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Dev Diary — May 2018

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3 hours ago, odizzido said:

I think it might be easier to just have your character screen have a weight. For example you start off at 180 pounds, you die at 140 pounds, and weight can go up and down depending on how much you're eating.

Well dying at 140 pounds is a bit harsh. I was boxing (5'11") at that weight and actually very healthy :D. But yeah, I guess I get the idea, and I actually kinda like it. But I can't help but giggle at the idea that you gotta carry around a belly because you've been munching those energy bars too much.

6 hours ago, Looper said:

Agreed. This is for me the first balance-change we need for long term interloper to be playable / challenge. Food is way to abundant to challenge the player if it's possible to eat only 600-700 cal. a day. Plus the immersion-breaking factor of eating 600 cal. burning 3500 cals for 150 days without any consequence.

Exactly. The immersion-break is the real argument here for me. I like to play stalker / stalker-ish (loper-esque wildlife and weather, but a tiny bit more resources than stalker to compensate) since I like those really long games I can play on for months while still having a challenge, but wanting to play the game the best way possible I usually am on low-cal / borderline starvation from day one just because I can. I don't say that some punishing starvation mechanic should be enabled by default (as TLD is rather punishing for new players already), but it would be a really neat trait for those seeking a challenge and/or improved realism. Also this change / option would thematically fit really well with the new cooking system. Make FOOD matter again :D

Edited by jeffpeng
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Hi. I didn't play TLD for quite some time as I have been busy, but I am surprised you are still making improvements that will be set into the existing story episodes. Even though it is perfectly fine to add improvements into the standalone survival mode, the story mode is different in the sense most of us have already played it and will probably not play it again (well some will for sure :)). Somehow this is disappointing to think that we played it without having the best version of it. So I will probably wait again before continuing where I left, until you actually finish your game once and for all! Adding stuffs for survival mode impacts all players, adding stuffs into story mode impact new players mostly.

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Wow this seems like a really cool update. I just started playing about a week ago, and you all have put a lot of work into making an enjoyable and unique experience. 'Preciate y'all. 

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On 4/27/2018 at 4:30 PM, admin said:

Now that the mission structure has been opened up, we can’t use linear cinematics to present our story anymore

Does this mean that the conversational cinematics will be going away?

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The videos, I expect almost certainly. Doesn't mean that the conversations can't be rendered on the spot though.

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On 5/6/2018 at 7:59 AM, jeffpeng said:

Exactly. The immersion-break is the real argument here for me. I like to play stalker / stalker-ish (loper-esque wildlife and weather, but a tiny bit more resources than stalker to compensate) since I like those really long games I can play on for months while still having a challenge, but wanting to play the game the best way possible I usually am on low-cal / borderline starvation from day one just because I can. I don't say that some punishing starvation mechanic should be enabled by default (as TLD is rather punishing for new players already), but it would be a really neat trait for those seeking a challenge and/or improved realism. Also this change / option would thematically fit really well with the new cooking system. Make FOOD matter again :D

I recommend making your custom sandbox with the minimum condition recovery values if that's what you're looking for. Not sure what your thirst values are set to, but at maximum, you will only be able to secure 9 hours sleep at a stretch without dehydrating. With zero condition recovery during the day and minimal at night, you'll only really be able to recover around 20% condition per day without herbal tea.

This makes starvation difficult as a strategy, because the starvation damage you will take will really take a toll on your ability to maintain top condition, particularly while travelling. If you have a wolf struggle or for any other reason take yourself down below 50% condition, you're looking at 2-3 days of eating well and not pushing yourself too hard in order to recover. 

It's not perfect, but it does make starvation less optimal as a strategy, because if you can get the calories it's better to consume them to keep you in top condition. 

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These all sound like very interesting updates, and I'm sure the devs are all working very hard... But my one and only hope/request for this game would be to be able to purchase the game outright. I don't actually want any of these updates and kinda hate the fact that I have no control over the product I spent my money on. I purchased a game that I love and now will be forced to accept a new version of the game that I do not want. So I dont really own the game...I'm just paying an access fee. Also, with Net Neutrality on the way out, online gaming will be something I cannot afford. Once the cable company turns on that meter I need games I can play without an internet connection. Is there any chance there will be an actual, physical game we can purchase outright?

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4 minutes ago, FluffyComeHome said:

These all sound like very interesting updates, and I'm sure the devs are all working very hard... But my one and only hope/request for this game would be to be able to purchase the game outright. I don't actually want any of these updates and kinda hate the fact that I have no control over the product I spent my money on. I purchased a game that I love and now will be forced to accept a new version of the game that I do not want. So I dont really own the game...I'm just paying an access fee. Also, with Net Neutrality on the way out, online gaming will be something I cannot afford. Once the cable company turns on that meter I need games I can play without an internet connection. Is there any chance there will be an actual, physical game we can purchase outright?

You don't want bugfixes and episodes and the potential for better gameplay? O.o Anywho, I feel you on the net neutrality front. We should be able to play without the game "phoning home" but on xbox I've never been able to. I fear the day my isp starts charging extra for gaming seeing as the majority of my internet usage is online gaming and streaming video on youtube and I've gone nowhere near the data cap. There is a physical copy coming out but just like with other modern games I am sure it will still phone home for updates and saves and whatnot. That's just how modern games are for the most part.

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34 minutes ago, Ape88 said:

net neutrality front

You must be from the US or a dictatorship-country? Is that really a possibility where you from? In the EU it's just a side discussion because net neutrality is a key agenda by all EU countrys. I wouldn't be to concerned about that. As long as a major economy guarantees net neutrality, no other country can really afford to go against it - even the Donald.

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1 hour ago, FluffyComeHome said:

These all sound like very interesting updates, and I'm sure the devs are all working very hard... But my one and only hope/request for this game would be to be able to purchase the game outright. I don't actually want any of these updates and kinda hate the fact that I have no control over the product I spent my money on. I purchased a game that I love and now will be forced to accept a new version of the game that I do not want. So I dont really own the game...I'm just paying an access fee. Also, with Net Neutrality on the way out, online gaming will be something I cannot afford. Once the cable company turns on that meter I need games I can play without an internet connection. Is there any chance there will be an actual, physical game we can purchase outright?

Really?

 

It's a video game- there will be bug fixes and content updates as long as the game is supported. And so you don't like the new region and cooking system; it doesn't mean that they'll stop and reconsider. When you buy the game, you pay a certain amount of $$ knowing full well that there will be updates- whether or not they are big or small; when you "love a game" as you say, you should know what the developpers plan on doing in the near future. If you want the Long Dark from 2014 when there was little to no content you can try to access an older version, but it has various bugs and missing content that weren't put into the game yet.

The question to your answer is no- live with the fact that this game is like any other game on Steam.

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If you don't want the updates the solution is very simple: don't update.
This is the reason why I don't buy games on Steam but on GOG, it's a pain in the ass the revert back to older versions on Steam while with GOG that's no problem at all.

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4 hours ago, FluffyComeHome said:

These all sound like very interesting updates, and I'm sure the devs are all working very hard... But my one and only hope/request for this game would be to be able to purchase the game outright. I don't actually want any of these updates and kinda hate the fact that I have no control over the product I spent my money on. I purchased a game that I love and now will be forced to accept a new version of the game that I do not want. So I dont really own the game...I'm just paying an access fee. Also, with Net Neutrality on the way out, online gaming will be something I cannot afford. Once the cable company turns on that meter I need games I can play without an internet connection. Is there any chance there will be an actual, physical game we can purchase outright?

Sounds like your problem is mostly with steam, not this game. I am new so I don't have anything before 1.21 but I can play 1.21 or 1.29 right now. I never have to update, and if I do get the update it doesn't delete my older versions. I don't need an internet connection to play either. I purchased this game on GoG.

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Thanks for the input everyone.

I will definitely look into GoG, had never heard of it before. (yes, I live under a rock) Sounds like that might do the trick - thanks! It would have been great to have not lost my version with Fluffy and to play without internet connection!

As far as bug fixes, I have not really experienced any bugs. But I see the point of wanting ongoing updates if a game has continual problems. As an older gamer I am used to most (or all) bugs being worked out before the product is sold.

I do like the idea of new regions, and might have purchased them if offered, but since they would be developed with new code parameters they wouldn't be compatible with the older versions anyway. So yeah, I realize I am stuck with it and that most games are heading in this direction. After all, why make thousands of physical products when you can make just one game server and sell millions of access codes. Why pay beta testers to finish a game when people are willing to pay you instead to play the game as a perpetual work in progress? The times they are a changing. All that aside, I do really like games that do not require an internet connection. I love to game while on vacation (no internet there) and cable companies are getting ready to charge for data like the phone companies. There is already a "meter" button showing in my isp account next to a graph labeled "Data Usage".

Of course, the only reason I care about any of it is because I love TLD and hate the thought that at some point I will no longer be able to play my favorite game.  I just wish I could just pop in a disc and play, without worrying about the rest of it. Hoping GoG is the answer!

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@FluffyComeHome, The whole net neutrality deal sucks, i know, maybe this will help:

Theres an offline mode for steam if you dont have internet access or want updates, you could look into disabling automatic updates on steam as well, might work for specific games. In your library, right click the game and click propeties and then click updates, you might find a disable automatic updates there.

Ive no idea if steam will let you play the game though once a new versions out, but if you keep it in offline mode it wont be able to check for updates so it will have no way of knowing anyways. Just dont forget your password or whatever. Offline modes not required for disabling updates, but its the only way i know to prevent it from checking for updates automatically if that makes sense.

Also, i totally agree with your username, I miss fluffy.

 

 

Edited by MarrowStone

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@FluffyComeHome, you know, things could be a whole lot worse. It could be a subscription game, or charge us for every update. I bought it twice, once for my laptop on steam and again for my Xbox. There are plenty of games that do that. But nah, you paid once. Yes It's still a WIP but the cost wasn't even that high (mind you I got the game when it was on sale but the non-sale price wasn't too bad either if I recall correctly) To be honest, some companies would have given up by now, but the way I understand it Hinterland is a small team and constantly working on this game, because they are upstanding devs and don't abandon their work like some would after so long.

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On 5/14/2018 at 8:01 AM, Ape88 said:

You don't want bugfixes and episodes and the potential for better gameplay? O.o Anywho, I feel you on the net neutrality front. We should be able to play without the game "phoning home" but on xbox I've never been able to. I fear the day my isp starts charging extra for gaming seeing as the majority of my internet usage is online gaming and streaming video on youtube and I've gone nowhere near the data cap. There is a physical copy coming out but just like with other modern games I am sure it will still phone home for updates and saves and whatnot. That's just how modern games are for the most part.

I don't have internet at my home other than my mobile hotspot... And I play this game offline all the time... In fact the only time my Xbox goes online is when I want to download a new game, update, or dlc.... Then I will fire up the hotspot and download whatever it is I want then I kill the data connection to my Xbox and play as I please. I have never had this game require a data connection. 

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14 hours ago, Ape88 said:

 but the way I understand it Hinterland is a small team and constantly working on this game, because they are upstanding devs and don't abandon their work like some would after so long.

x2, I'll take small and dedicated team over a big but uncommitted team anyday

Sam

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FluffyComeHome I can completely relate with what you described about wanting to stay at some versions, having hard copy's and being able to play without an internet connection.
For some reason I too have this preference.

The only reason I have Steam is to help dev's beta test games as most of them use Steam for distribution. I prefer to have all my games on disk and if possible DRM free. So far 80% of the games I bought digitally came through GOG due to the lack of DRM and being able to save the installer(s) and patches on a disk. The other 20% is from Humble Bundle and other DRM free resources. Only 3 games I bought digital are with DRM but those are server multiplayer-only games so it's not possible without DRM (unless they would introduce LAN support that is).

I don't want to force anyone to use GOG, but if you do prefer to save the (current version) installer(s) locally (with the next release they get replaced with the new version) GOG is definitely one of the places to go. GOG is btw a short name for Good Old Games, it used to be a games shop for old games without DRM. Luckily they've expanded this into newer games too. They have quite a lot of old school games available. :D

Edited by Blinkin

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On 5/14/2018 at 6:12 AM, LucidFugue said:

I recommend making your custom sandbox with the minimum condition recovery values if that's what you're looking for. Not sure what your thirst values are set to, but at maximum, you will only be able to secure 9 hours sleep at a stretch without dehydrating. With zero condition recovery during the day and minimal at night, you'll only really be able to recover around 20% condition per day without herbal tea.

This makes starvation difficult as a strategy, because the starvation damage you will take will really take a toll on your ability to maintain top condition, particularly while travelling. If you have a wolf struggle or for any other reason take yourself down below 50% condition, you're looking at 2-3 days of eating well and not pushing yourself too hard in order to recover. 

It's not perfect, but it does make starvation less optimal as a strategy, because if you can get the calories it's better to consume them to keep you in top condition. 

I might try this strategy the next game I play. I somehow like the idea of making the encounters itself not that volatile and dangerous, but actually having a more punishing recovery period. I mean .... it's only realistic that you aren't back to top form the day after a wolf gnawed at your throat. Good advice. 

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Just to clarify, I do believe the devs here have done a great job and love how responsive they are to their fans. And even though I would rather just purchase a finished game that is 100% ready to play, this game is an excellent value for the cost. Just because I wish there was a way to hold on to a specific version, doesn't mean I do not appreciate all that is good here. :)

 

Ironic side-note: My Steam application did a complete freeze a few days ago and after trying everything under the sun I had to reinstall it and all my games.  Long Dark automatically installed the most current version and now I am stuck exactly where I didn't want to be. Lost all my badges and feats, challenges have been cleared, and now when my character sprains an ankle she screams like a cat every 30 seconds and the camera roll made me so dizzy and nauseous I had to shut down the game. RIP  - I did purchase another copy of the game from GoG...but it is the same version as Steam has so does the same thing.

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yes, they have the current version + a patch for the older one. You have to keep it if you want to keep it. If the devs say it's okay I could send you 1.21 or 1.29 from gog.

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On 14/05/2018 at 11:47 PM, FluffyComeHome said:

These all sound like very interesting updates, and I'm sure the devs are all working very hard... But my one and only hope/request for this game would be to be able to purchase the game outright. I don't actually want any of these updates and kinda hate the fact that I have no control over the product I spent my money on. I purchased a game that I love and now will be forced to accept a new version of the game that I do not want. So I dont really own the game...I'm just paying an access fee. Also, with Net Neutrality on the way out, online gaming will be something I cannot afford. Once the cable company turns on that meter I need games I can play without an internet connection. Is there any chance there will be an actual, physical game we can purchase outright?

Without updates you would never have seen Fluffy, without updates you would never have lost Fluffy, without updates you will never again receive Fluffy... 

Being part of early access is a journey, destination is never guaranteed, enjoy the journey !

Edited by Nyarlathotep

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The Long Dark is very much an iteratively tested product like other games such as Minecraft where Hinterland will develop the product and then re-assess what they want the product to be before a re-development period. This ensures the game remains up to date with software and engine updates as well as offering improvements to the experience and additions such as new items, areas, UIs, etc. The addition of content on a regular basis is also far more effective for maximising the period of time players will play the game as they will want to play when a new update hits. For example, I play many different games and The Long Dark is one I find I will often play a week or two of until my character dies and then I will put away and play other things before picking up again. However, I always stay tuned to the forums and the Hinterland YouTube channel to check for updates because then TLD will be on the top of my play pile. Iterative development is an expensive process but also ensures customers will often get what they want instead of just what they asked for. There is a whole section on the forums called Wish List where people submit what they want for the game to build on the original survival experience. It is an expensive process though, meaning companies either have to have high immediate costs, a monstrously sized number of sales or, particularly with episodic gaming, fees paid on a regular basis for content updates. I would rather this game be a constantly developing project because since when I first played the game I’ve seen the addition of 3 new regions, countless items added, incredibly superior UI implementations, the story and so much more. Nothing makes me more excited than a TLD update. Eventually, as with iterative projects, the game will probably get too big, making players lose interest. I expect that will be a good place to launch TLD 2.0 (maybe story season 2). Until then, the game is great. 

If you don’t want the game to update, don’t update it. I’m pretty sure you can even uninstall the updates if you don’t want them. 

Oh and yes, Hinterland are planning a physical release of the game. 

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Any idea if and when there's gonna be a beta for this update? Always love trying out the new stuff ^_^

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13 hours ago, Renn said:

Any idea if and when there's gonna be a beta for this update? Always love trying out the new stuff ^_^

End of May /Early June

Not usually a beta I think 

Edited by henroe32

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