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§4.3. Event Scheduling

We can use a schedule of events to give some life to our environment: if we have a town setting, for instance, it makes sense for shops and libraries to open and close at set times; this is just what we find in IPA.

Air Conditioning Is Standard has characters who follow a timed schedule of events to interact with each other, while the player mostly wanders around missing out on the action. (Sometimes life is like that.) The same effects could have been achieved with scenes instead of clock times, but there are occasions when we do want to plan our characters' behavior to the minute rather than waiting for the player to be in the right place to observe it: in a murder mystery or a time-travel story, the exact timings might be quite significant.

We may also want to add events to the schedule during play, as in

Instead of pushing the egg-timer: say "It begins to mark time."; the egg-timer clucks in four turns from now.

At the time when the egg-timer clucks: say "Cluck! Cluck! Cluck! says the egg-timer."

Similarly, we can schedule things during play to happen at a specific time of day, as shown in Hour of the Wren.

* See Scene Changes for more things that arrive at pre-determined times

* See Ships, Trains and Elevators for a train that follows a schedule, carrying the player along if he is aboard

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Shops which each have opening and closing hours, so that it is impossible to go in at the wrong times, and the player is kicked out if he overstays his welcome.

***ExampleHour of the Wren
Allowing the player to make an appointment, which is then kept.

****ExampleAir Conditioning is Standard
Uses "writing a paragraph about" to make person and object descriptions that vary considerably depending on what else is going on in the room, including some randomized NPC interactions with objects or with each other.