Results From Game Design Challenge: Just In Time

By Danny Cowan [11.27.18]

 From some of civilization's earliest myths to modern sci-fi epics, time travel has been a popular art motif throughout the history of mankind.

Video games are no exception, with the popular Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and the 2008 indie hit Braid being among the many games that utilize time travel mechanics to both tell a story and provide a unique gameplay challenge.

For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, our readers designed games that feature time travel as a core mechanic. Here are our top picks!

Best Entries

Azwar Fikri Yudhi, Project Executive, Back-in-Time Management (see page 2)

Owen Jones, Writer & Blogger, The Banshees of Chronos (see page 3)

Seyed Ramezan Hosseini, Ph.D. Student at Sharif University of Technology in Iran, Glome (see page 4)

Feng Jinn Phang, Student at KDU University College, The Last Journey (see page 5)

Renato Lima, Unaffiliated, TimeSpin (see page 6)

Azwar Fikri Yudhi, Project Executive, Back-in-Time Management


Back-in-Time Management (BiTM) is a game with time management concept, where you can go back in time to do another things to achieve your goal. The idea of the game is "A Time Travel feature to allows you to do multitasking concurrently."

The goal of BiTM is to fulfill hours committed to all of the Workloads given, with a certain Events that may occur on the process.

Some Events can disrupt player plan. This is where Time Travel is used, to allow them to do another works at the same time. But the player cannot do the same work at the same time because of the Law of the Universe. If it happens, the time will clash and all of the player plan will gone at that time, until there is no clash on the time.


Workloads are the list of works that needs to be done by the player by committing hours needed. For example in a company where they have to work from 9 to 5, which is 8 hours workloads each day. Each workloads will have a different hours committed as their goal. There are also some works that can only be committed at a certain time.

Events are some kinds of works need to be at the time. Events are divided by Promise Event and Urgent Event.

Each stage, player will have to plan their committed time on the Workloads and Promise Event. After the planning has done, the player will start to do work. Time Traveling can only be used once the work has started.

We will take an example of a case of busy mom. Her Workloads are divided by Company, School, Home, and Self-Treatment. She only has time from 8AM to 10PM, and Home can only be planned after 5PM. She made a Promise with his child to go home on 8PM. This is the initial plan of the player.

After a while, there is an Urgent Event notice from School at 9AM and she has to commit time on 12 to 14 PM. This will cause the School required 2 more hours for the goal. So the plan will become like this.

The players knows that Company will need time committed. With Time Travel, the player can back to 10AM and still planning for the company, while the player also work on School.

The score will be calculated from the total of time committed. The more time committed of a work, the player can reach a higher grade. At later stages, the time required on the Workloads will increase, which make Time Travel more important to be planned.

Owen Jones, Writer & Blogger, The Banshees of Chronos

Death. Just hearing the sound of a woman wailing sends a chill down our spines as we witness the body taking a gruesome dirt nap. Was it suicide or murder? How much did she see? Is there any relation to her and the victim? Why do our ears hurt after hearing the scream?

The Banshee of Chronos is a mystery-adventure thriller that focuses its time from both the Victorian age and the steampunk counterpart. You play as Detective Levi Archer, the new recruit who is in the homicide division. During the investigation of Mayor Gordon Lilly, he spots a woman in a cloak running away from the scene in the steampunk streets of Ichorhallow. Archer catches up to the woman only to hear her wail towards him, taking the detective back in time. Confused on what just happened and realizing how far he went back in time, the detective takes his chance to prevent the mayor's death.

Levi, still in shock about what is all happening, ran into the woman again only to be forced into a deep discussion about everything. She introduces herself as Faith, a member of the secret society known as the Banshees of Chronos. While normal Banshees can tell when someone will die, these ladies all possess a power to reverse and travel through time. Faith needs Archer's help. Lately, the high hierarchy is being murdered one after another along with her fellow Banshees. She believes that the Reapers are back. Reapers hold the power to kill everyone and negate the banshee's wail to prevent the second redemption of life. But when she mentions his great-grandfather Nathaniel Lee Archer, Levi settles down and help her on this ancient dark society.

While Faith has the power of time by letting out a wail. She realizes that both she and Levi will have to work together even if it means splitting up during this investigation. Faith's society designed a special pocket watch that plays the Banshee scream to help Levi travel through time on his own. But he needs to be careful, while the scream needs a certain button to activate time travel, the real scream will cause some serious pain to the citizen's ears.

Travel from three major cities in the steampunk era and back in time when these three were the known together as the Victorian capital Cresthaven. Learn the truth on why Mayor Lilly is a member of the Reaper's death list during your stay in Ichorhallow. Discover the reason why President Lushington is a target in Aetherdale. Find out how High Priest Parkes became a target in Cogfell.

Gather clues from each era about the Banshees, murders, and Reapers. Get to know about Levi's family history along the way and the backstory on how both secret societies became to be. Solve crimes from both eras to collect evidence relating to the Reaper society. Search for signs on how the Archer family tree links to the society of Banshees.

Seyed Ramezan Hosseini, Ph.D. Student at Sharif University of Technology in Iran, Glome

The Game is about two "Time Master"s who are trapped in a restricted spacetime: they are in a moving train and trapped in a 4-hour time loop. Although they can create wormholes in spacetime to escape. Wormholes can be created in specific places in certain moments by a specific device called "Weltraumwurm".An anonymous friend hides some of these Weltraumwurms in specific spacetimes and leaves notes (again in specific places and certain moments) with the address of them and available spacetimes for creating wormholes. The winner is the first one who escapes this trap.

The Board:

The below figure shows the board (a 2D spacetime diagram). The vertical axis represents the space (the hunted train) and the horizontal one represents the time:

Movements and Mechanics:

The game is turn-based. Each player in his/her turn can do one of the followings:

the first three options (the movements) are shown in the below figure (current position is the green space and arrows show the possible moves). Also, we must mention that they are trapped in a time loop so playing forward at 3:30 will send them to 0:00 and vice-versa.

Also each player can create or destroy barriers:

Setup Process:

There are 3 Sets of cards:

After shuffling each set, we'll create 6 group of trios by drawing cards from each of sets (without watching them). These trios are the notes: They show wormholes and Weltraumwurs' address. i.e. one of them can be "locomotive; 0:15;  Weltraumwur" which means there is a  Weltraumwurm hidden in the locomotive at the time 0:15.Then we'll draw 6 groups from the first 2 set and place the trios at the addresses they'll show. Another 2 dual group will specify each player's starting position on the board.

Feng Jinn Phang, Student at KDU University College, The Last Journey

Genre: RPG, Fantasy, Multiple Endings

Premise: Hero and his/her team travelled to Demon King Castle (green arrow) to defeat Demon King. In the epic fight, they lost and died. With a mysterious blessing (voice of goddess/spirit) that had cast on hero long before the end, hero was brought back to life. But there is nothing he/she can do, until he/she casts the miraculous time spell that comes with a price.

Concept: Hero travels back in time to discover the mysterious blessing/voice, unfold the story behind his/her teammates, and learn the overlooked consequences of previous expedition. Special Item or spell will be retrieved from respective stage. Once hero interacts with any key events in the Beginner Village, hero can fast travel to any subsequent stages. Once hero is not able to pay the spell price, he/she will lose the power of time travel. And thus, begin his/her last journey to save the world.

Gameplay Summary: Player starts in the last stage of the story: Demon King Castle. A mysterious voice will guide player to travel back to the beginning and alter the destiny. To reach true ending, player needs to collect key items and defeat demon king.

Main Mechanics/Rules:

1. Travel back to previous stages (blue arrow) requires hero's level (begins with 99). For instance: Demon King Castle to Corrupted Village will reduce it from 99 to 80.

2. Player can only travel back to one stage before current stage. To travel again, player needs to achieve goals such as kill certain monsters or mini boss, discover a hidden story, and retrieve the item.

3. Travel in normal time (green arrow) does not require anything. For example, from Corrupted Village to Demon King Castle.

4. Hero cannot gain any exp from killing monsters (since they were killed before and hero is time traveller). This does not apply to hero's teammates (Their level will set to default value at relative stage based on the ‘past journey').

5. Hero will become weaker and weaker. Therefore, the battle is heavily relied on hero's teammates unless hero obtains special spell/skill/buff from relative stages.

6. Hero may lose his/her friends based on his/her choices during the journey of travel back in time. And again, hero can proceed to next stage and travel back in time to change the event.

7. Once player interacts with one of key events in the Beginner Village, he/she can fast travel back to any stages (red arrow). Travel back in time still requires hero's level, if there is any left.

8. There will be choices in different stages which will affect the following stages, especially Demon King Castle stage (butterfly effect).

Renato Lima, Unaffiliated, TimeSpin

It's Exam week and your character didn't studied anything, he's pretty much screwed. After skip one of his classes, he found a magical hand spinner. As soon he spinned for the first time he noticed that the time rewinded. That gave him an idea, use the TimeSpinner to get an A+ in his exams without anyone get him to detention for cheating. Explore the school, talk with some friends, make the test numerous times by rewinding the event.

Each day is a test even harder because the school's council will obviously suspect from the grades of a student that didn't studied at all.

Platform: PC

Genre: Exploration

Players: 1

Scope: 5 days at school (only rewind for the beginning of each day)


Navigation - WSAD
Interact - Left Click
Open Bag - Right Click  Use Item (Release)
Time Manipulation - Scroll
Time Resume - Scroll Click
Pause - Esc

Return to the web version of this article
Copyright © UBM TechWeb