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Time Powers: From Concept to Reality

For today’s blog post, we interview our Game Director, Derek Tam to explore the unique powers in our game.

Concept

Q: What was the design creation process from concept to playable powers in the game?

DT: Designing time powers is not as simple as making something exciting and putting it in the game.  The powers need to go through a few filters.

First we had to explore how time is perceived by the player.  Everyone has a different interpretation about how time exists. For example, going back in time to perform an action should change the future timeline from that point. However, some people believe that a new timeline is created while the old one still exists. There is a great range of possible interpretations of time, it’s such a strong presence in our culture. Then, we had to imagine – what would time feel like on a distant planet, an alien culture. How does time fit into ARC Continuum’s world? This opened up another dimension of possibilities.

Arc Continuum Time Powers - Dash

Time Powers – Dash

From there, we explored how the player could experience these unique time powers. How do we create powers that are universally recognised as being associated with time while still being fun? Time seemed to us most interesting if we could push it to its extreme – this sounds great, but can we maintain the thrill of being all powerful for the entire game? We struggled to design powers that are grandiose and epic while still maintaining replay value.

Challenges

Q: How did you overcome this conundrum?

DT: After many long debates, we eventually decided that time is still fun to play with on a smaller scale. This fits well into the ARC-Continuum universe. As the narrative continued to grow, we found our direction in thinking in more tangible terms about the ARC itself. As such, we broke time into three elements: spatial, dilation and gravity.  We used these ingredients to flesh out our powers, giving each a distinct purpose within the game.

Arc Continuum Time Powers Blink

Time Powers – Blink

Gameplay

Q: How does this play out in the game?

You have many options throughout the game, but we felt that a power making an enemy slow down (dilation) is a better than making an enemy heavy (gravity). Both these powers come from time, but ultimately time dilation is a better game choice. Be sure to check out the video for more on the time powers!

 

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