I’m working on a game that is structured into ten minute scenes. We playtested last Saturday and I was struck by the powerful effect that this constraint had on play - ten minutes is not much time, so it focuses play wonderfully. In my case each scene has some specific prompts for things that must occur within it, and the harsh time limit meant that players immediately engaged with the scene’s core concern.
My game is a freeform larp, so diegetic time and actual time are pretty much 1:1, and setting a timer seems like it would be less effective for tabletop, where there are more variables in how player time has to be spent. But as a designable surface, time and its limitation seems really fruitful.
I’m reminded of the improv exercise where you play a scene, then play it again in half the time, and then half again, until it is just a frenzied gesture.
Let’s talk about existing tabletop and live action games that incorporate time as a tool in their design, or games that could make use of this.