The Long Dark Roadmap First Impressions


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5 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

As with anything else in the game, Revolvers would be a tool/resource, particularly useful in specific instances. I'll let you imagine what those instances might be.

I'm very happy to read this, and Hinterland continues to impress me with their game design philosophy. I am very excited for the future of this game!

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If we created gameplay systems based on mis-spellings, this could lead to some interesting new mechanics...

This is actually incorrect.  If/when we're able to provide mod support for the game, we'll do our best to ensure it's robust and well documented. If we can't support it well, we probably won't su

Bring forth the holy hand grenades!  

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9 hours ago, JoseyWales said:

I think it will be more to have something to defend yourself with when a wolf has a hold on your arm.. You can be filling him full of lead with a pistol where as that is a bit tough to do with a rifle. I don't think we will be getting a big supply of fire arms, but I can see a couple "collectables" as it were, like the flare gun.

I dont really think that revolver would be of any use in a wolf struggle. With constant wiggling protagonist would have equal chance of shooting wolf(and not even kill it), miss or shot himself.

Wellbeing thingie is rather general. Even tho devs stated that they dont wannt something as primitive as sanity meter, it may still go sideways. Altho having some representation of "humanity", where player can slowly go feral(or not), could be interesting.

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I very much hope the wellbeing system will turn out to be the long-awaited cure for the starvation-hibernation playstyle. Prolonged inactivity (staying in bed for days in a row) and/or neglecting your characters needs (being starving or freezing for extended periods of time) might cause your character to gradually feel worse and possibly become depressive at some point. Any form of activity (e.g. repairing your clothes, cooking, foraging and any form of outdoor movement like hunting or exploration) might combat that state of depression and make you feel better again. But that's just my current imagination how it might work, maybe we'll get something entirely different.:big_smile:

 

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3 hours ago, Scyzara said:

I very much hope the wellbeing system will turn out to be the long-awaited cure for the starvation-hibernation playstyle. Prolonged inactivity (staying in bed for days in a row) and/or neglecting your characters needs (being starving or freezing for extended periods of time) might cause your character to gradually feel worse and possibly become depressive at some point. Any form of activity (e.g. repairing your clothes, cooking, foraging and any form of outdoor movement like hunting or exploration) might combat that state of depression and make you feel better again. But that's just my current imagination how it might work, maybe we'll get something entirely different.:big_smile:

 

That was my first thought too.  If you're hungry all the time, you get depressed.  While depressed, you don't perform your activities at optimal.

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Call me a bit of a cynic but I'm not gonna board the hype train, the roadmap could just be a lot of blue sky thinking for all we know and as Raphael said don't make him regret posting it. So I won't read too much into the future as when stuff like this goes out into communities it can often end up with upset fans and a lot of "we never promised" statements from devs!

I'm not trying to be negative in the way some critics were regarding the recent blog post but at the same time I'm jaded when it comes to long term plans being announced.
The studio must be under enormous pressure to live up to expectations, with the huge amount of sales pre-launch it's no surprise they keep moving the goalposts.

However, here is why I am not really feeling this announcement.

From the blog:

Quote

First off, the amount of story we’d launch with. The original plan was to launch a 2-hour episode and then continue to expand on it. But you can’t launch a 2-hour game in this competitive, Steam-refund, Youtube-orientated marketplace. So, instead, we’ll be launching Story Mode with the first 2 episodes of our 5-episode Season One, amounting to between 4-6 hours of Story gameplay.

From the Spring launch announcement:

Quote

At launch, The Long Dark® will include both the first part of Season One of Story Mode, and the Sandbox Mode. The Story Mode content launching in the Spring will amount to 3-4 hours of gameplay, in addition to the freeform Sandbox mode which offers 100s of hours of open-world exploration-survival gameplay.

Sure it'll be worth the wait but I don't really see the need for being economical with the truth this way, after reading that I pretty much switched off to the rest

Back then the first episode was to be 3-4hrs long, now they plan two with a combined length of 4-6hrs as opposed to earlier an expected combined length for 1 and 2 was 5-7hrs.  

No doubt production costs have gone way up since the decision to switch to 3D characters in story mode but I see a wee hint of deception going on here.  Why juggle the numbers like this? Why not just say the switches to 3D will result in a slightly shorter but a more engaging story mode overall......

 

On 04/04/2016 at 10:45 PM, cekivi said:

Backer Naming and Writing Rewards - Need more info please!

It's on the kickstarter page, backers over a certain amount get thank you credits and/or the chance to personalise an in game item:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hinterlandgames/the-long-dark-a-first-person-post-disaster-surviva/description

19 hours ago, Scyzara said:

e.g. a revolver besides rifle & bow or an axe besides the hatchet) could add much to the game for me personally

Can't really use the other two in close quarters!

On 04/04/2016 at 10:45 PM, cekivi said:

Axe - Same as the moose, this could be interesting but will it make the hatchet obsolete?

My guess is for breaking down doors or similar more like a pry bar forced entry tool than a woodmans axe.

 

5 hours ago, LucidFugue said:

Not really looking at things in the 6 month plus window.

Ditto, for my reasons above!

On 04/04/2016 at 10:45 PM, cekivi said:

Non-Map Based Navigation - This may be a misinterpretation on my part but this sounds like a quick travel system. As the game stands, I rather enjoy wandering around in the quiet darkness. Teleportation would slightly ruin that.

I think this is more in terms of being able to navigate without the use of a map rather than teleporting, perhaps an easier way marker system and finding North day and night using your surroundings.

 

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10 hours ago, Scyzara said:

I very much hope the wellbeing system will turn out to be the long-awaited cure for the starvation-hibernation playstyle. Prolonged inactivity (staying in bed for days in a row) and/or neglecting your characters needs (being starving or freezing for extended periods of time) might cause your character to gradually feel worse and possibly become depressive at some point. Any form of activity (e.g. repairing your clothes, cooking, foraging and any form of outdoor movement like hunting or exploration) might combat that state of depression and make you feel better again. But that's just my current imagination how it might work, maybe we'll get something entirely different.:big_smile:

 

That would be a nice system :)

@illanthropist I know I shouldn't get hyped but even if only a quarter of the things in the roadmap make it into the final game I'll still be a very happy camper :)

 

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6 hours ago, illanthropist said:

My guess is for breaking down doors or similar more like a pry bar forced entry tool than a woodmans axe.

That would be pretty cool indeed. There are quite some buildings in the game nailed with boards, e.g. at the log sort in Coastal Highway. Would be nice if we were able to remove those boards with the new axe (or a prybar, alternatively).:normal:

screen_78ba0e64-3fb5-4dd0-adf1-a1f62b789e76.jpg

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On Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 4:51 PM, hauteecolerider said:

I don't have a problem with guns, myself. Grew up around several of them, both rifles and pistols. Shot a few of them myself, back before the Chinese restaurant got built behind us.

However I'm with the Canadians -- I'm quite tired of "Americans'" love affair with handguns. They are not the be all and end all of anything, other than lives.

I have enjoyed only finding a military/hunting rifle (Lee Enfield) in the game which is very similar to the one my Dad had - a bolt-action .22 that he called his "deer rifle," though it is on the small side and kinda lightweight to be shooting deer. I think he called it that because it had a hunting scope on it. I don't miss the revolver at all.

But based on what I've seen so far of the Sandbox, I trust Hinterland to give revolvers the same considered regard they have given their choice of rifle.

As an American, I find your comment with regards to Americans and their so-called "love affair" with handguns as offensive. Many Americans don't own or even like handguns or firearms, especially in states like California and Massachusetts. Now I grew up around firearms myself, including handguns, and I love to go hunting with my father. But the "Americanization" comments need to stop. I could say that you Canadians love to have government-run healthcare and super high taxes, but I am not going to say that because that's just rude. Unless something was taken out of context, please let me know.

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42 minutes ago, Diamondz said:

 Unless something was taken out of context, please let me know.

"Americanization" was meant to refer to making the game more like an FPS since that is the genre most identified with and popular in the US. It was not intended to be in and of itself derogatory. I got the idea for the term from an Extra Credits episode I watched. Since seeing it I just started associating FPS style gameplay - and handguns in particular - with US style development philosophy. 

 

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On 4/5/2016 at 7:37 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

I'm not sure if this has been done elsewhere on the Xbox, but the system is quite a bit more closed than Steam and something like this would be non-trivial to say the least! 

So are saying you can do something of this sort?

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19 hours ago, LucidFugue said:

My major highlights:

Improved Cooking - This is huge. Suddenly you have hours of time back, where you're not just boiling water/making meals. A full day can now fit much more activity in it, and that's significant. I'm really interested to see the impacts and balancing elements.

Improved First Person Presence (various) - I'm assuming this is mostly polishing stuff, but making those little flourishes that add to immersion are really important.

New Clothing system - another major balancing element in the game that is getting overhauled. My best guess is you'll see the items on the body in the main UI, and have a sensible way of seeing which items belong on which body part, instead of using the inventory grid, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it interacts with the new afflictions, and what steps have been taken to counteract some of the ridiculous clothing strategies that exist.

Wellbeing system - I'm on the fence about it, but if the decision is to go with this, I'm interested to see the implementation, and play around with how it interacts with other systems in the game. Balancing more needs could get fiddly, but it's completely human to go from fighting to survive each day, to wanting something more from life than just survival.

Improved Infections/Sprains/Frostbite - Hooray for misery! At the moment I turn back for bad weather. Little else is so devastating as to make me abandon my intended plan. Deviate a little, maybe, but nothing is as dire as the weather. Hoping these will begin to impact decision making a lot more.

Not really looking at things in the 6 month plus window. Good to know they're there and on the team's minds, but the stuff I'm more likely to see sooner is the stuff I get most excited over.

Improved FPP would be a first person character model ex: being able to see your feet when you walk around, your arms etc... seeing yourself grapsing your rifle. Like we saw the wolf struggle in the new video.

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@illanthropist Regarding your question about the length of content we're launching with, no deception intended (and it's too bad you think we'd be up to that). With more progress we've reconsidered how we're structuring our episodes and the amount of story/gameplay that feels right in each. So what was one episode 3-4 hours long is now two episodes, each 2-3 hours long. So if anything we're launching more content than we originally stated (in terms of the number of hours), we're just breaking it up differently. I'm not sure where your 5-7 hour estimate came from.

In any case, this stuff is still in flux, and the fact that we have to get down to these types of nitpicky discussions about hours of content etc. is part of why it's just better for us to say less than to say more. Let's just say you'll know how many hours of Story Mode content is in at launch, when you play it at launch.

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4 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

@illanthropist Regarding your question about the length of content we're launching with, no deception intended (and it's too bad you think we'd be up to that). With more progress we've reconsidered how we're structuring our episodes and the amount of story/gameplay that feels right in each. So what was one episode 3-4 hours long is now two episodes, each 2-3 hours long. So if anything we're launching more content than we originally stated (in terms of the number of hours), we're just breaking it up differently. I'm not sure where your 5-7 hour estimate came from.

In any case, this stuff is still in flux, and the fact that we have to get down to these types of nitpicky discussions about hours of content etc. is part of why it's just better for us to say less than to say more. Let's just say you'll know how many hours of Story Mode content is in at launch, when you play it at launch.

I learned this lesson the hard way! In writing stories, I learned not to guesstimate how many words it's going to take. These things take on a life of their own and often don't want to wrap up quickly and neatly. One story I started out thinking it was going to be just 150,000 words long. It ended up being over 400,000! So yes, this game will be as long as it takes when the Story Mode is released, and I'm okay with that. I've already got my 20 bucks worth out of the Sandbox and have no intention of putting this aside anytime soon!

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36 minutes ago, hauteecolerider said:

I learned this lesson the hard way! In writing stories, I learned not to guesstimate how many words it's going to take. These things take on a life of their own and often don't want to wrap up quickly and neatly. One story I started out thinking it was going to be just 150,000 words long. It ended up being over 400,000! So yes, this game will be as long as it takes when the Story Mode is released, and I'm okay with that. I've already got my 20 bucks worth out of the Sandbox and have no intention of putting this aside anytime soon!

I've actually bought this game three times now :)

I still feel guilty for getting it originally on a Steam sale :)

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23 hours ago, Scyzara said:

I very much hope the wellbeing system will turn out to be the long-awaited cure for the starvation-hibernation playstyle. Prolonged inactivity (staying in bed for days in a row) and/or neglecting your characters needs (being starving or freezing for extended periods of time) might cause your character to gradually feel worse and possibly become depressive at some point. Any form of activity (e.g. repairing your clothes, cooking, foraging and any form of outdoor movement like hunting or exploration) might combat that state of depression and make you feel better again. But that's just my current imagination how it might work, maybe we'll get something entirely different.:big_smile:

 

That would actually be interesting, especially if it values would have a small(ish) rnd modifier to it, so it would feel a bit different each day.

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3 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

I'm not sure where your 5-7 hour estimate came from.

Your own post back in December stating that the pilot will be 3-4hrs long with further episodes at 2-3hrs each, apologies if I mistook your update as some part smoke and mirrors

 

3 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

In any case, this stuff is still in flux, and the fact that we have to get down to these types of nitpicky discussions about hours of content etc. is part of why it's just better for us to say less than to say more.

Isn't that what you are doing now to some degree?  I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone in house that you weren't going to be ready for the anticipated Spring launch, I watched your presentation from GDC last year some time back and was impressed by your focus on community engagement which left me questioning why when said community are all posting can't wait for Spring, yay Spring is here any news, any news etc.  That anticipation could have been ended with a short n sweet tweet like update telling us your going in a new direction with 3D motion capture but it's gonna push back the release.  May have also stopped the media publishing unfortunate headlines like "The Long Dark story mode still isn't ready!"

 

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5 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

In any case, this stuff is still in flux, and the fact that we have to get down to these types of nitpicky discussions about hours of content etc. is part of why it's just better for us to say less than to say more. Let's just say you'll know how many hours of Story Mode content is in at launch, when you play it at launch.

Please do not punish everyone in giving less information just because of some nitpicking of what was said and what was meant. I do not understand the whole discussion about hours anyway. I've already played the TLD sandbox > 500 hrs, and i've also played other games like Hitman Absolution lot's of hours. If you want to rush through, you probably shouldn't play TLD anyway. 

just my 2ct.

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9 hours ago, illanthropist said:

Your own post back in December stating that the pilot will be 3-4hrs long with further episodes at 2-3hrs each, apologies if I mistook your update as some part smoke and mirrors

 

Isn't that what you are doing now to some degree?  I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone in house that you weren't going to be ready for the anticipated Spring launch, I watched your presentation from GDC last year some time back and was impressed by your focus on community engagement which left me questioning why when said community are all posting can't wait for Spring, yay Spring is here any news, any news etc.  That anticipation could have been ended with a short n sweet tweet like update telling us your going in a new direction with 3D motion capture but it's gonna push back the release.  May have also stopped the media publishing unfortunate headlines like "The Long Dark story mode still isn't ready!"

 

We always have to balance transparency with secrecy, both to preserve our ability to launch with fanfare, and also to protect ourselves from too many "but you said!!" arguments with members of our community. In terms of our approach to how we "broke" the news of our delay, I felt it was time to provide a little more information about our goals and reasons for holding Story Mode back. A short tweet wouldn't have cut it, but thanks for the advice!

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On 06/04/2016 at 8:09 PM, Scyzara said:

That would be pretty cool indeed. There are quite some buildings in the game nailed with boards, e.g. at the log sort in Coastal Highway. Would be nice if we were able to remove those boards with the new axe (or a prybar, alternatively).

I found a reference to a Fire Axe somewhere a while back, may be a coincidence may be nothing.  Borderline whether I'm breaking the rules even mentioning it so won't say more than that.

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I can understand people bring frustrated by the delays and the dashed hopes of getting the product delivered as per previous promises.I can understand people being frustrated by the lull in updates in the lead up to this announcement. What I find hard to understand is the scepticism/cynicism over the explanation, which I think addresses both the above concerns.

What I mean is - where is nitpicking what was said then and now going? What's the alternative narrative? Is there suspicion that the delays are not legitimate rescoping.  But you have the project lead, and more - someone who has staked their livelihood on this venture - pouring their heart out about the decision making process. Maybe it's just my experience on projects, but this does not smell like smoke and mirrors. Scaling up is hard. Getting agile right is hard. Comms is hard.

The frustration is legitimate, but take the broader picture into account. 

 

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23 hours ago, Diamondz said:

As an American, I find your comment with regards to Americans and their so-called "love affair" with handguns as offensive. Many Americans don't own or even like handguns or firearms, especially in states like California and Massachusetts. Now I grew up around firearms myself, including handguns, and I love to go hunting with my father. But the "Americanization" comments need to stop. I could say that you Canadians love to have government-run healthcare and super high taxes, but I am not going to say that because that's just rude. Unless something was taken out of context, please let me know.

I found the comment to be a little thoughtless, too, but I get what he was saying. I do hope the Canadian TLD players understand that they are not entitled to "Canadianizing" the game in the same respect just because it's set in Canada and made by Canadians (I'm presuming) :P. Maybe Will McKenzie was born in South Africa, moved to the U.S. as a young child, then found a job in Canada?

Personally, I'd love if the developers added chop sticks to the game so we can eat sashimi for lunch like proper Californians do.

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1 hour ago, LucidFugue said:

What I mean is - where is nitpicking what was said then and now going? What's the alternative narrative? Is there suspicion that the delays are not legitimate rescoping.

I wasn't nitpicking, I read it and it jumped off the page as not right because the original planned content could just be cut down the middle and called 2 episodes amounting to the same as the new announcement promise so I wondered what was the whole point in the message.  My reaction was why instead of wrapping the bad news in what I perceived to be spin and sugar coating just rip the band aid off and get it over with.

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