Give the player freedom to manage time?

Is there any example of a Visual Novel(VN) that gives the player fluid time control? As in they can go through 24 hours of the day (choosing to skip time if needed) and go to different locations as they like. All VNs I played so far limited the player in many ways time-wise, such as player can choose to go to different locations, but the day is only split into 3 parts (morning, afternoon, evening). Are there any VNs that allow you to go through each hour and minute of the day?

I am trying to implement that kind of time freedom in my VN and would like to see how others do it because it is more difficult than I thought. The player has to click the skip time button a lot to go through the day, and it’s hard to keep track of which events happen at what time.

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I think tigertoo’s The Weighting Game is probably the closest I can think of to what you are envisioning. Time goes in hour increments (depending on what you choose to do, you may take up 1 or multiple hours of your day), and there are a number of different locations the player can go to that are available at different times of the day or days of the week (i.e. certain locations are only available on weekends or only available between certain hours).


Thanks, I checked it out and its really good!

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Book of Lust, Haramase Simulator (I think), and Hail Dicktator.
I don’t play a lot of VNs, though, so I’m not a good judge for that.

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unfortunately, book of lust only manage day/night, haramase seems event based, not sure about Dicktator because my internet too slow to download 3gb

it’s not from a VN but the Bombers’ Notebook from Majora’s Mask was really helpful to keep track on what happens when. I would assume implementing something similar would be possible and help the player keep track of everything.

Glad you liked it! I did think that my game sounded like the sort of thing you were looking for, but don’t like blowing my own trumpet.

Fluid time control in a visual novel is an interesting concept. VNs–even the most interactive ones–are meant to follow set scripts. That is why VNs typically restrict the player’s ability to manage time: offering that much freedom to the user could mean exponentially more paths to write. Morning, afternoon, evening settings offer a convenient compromise. Those time blocks enable time-of-day events, while also controlling the passage of time so plotlines are easier to compose.

If I was to incorporate fluid time control into my VN, it would likely be through prompting the player for the amount of time they want to stay at a location, rather than a skip time feature (I’m sure spamming the skip button is not fun). Building the foundation of fluid time through prompts in theory sounds rather simple. There would be a calendar variable (set?) and a time variable. Each time entry increases the time variable until we reach 24:00 (midnight), at which time we increment the calendar day by one and reset the time to 0:00.

For example, let’s say the user opts to go to the bar. A certain amount of time passes to get to the bar, then the interface asks, “How long do you plan to stay at the bar?”. A short stint would mean they only have time for a quick drink. A longer allotment would open up the possibility of the character doing other stuff at the bar (e.g. striking up conversations, playing darts, watching the big game, getting into bar fights). If the time the player enters goes beyond the closing time of the bar, the VN triggers an end scene whereby you get kicked out of the bar.

The problem with open time management is that you have to set constraints to it. The character shouldn’t be able to stay awake for days on end. At some point, the player will get hungry, or bored. Perhaps they have to go to work and make money. If your VN had a set opening structure for each day–say, waking up in your bed and doing some morning routine–you need to make sure there is some continuity so the transitions make sense (i.e. the character shouldn’t end up everyday passing out at midnight and somehow waking up in their bed).

Now, bear in mind that I am thinking of VNs that run on a day-by-day, slice-of-life model (think Soft Fantasies or, to some extent, Worshippers of the Gain). These games for the most part do not require you to remember many events and when they happened. If you do need to keep some event in mind, the VN generally tracks it for you with a variable/stat. This allows the VN to remind you that said event has continuing influence (e.g. “You have 3 days left to do [task].”). It sounds like the timing of events has more significance in your VN, so you may have to create a major events log for the player to be able to refer back to.

I am curious to learn what the advantages are of giving the player fluid time control? Aside from permitting the user to go at their own pace, are you letting them skip scenes they find boring? It might help to also know what you are using to create your VN. Hope this helps!

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Thank you for your detailed response!

The problem is that prompt system is not flexible, what if the player wants to stay for longer or shorther duration than the options provided? Time skip buttons might still be useful

Thats exactly what I’m aiming for :smiley: Players will manage their daily routine, they can either work on themselves (eating to gain weight, or inflating to increase max capacity), or socialize with others and grope them into your fetishes

See above

Ah, I should clarify: the prompt system would be open number entry–no options. Depending on how much freedom you want to give the player, you would either have them enter in a number for minutes or a number for hours. To illustrate:

(You selected bar.)
You arrive at the bar after a short ten minute walk. The smell of liquor, chicken wings, and fries washes over you as you walk in. How long do you plan to hang out here?

Minutes: ___[This is where they can enter any number they’d like. You can set limits, as needed.]

P.S. Your game sounds super open, which I like. Good luck with it!

What is your opinion on a system where the character sets their daily schedule in a menu at the start of the day where they select the location they will go to for each hour of the day. Next to the hour block on the schedule is a toggle button that you hit to tell the game if you want to skip that hour or play it. That makes it so you can choose to go to work for 1 hour or 6 hours, and it lets you choose if you want to skip those hours or not.