Essence Showcase - Fast-Forwarding Your Own Time


This is the 4th is a 6 part write-up I've been doing about Worldline's time manipulation mechanics. You can find the first three here:

Fast-forward is the first of the six abilities that affects the player, rather than the time around the player. The last three abilities effect the player only, for two reasons. The first reason is quite obvious: Speeding up the time around you would make the enemies faster, and therefor much harder. The other reason is that we wanted the last three abilities to effect the player to create a sort of symmetry with the powers.

Fast-forwarding is actually quite interesting, because its the first of the abilities to work differently for the player when compared to other entities. For example, with pause essence, if an enemy gets paused, it means they stop moving. In turn, if the player gets paused, it means they stop moving. With fast-forward, we knew that simply speeding up the player's time oppositely how we do slow, wouldn't be enough to make the ability viable. With slow, we take the distance an object moves each frame, and cut it in half, which makes the object look like its moving slower, without compromising anything like jump height or turning control. With fast-forward, we knew that if we made it to where it just made you faster, the player would receive no real benefits, and Wynne would just be harder to control. The solution was to make fast-forward actually increase your speed, jump height, and decrease your drag. This way, not only can you get the positive effects of fast-forward like having your weapons fire faster and cool down quicker, which came naturally, but you can also clear gaps that you couldn't before, as well as escape enemies faster.

This physics boost was only done with the player, however. With enemies, we take the distance they moved each frame, and double it. This makes them appear to be moving faster, without actually making them jump higher. This was done for two reasons. First, a lot of enemies in the game simply fly around, and have no need for a jump height increase, and second, the enemies who would be applicable for this would end up worse at their jobs (of killing the player) after the physics increase. For example, the hurl enemies which jump at the player when attacked would jump so high they would completely overshoot the player, and often just jump to their deaths.

Also, the physics boost the ability gives allowed me to make some really cool puzzles involving the essence auras, where if the player boosts in a fast-forward aura, they get a considerable amount of extra distance.

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