Kickstarter backer, Brian Chisholm asks:
Do the blinks have a system time call? It would be possible to have a coop game with a 5 minute timer or something. There are a lot coop games emerging with a hard game time limit and you have to accomplish something before that. Could be cool so long as they have the ability to all share the same timer (maybe by mesh network).
This is a great question and he is off to the right start Each Blink has its own clock and it starts counting from the moment the battery is inserted. Keeping 2 Blinks in sync while they are separate is difficult and there will be drift. For example you can try this with a dev kit and see that even blinking in sync at a distance only lasts for tens of seconds. That said, when together, Blinks can use some distributed intelligence to keep in sync, and it works very well. In fact, the game WHAM! uses a similar mechanism to allow all of the Blinks to progress in timed rounds. There is another really cool thing we are doing with WHAM! to balance the game through distributed methods that is really satisfying (especially if you know what is going on under the hood).
Note that the Blinks don’t have to always stay together to be in sync, but they should be in contact with one another on a regular occasion to maintain a cohesive understanding of time. Would love to know if some devs are working on anything like this. We’d love to help you do it and I think it makes for compelling game play. In Mortals, time keeping is managed on an individual level, in WHAM! as a collective… I bet there is also a nice option to do a mix where a game has collective synced time and then individual pieces or players have additional timed actions that they need to manage on a piece by piece basis.
Either way, great question Brian, we should definitely see Blinks games using a variety of these capabilities. And if anyone in the community has thoughts on how to implement some distributed clocks, this is the thread for you