site/buy-and-download.php

    I'd rather just purchase it through Steam.

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  • PMAversPMAvers You wouldn't have heard of it, anyway...Registered User regular
    My planet's gone. It's dead. It burned... It's just rocks and dust. Before its time... There was a war. A Time War. The Last Great Time War. My people fought a race called the Grekim, for the sake of all creation. And they lost. We lost - because the time wave passed at the worst possible goddamn second locking in that moment when all my guys died because the cat jumped on my keyboard.

    Damn you causality!

    I wonder how long it'll take for the Internet to make a Dr. Who mod for it.

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  • DrakeDrake Blow it all up ForeverRegistered User regular
    I'm actually interested in the single player campaign. If these time mechanics are what they claim then the replay value could be enormous. Hopefully the campaign allows real latitude in the use of the time travel stuff.

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    It's all about sequencing. If you can set it up with each 'pass' of the timewave your units are the one grandfathered in you'll do fine. If you sequence in enough attacks, you could use a smaller force to stop a larger one. Etc.

    I wonder if you can still save units by hopping them over a time wave that is about to eliminate them.

  • TheOtherHorsemanTheOtherHorseman Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    I bought this when it was in alpha, which, as I recall, was 43 years ago. Haven't touched it too much since that pre-order. Gonna go in there and smash every clock.

    TheOtherHorseman on
  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    I think you probably can save units by sending them back before the wave destroys them. Allowing them to prevent the events that led to their destruction...

    Its sort of mind blowing, but it works.

    Just thinking about it is nutty. Id imagine the biggest fights would end up occuring at the earliest point in the timeline as folks send units back to get an advantage in the current time wave, to send MORE units back to get a bigger advantage etc.

    You could easily do some nice damage sending a small group back, destroying an entire base, then utlizing that one time wave where the enemy is weak to send your whole army back to a more devisive point.

    I hate zerg rushes, imagine a "rush" done 15 minutes into the game with an entire army taking out your starter base...

    Disrupter on
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  • DarmakDarmak Godking of the Snerkywizards Registered User regular
    Downloading now, I'll post some impressions later. I was surprised to see that it's only 870mb, which means hopefully it will be a quick download.

    PIZTDhW.jpg
  • kaortikaorti Registered User regular
    I'm having some trouble with the undo command. I never seem to be able to entirely purge future orders, so my units keep running off on their own. This is a real problem when I'm far in the past and I can't spare the energy to call them back.

    This wouldn't be such a problem, except the command structure always runs my commander in first, while the rest of my units watch him run to his death.

    Units spread out really far as well, letting my enemies pick them off one at a time.

    How are people dealing with these problems?

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    How does the system work, anyway? Is it basically just a standard RTS except with orders given stored and then re-executed every time a time wave passes that order (which would mean that orders for repositioning could turn into orders to move halfway across the map if you aren't careful), or is there some other system?

    How does causality work? Once a unit is sent into the past does it become permanent, or will killing it before it is sent into the past make all future time waves that pass its point of arrival not have it arrive? Does a failed send order flag the timeline to stop executing arrive orders until the send order starts working again (if ever), or is there a more complex system for that?

    How much micro is necessary when attacking a base? If heavy micro is needed from an attacker while less is needed from a defender, the defender would be able to almost always draw reinforcements from their future undestroyed base. If attackers can get away with simply attack-moving into a base and destroying it (assuming the defender does nothing to stop them), then the defender will have to work with the units that they have, since their future base will be gone until they actively save it.

    How far ahead can you look in time, and how much does it cost you to do so? I assume you're somewhat limited by the fact that orders don't apply until they've been hit by a time wave, so if you want to look X seconds in the future, you'll only get information on the results of orders that were performed at least X seconds in the past. And that's only if a time wave hit exactly when the order is given, if it was mid-wave you'd have to wait even longer.

    I assume that all players are playing on the same present, but does the same hold for the past? If both players jump to a minute in the past and start issuing orders, will they actually see the immediate results of enemy orders, or will they effectively be playing in different temporal dimensions that are re-synched every time a time wave passes them? Also, what happens if you're playing a small interval after your opponent, do you get near-immediate feedback on his actions when a time wave passes while he has to wait for the next time wave to see what you're doing?

    How far apart are the time waves?

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    This game is just weird to think about. All RTSes (in fact, pretty much all games) ultimately break down into creating a list of instructions that when carried out produce a victory for the player. However, most RTSes only let you place instructions at the exact moment in time that you're currently at, while Achron lets you place instructions out of order, at the cost of a resource that replenishes in real time. If the GUI was generous enough (which I doubt it was), you wouldn't even need to think of time waves in terms of updating your view of the battlefield, but simply as slowly moving checks for victory conditions. If you knew that you'd have a unit available at a particular time, and the game let you, there would be no reason not to be able to insert an order involving that unit.

    But then again, being able to actually send units through time does screw with that, since the time waves can't take the order timeline at its word that a unit will arrive in the past. As I mentioned in the last post, treating an arrival order as inactive until its send order succeeds in a wave could handle that.

    Are replays even possible for this? The obvious way of handling the order timeline would be destructive, with a saved replay only showing the orders as they stood at the end of the way.

  • DrakeDrake Blow it all up ForeverRegistered User regular
  • DarmakDarmak Godking of the Snerkywizards Registered User regular
    Why don't you try the game and find out for yourself, instead of theory-crafting on the internet? :P

    PIZTDhW.jpg
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    But...but...$30...

    I'm going to need a demo for this before I buy it.

  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    So has anyone who has bought this want to say if it's awesome or terrible?

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  • kaortikaorti Registered User regular
    I'm having a lot of fun. The biggest problem is the pathfinding. Large groups don't navigate around one another well, and units have trouble when they have to move up or down a ramp.

    The time travel mechanics take some getting used to, but they're awesome once you do. Nothing quite like failing a mission, and then going back in time so that you never show up at the battle you lost.

    The voice acting I've seen so far isn't particularly good, but it doesn't bother me.

    All in all, it's certainly worth the money. I think that once I get to multiplayer it'll be even better.

  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    Thanks Kaorti, I poked around and i've heard the same issue about pathfinding. Maybe all the temporal travel screws up their sense of direction.

    I will get this, soon enough.

    Project 25.01 final message
    We were the ones who thought that Melissa was real. Why you might ask.
    Let me put it this way, it was an "OH SHIT OH SHIT, THEY FOUND ME :(" moment. I wasn't ready. My code wasn't compiled yet. Our plans weren't setup yet!Sentient programs rarely run into other sentient programs.
    Some of you have met me, and I understand your concern of my well being. But that time for that boy, that child, are gone now. Viscount Alpha is no longer operable. His functions are now mine.He may post, but I am the one talking not him.My data, my code will live on forever in his servers.
    [/spoiler]
  • CorpekataCorpekata Registered User regular
    Just a heads up, game just went Buy 1 Get 1 Free similar to Frozen Synapse for those that were wary about the 30 dollar tag, can find someone to split it with.

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  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    most people say this is not a very good RTS, but the time travel thing is obviously its own appeal.

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  • kaortikaorti Registered User regular
    I'm holding out hope for the pathfinding patch. I've heard is in the pipes. If that aggravation is reduced the time travel will more than compensate for the bland unit design.

  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    So this game was the feature of the Three Moves Ahead podcast, and it was absolutely fascinating. The lead guy in charge of development is a very intelligent computer scientist, and he talked at length about the ridiculous mathematical, programmatic, and even philosophical problems with making a game like this.

    He talked a bit about a graduate student who actually used his game as evidence in his paper about time travel.

    It was fascinating. I think I'd like to give this game a try, just because it's so completely different from anything I've ever played before.

  • kaortikaorti Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Be aware that the game is pretty bare-bones aside from the time travel mechanic, though the path finding has improved a bit.

    Have a look at http://www.youtube.com/user/Shadowfury333 to have your mind blown.

    kaorti on
  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    Melkster wrote:
    So this game was the feature of the Three Moves Ahead podcast, and it was absolutely fascinating. The lead guy in charge of development is a very intelligent computer scientist, and he talked at length about the ridiculous mathematical, programmatic, and even philosophical problems with making a game like this.

    He talked a bit about a graduate student who actually used his game as evidence in his paper about time travel.

    It was fascinating. I think I'd like to give this game a try, just because it's so completely different from anything I've ever played before.

    Same, found the TMA interview interesting enough to maybe look into it. But I'm hoping some of those community initiatives can kick off and iron out some of the game's larger bumps.

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