Raphael van Lierop

Milton Mailbag -- Dispatch #8

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Hello community!

It's time for me to rifle through the mostly empty mailboxes in the Milton Post Office and see if I can't answer some of your more pressing questions about The Long Dark, Hinterland, corpses/cannibalism, etc.

Let's go.

- Raph

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Question from @Pillock:

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Not sure if you are able / willing to answer this at this stage, but when Wintermute was first released a year ago, it was announced that Episode 3 was planned for late 2017, with Episodes 4 and 5 planned for release in 2018. Obviously with the redux, this has now been put back.

Is the schedule the same as before, except for being 12 months later? So is it fair for us to assume that Episodes 4 and 5 are now both planned for release over the course of 2019, or are you anticipating further adaptations due to player feedback on the new version that's coming out in December, and therefore a longer timeframe for the last two Episodes?

 

Redux has been a long year of reflecting on what didn't work, gutting tech and systems to replace them with ones that work better for our intended experience, listening to player feedback on what they liked and didn't like, and establishing the strongest foundation we can for WINTERMUTE. But, it was also an expensive investment in improving content that has already been launched, and won't do anything to erase unflattering reviews (whether from players or reviewers) from last August and it isn't going to make us more money. So, I guess you can say that the reason for Redux is that we want to make The Long Dark as good as we can.

All that said, we want to bring the story to a conclusion for our players. It's been a long enough wait, for you and for us. I don't anticipate making major tech overhauls -- on the scale of Redux -- for Episode Four or Five. That's not to say we won't add new content or mechanics in those episodes -- we will -- but I feel that Redux points us and the game in the right direction, and so we'll continue in that direction.

I'm not *promising* this because that always gets me into trouble, but I will say that I'd like to wrap up development of WINTERMUTE by the end of 2019. That doesn't mean the end of The Long Dark, of course. Hope that answers your question and I hope I don't live to regret this response. :)

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Question from @MarrowStone:

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Which movie, book, or videogame character (Excluding TLD), could you imagine Will Mackenzie would look up to or emphasize with the most?

Who would Astrid's media role model be?

 

Mackenzie: Probably empathizes with Rick from The Walking Dead. Probably admires Aragorn for his stern leadership and endless stamina. Probably also admires Link from Breath of the Wild because *damn* that guy can climb anywhere!

Astrid: Probably empathizes with Lena from Annihilation (movie) because they're both doctors who find themselves in hostile environments where the rules have changed. Probably admires Sarah from The Killing (TV), because she's a strong woman who won't stop until she finds the answers she's looking for.

Now I want to hear everyone else's choices for Mackenzie and Astrid!

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Question from @JamesDoesThings:

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What are your opinions on a co-op mode of TLD where two friends can survive and explore together? Of course certain systems would need to he overhauled and changed, but do you think it is a possibility?

2nd question, will Episode 3 get a trailer?

 

For a co-op game to be good, the cooperation needs to be built in to the core gameplay experience from Day 1. It's not something that can be added after the fact, and if it is, I suspect the cooperation will be relatively meaningless. So, a co-op experience of The Long Dark would have to be a completely new game.

Yes, Episode Three will get a trailer!

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Question from @musrass:

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Are you considering reviewing cooking time for the various meats? – they seem a bit too long for me...

They may feel wrong because you are used to cooking in accelerated time (before) and the revised system is designed and tuned to account for (a) multiple cooking slots allows you to do parallel cooking whereas before it was serial cooking (one item after the other), (b) cooking implements offer benefits to speed/safe times to avoid burning, and (c) enough time for the player to accomplish other tasks while cooking is happening. 

But, yes, we've done a tuning pass on a bunch of cooking times and will release those in a hotfix closer to the end of the month.

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Question from @amorphea:

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First I wanted to say i simply love the game and i've gotten quite a few hours in it already, so recently i've started playing a lot of interloper and i've gotten frostbite so many times. Now i understand that it's a very fair injury and i also understand that there is no cure for it i mean when you're fingers are dead they're just dead but i was wondering if there was maybe a possibility of having an easier way too track the progress of injuries then going into the status menu every time? Maybe some apart from just a symbol in the HUD also the percentage? just an idea of course one that would make it a lot easier to keep track of afflictions. 

When you see the "heart" on the HUD that tracks your Condition becomes an amber or red plus (cross) sign, that means you have the risk of an affliction (orange) or an actual affliction (red). So if you ever see that, go and check your Status to make sure you know what's going on. Usually you'll get a "risk" event before the actual affliction, which gives you lots of time to react to it, ex. Frostbite Risk comes before Frostbite.

Also, you'll notice in the Clothing screen, any slots that have "ice" building up on them means that part of the body is getting frostbitten.

All that said, I agree we could do a better job of surfacing this stuff and we're thinking about some UI improvements to that extent. Not sure when we'll get them done though, as our plates are pretty full with Episode Three work.

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Question from @Killerboom204:

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Could we expect to see the implementation of a fitness meter, that would grant small bonuses like less endurance loss when running, more endurance, and maybe tiny boosts to carry weight and movement speed in this iteration of the long dark? 

I wouldn't *expect* to see anything we haven't promised to deliver. :)

But, Feats currently already do a bit of what you are talking about -- ex. Cold Fusion makes you more resistant to cold temperatures.

Here's the current list: http://thelongdark.wikia.com/wiki/Feats

I'd like to build on this system in the future.

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Question from @TheIncredibleHibby:

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Have you ever had any dreams where you were actually IN The Long Dark? I so, I'd love to hear the details. I've had a few, most recent one I can remember is one where I was trying to make my way home at night during a really nasty blizzard, visibility about up to 5 feet in front of my face, wind hard against my back, snow obscuring my vision...when out of nowhere a 7 foot tall black mass with glowing white eyes rushed me and killed me. Startled me awake. :D

I sometimes dream that The Long Dark is finished and all our players are super happy about what we've given them. Does that count? :)

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Question from @bois vert:

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Will there be any update to the game for us to try a few new features as a way to pass time before the Episode 3 being released in December?

Do you plan to continue updating your game to make some changes or adding any new features to gameplay for episode 4, and 5 like additional to cooking system way before episode 3 release date a couple of months ago as an example?  How close are you being satisfied with your game play vision?  

 

I doubt we'll release a test branch before Episode Three launches, as it takes a lot of time and effort and we'll be focused on finishing and polishing Episode Three gameplay.

I'd like to continue improving The Long Dark's survival mechanics, yes. I'm not close at all to being satisfied with where we're at gameplay wise, relative to what I'd like to do, but at some point we'll have to stop putting more free content into this game and start working on something new. :) I think there are still some big improvements to be made to some core systems, before we can say we are really "done" with our current gameplay. Episodes Four and Five will be good opportunities to make some of those improvements.

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Question from @okapi:

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People are asking a lot more important questions than me... but I always wondered, what is the point of being able to search the visors in the cars? They never have anything in them. In my first hours with the game I would check them every time.

The idea was that sometimes you would find Notes or Keys under them. We may still do that.

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Question from @ajb1978:

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Are there any plans, or at least brainstormy ideas being tossed around, to expand the utility of the aurora in the game?  For example, electric heaters, working microwaves, being able to use a live sparking wire as a firestarter, an old Walkman to listen to the radio from anywhere, etc.  Even impractical things that you wouldn't bother carrying with you, but that would be great fun to stash at your favored safehouse.  Like...a Game Boy or something, to play some little totally optional minigame.

Yes! I think the Aurora could do so much more. We have 2-3 major gameplay systems built around the aurora but we've not had the time to implement them. I'd still like to do so at some point, as I think the Aurora currently is not nearly as compelling -- as a gameplay device -- as it could or should be. Some of these new things will appear in future Episodes.

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Question from @Smellyfries:

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Are you going to add a quick stat weight meter to the bottom right of the screen that act as a quick way to see your carry weight? Right now the only way we know how our weight is, is by checking your inventory, or seeing the red weight symbol in the bottom right. It would be cool if there was a meter similar to food and water that you could see in the bottom right to quickly check your weight without seeing exact numbers.

I'm not sure adding a HUD indicator for every potential issue you might encounter is the best way to deal with this. The Encumbered indicator appears when what you're carrying is sufficient to affect your mobility, which can be caused by more than one factor -- ex. it may be that you are too Tired and therefore your carrying capacity has been reduced, so suddenly the XX kilos of gear you were carrying an hour ago is too heavy. My point is, Encumbrance isn't just about carrying capacity -- it's about your overall state, and you just need to monitor all your needs and all the info you have in order to make good decisions.

That said, we're always thinking about ways to improve the UI and represent information differently, so maybe I'll have a different response to this question in the future! :)

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Question by @ThePancakeLady:

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Apologies if this has been asked. I did search, but did not find anything similar. But, I did search shallowly, so it may have been asked, and I may have missed it.

So:

Many of us believe the character Will looks like you, and may have his personality modeled after your own, loosely or not so loosely. Perhaps this is true, perhaps not. We gamers tend to assume a lot of things without knowing the full story. So, can you shed a little light on the story? Are the characters in Wintermute modeled after real world people in your life, or the lives of any of the devs and writers? No need to name anyone. Just curious if the appearance, style of speech, and personalities are based on real people, completely fictional creations, or a bit of both.

 

No intentional crossover between characters from The Long Dark and real life. Of course, when you write/create something you put some of yourself into it and I'm sure there are things characters say that are things that I'm trying to say, but mostly if that happens it's pretty subconscious. We never set out to make Mackenzie look like me, or be like me, so I'd say he's a completely fictional character who just so happens to share vague similarities with me.

A former writing partner once told me she noticed I always write "sad" characters. Not sure if that's true or why that would be. I am attracted to characters and stories that have a sense of melancholy. I don't think I'm a "sad person" but I do think there's a lot in this world to be sad about, so I'm sure that finds its way into my work. 

I feel like Mackenzie does his best in tough situations, and I hope I would be as good a survivor, and as good human, as Mackenzie tries to be, in the circumstances he finds himself in. I think in the Redux episodes you'll find maybe new "depths" to him that weren't present before. It's difficult to write characters with depth when you want the player to inhabit that character, because you risk alienating people who wouldn't react the same way in any given situation. I hope that people, if they don't like Mackenzie, find him interesting and sympathetic. He jokes around at times, probably because I enjoy a bit of gallows humour as a way to add levity, and also Mark Meer is kind of a goof-ball a lot of the time so I have a hard time having Mackenzie be serious all the time. 

[Update: After consulting with Roberto Robert, our concept artist, on the Raph/Mackenzie crossover, he says, and I quote: "You don't remind me of Mackenzie. He sounds worried all the time." So there you go.]

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Question (sort of ;)) from @justyr1:

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So I've been curious about a backpack system for a while. I read your answer regarding something similar on one of the Mailbags, so I'm hoping this isn't completely redundant. It's understandable that the way the current system works it would be difficult to compartmentalize items in a separate bag attached to the character. What about making backpacks modifier items just like the Moose Satchel? So you start of the survival mode with no backpack which gives you a base weight of say 30~, you can find different types of backpacks that would increase your carrying weight. Maybe all the way up to a rare rigid frame expedition pack that allows you to carry in the ballpark of 70-80~. Movement speeds would be affected when you get to bigger packs. Backpacks could have their own slot in the clothing menu. Sorry if this ended up looking more like a wishlist item than a question. The question of if something like that has already been considered is the core of it. Love the game so far. It's one of my go-to's and I always seem to return to it.

That approach *might* be possible, but it would require us starting players with a much lower base carrying capacity than we currently do, which I'm not sure would make people happy. But yes, theoretically carrying capacity is just a number we can increase or decrease and the associated penalties/benefits get triggered accordingly. So if we wanted to say that you become Encumbered at 10kg or 60kg we could do that. I'd have to think about this some more as our systems are pretty complex and I'm sure I'm forgetting some knock-off effect.

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Question from @TheRealPestilence:

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I'm curious how the animal damage system works.  You recently confirmed animals have condition.   Do hits by arrows or bullets deduct condition from the animal until the animal's condition falls to zero?  Does bleeding reduce the animal's condition over time like it does for the player, or is bleeding out different for animals?  Can a second hit in a less vulnerable location reset the bleedout time for an animal, or is bleedout cumulative like it is for a player with multiple bleeding injuries?  Will a bear or moose which has been shot multiple times die from purely normal hits, or will it only die when a critical hit is finally made or it bleeds out?  Finally, it's possible to hit an animal with an arrow and receive an archery skill point for the hit, but not cause the animal to start bleeding.  If a player was able to repeatedly make a series of those hits without ever causing the animal to bleed, would the animal eventually take enough damage to die purely from condition loss?

I answer some of this in Dispatch #3: 

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Question from @Luciën:

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Another language related question from me.

Since the game has an obvious Canadian character, and Canada also has the French as official language, I was wondering. Has there ever been considered using French as the game's language? I know, I know, we have bilingual signs for Lac Mystère. And I know English is way more common in the game world, it would cross my mind every now and then.

I'd like to get more French Canadian "character" into the game in future Episodes. I think it would make the game feel more authentic to the world we're trying to create. No, we're not adding Poutine.

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Question from @King Wasabi:

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Do you have an possible ETA on The Full-body simulation, Seeable clothing on body, More Body awareness Animations, yet? I would completely understand that this isn't a high priority right now, but I'm going to go on a whim and say June 2019?

I try not to comment on Wishlist items, nor delivery timings for things that we haven't committed to doing.

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That's all the time I have for the Mailbag this week! I hope you enjoy the responses and have a great weekend.

- Raph

 

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Please use this thread for discussion of @Raphael van Lierop's answers. However while we will be monitoring the thread, he won't be following up on questions here. If you have more questions please post them in the main question thread and they may be addressed in a future Milton Mailbag.

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Thank you for answering my question Raphael!  I'm glad that the Aurora will be playing a greater role in the game, and am eagerly looking forward to what role that turns out to be.  (And how it ends up killing me, most likely.)

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22 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Redux has been a long year of reflecting on what didn't work, gutting tech and systems to replace them with ones that work better for our intended experience, listening to player feedback on what they liked and didn't like, and establishing the strongest foundation we can for WINTERMUTE. But, it was also an expensive investment in improving content that has already been launched, and won't do anything to erase unflattering reviews (whether from players or reviewers) from last August and it isn't going to make us more money. So, I guess you can say that the reason for Redux is that we want to make The Long Dark as good as we can.

All that said, we want to bring the story to a conclusion for our players. It's been a long enough wait, for you and for us. I don't anticipate making major tech overhauls -- on the scale of Redux -- for Episode Four or Five. That's not to say we won't add new content or mechanics in those episodes -- we will -- but I feel that Redux points us and the game in the right direction, and so we'll continue in that direction.

I'm not *promising* this because that always gets me into trouble, but I will say that I'd like to wrap up development of WINTERMUTE by the end of 2019. That doesn't mean the end of The Long Dark, of course. Hope that answers your question and I hope I don't live to regret this response. :)

Excellent answer, thanks!

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Just for the record, I think this Q&A thing is brilliant. Makes it FEEL like a small time studio with all the warm and fuzzies associated with that. A quick story on that subject... (Warning, ramble alert!!) One of my hobbies is old vehicles (1970's era ford pickups to be precise) and a while ago I called a small company in California that makes hotrod/hop up/cool guy parts for old engines (Offenhauser Equipment). I wanted to ask about the feasibility of them adding a new valve cover to their product line (for a Ford 300-i6). They already make intake manifolds for the motor, so a valve cover would be a logical addition. Lo and behold, who answers the phone but the CEO of the company!! We had a great conversation, we talked about the company, their current products, financial issues (a wooden pattern would need to be made to cast molds of of, then those molds would need to be filled with molten aluminum. All of this consumes lots of time and therefore $$$) and then other things like final cost of product, market potential etc. It was great, for me it highlighted the best part of small businesses; accessibility. Where else could I call and talk directly to the CEO of a company?? (End of ramble)

These Q & A sessions give that same kind of small company feeling, I like it. Makes us feel appreciated. :coffee:

Sam

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9 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Yes! I think the Aurora could do so much more. We have 2-3 major gameplay systems built around the aurora but we've not had the time to implement them. I'd still like to do so at some point, as I think the Aurora currently is not nearly as compelling -- as a gameplay device -- as it could or should be. Some of these new things will appear in future Episodes.

The suspense is real!

 

9 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

I'd like to continue improving The Long Dark's survival mechanics, yes. I'm not close at all to being satisfied with where we're at gameplay wise, relative to what I'd like to do, but at some point we'll have to stop putting more free content into this game and start working on something new. :) I think there are still some big improvements to be made to some core systems, before we can say we are really "done" with our current gameplay. Episodes Four and Five will be good opportunities to make some of those improvements.

Personally, I hope there's room for at least one DLC (with a price) to give Hinterland opportunity to keep improving TLD. I would surely pay for upgrades to the survivor-mode gameplay. The sandbox of this game is truly unique with its purity and simplistic approach not to be found in many games to day. 

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sometimes dream that The Long Dark is finished and all our players are super happy about what we've given them. Does that count? :)

Well the game may not be finished but a lot of us are still very happy with current state of the game.

I for one am really pleased with how much content has been added to the game over the course of development. (Been playing since it was first released on xbox) and let me just say you folks at Hinterland have done an amazing job so much has been added/changed in the game I personally am still amazed that with all the new regions mechanics and items etc that have been added to the game that it's never really had a detrimental effect on current saves and that all of this was accomplished with only one save wipe.(when story was released)

So thank you for giving us (imho) thee best /most realistic survival game to date.

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Excellent mailbag, as always -- thanks!

Re frostbite:

13 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

All that said, I agree we could do a better job of surfacing this stuff and we're thinking about some UI improvements to that extent. Not sure when we'll get them done though, as our plates are pretty full with Episode Three work.

Fair enough, I think we all want episode three ASAP. 

But frostbite HUD could definitely use some love!  For 'missing clothing' frostbite risk (which always occurs in Interloper), the only way to actively manage it atm is to check the Status panel constantly.  It's a finicky math + flow diagram mini-game:  Am I outdoors and  lower than -5c Feels Like?  Is the combination of my Feels Like and location (here the flow diagram branches) enough to reverse the risk?  When I don't feel like mathing I add sticks one by one to a fire and check the status panel after each stick -- hot enough now?  Repeat until the risk starts to drop.  But I'm still mostly playing the Status panel instead of being in the game world; it's not fun.  Just imagine what a simple HUD indicator for rising/falling frostbite risk could do!  For example the one, two or three down arrows of the temperature indicator.

Even if Hinterland don't revisit the presentation of frostbite risk in the HUD this problem could be instructive for the design of future afflictions.  For afflictions that progress from risk to full-blown, I'd prefer visualization in the HUD (using current indicators or new ones) -- even if that means a less complex or realistic design.

Edited by Ruruwawa

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But, it was also an expensive investment in improving content that has already been launched, and won't do anything to erase unflattering reviews (whether from players or reviewers) from last August and it isn't going to make us more money.

I am not sure. I purchased this game because I liked how development was going. Unless I am the only one who did so you may have made more money than you think.

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8 hours ago, odizzido said:

I am not sure. I purchased this game because I liked how development was going. Unless I am the only one who did so you may have made more money than you think.

Pretty sure @Raphael van Lierop knows to the exact Canadian Penny how much money the game has cost to develop, how much redoing Wintermute Ep 1 & 2 has cost, and how much money the studio has spent developing the game.  There were review bombings and some very graphic, toxic, and hateful reviews and forums comments on Steam... lot of them. No one can know for sure how many sales were lost on all platforms, but I am sure Hinterland could tell you the exact number of refunds requested on all platforms, in the month of August 2017, if they chose to.  Lol! Your comment makes no sense. It really doesn't, even if (I think) you are trying to say something positive and supportive?

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Doing things like reworking episode 1/2 is the sort of thing that got me to buy the game because I believe the team will be able to make something really good in the end. I said I purchased the game because I liked the dev work going into it and wanted to support more. I said I disagree that taking the time to make things better will not make them any extra money because people like me notice. Perhaps the investment won't be worth the cost in the end for this game but it doesn't mean they won't make any extra sales for the effort. Plus I will remember that the studio cares about the quality of their work. Just like I remember how the devs for This War of Mine turned their working game into an almost unplayable buggy pile of garbage with every piece of crap DLC they made, and when I found out they made one of the games I was looking at I decided to not pick it up.

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9 minutes ago, odizzido said:

Doing things like reworking episode 1/2 is the sort of thing that got me to buy the game because I believe the team will be able to make something really good in the end. I said I purchased the game because I liked the dev work going into it and wanted to support more. I said I disagree that taking the time to make things better will not make them any extra money because people like me notice. Perhaps the investment won't be worth the cost in the end for this game but it doesn't mean they won't make any extra sales for the effort. Plus I will remember that the studio cares about the quality of their work. Just like I remember how the devs for This War of Mine turned their working game into an almost unplayable buggy pile of garbage with every piece of crap DLC they made, and when I found out they made one of the games I was looking at I decided to not pick it up.

And a fairly loud number of people felt the same way about this game as you did/do about This War of Mine, and the studio that developed that game. And made loud, disparaging posts about how they felt on the Steam forums to a lesser extent on the GoG forums, and to a huge extent on the player-controlled subs on reddit. While others felt more positively about this game and the studio making it. 

Your singular opinion is great, but the toss-out of a negative jab at another game here is very much similar to what happened with The Long Dark after it wnet full release, and long time players did not like what had happened with the game. Until the Redux work was announced, many negative attitudes did not shift, and some still haven't. You aren't the only one who is refusing to buy a game because they didn't like what the game became after it left Early Access. There is more than one side to the story, and Hinterland has had to see and deal with all of them, not just your singular, subjective opinion alone. 

Do you not see that? Again, your very negative statement here about This War Of Mine, is how many people reacted to The Long Dark. How do you not see that?

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@above me I'm thinking perhaps this thread isn't exactly the best place for the continuation of this conversation...

But to the OP: I must admit I am a little sad about the lack of dreams taking place in the game you're making, but I suppose I had not considered the point of view difference: someone spending hours upon hours MAKING the game who knows all the technical stuff is going to be vastly different from someone who is spending hours upon hours PLAYING the game!

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On 8/17/2018 at 7:08 PM, admin said:

Please use this thread for discussion of @Raphael van Lierop's answers. However while we will be monitoring the thread, he won't be following up on questions here. If you have more questions please post them in the main question thread and they may be addressed in a future Milton Mailbag.

 

1 hour ago, TheIncredibleHibby said:

@above me I'm thinking perhaps this thread isn't exactly the best place for the continuation of this conversation...

But to the OP: I must admit I am a little sad about the lack of dreams taking place in the game you're making, but I suppose I had not considered the point of view difference: someone spending hours upon hours MAKING the game who knows all the technical stuff is going to be vastly different from someone who is spending hours upon hours PLAYING the game!

Discussions of the answers. Exactly what is going on here. How is this not the best place for it? I/we should start a new thread in general discussions, just to discuss our differing opinions on Raph's answer, and our different perspectives on it? If it offends you, or makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to report it, and let the Mod(s) deal with it, or just ignore the discussion and move on. :) 

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@ThePancakeLady I am not sure we are even talking about the same thing honestly. I have reread your posts and I just don't understand.

Also for the example I used, TWoM, the game was released and I didn't have a problem with where the game went after. I had a problem with the game breaking bugs that were introduced and as far as I know never fixed.

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It's likely that the Redux has cost Hinterland more money than it will make back in new sales (especially since RvL said as much himself), and it doesn't erase all the negative reviews, whether deserved or not, that are visible on Steam and possibly negatively affecting future sales potential as a result.

But I'm sure it'll be worth the effort (and the financial hit, if that is indeed true) if the Redux version significantly addresses the complaints people had with the original Wintermute release. Brand loyalty does matter, and so does artistic integrity. I want to play the game that fits the creator's vision for the project as a piece of work, not as a profit-oriented 'product'. There are a couple of game franchises that I used to be fanatical about, but now simply ignore because of how the developers have gone about designing and updating certain versions of those franchises (TWoM isn't one of them - I absolutely loved the original version, but never tried any of the DLCs. Maybe I will in time.)

In the long term, if Hinterland build a reputation for being a company that puts the quality of the game before maximizing their profits on individual releases, then that will (I think) build loyalty and trust among their customers - both existing ones and potential new ones; and it should ensure they are able to fund future projects securely, and complete them to the best of their artistic vision, because people will be more willing to invest in things like Early Access again, and react more forgivingly when problems arise. By admitting the flaws in the original release and working to correct them, despite that not necessarily being the most cost-effective strategy, Hinterland are showing that intention. That's obviously great for us as fans, but hopefully it will benefit the company in the long term as well.

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On 8/17/2018 at 6:57 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

No, we're not adding Poutine.

I'm outta here! ;)

Interesting reading, as usual. Keep these dispatch coming.

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On 8/17/2018 at 5:57 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

I'm not sure adding a HUD indicator for every potential issue you might encounter is the best way to deal with this. The Encumbered indicator appears when what you're carrying is sufficient to affect your mobility, which can be caused by more than one factor -- ex. it may be that you are too Tired and therefore your carrying capacity has been reduced, so suddenly the XX kilos of gear you were carrying an hour ago is too heavy. My point is, Encumbrance isn't just about carrying capacity -- it's about your overall state, and you just need to monitor all your needs and all the info you have in order to make good decisions.

That said, we're always thinking about ways to improve the UI and represent information differently, so maybe I'll have a different response to this question in the future! :)

I think it'd be useful if there was a weight-o-meter, perhaps shown graphically as a proportion of your maximum capacity according to fatigue, were added to the TAB quick-status HUD bit. It's something that I generally want to check every so often, in the way I want to check my general health status, but don't need displaying all the time. Going into the full inventory screen for this is just a tiny bit more of nuisance than perhaps it could be?

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On 18.8.2018 at 12:57 AM, Raphael van Lierop said:

Mackenzie: Probably empathizes with Rick from The Walking Dead. Probably admires Aragorn for his stern leadership and endless stamina. Probably also admires Link from Breath of the Wild because *damn* that guy can climb anywhere!

Astrid: Probably empathizes with Lena from Annihilation (movie) because they're both doctors who find themselves in hostile environments where the rules have changed. Probably admires Sarah from The Killing (TV), because she's a strong woman who won't stop until she finds the answers she's looking for.

Now I want to hear everyone else's choices for Mackenzie and Astrid!

I feel like Mackenzie has a strong moral understanding of right and wrong, and aspires to be on the right side just a little bit too much to accomplish the things he want to accomplish. But he is also somewhat broken, and riddled with self-doubts. All that, paired with his unwavering will to survive against the odds and to stand up for what he believes in and the people that matter to him, makes him a big fan of The Expanse's James Holden, and he also admires the resourcefulness, loyalty, strong direction and clear moral compass of Grey's Anatomy's Owen Hunt.

Astrid is a character with high walls around her that deals with her problems and pains on her own rather than involving other people. She can put her mind to a singular task without being distracted by the nuances and noise of the bigger picture, and she isn't a woman of long speeches and idle conversation. This makes her emphasize with the "emancipated" version of TWD's Carol Peletier, and she admires Battlestar Galactica's Laura Roslin for having the compassion and femininity Astrid sometimes finds hard to show herself, while retaining the strength and ability to lead Astrid strives for.

Edit-- About the sad characters: Real people have endured hardships and achieve greatness in overcoming those as much as their own demons. Just like in real life, senselessly cheerful people turn out to be bland and dull more often than not, and those that bear a cross or two not only tell the better stories but also had opportunity to build a character - for better or for worse. Flaws are what makes a character relatable, human and struggle is what gives life to them. So for, what it is worth, I prefer a "sad", flawed and challenged character over a cheerful idiotic one every day of the week - both in a good story as in life. It's like with music: you never look up the lyrics of a some happy party song, but a lot of people did for "How to save a life" - and everybody can relate to it.

Edited by jeffpeng
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