Fuarian

Things will get better, but we need to do it!

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I've seen a lot of negativity within the community recently. We all know why. And despite Hinterland's quite sincere apology people still aren't at least a bit sympathetic. Now sure Hinterland is at fault here but they made a mistake and to be honest we aren't making it any better by complaining. 

You see the way the human mind works is that the more it takes in the more it'll respond to it. For example in our case there's a lot of negativity floating around. We're all witness to this and the more negativity we observe the more likely that we are going to act that way. The more we are going to not see the bright side of things and the less optimistic we will become. I've already seen it start happening with people doubting not just Story Mode and it's quality but the game in general. 

But if we start looking on the bright side of things and start seeing things in a positive light. A lot more positivity will start to emerge. The more optimistic we will be about everything. The more we will begin to accept their mistakes and MOVE ON! 

I've seen people critizing the new trailer as being not accurate to how it will look in game. Or how things look sloppy. Or (insert any other complaint here). But truth is people wouldn't be like this if it weren't for Hinterland's mess up (mistake). This initially spread some negative reactions which started getting into people's heads. It does affect your outlook on things. 

So if we want to move past this we need to start looking on the bright side of things. Things will get better but it starts with us. We will make The Long Dark great again.

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I agree. We also need to understand that they need the publicity, and journalists lach on to things like countdowns. Besides,  why are we not rejoicing? The game has a for sure date! New features and fixes that the game needs are coming! Not to mention the fun little trailer we got. 

In the future, they should have associated a patch with a countdown like that though. Hinderland knows that now. Let's move on, everyone, please. 

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Hinterland has a great product in The Long Dark sandbox mode or Survival mode as they are now going to call it. They did a good job transitioning it from its infancy on Unity 4 and expanding it into Unity 5 and a great job accommodating player feedback and testing in order to refine the sandbox experience that exists today. They should be commended for expanding the scope of their project and taking the overwhelmingly positive feedback and expanding on the ideas as well as continuing to work towards the singular vision they had for the game. 

On the other hand, their blunder with the countdown is an acknowledged and apologized for thing, and it has damaged the brand far too much already by disproportionately damaging review score ratios between the overall rate which was 95% positive to the latest 30 days which are down to 79%. I can't state the danger of that type of trend enough. Especially with them bumping their price up at this point because higher prices also slow sales down. Clearly they are not enacting the "shilling forces" on STEAM forums, which is good, or major multi vector marketing efforts that AAA developers use to impact perception on the products. However, it would be wise to get a professional marketing team in to help contain and salvage their self created public relations situation. The situation on the Steam Forums is such that a $50K investment in a short term contract with a publicity firm at this point to formulate and articulate an engaging response with Raph would be prudent solution to the out of control nature of the frenzy there. Maybe a 20 or 30 minute interview reviewing the project and objectives and a detailed explanation of why the project has been extended so long past the originally implied time frame to the

Hinterland has a strong level of integrity that has never really been questioned to this point. But Steam perception will drive sales trends for the game overall. Without getting this PR situation under firm control ASAP, TLD may very well be a one hit wonder which would be a damn shame for Hinterland and the community who have stuck with it for so long. Myself in various ways since 2014.

Respectfully,

KD7

Edited by KD7BCH
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32 minutes ago, KD7BCH said:

Hinterland has a great product in The Long Dark sandbox mode or Survival mode as they are now going to call it. They did a good job transitioning it from its infancy on Unity 4 and expanding it into Unity 5 and a great job accommodating player feedback and testing in order to refine the sandbox experience that exists today. They should be commended for expanding the scope of their project and taking the overwhelmingly positive feedback and expanding on the ideas as well as continuing to work towards the singular vision they had for the game. 

On the other hand, their blunder with the countdown is an acknowledged and apologized for thing, and it has damaged the brand far too much already by disproportionately damaging review score ratios between the overall rate which was 95% positive to the latest 30 days which are down to 79%. I can't state the danger of that type of trend enough. Especially with them bumping their price up at this point because higher prices also slow sales down. Clearly they are not enacting the "shilling forces" on STEAM forums, which is good, or major multi vector marketing efforts that AAA developers use to impact perception on the products. However, it would be wise to get a professional marketing team in to help contain and salvage their self created public relations situation. The situation on the Steam Forums is such that a $50K investment in a short term contract with a publicity firm at this point to formulate and articulate an engaging response with Raph would be prudent solution to the out of control nature of the frenzy there. Maybe a 20 or 30 minute interview reviewing the project and objectives and a detailed explanation of why the project has been extended so long past the originally implied time frame to the

Hinterland has a strong level of integrity that has never really been questioned to this point. But Steam perception will drive sales trends for the game overall. Without getting this PR situation under firm control ASAP, TLD may very well be a one hit wonder which would be a damn shame for Hinterland and the community who have stuck with it for so long. Myself in various ways since 2014.

Respectfully,

KD7

ha it will all blow over after the kiddies have had a glass of milk and good sleep. geez.

Also im sure HT will be adding more spoiler alerts / videos etc. before release to get that hype back up.

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It isn't about hype. It is about maximizing the value of the game to generate sales, which in turn fuel further development. If you allow the STEAM reviewer sheep to shit all over the product you are going to have a hard time selling it at any price. Each % of negative reviews costs a few 100K in sales losses over the long haul. They had a very solid 90% last 30 day review trend for years. Now they are at 79% because of the anger by the poor marketing decisions. In the months leading up to a release you need solid engagement and a muti-faceted approach to solidifying the brand. The absolute worst time for negative reviews is when you raise the price and plan to launch. This is DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

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Though I didn't experience or express anger, myself, I think it's unfair to allow people to have their outrage.  If Hinterlands didn't want outrage, they should have not done something so outrageous, in my opinion.  Do I think there is some overreaction?  Yes, I do.  But I also think that Hinterlands, who are active in the social media community, not only should have seen this coming but actually probably DID see it coming but underestimated it.  I think they earned it.  It's impossible in my mind to somehow think that Hinterlands is an unwitting, innocent victim in this.  That they just made an honest mistake.  I appreciate the rah-rah on their behalf, but I also think they are reaping what they have sown with this.  The countdown being a mistake isn't something they should be able to honestly say they discovered after the fact-- especially because there were MANY people in the community talking about it being a countdown to a countdown in advance and Hinterlands never did anything to change perception.  I feel like they were almost warned ahead of time by a number of people.  But they wanted the hype and they were going to get the hype going however it played out.  Well, it played out badly, it seems.  Reap.  Sow.

I also didn't personally find the apology to be all that sincere.  No apology that says, "I'm sorry you feel that way," takes accountability.  That implies, "I'm sorry for the outcome but I'm not sorry for my actions in producing the outcome."  So I, for one, thought that the apology after the countdown and the way they were both done were maybe BOTH mistakes.  There are a few people on Reddit who have commented that feel the same.

I don't hold any hard feelings against anyone in either direction.  Hinterlands made their choices and now there are consequences for them.  People are upset and voicing their opinions and they have a right to do so.  As for me, I'm fine.  I mean, I don't have any real motivation to play for a few more weeks, at least, knowing that any progress I make won't be able to be saved but I'm still looking forward to the release.

I'm hopeful Hinterlands can rebound from this.  I really am.  But if damage has been done, it's damage that, in my opinion, they really, REALLY should have seen coming.  I don't think they are out of touch and I don't think they are naive.  I think they made a choice that backfired, is all, and I stated myself weeks ago that this isn't a choice I would have made, myself, because of exactly what is happening.  Reap.  Sow.  Again, I appreciate anyone who now wants to protect Hinterlands and support them but to disregard what is in my mind to be legitimate, fair outrage is another mistake in a line of many.

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11 hours ago, KD7BCH said:

Hinterland has a great product in The Long Dark sandbox mode or Survival mode as they are now going to call it. They did a good job transitioning it from its infancy on Unity 4 and expanding it into Unity 5 and a great job accommodating player feedback and testing in order to refine the sandbox experience that exists today. They should be commended for expanding the scope of their project and taking the overwhelmingly positive feedback and expanding on the ideas as well as continuing to work towards the singular vision they had for the game. 

On the other hand, their blunder with the countdown is an acknowledged and apologized for thing, and it has damaged the brand far too much already by disproportionately damaging review score ratios between the overall rate which was 95% positive to the latest 30 days which are down to 79%. I can't state the danger of that type of trend enough. Especially with them bumping their price up at this point because higher prices also slow sales down. Clearly they are not enacting the "shilling forces" on STEAM forums, which is good, or major multi vector marketing efforts that AAA developers use to impact perception on the products. However, it would be wise to get a professional marketing team in to help contain and salvage their self created public relations situation. The situation on the Steam Forums is such that a $50K investment in a short term contract with a publicity firm at this point to formulate and articulate an engaging response with Raph would be prudent solution to the out of control nature of the frenzy there. Maybe a 20 or 30 minute interview reviewing the project and objectives and a detailed explanation of why the project has been extended so long past the originally implied time frame to the

Hinterland has a strong level of integrity that has never really been questioned to this point. But Steam perception will drive sales trends for the game overall. Without getting this PR situation under firm control ASAP, TLD may very well be a one hit wonder which would be a damn shame for Hinterland and the community who have stuck with it for so long. Myself in various ways since 2014.

Respectfully,

KD7

It was always going to be a one-hit-wonder. It was never going to be remembered as the most famous title ever. But it will be recognized as one of the best survival games ever made. It already is. 

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Their deicision was not about maximizing sales. Because they knew what the outcome would be. That being reviews tanking and sales dropping. So how could they be all in it for money if their decision clearly doesn't help in that domain?

 

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2 hours ago, tnbp said:

Though I didn't experience or express anger, myself, I think it's unfair to allow people to have their outrage.  If Hinterlands didn't want outrage, they should have not done something so outrageous, in my opinion.  Do I think there is some overreaction?  Yes, I do.  But I also think that Hinterlands, who are active in the social media community, not only should have seen this coming but actually probably DID see it coming but underestimated it.  I think they earned it.  It's impossible in my mind to somehow think that Hinterlands is an unwitting, innocent victim in this.  That they just made an honest mistake.  I appreciate the rah-rah on their behalf, but I also think they are reaping what they have sown with this.  The countdown being a mistake isn't something they should be able to honestly say they discovered after the fact-- especially because there were MANY people in the community talking about it being a countdown to a countdown in advance and Hinterlands never did anything to change perception.  I feel like they were almost warned ahead of time by a number of people.  But they wanted the hype and they were going to get the hype going however it played out.  Well, it played out badly, it seems.  Reap.  Sow.

I also didn't personally find the apology to be all that sincere.  No apology that says, "I'm sorry you feel that way," takes accountability.  That implies, "I'm sorry for the outcome but I'm not sorry for my actions in producing the outcome."  So I, for one, thought that the apology after the countdown and the way they were both done were maybe BOTH mistakes.  There are a few people on Reddit who have commented that feel the same.

I don't hold any hard feelings against anyone in either direction.  Hinterlands made their choices and now there are consequences for them.  People are upset and voicing their opinions and they have a right to do so.  As for me, I'm fine.  I mean, I don't have any real motivation to play for a few more weeks, at least, knowing that any progress I make won't be able to be saved but I'm still looking forward to the release.

I'm hopeful Hinterlands can rebound from this.  I really am.  But if damage has been done, it's damage that, in my opinion, they really, REALLY should have seen coming.  I don't think they are out of touch and I don't think they are naive.  I think they made a choice that backfired, is all, and I stated myself weeks ago that this isn't a choice I would have made, myself, because of exactly what is happening.  Reap.  Sow.  Again, I appreciate anyone who now wants to protect Hinterlands and support them but to disregard what is in my mind to be legitimate, fair outrage is another mistake in a line of many.

I feel as if they only realized their mistake after they put the counter up. And it would've sucked more to remove the counter alltogether.

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1 hour ago, Fuarian said:

I feel as if they only realized their mistake after they put the counter up. And it would've sucked more to remove the counter alltogether.

That's giving them more credit than I feel comfortable giving them, myself. I'd be VERY hard pressed to believe that they didn't explore what each possible outcome might be to the mystery timer beforehand-- especially when they've seen negative reactions to this exact approach before in the software industry. That's a level of tone deafness I just can't believe exists.

Beyond that, they could have easily helped control spin by clarifying that the countdown was leading up to a major announcement after the countdown was running. But they didn't want that. They just wanted people buzzing. Period. That's where they went wrong. They could have had people buzzing about what the announcement might be. They could have had people buzzing about the launch of a new website. They absolutely allowed people to get worked up because they WANTED people worked up. I think, at best, they just didn't expect there to be retribution for it.

They definitely didn't have to pull the plug on the countdown but they could have done something-- anything-- to control the response. They just chose not to. Any attention is good attention-- except, it turns out, for the attention that makes many of your customers feel emotionally manipulated or misled. That attention, unfortunately, means people changing their Steam reviews in protest to the way they felt treated.

I don't believe I have ever reviewed the game on Steam in the first place, and if I had, I wouldn't go in and change it, but again, I don't blame anyone for a second who does. This was a terrible idea, right from the start. They had to have seen that; if not before they did it, which they should have, then while it was happening, which they should have corrected in some way. In ANY way.

You give them a LOT of credit, which is your right. But I prefer to be loyal not to Hinterlands but rather to what I believe the truth is: they went full Kardashian on the bit. They wanted attention and they got it. :P That's why I'm comfortable with letting the community react however they want to, at this point.  I'm not out there firebombing Hinterlands' reputation--  but I'm also not upset at anyone who is.

This all could have EASILY been avoided at any number of points along the way. That counter was up for almost a MONTH(!) Reap. Sow. Here we are. ;)

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11 hours ago, tnbp said:

That's giving them more credit than I feel comfortable giving them, myself. I'd be VERY hard pressed to believe that they didn't explore what each possible outcome might be to the mystery timer beforehand-- especially when they've seen negative reactions to this exact approach before in the software industry. That's a level of tone deafness I just can't believe exists.

Beyond that, they could have easily helped control spin by clarifying that the countdown was leading up to a major announcement after the countdown was running. But they didn't want that. They just wanted people buzzing. Period. That's where they went wrong. They could have had people buzzing about what the announcement might be. They could have had people buzzing about the launch of a new website. They absolutely allowed people to get worked up because they WANTED people worked up. I think, at best, they just didn't expect there to be retribution for it.

They definitely didn't have to pull the plug on the countdown but they could have done something-- anything-- to control the response. They just chose not to. Any attention is good attention-- except, it turns out, for the attention that makes many of your customers feel emotionally manipulated or misled. That attention, unfortunately, means people changing their Steam reviews in protest to the way they felt treated.

I don't believe I have ever reviewed the game on Steam in the first place, and if I had, I wouldn't go in and change it, but again, I don't blame anyone for a second who does. This was a terrible idea, right from the start. They had to have seen that; if not before they did it, which they should have, then while it was happening, which they should have corrected in some way. In ANY way.

You give them a LOT of credit, which is your right. But I prefer to be loyal not to Hinterlands but rather to what I believe the truth is: they went full Kardashian on the bit. They wanted attention and they got it. :P That's why I'm comfortable with letting the community react however they want to, at this point.  I'm not out there firebombing Hinterlands' reputation--  but I'm also not upset at anyone who is.

This all could have EASILY been avoided at any number of points along the way. That counter was up for almost a MONTH(!) Reap. Sow. Here we are. ;)

Yeah okay but they wanted the community to be excited. But telling the community that the counter would lead to a major announcement would piss them off. Why? Because we all expected a Story Mode release. And saying that makes the counter obsolete. Because that's what it's counting down to. 

They wanted us to know something was coming but didn't want to spoil it. So I think that a countdown was a really bad way to do it. And they only realized their mistake after they did it. Either way they were in a lose - lose situation. Except it's not an entire loss. 

And how dare you compare Hinterland to the Kardashians?! :o

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39 minutes ago, Fuarian said:

Yeah okay but they wanted the community to be excited. But telling the community that the counter would lead to a major announcement would piss them off. Why? Because we all expected a Story Mode release. And saying that makes the counter obsolete. Because that's what it's counting down to. 

They wanted us to know something was coming but didn't want to spoil it. So I think that a countdown was a really bad way to do it. And they only realized their mistake after they did it. Either way they were in a lose - lose situation. Except it's not an entire loss. 

And how dare you compare Hinterland to the Kardashians?! :o

Yes, of course they did.  That's undoubtedly the truth: that they wanted people to be excited.  But people in general respond positively to genuineness and transparency, almost universally.  Once they saw that excitement was building for something that they knew was decidedly false (i.e., people expecting anything beyond some info and a trailer that was mostly footage we've seen before), do you think people would have been more pissed or less pissed to have their expectations reigned in to the proper amount?  I think, in hindsight, they would have been FAR less pissed.  Once spin started getting out of control, I think it would have been far easier to say, "Hey, everyone.  You might have noticed the countdown on the new website.  BIG news is coming.  We don't want to spoil too much of the announcement in advance but we're getting ready to launch our new website and drop some bombs about sandbox, story mode, and a release date!  Stay tuned!"  And I think people would have been EXCITED about seeing the counter ticking down because they would know something quantifiable and hype-worthy was coming at the end of it.  The PS4 announcement could have been icing on the cake.  Instead, they mentioned that there was going to be one, final sandbox release before story mode drops, which only served to fan the flames of misplaced expectation.  Where you and I differ, it seems, is that you think that was unintentional and innocent, whereas I do not.  I believe with my whole heart that this wasn't a "mistake" so much as it was a "miscalculation of the end result."  I can't give them the credit that you do.  I can't say to myself, "This was just an honest flub up.  Could have happened to anyone.  Their approach seemed smart and should have worked and it just didn't go how it should have."  I don't believe that.  It was always a countdown to a countdown.  It was always a countdown to a list of about a half a dozen game improvements, most of which the community wasn't even looking forward to.  It was designed to get people talking, no matter what they were talking about-- and, to that end, it worked.  But it wasn't transparent or genuine enough to work how it should have or could have, in my opinion.  And there are repercussions for that.

No message is ever, ever as important as how the message gets delivered; in all of life.

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The response here was much more muted versus on Steam. I think there were a few really bad instigators who seemed to take pleasure in the unfortunate situation. 

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2 hours ago, tnbp said:

Yes, of course they did.  That's undoubtedly the truth: that they wanted people to be excited.  But people in general respond positively to genuineness and transparency, almost universally.  Once they saw that excitement was building for something that they knew was decidedly false (i.e., people expecting anything beyond some info and a trailer that was mostly footage we've seen before), do you think people would have been more pissed or less pissed to have their expectations reigned in to the proper amount?  I think, in hindsight, they would have been FAR less pissed.  Once spin started getting out of control, I think it would have been far easier to say, "Hey, everyone.  You might have noticed the countdown on the new website.  BIG news is coming.  We don't want to spoil too much of the announcement in advance but we're getting ready to launch our new website and drop some bombs about sandbox, story mode, and a release date!  Stay tuned!"  And I think people would have been EXCITED about seeing the counter ticking down because they would know something quantifiable and hype-worthy was coming at the end of it.  The PS4 announcement could have been icing on the cake.  Instead, they mentioned that there was going to be one, final sandbox release before story mode drops, which only served to fan the flames of misplaced expectation.  Where you and I differ, it seems, is that you think that was unintentional and innocent, whereas I do not.  I believe with my whole heart that this wasn't a "mistake" so much as it was a "miscalculation of the end result."  I can't give them the credit that you do.  I can't say to myself, "This was just an honest flub up.  Could have happened to anyone.  Their approach seemed smart and should have worked and it just didn't go how it should have."  I don't believe that.  It was always a countdown to a countdown.  It was always a countdown to a list of about a half a dozen game improvements, most of which the community wasn't even looking forward to.  It was designed to get people talking, no matter what they were talking about-- and, to that end, it worked.  But it wasn't transparent or genuine enough to work how it should have or could have, in my opinion.  And there are repercussions for that.

No message is ever, ever as important as how the message gets delivered; in all of life.

While I do agree with you. There wouldn't be a point to having a countdown if they tell us beforehand what it will be. The countdown was meant to be a surprise sort of deal. At least that's what I got from it. And a lot of others did too. Which is why everyone thought it would be Story Mode. You know I kinda feel now that both Hinterland and the Community are at fault.

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3 hours ago, Fuarian said:

While I do agree with you. There wouldn't be a point to having a countdown if they tell us beforehand what it will be. The countdown was meant to be a surprise sort of deal. At least that's what I got from it. And a lot of others did too. Which is why everyone thought it would be Story Mode. You know I kinda feel now that both Hinterland and the Community are at fault.

We're just going to end up agreeing to disagree on this.  I think there's absolutely a point to a countdown if you know generally what the countdown is for, i.e., "We have a huge announcement coming.  Here's a countdown for that."  Then people are appropriately excited for what is still a surprise, since nobody knows what the announcement is for.  Now, would people have still hoped the announcement might be something that it ultimately wasn't?  Yes, most certainly.  Might some folks have been disappointed about what the announcement ended up being?  I'm sure.  But they would NOT have felt misled or manipulated or anything else that is really at the crux of people being pissed off.  I think very few people are upset about the magnitude of the announcement-- they seem upset because they felt toyed with.  I, for one, understand why they feel that way because I think they were toyed with, to an extent.

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On 2017-05-05 at 10:36 PM, Fuarian said:

So if we want to move past this we need to start looking on the bright side of things. Things will get better but it starts with us. We will make The Long Dark great again.

Like I said before 'I can forgive Hinterland anything'. They've given me hundreds of hours of joy and more awesome adventures than any game ever has. If they never gave us anything else ever again, I'd still play this game until the day that I physically can't anymore. They tried a tactic, big deal. Hinterland is small budget. They need support right now and we should want that for them. Hell, I feel like I've cheated someone for getting this game for a measly twenty bucks. Anyone who got this fantastic game for eleven bucks is laughing.

We knew there would be one more update before story-mode. They haven't lied to us about anything. To tell you the truth, I thought they were going to give us an update and a story-mode launch date for xmas. So I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they will launch August 1st! August is always a crappy month for games that I like, so to me that was amazing news.

I'm back playing again too, trying to get my second last achievement done before update. There's Hinterland right there for you. Getting us motivated again, and again, and again.

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