“The timeframe and delivery mechanisms through which rewards (points, prizes, level ups) are delivered. Three main parts exist in a reward schedule; contingency, response and reinforce.”
Reward Schedules mechanic is basically a player getting rewarded for doing a specific task in a specific time limit. So like a timed quest, or a time trail.
There were those keys in the Crash Bandicoot series. Basically you get a time trail, you had to get from the beginning of a level to the end in the specific amount of time. During the levels it is possible to destroy time crates which freeze time for however many seconds it says on the crate. When you get enough of keys you unlock special and difficult levels, also it counts towards you completion percentage in the game. The same mechanic is used in Crash Team Racing, but it is a racing game so everything has a time trail of some sort.
Another time trail sort of things happens in the famous Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. The whole world in the game is under the threat of being destroyed by a moon that is being controlled by the Skull Kid. In the game you have 3 days in order to stop the moon from falling down. Luckily enough you can travel back in time and re-do things all over again, although some things are kept with you like the masks you collect. But the rewards do vary as certain things can only be done on certain days.
I honestly hate time trail things as I get anxious and struggle with time limits as I rush with things and it is just not enjoyable for me at all. But some games like Zelda did manage to make it easy and take you back in time, but it does get a bit tedious and annoying as you carry on doing it because you don’t know what to do and you keep resetting the time and you’re in the same spot where you began in the first place!
If I was to use this mechanic which more than likely I would because I like games with rewards (who doesn’t?) I would just make it a simple leveling up system, maybe even something that Zelda has with the time limit to complete the whole game as it is! So you get experience and you level up, it rewards you with ability points which will make you stronger and help you advance in the game but you have a set time frame for when the world or something ends in the game, if that makes sense. I will provide a visual sketch of how it all would work.
(Don’t judge my skills!)
This does sort of collide with a different games mechanic which is a Progression mechanic which I will explain later. So I guess I could just have something like a trophy for killing over 100 monsters of the same kind as it is doing something over a specific period of time which would award you with a trophy which then will link to a progression bar e.g Playstation Network levels and experience points you get for the amount of trophies you own on your account from different games.