1 Oct
2012

Allow things to Grow while the Player is Away or Asleep

It can be frustrating that things don’t happen while they are away or asleep, crops and trees don’t grow, baby animals don’t mature and furnaces don’t progress. Especially when your survival is tenuous, and you don’t have the gear or torches to venture into the dark, or when while your crops/trees are growing, you want to do some long-range exploring.

I’ve seen several suggestions, some about keeping the world processing while sleeping, and others about keeping certain chunks active all the time. Both have the potential to slow down the game, and each only addresses half of the problem. This suggestion is designed to solve the most annoying issues in a consistent way, while adding the minimum stress to the computer.

1) When a chunk is unloaded, it gets a timestamp. So when the chunk is reloaded the game knows how long the chunk has been inactive.

2) Right after a chunk is reloaded or a player wakes up, processes that take a fixed amount of time, such as animals growing up, player health regen, or furnace cooking would be automatically advanced by the amount of time a chunk was inactive, or the time a player was asleep.

3) Processes that take a random amount of time such as crop and tree growth, would each have a short-cut calculation that approximates what their progress would be based on time elapsed and a single random roll. In most cases this should add very little time to chunk reload.

So, what do you think?

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