Development Time

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Fixed amounts of game time needed for an event to have its main effect.

Some actions performed in games do not have immediate effects. Instead, they start processes that after some given time, its Development Time, has it effect.


The construction of buildings or units in the Civilization series always takes at least one turn but most often more depending on what is built and how developed the city where the construction takes place.

The plants grown in FarmVille take variable amount of time to mature depending on which type it is.

Calling air strikes in the Battlefield series can be done quickly but it then takes some time for the actual attack to occur.

Using the pattern

The prime choice for Development Time is what event or event caused by an action should be affected. Most actions are eligible to have Development Time but the pattern is most often used with actions related to Construction, e.g. Crafting.

Development Time is related to both Extended Actions and Time Limits but are not the same. If the Development Time blocks players from making other actions (as for example in the Civilization series) this makes the actions into Extended Actions, but if players cannot make use of the actions anyway (e.g. by them being Installations spread out in the Game World) this becomes a non-issue. Development Time does not by itself create Time Limits but when the actions modified by the pattern are also Interruptible Actions this creates Time Limits for those that wish to stop them from being completed.

Interface Aspects

Progress Indicators are often used in conjunction with Development Time so that players can plan future actions, and feel Anticipation.


Development Time is basically a way to create Delayed Effects with known parameters, and as such they provide Predictable Consequences and promote Stimulated Planning since players need to consider the effect of the actions will affect a future game state rather than the current one. It may also led to Extended Actions if players cannot initiate the same action again before it is finished, and Downtime if no other actions are available either. When players are kept informed of the statuses of Development Time, for example through Progress Indicators, this leads to Hovering Closures and Anticipation. This can also let players engage in Tactical Planning in the form of Memorizing to be able to do Combos between different events based on Timing them well.

In games with either Drop-In/Drop-Out gameplay or Persistent Game Worlds, the use of Development Time can give rise to Encouraged Return Visits.

When combine with Interruptible Actions, they require Risk/Reward considerations to start and present Time Limits to those that wish to make the actions fail.


Can Instantiate

Delayed Effects, Downtime, Extended Actions, Memorizing, Predictable Consequences, Stimulated Planning, Tactical Planning, Timing

with Drop-In/Drop-Out or Persistent Game Worlds

Encouraged Return Visits

with Interruptible Actions

Risk/Reward, Time Limits

with Progress Indicators

Anticipation, Hovering Closures

with Timing


Can Modulate

Construction, Crafting

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By

Progress Indicators

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.