In gaming, players may be human or may be run by a computer (or a set of instructions in the case of board games), and it can become argumentative to have two or more people trying to push counters around a map simultaneously, or it may be simply impossible for a human player to keep up with an AI that can have all movement performed in microseconds (which programmers intentionally slow down to human reaction speeds to make the game playable). This form of movement is called Real-Time Movement. In Real-Time Movement systems, Players move simultaneously, as they would in our universe. The problem with this system is that players with knowledge of the system will have a faster reaction time, moving pieces more frequently and accurately, and there can be a steep learning curve preventing new players from competing.
In order to level the playing field, movement can be altered to a sequential system. Each player or AI moves in some form of order, taking an equivalent number of Turns in order to ensure fairness of play. This has become known as Turn-based Movement. Although this is a less realistic system, in that it fails to model our own world accurately, it is often necessary in games.
The vast majority of board games are Turn based, while Real-time tends to be more frequent in computer games. Real-time movment in board games is one of the most difficult systems to implement, because of the physical limitation of how many people can put their hands in the same place at the same time, and because it spawns arguments over whether enemy pieces were in the same place at the same time. There are some tricks that can be used to make a board game closely approximate a Real-time system. Typically, combat time can be sectioned into extremely small segments, with players waiting many segments before acting, with either a limited occurance of simultaneous action, or a selection process to choose who moves first. A second method is to allow only a single hex movement per time segment, with a similar process to prevent simultaneous movement.
Examples of Turn-based Movement Games
- Civilization series (see http://www.freeciv.org/)
- Squad Leader
- Dungeons and Dragons
Examples of Real-time Movement Games
- Warcraft and Starcraft series
- Star Fleet Battles
- Champions/Hero Games