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Overly Generous Time Limit

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An extremely generous time limit which exists solely to prevent a player from taking forever.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
AGuy on Apr 24th 2016 at 2:51:31 PM
Last Edited By:
ZuTheSkunk on Jan 22nd 2017 at 12:18:19 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

So you don't want to put the pressure of a normal Timed Mission on the player; however, on the other hand, you don't want the player to be able to take their sweet, sweet time on a mission that is supposed to be urgent or you otherwise don't want a player taking forever on. You could constantly nag the player to continue, or you could implement a Token Time Limit - a time limit so generous that even regular conservative play will leave you with quite a bit of time to spare, and only extremely deliberate slow play will cause the player to run out of time.

In some games, using an overly generous time limit may be a way of circumventing a potential integer overflow, where the timer could roll over and cause issues.

Compare Absurdly High Level Cap.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Adventure Games 
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: One puzzle involves Guybrush getting thrown in the ocean with a heavy weight tied to his leg, and you have to figure out how to escape before he drowns. You have 10 full minutes (it's a Call-Back to an earlier joke where Guybrush bragged that he could hold his breath for 10 minutes), and the puzzle is easy enough to solve much sooner.

    MMORP Gs 
  • Most of the timed missions in City of Heroes were of this variety. The limits were In real time, starting from the moment you accepted the mission, but barring one endgame-level mission that was intended to be impossible, they tended to be in the one-to-two hour range, more than enough time to fully explore the site and take out everything there.

    Puzzle Games 
Minesweeper has a timer. When it reaches 999, well... to quote the Real Trailer, Fake Movie:
- What happens then?
- Nothing, you just suck!

    Real-Time Strategy Games 
  • In the final Nod mission of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, you are given a little more than three hours to position three ICBM launchers on the map in order to destroy GDI's orbital command station before it can locate and destroy the World Altering Missile.. Taking your time to build a force large enough to completely wipe out the highly defended GDI base - which isn't a mission requirement - and placing the ICBM launchers at your leisure afterwards takes an hour at most.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Fallout 2, mostly thanks to technical limitations, has a hard-coded limit of 13 in-game years before the game suddenly throws a "The End" screen at you and brings you to the main menu. Completing the game's quests and generally doing everything there is to do in the game usually takes about 4 in-game years at most.

    Simulation Games 
  • All missions in the Ace Combat series until Ace Combat: Assault Horizon had been timed, but while time constraints did constitute a real challenge in some of them, you could complete the main objectives of most others with a ton of time to spare. For instance, in typical Escort Missions, your time limit had normally been set to a couple minutes after whatever you escorted left the mission space (which was a scripted event).

    Turn-Based Strategy Games 
  • In Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, on the mission Lin's Gambit, you are given a 40-day time limit to capture the opposing HQ or wipe out all enemies before Greyfield is able to shoot nukes to wipe you out. The metaranking of the game starts penalizing you for slow play after turn 12.
  • In Battle for Wesnoth, this is in effect for almost every mission - the time limits for the most part exist not to rush the player, but to prevent the player from sitting on their villages for 100,000 turns and going into the following missions with more gold than they'll need for the entire campaign.

Feedback: 17 replies

Apr 24th 2016 at 5:16:31 PM

I can't see this working as an objective trope. How "generous" a time limit is perceived as is YMMV.

Apr 24th 2016 at 5:34:14 PM

First Person Shooter

  • At the end of each map in id Software's Doom series, the player is shown percentage of kills, of items gathered and secrets found. It also includes a timer and a par time. Any player who takes more than one hour to complete a map gets the message, "Time: Sucks."

Apr 25th 2016 at 12:05:09 AM

Minesweeper has a timer. When it reaches zero, well... to quote the Real Trailer Fake Movie:

What happens then?
Nothing, you just suck!

Apr 25th 2016 at 7:04:51 AM

  • Fallout 2, mostly thanks to technical limitations, has a hard-coded limit of 13 in-game years before the game suddenly throws a "The End" screen at you and brings you to the main menu. Completing the game's quests and generally doing everything there is to do in the game usually takes about 4 in-game years at most.

By the way, I'd suggest to change the laconic to reflect the "ridiculously generous" part, since right now it makes it look like the time limit from the first Mario would fit as well (which was originally there just to prevent people from hogging up the arcade machines).

Apr 25th 2016 at 3:06:59 PM

Most of the timed missions in City Of Heroes were of this variety. The limits were In real time, starting from the moment you accepted the mission, but barring one endgame-level mission that was intended to be impossible, they tended to be in the one-to-two hour range, more than enough time to fully explore the site and take out everything there.

Apr 26th 2016 at 9:08:46 AM

  • All missions in the Ace Combat series until Ace Combat Assault Horizon had been timed, but while time constraints did constitute a real challenge in some of them, you could complete the main objectives of most others with a ton of time to spare. For instance, in typical Escort Missions, your time limit had normally been set to a couple minutes after whatever you escorted left the mission space (which was a scripted event).

Apr 26th 2016 at 4:54:33 PM

So I get it: this is when the time limit is so lenient that, when one plays the game normally, they'll finish it way before the time limit ends, right?

Apr 28th 2016 at 3:56:15 PM

It should be mentioned, some games use this because that's as long as they can count days before the counter loops (which would break immersion hard). Fallout 2 which has already been listed, is an example of this.

Apr 30th 2016 at 9:50:50 AM

Maybe "token" isn't the right word.

May 11th 2016 at 5:42:36 AM

"Extra-Reasonable Time Limit"?

May 28th 2016 at 5:19:55 AM

  • The Secret Of Monkey Island: One puzzle involves Guybrush getting thrown in the ocean with a heavy weight tied to his leg, and you have to figure out how to escape before he drowns. You have 10 full minutes (it's a Call Back to an earlier joke where Guybrush bragged that he could hold his breath for 10 minutes), and the puzzle is easy enough to solve much sooner.

Jan 20th 2017 at 7:19:44 AM

  • Escape From Monkey Island in one section Guybrush goes diving. There is a ten minute timer. The first time it expires Guybrush just swims up on his own. The second time ? I forgot.

Jan 20th 2017 at 5:34:02 PM

"Escape Your House Within Two Years!" for fun. "Generous Time Limit" to be concise. "Mother Teresa Time Limit" would also be fun.

Jan 21st 2017 at 12:12:14 AM

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